Totley History Group
Totley History Group

John Edward Greenwood Pinder

Derby Gaol, South Street Derby Gaol, South Street

John Edward Greenwood Pinder had lived all 46 years of his life in Totley but on census night, Sunday 2 April 1911, he was not at home; he was in Derby Gaol serving a three month sentence for theft. John hadn't had much going for him in his life. They even got his name wrong on the 1911 Census when they substituted "Henry" for "Edward" in his name. This is the story of his life up to that point.


John Pinder was born in Totley in the first quarter of 1864 and baptised at Christ Church, Dore, on 6 April 1865. His mother was Eliza Pinder, the daughter of Robert Pinder (1789-1866), farmer at Totley Bents. She was unmarried at the time of John's birth and no father's name was recorded in the register. The name "Greenwood" came from John's grandmother, Robert Pinder's wife, who was Elizabeth Greenwood (1795-1861) of Holmesfield. John's mother, Eliza, married Clement Needham, the farmer and beerseller of the Grouse Inn, Totley Bents, at Christ Church Dore on 19 December 1865.

The former Grouse Inn, Totley Bents The former Grouse Inn, Totley Bents

John Pinder's first encounter with the law was in 1869 when, aged just 5, he was the plaintiff named in a case brought on his behalf by his step-father to recover £10 in damages for injuries said to have been caused by ill treatment. It was alleged that John had been badly beaten with a stick and thrown over a hedge into a stream, not once but twice, by Joseph Rollison. The credibility of witnesses on both sides was called into question and the jury eventually found for the plaintiff but awarded just five shillings in damages presumably believing the injuries caused to have been exaggerated. In the 1871 census John is recorded as a scholar but how much schooling he received is uncertain because later newspaper accounts report him to be illiterate. By the time of the 1881 census he had become a farm labourer.


From around 1884 John appears frequently in the court reports in Sheffield and North Derbyshire newspapers, occasionally as a witness but more commonly having been summoned for minor offences. In many of the cases he brought a counter-summons and in all of them he denied the offence. He liked a drink and many of the summonses relate to disturbances that followed either inside or immediately outside local pubs.


He was summoned by Luke Beeston, the landlord of the Crown Inn, for three alleged offences on 1 November 1884: assault, wilful damage and refusing to quit the pub when so ordered. On the last of the three charges John was fined £1 but was acquitted on the two other charges. The following June he successfully brought a counter-summons against Beeston for assault and was awarded £30 in damages when it was proven that Beeston used unjustifiable force when he struck John a blow on the head with a fireplace poker.


Further fights led to two court summonses soon afterwards which were also successfully defended. In July 1888 Joseph Henry Belson alleged assault following an argument about John's driving of his horse and cart and, in February 1892, John was summoned for assault after a fight at the Cross Scythes with three local men, Charles Henry, miner, William Jowett and Thomas Elliott, both labourers.


On 3 July 1892 at Christ Church, Dore, John Pinder married his cousin, Jane Pinder, Rev. J. T. F. Aldred officiating. Jane, a spinster aged 24, was the daughter of James Pinder, the brother of John's mother Eliza. Their marriage got off to an unfortunate start when there was an accident on the way home to the Grouse Inn. When turning into the yard, the horse swerved, overturning the vehicle and throwing all the occupants on to the ground. The bride received severe injuries to both knees. The rest of the occupants escaped with a shaking but a little child, belonging to one of the employees on the Dore and Chinley Railway, was severely injured by the overturned vehicle falling upon it.
Two children were born to the Pinders soon afterwards. Louisa was baptised on 28 August 1892 and Robert Clement James on 9 July 1893 (born 30 May 1893), both at Christ Church, Dore. However, not all was  well with their marriage:

Saturday 21st April 1894 Derbyshire Courier (page 7)
Couldn't Agree with her Mother-in-law. 
At Dronfield Sessions on Monday, Jno. Edward Greenwood Pinder, farmer of Totley, was summoned for neglecting to maintain his wife. Jane Pinder said that her husband refused to find her a house, excepting with his mother, who was continually abusing and insulting her, and who turned her out. Defendant said he had a good home for his wife if she would behave herself. The magistrates said they were of the opinion that defendant did not find his wife a comfortable home. He would have to find her another home or pay her 10s. a week. Complainant would have the custody of the children.

This instruction appears to have been obeyed as the couple found alternative accomodation at Totley Bents soon afterwards as is evidenced from quarrels with their neighbours, the Udalls, which reached the attention of the courts.

The Udall Family of Monnybrook Cottages The Udall Family of Monnybrook Cottages

A further summons in June 1896 for an assault on Thomas Coates was dismissed but John was to appear in the courts yet again the following month when he was summoned by Totley Parish Council on two charges: wilful damage and leading a horse to a fenced off village green. The case was covered extensively in the newspapers as it was of widespread interest to the local community. The facts were these. The Parish Council had fenced in certain parish land adjacent to the Cricket Inn which had been vested in them for the use of the inhabitants of the parish as a place of exercise and recreation. John Pinder questioned their right to do so, claiming that it had been used for generations as land for pasturing animals. He persisted in driving a horse into the enclosure and even broke a lock off the gate in order to effect access. It was when other people began to follow his example that the Council was forced to take proceedings against him. After perusing the acts affecting the enclosure, the justices decided no right did exist and they fined John the sum of £1 12s. for leading his horse to the enclosure and a further £1 11s. for wilful damage to the lock.


In the following month, August 1896, yet more charges were brought against him. Henry Nicholson, a farmer, charged him with stealing a hay tippler and Sarah Barker Bulliman summoned him for the use of abusive language. Both cases were dismissed. Two months later John was back in court, following another incident with a neighbour:

Saturday 10 October 1896 Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald (page 3)
Unloving Neighbours
John Ed. Pinder, Totley Bents, labourer, was charged by Albert Lee with stealing a tame rabbit, value 2s. at Totley, on the 29th ult. Prosecutor said about 7 a.m. in the morning of the 29th ult. he looked out of the window and saw defendant unfasten the wire netting around the hen and rabbit pen and put a dog inside. Subsequently he got in himself and shortly afterwards the dog and rabbit came out. The dog chased the rabbit round the garden and caught it, and defendant picked it up and took it away. Complainant's son also gave evidence. The case showed that there was a great deal of ill feeling between the parties and in the end the Bench dismissed the case. Mary Ann Lee, Totley Bents, was next summoned for violently threatening Jane Pinder, at Totley, on the 30th ult. After hearing a good deal of evidence, the Bench decided to bind both parties over in the sum of £5 to keep the peace, and ordered both to pay her own costs, 8s. 9d.

On 1 December 1897 a more serious charge was brought against John Pinder, that of night poaching. Ellis Ashton, keeper at Longshawe, said that on 7 November, between 12 midnight and 1 a.m., he was with two other keepers on land belonging to His Grace the Duke of Rutland at Dore Moor when he saw two men coming along the wood-side with a dog. As soon as they saw the keepers the men gave a shout and began to throw stones and then ran away. Two of the keepers gave chase and caught John Pinder who threatened the keepers and refused to surrender his stick for some time but ultimately did so. Mr Ashton searched him and found two nets and four pegs and another net close by. The other man, James Robinson, was also caught by the third keeper and he too was found to have a bag on him.


Mr Garlick, the prosecuting counsel, said there had been a great deal of poaching in this district and asked for a committal. After deliberation, however, the Bench said they had decided to give the two poachers one more chance and not send them to prison. They looked upon the case as a very serious one. John Pinder was fined £5 or one month's imprisonment with hard labour and Robinson fined £1 or 14 days.

Despite that warning, a similar incident arose in September 1899 when John Pinder and another man were spotted at about 2 a.m. at Stoney Ridge, again on land owned by His Grace the Duke of Rutland. John was carrying a bag which he dropped as he ran away. The gamekeeper, Abraham Taylor, found it to contain six rabbits and gave chase. John fought him off but was recognised. The fine this time was £2 plus costs or 1 month's imprisonment.


A third incident on the Duke's land was brought to the attention of the Dronfield magistrates on 29 December 1900 when John Pinder was charged with trespassing by night in search of game. A list of eleven previous convictions was produced and the magistrates inflicted a penalty to £5, including costs, or in default two months' hard labour.

Perhaps John was finding it increasingly difficult to support his growing family. By the time of the 1901 Census a further three children had been born: Lucy (baptised 6 Feb 1898), Eliza (baptised 21 May 1899) and John Edward Greenwood Jnr. (born 29 Aug 1900, baptised 14 Oct 1900).


More widely reported cases of drunkenness were proved against John Pinder in 1902. One was brought by Emily Cockayne of Norton Lees for damage caused to her carriage after a collision with John's horse and dog cart on Beauchief Bridge, Abbey Lane. It was alleged that John was driving negligently as a result of being drunk. It came out in evidence that John had already been fined 20s. for being in charge of a horse and cart whilst drunk on the evidence of P.C. Jepson. Despite John's continuing denial it was hardly surprising that the jury found for the plaintiff on the claim to the extent of £5.

Ordnance Arms Hotel, Hathersage Ordnance Arms Hotel, Hathersage

John Pinder was also summoned on a charge of being drunk and disorderly at Hathersage. P.C. Thompson said that he was called on 17 October 1902 by Mr Hulett to eject a man from the Ordnance Arms, "where he had been creating a disturbance and turning out the people."  John was described as a big, John Bull-looking fellow with a smile on his face. He claimed that he had had a cup of tea with some whiskey in it, but wasn't drunk, and called witnesses who stated that he was "neither sober nor drunk but had had a drink." The Bench, however, decided to convict being unable to disregard all the evidence of the reputable witnesses they had heard; they imposed a fine of £1 and £1 18s. 2d. costs.


Four more children were born to John and Jane Pinder between 1903 and 1910; Jane (baptised 13 November 1903), Thomas (born in 1905, baptised 20 May 1910), Harriet (born in 1907, baptised 20 May 1910) and Ada (born in 1910, baptised 20 May 1910). During these years there were fewer reported convictions: a fine of 10s. for driving a vehicle without a light in 1903; a fine  of 5s. plus costs for a breach of the Dog Regulations in 1907 and a fine of 10s. plus costs for being drunk and disorderly in 1907.


And so we come to the incident on 22 December 1910 which led to John Pinder's imprisonment:


Saturday 25th February 1911 Nottingham Evening Post (page 6)
Plantation Despoiled.
Carter Sent to Gaol for Theft

Just before Christmas a most barefaced case of spoliation of a plantation occurred in the neighbourhood of Sheffield, no fewer than 86 small ornamental trees being cut down and carried away. The plantation is situated on Moorwood's Farm, Holmesfield, and the trees stolen, which were planted about ten years ago, were valued by the owner, Mr. G. H. Crawshaw, of Sheffield, at £63 10s. The sequel was furnished at Derby Assizes this morning, when John Edward Greenwood Pinder, 46, an illiterate carter, who lives two miles from the plantation, was indicted for the theft. Mr. H. Hole, prosecuting, described it as a particularly cruel case of damage, and suggested that prisoner's object was to sell the trees as Christmas trees and for decorative purposes. Seven witnesses were called to testify to prisoner driving to the plantation, leaving his horse and dray standing in the road near by, and subsequently go away with a load of portions of trees. It was nearly daylight when he was seen, and the suggestion of the prosecution was that he cut the trees during the night, for several hours of which dogs at neighbouring farms were continually barking. The defence advanced by Mr. Dietrichsen was that the load consisted of trees and evergreens purchased from neighbours for sale in Sheffield market where they realised £1, and that the presence of the dray outside the plantation for a considerable time was due to the fact that prisoner had left it there while he went back in search of a tarpaulin which had been blown off. Pinder was found guilty and 16 convictions for minor offences were proved against him. He had lived in the district all his life. Sentence of three months' hard labour was passed.

Part 2: The Later Years

Whilst John Pinder was in Derby Gaol on census night 2 April 1911, his wife Jane was living in three rooms in Totley Bents with six of the couple's nine children. With her were Louisa (whom the census records as an imbecile from birth) aged 19, John Edward Greenwood Jnr. aged 10, Jane aged 8, Thomas aged 6, Harriet aged 4 and Ada aged just 1. Eldest son Robert had emigrated to the United States in 1909 to join his great uncle Vaniah Sparks who had sponsored him for the journey. Daughter Eliza, aged 11, was living with her aunt and uncle, Mary Ann and John Thomas Cotterill, at The Clough in Bamford. Daughter Lucy is not at home and we have not yet traced her. A tenth child had died in infancy before being baptized. Perhaps this was Herbert Pinder who was buried at Dore Christ Church on 7 December 1902 aged 9 months. The parish register shows that Herbert had lived at Totley Bents but his parents are not named.

SS Ivernia Cunard Steamship Line's SS Ivernia, built in 1899 by Swan Hunter in Newcastle

After serving his prison sentence, John Pinder seems to have decided that the family's future lay in America. His mother Eliza had died on 31 January 1911 whilst John was on bail awaiting trial and been buried in the same grave at Christ Church as her parents and five of her siblings. So whilst Jane stayed behind in Totley with the younger children, John sailed from Liverpool on 13 March 1912 on the SS Ivernia bound for Boston via Queenstown, Ireland. He took with him daughter Lucy aged 14 and son John junior aged 11. His intention was to travel to Westboro, Missouri to meet up with son Robert. In the ship's records John senior is described as a farmer, 5ft 10 inches tall, with grey eyes and a dark complexion. In the column headed 'health' it says 'insane, attempted suicide'.


Unfortunately, John was refused entry by United States immigration and was sent back to England on board another Cunard Steamship Line vessel, SS Franconia, which docked in Liverpool on 24 April. The passenger list shows the word 'rejected' against John's name in the column recording the intended country of future permanent residence. There is no mention of the two children returning to England and it is presumed that they were cared for by the Sparks family as the two families were known to be very close. As we shall see later, all of John and Jane's children were eventually to emigrate to the United States with the exception of poor Louisa who it would appear died in Burton-on-Trent in 1913 at the age of 21.

Egerton Arcade, Wilbraham Road, circa 1913-14 Egerton Arcade, Wilbraham Road, Chorlton cum Hardy circa 1913-14

For a number of years, the Pinder family had had connections with the Manchester area. Jane's sister Annie married James Henry Neale in Chorlton cum Hardy in 1891 and the couple had four daughters and six sons, the three oldest of whom were working for their father in his butchers shop at 4 Egerton Arcade, Wilbraham Road, at the time of the 1911 Census. Another sister, Harriett, married William Gell, a labourer, on 29 September 1904 at the Church of St. John the Baptist, Hulme and was living at 18 Langworthy Road, Moston. A third sister, Lucy Ada, lived at 12 Harriet Street, Stretford where she was a general servant for Mary Ellen Houghton, the widow of an East India and China Merchant who had lost her sight.


Perhaps in order to be close to these relatives, John and Jane Pinder moved to Manchester and were living at 63 Jenkinson Street, Chorlton on Medlock. John Pinder died on 24 May 1915 in the West Didsbury Workhouse (Withington Hospital) at the age of 51. He was buried at Philips Park Cemetery, Miles Platting, three days later in the same grave as his sister-in-law Harriet Gell who had died on 12 August 1913. Jane Pinder died on 28 March 1919 and was buried in the same grave.

Grave of John Edward Greenwood Pinder, his wife Jane and sister-in-law Harriett Gell Grave of John Edward Greenwood Pinder, his wife Jane and sister-in-law Harriett Gell

With their parents, grandparents and mentally ill sister all dead and three of their siblings already settled in America, it is not surprising to find that the remaining children also emigrated to the United States.


Eliza, aged 20, and Thomas, aged 15, sailed from Liverpool on 26 September 1919 aboard the RMS Empress of France to Montreal. They gave their last permanent address as Stretford and their nearest relative in the country of departure as aunt Lucy Ada Pinder who was still in the service of Mrs Houghton at 12 Kenwood Road, Stretford. On the passenger list, Eliza and Thomas gave their intended destination as Westboro, Missouri, where brother Robert was now living and where John Junior had enlisted in the US Army on 17 September the previous year.


Youngest daughter Ada Pinder was the next of John and Jane's children to emigrate, accompanied by her aunt Lucy Ada who had first crossed the Atlantic in 1904 on the SS Luciana on a Thomas Cook tour to St Louis as a companion but to whom is unclear. Aunt and niece sailed on the White Star Steamship Line's SS Celtic from Liverpool to New York on 9 February 1921, Mrs Houghton having died on 10 August 1920. Evidently on arrival in New York they were detained overnight for special inquiry, the reason given was that Ada was under 16.

Canadian Pacific Steamship Montrose, built in 1920 Canadian Pacific Steamship Montrose, built in 1920 in Glasgow by the Fairfield Company

That just left Harriett and Jane behind in England. They sailed together on the Canadian Pacific Atlantic Line's SS Montrose departing Liverpool on 27 April 1923 disembarking at Montreal. Harriett was aged 17 and Jane 20. They gave their nearest relative in the country of departure as Mrs Neale, presumably aunt Annie, whose address was shown as 3 Cambridge Avenue, Manchester. Interestingly, they gave their intended final destination as Kiowa, Elbert County, Colorado where we think brother Robert was living.

Family tree charts for Jane and John Edward Greenwood Pinder
John Edward Greenwood Pinder Family Tree[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [82.3 KB]


This article has been inspired by a letter we have received from Ken Black, a direct descendant of John E. G. Pinder's grandfather Robert Pinder and Robert's son Edward Pinder, and by the wealth of information that Ken subsequently sent to us. We have attempted to replicate Ken's research. Any error you may find, therefore, is entirely our own.

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Future Meetings



Unless stated otherwise our meetings are held in Totley Library on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm.

Pauline Burnett's book The Rise of Totley Rise has been revised and updated. It tells the story of this small piece of land from 1875 when there was only a rolling mill and chemical yard alongside the river a mile from Totley, through Victorian and Edwardian times, two world wars and up to the present day. It has 94 pages including a useful index and many illustrations from private collections. The book is available now from Totley Rise Post Office priced at £5, or through our website when an additional charge will be made to cover packing and postage.

A few copies are still available of Sally Goldsmith's book Thirteen Acres: John Ruskin and the Totley Communists. Totley was the site of a utopian scheme funded by art critic and social reformer John Ruskin. In 1877 he bought 13-acre St. George’s Farm so that nine Sheffield working men and their families could work the land and, to keep themselves busy, make boots and shoes. Sally tells an engaging story from our history with a quirky cast of characters including Ruskin himself, the poet and gay rights activist Edward Carpenter and Henry Swan, a cycling, vegetarian artist and Quaker. The book is available to order online from the The Guild of St. George by following this link.

A recently discovered box of WWII correspondence reveals the story of how a small group of ladies from Dore and Totley recruited knitters from the west of Sheffield and how their efforts made them the country's greatest provider of Comforts for the Minesweeping crews of the Royal Navy. The story is told in Knit For Victory, a new book from Totley History Group. Written by Pauline Burnett, it has 82 pages and many illustrations. It is on sale in local shops and via our website.  Further information about the correspondence is in this inside page of our website: Dore & Totley Minesweeping Trawlers Comforts Fund

The story is told in Totley War Memorial WW1 of the ten men from our village who gave their lives in the Great War. Written by Pauline Burnett, Jim Martin and Dorothy Prosser, a chapter is devoted to each of the soldiers with a family tree followed by as much information as could be discovered about the men and their families. There is also information about their military careers and the actions in which they lost their lives. The book has 64 pages and is illustrated throughout with photographs of the men, their families and the houses where they lived.

Totley All Saints' Church Parish Magazines for the years 1985-2006 with notices of baptisms, marriages and funerals and accounts of spiritual, educational, charitable and social matters in the village. Scanned in full, including advertisements from local traders.

In 1893 during the building of the Totley Tunnel there was an outbreak of smallpox amongst the navvies which spread to some of the local population. 17 people were buried in communal graves in Dore Churchyard, 6 from "Green Oak" (Lemont Road). The severity of the outbreak was principally caused by overcrowding and insanitary conditions in lodging houses .

Kathleen Grayson was a 39 year old housewife when WW2 broke out. She volunteered for the ARP and became an ambulance driver. During an air raid on Sheffield in July 1941, and despite her own injuries, she managed to get a seriously injured casualty to hospital. For this she was awarded a commendation from King George VI. Together with her friend Hilda Duffy, Kathleen also assembled a team of knitters to provide essential warm clothing for the men serving on the minesweepers patrolling the North Sea.

We have recently bought at auction the WW2 memorabilia of Douglas Platts whose family home was at Hillside, 98 Queen Victoria Road. After the war Douglas returned to his civilian occupation working in the family scissors manufacturing business. He lived in our area for the rest of his life.

We are very grateful to Mrs Valerie Taylor of Dore for lending us the title deeds to Lower Bents Farmhouse which is reputed to be the oldest surviving building in the area with a proven history back to 1621. We have now scanned and transcribed the deeds which could be particularly interesting to anyone with a connection to the local Fisher, Dalton and Marshall Families. 

Until 1844, when Dore Christ Church parish was created, Totley township was part of Dronfield parish. We have now transcribed the burial records for former Totley residents at St. John the Baptist, Dronfield for the period 1678-1870 and at St. Swithin, Holmesfield for the period 1766-1901.

Whilst researching the history of the Dalton Family we found it useful to transcribe a number of early Wills and Inventories. These and those of many other Totley, Dore and Holmesfield people dating from between 1594 and 1856 have now been added to our website.

St. Swithin's Church, Holmesfield pre-dates Dore Christ Church and was the place where many of the people from Totley worshipped and were baptised, married and buried. Read the inscriptions on more than 750 gravestones in the churchyard including those of Mr. and Mrs. William Aldam Milner of Totley Hall, Jessie Matilda Tyzack (nee Fisher) of Avenue Farm, and Rev. J. A. Kerfoot of St. John's, Abbeydale.

Thomas Youdan was a music hall proprietor and benefactor who was living at Grove House, Totley in 1867 when he sponsored the first football knockout competition in the world for The Youdan Cup.

The words Millhouses Cricket Club can be seen in the background of team photos which are likely to date from between 1905 and the early 1920s, very probably pre-war. They were lent to us by Garth Inman who can identify his great uncle, Cecil Inman, in some of the photos and would like to know when they were taken and, if possible, the names of others present. Please take a look to see whether you can put names to any of the faces. 

Josiah Hibberd was seriously injured whilst working on the construction of the Totley Tunnel in 1892. He died on 9 May 1897 at the age of 38 having apparently spent most of previous five years in hospital.

Bradway House was built around 1832 by Henry Greaves, a farmer, together with two adjacent cottages. We have traced most of the occupants of the property from these early days up to the start of World War Two.

We have transcribed the baptisms records at St. John the Evangelist, Abbeydale from when the church was consecrated in 1876 until just after the start of World War 1. The records are arranged in alphabetical order based upon the child's name and show the date of baptism, the names of the parents, their home location and occupation.

Nick Kuhn bought an original 1920s poster which had this owners' blind stamp in one corner. The stamp almost certainly refers to a house named Wigmore that was built in the late 1920s or early 1930s. The first occupiers that we can trace are John Howarth Caine, a district mineral agent for the LNER, his wife Florence Jane (nee Prince) and daughter Doris Mary. The Caine family lived at Wigmore until 1936 by which time the house would have been known simply as 12 The Quandrant.

George Griffiths died on 13 December 1888 following an explosion during the sinking of number 3 airshaft at Totley Bents. His widow Florence died shortly afterwards and his two daughters Maud and Annie were adopted separately. Whilst Annie lived the rest of her life in Yorkshire, Maud emigrated to Australia in 1923 with her husband, John Burrows, daughter Margaret and son Jack, pictured above.

George Wainwright was said to have been born in Bamford, Derbyshire in 1714. He learned the trade of linen weaving and moved to Totley after his marriage on 1744. He became an ardent follower of John Wesley who paid many visits to Sheffield and who would have passed through or close to Totley. Preaching was at first conducted out of doors and when Wesley's preachers became harassed by a mob of Totley ruffians in 1760, George offered them safety of his own home. He remained a Methodist for all of his long life, dying in Dore in 1821 at the reputed age of 107.

Oakwood School was started by Mrs Phoebe Holroyd in 1925 initially as the Firth Park Kindergarten and, by 1927, as the Firth Park Preparatory School. Phoebe was still working at the school almost fifty years later when she was well into her seventies. We would like to hear from anyone with memories of the school. 

James Curtis was born at sea aboard HMS Chichester in 1790. He enlisted as a Private in the 1st Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards in Sheffield in 1812 and served in Spain and Portugal during the Peninsular War. He later fought in France and Belgium taking part in the Battle of Waterloo. In later life James lived at the Cricket Inn where his son-in-law William Anthony was the licensed victualler. He died in Heeley in 1882 aged about 91. 

Charles Paul lived in Totley in later life. He was a local historian and archaeologist who was an authority on the history of Sheffield, especially the two areas he knew best: Attercliffe and Ecclesall. His books and letters to local newspapers were published under the Latin form of his name Carolus Paulus.

Towards the end of the 19th century Totley Hall gardens became a well known beauty spot that attracted many hundreds of visitors from Sheffield on open days and the rock gardens became one of its most popular features. Mrs Annie Charlesworth sent us six glass transparencies of the rock gardens taken, we believe, in the early years following the Great War.

Anton Rodgers send us photographs of three water-colours that had been bought by his grandfather at a sale of the contents of Abbeydale Hall in 1919. One was of a scene said to be in York by A. Wilson. A second was of a seated child with a dog believed to be pianted by Juliana Russell (1841-1898). The third was of Lake Como, by Ainslie Hodson Bean (1851-1918) who lived for much of his life on the Riviera and in North Italy.

A Canadian correspondent sent us photographs of a set of silver spoons that were bought in a small town in British Columbia. The case contained a note signed by Ebenezer Hall indicating that they were a wedding gift to Maurice and Fanny Housley. We think we may have traced how they got to Canada and where they might have been since.

Green Oak Park was opened on 23 March 1929 on land that had been bought by Norton District Council from John Thomas Carr, a farmer and smallholder of Mona Villas. In later years, the buildings were used by the Bowling Club (the green having been built in 1956) and by the park keeper. However, the buildings appear to have been constructed in several phases, the oldest of which predates the park to the time when the land was used for pasture.

We believe the old Totley Police Station at 331 Baslow Road was built around 1882. Two lock-up cells were excavated just below floor level in the summer of 1890. We have traced the Derbyshire Constabulary police officers who lived there from John Burford in 1886 to George Thomas Wood who was there when Totley was absorbed into Sheffield in 1934.

David Stanley lived in Totley Rise in the later years of his life. Born in Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, he joined the 17th Lancers when he was 19 and rode in the Charge of The Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava where he was seriously wounded. For the first reunion of veterans in 1875, he told his story to a reporter from the Buxton Herald.

This picture postcard was addressed to Miss Abell, Holly Dene, Totley Brook Road and posted in Rotherham on 10 December 1907. Edith Annie Abell was born on 4 February 1887 in Sheffield and her family came to live in our area in the 1900s, staying for the rest of their lives.

Charles Herbert Nunn enlisted in the British Army on 23 August 1915 and was sent to France on 18 December 1915 to served with the British Expeditionary Force. In March 1916 it was discovered that he was underage and he was returned home. Shortly after his 18th birthday he re-enlisted and was again posted abroad where, in addition to this trio of medals, he was awarded the Military Medal. 

This certificate was awarded jointly by the Red Cross and St. John's Ambulance to Isaac Henry Williams, of Lemont Road, for his services during WW1 as a stretcher bearer. We are seeking anyone who can help us pass it on to a living relative.

In 1832 Samuel Dean pleaded guilty to stealing a quantity of lead from the Totley Rolling Mill and was sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia. He sailed on the Mangles and upon arrival in New South Wales he was sent to work for William Cox, the famous English explorer and pioneer. After receiving his Certificate of Freedom in 1840, Samuel became a farmer and went on to have a very large family. Samuel was born in Whitechapel around 1811 to parents Samuel Dean Snr. and Susannah Duck. His descendant Sarah Dean would like help in tracing his ancestry.

Ellen Topham was born in 1889 in Nottingham. Her parents had been living together since 1862 but had never married so it was most unusual that, after their deaths, Ellen was accepted into Cherrytree Orphanage. Even more so since her father, Snowden Topham, had been acquitted somewhat unexpectedly in a widely reported manslaughter trial. Ellen remained at Cherrytree until her death from pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 15.

Mabel Wilkes was a resident in Cherrytree Orphanage between 1897 and 1905. Her granddaughter Sally Knights sent us these images of a book presented to Mabel as a prize for her writing. Sally also sent us some personal memories of her grandmother and a photograph of a locket which contains portraits of Mabel and her husband Septimus Gale.

John Henry Manby Keighley was living at Avenue Farm when he enlisted in 1916. He fought in France with the Cheshire Regiment but after home leave in early 1918 he went missing. The Army were unable to determine whether he had deserted or returned to the front and been either killed or captured by the enemy. In August 1919 he was formally presumed killed in action but it appears he did not die but returned home to his family.

Horace Ford was admitted to Cherrytree Orphanage on 26 October 1888 at the age of six. He left at the age of 14 to become an apprentice blacksmith and farrier. Soon after his 18th birthday Horace enlisted in the Imperial Yeomanry to serve his country in the war in South Africa. His letter home to his Orphanage mentor tells of the lucky escape he had in battle.

Pat Skidmore (née Sampy) lived on Totley Brook Road from 1932 to 1948 before her family moved to Main Avenue. In this short article she remembers her time at Totley All Saints School where she was a contemporary of Eric Renshaw and Bob Carr.

As we have nowhere to exhibit memorabilia and artifacts, we have created a Virtual Museum instead. The latest addition to our collection is this double-sided Totley Rise Post Office oval illuminated sign which was on the wall of 67 Baslow Road before the Post Office business transferred to number 71. Please contact us by email if you have things that you own and would like to see added to the virtual museum.

Conway Plumbe was a man of many talents who came to live in Totley Rise around 1912. As a young man he had poems published by Punch magazine and is remembered in modern collections of WW1 poetry. A number of his paintings were accepted by the Royal Academy. An engineering graduate of London University, he joined the Civil Service where he rose to a high level as a factory inspector, publishing two books on the subject and giving a series of talks on workplace health and safety on BBC radio during WW2. In retirement he wrote a philosophical-spiritual work called Release From Time.

Inside Totley Rise Methodist Church there is a Roll of Honour commemorating the soldiers from its congregation who served their king and country during the Great War. For all but one of the 28 names the soldier's regiment is recorded in the next column. The exception is David Cockshott for whom 'killed in action' is written alongside yet he appears on no war memorial in our area and no record of a mortally wounded soldier of that name is to be found. We think we have solved the mystery.

Mrs. Kate Plumbe moved from Mansfield to Totley Rise with a number of her family in 1913 and became closely involved with the Totley Union Church. Her daughter Winifred became a missionary and headmistress in Calcutta for over 38 years following which she returned home to live with her sister Hilda on Furniss Avenue. Hilda had also been a teacher, missionary and, like her mother, a volunteer at St. John's VAD during WW1.

Thomas Glossop was a cutler and razor manufacturer who was well known amongst cricketing and gardening circles. Despite going blind, he was able to continue his hobbies with remarkable success

The Totley Union Cycling Society Prize Giving and Fete was held on the fields near Abbeydale Hall on 18 July 1914. Anne Rafferty and Gordon Wainwright have named some of the people in two wonderful photographs of the event. Can you identify any more for us? 

The Tyzack family are well known in our area for owning iron and steel trades at Walk Mill, Abbeydale Works, Totley Rolling Mill and Totley Forge. This article covers the history of the family from the late 18th century when William Tyzack the founder of the company was born until the early 20th century when Joshua Tyzack farmed at Avenue Farm, Dore.  

Walter Waller Marrison moved to Totley around 1897 with his wife and their two young sons. He was a house builder who constructed properties around Totley Brook and Greenoak before ill health forced him to take up less physically demanding work. In 1904 he took over the tenancy of the grocers and off licence at number 71 Baslow Road. After his death in 1908, his widow Kate and later their eldest son Jack continued to run the business until it was sold in 1934.   

Ron Wijk of Nieuw-Vennep in the Netherlands has sent us two scanned images of drawings of old cottages made by the celebrated Dutch painter, Anton Pieck (1895-1987) simply annotated "Totley", and wondered whether we could identify their locations.

We would like to thank Christopher Rodgers for bringing to our attention this fascinating log of the 85th Sheffield (St. John's and Totley Orphanage) Wolf Cub Pack for 1927-45. The log is published jointly by Sheffield Scout Archives and Totley History Group as a free PDF download. It is illustrated by no fewer than 92 photographs and is supported by a comprehensive index and biographies of some of the main participants.

Following our Open Meeting event on School Days, Roger Hart, Howard Adams and John Timperley have each written to us with their memories of Norwood School, which was located in the rooms attached to the Dore & Totley United Reformed Church on Totley Brook Road. 

On 22nd July 1909 the children of Dore and Totley Schools celebrated by a pageant the union of England under King Ecgbert which took place at Dore in AD 827. The pageant was devised and written by Mrs Sarah Milner and her daughter Marjorie and performed in a field close to Avenue Farm in front of a large audience. Photographs of the event survive together with a fragment of the script.

John Edward Greenwood Pinder had lived all 46 years of his life in Totley but on census night, Sunday 2 April 1911, he was not at home; he was in Derby Gaol serving a sentence of three months hard labour. From the age of 20, John had been in and out of local courts for a series of minor offences including drunkenness, assault, wilful damage and night poaching. Finally he was sent to gaol for cutting down and stealing 86 small trees which he sold in Sheffield market for Christmas.

We have already transcribed the census returns for Totley, Totley Rise and Dore. Now we have transcribed Census Strays. These are people who were born in Totley but are missing from our earlier transcriptions. They may have been living, working or studying elsewhere or just away from home on the night the census was taken. Two people were in prison. Others were in Union Workhouses, hospitals and asylums. Fully indexed strays from the 1851, 1861, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses are available now. 

We wish to thank Gillian Walker for allowing us to digitize an archive of material about the 1st Totley Scout Group. Most of the material was collected by Arthur Percival Birley in the period 1949-51 and there are many interesting documents pertaining to the building of the scout hut on Totley Hall Lane. In addition four Newsletters survive, two from the 1940s and two from 1971.

We are grateful to Angela Waite and All Saints' Parish Church for giving us access to baptismal and kindergarten birthday rolls dating from 1926 to 1941. We have transcribed the names, addresses, birthdates and baptismal dates and created an alphabetical index of entries for you to search. 

Edmund Sanderson, a Sheffield estate agent, aquired the land on either side of the old drive to Totley Grove in 1874 and divided it into plots for development. He called it the Totley Brook Estate. But before many houses were built, the estate road was severed in two by the building of the Dore & Chinley Railway line. The eastern end of the road became the cul-de-sac we now call Grove Road

John Roberts was born in Sheffield in 1798. He became a partner in one of the leading silversmiths firms in the city before moving to Abbeydale Park in 1851 and extending the house in Victorian gothic style. He paid for the building of St. John's Church and was believed to dispense more in charity than any other person in the neighbourhood including his protege Ebenezer Hall.

The Coke Family owned the Totley Hall Estate from 1791 to 1881. With the aid of a family tree to guide us, Josie Dunsmore takes us through the story of their tenure. 

When the Rev. D'Ewes Coke inherited the Totley Hall Estate in 1791 it had two farms. Josie Dunsmore tells the story of how the two farms were combined under the tenancy of Peter Flint with the aid of field maps drawn by Flint himself and later by the Fairbanks family.

Do you think you recognize this face? More than sixty photographs of the girls and teachers at Hurlfield Grammar School for Girls in the 1940s were given to Totley History Group by Avril Critchley, who was herself a student at the school. The collection includes fifteen form photographs from June 1949. There would have been a number of girls from the Totley area attending the school in those days.

Christine Weaving tells the story of her 2 x great uncle George Edward Hukin, a Totley razor-grinder, and his life-long friendship with the academic, poet, writer, and free-thinker Edward Carpenter.

Eric Renshaw (pictured here on the right with Bob Carr) grew up and lived in Totley from 1932 to 1960. Many of his memories are of a sporting nature.

We are very grateful to Gordon Grayson for giving us this splendid sale document for the Norton Hall Estates, following the death in 1850 of Samuel Shore. The estates included a large part of Totley and the document has maps and illustrations, plus schedules of land and property with the names of tenants. We have also added a transcription of the entries for Totley and Dore. 

Watch this Youtube video of the talk given by Dr. Mark Frost and Sally Goldsmith on Ruskin, Totley and St. George's Farm. The talk was hosted by Totley History Group on 20th May 2015 as part of the Ruskin in Sheffield programme. Also enjoy a video of the outdoor performance Boots, Fresh Air & Ginger Beer written by Sally.

When Jacqueline A. Gibbons became interested in what made her father tick, it began a journey through WW1 archive records and led to her flying from Toronto to visit the house and village where he lived and the countryside that he so much enjoyed. Jacqueline reminds us that in the early 20th century Sheffield was a driving force of industry and that Totley was the place where many of its remarkable people lived and where they formulated their ideas.

Edgar Wood was the designer of The Dingle, 172 Prospect Road, built in 1904 for Rev. William Blackshaw, the founder of the Croft House Settlement. The house, together with its western terrace and boundary walls, has now been awarded Grade II listed building status. 

What was probably "the most perfect little garden railway in existence" in 1910 was to be found in the grounds of Brook House, Grove Road, the home of its designer and constructor, Guy Mitchell. Look at some wonderful photographs and read reports in newspapers and a full appreciation in Model Railways magazine. 

We have now completed our transcription of Totley School's Admission Records for the period from 1877 to 1914. There is also a useful index to the names of the scholars and to their parents or guardians. We are very grateful to Sheffield Archives and Local Studies Library for allowing us to transcribe and publish these records and for permission to reproduce the photograph of a specimen page of the register.

On 8, 9 and 11 November 2014 Totley History Group held an exhibition at Dore & Totley United Reformed Church to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. Below are additional links to some of the photographs we were lent and stories we researched especially for the exhibition.


Oscar Creswick was a local farmer who served with the Army Service Corps in Salonika and who after the war returned to Totley to become the innkeeper of the Cricket Inn and a member of the village's successful tug of war team.


Walter Evans was a market gardener who also ran a small grocery shop on Hillfoot Road when war broke out. He fought with the Machine Gun Corps at the fourth battle of Ypres. After the war, Walter ran a grocers shop at the top of Main Avenue.


Fred Cartwright was another Totley soldier who survived the Great War. He fought in France and Belgium and although he wasn't wounded he was gassed and was home on sick leave when his daughter was delivered by Nurse Jessop during a snowstorm in January 1917.


Maurice Johnson joined the Yorkshire Dragoons, a territorial unit, on 1 Jan 1914 and so was called up at the very start of the war. He fought throughout the war on the Somme, at Ypres and at Cambrai. After demobilization in 1919 Maurice returned to his old occupation in the steel industry.


Bill Glossop lent us a letter written by his father, William Walton Glossop to his wife describing life in the army during training in the north east of England and asking her to keep him in mind with the children.


The photo above provides a link to an album of photographs taken of WW1 Hospitals at St. John's, Abbeydale and the Longshaw Estate.


Nora Green, of Chapel Lane, was only 14 when war broke out. In 1914 she was ill with diphtheria and was sent to the isolation hospital at Holmley Lane, Dronfield. Nora recovered and wrote a letter of thanks to one of the hospital staff and the reply she received survives. 


We have collected together on this page the names of local men who appear on various War Memorials and Rolls of Honour in Totley, Dore, Abbeydale, Norton, Holmesfield and Dronfield.


Unfortunately we were unable to identify all the photographs we were lent of Totley Soldiers. Please take a look at this album to see if you recognize any of the missing names.

This walk visits locations that have strong associations with Totley during the First World War. It includes the homes of the ten soldiers from the village who lost their lives, the auxiliary hospitals, war memorials, and even the rifle range on which the soldiers trained. Take a look at the first draft of a new walk by the authors of "Totley War Memorial WW1 1914-1918"

We wish to thank the Trustees of Cherrytree for giving us permission to publish transcriptions of the Cherrytree Orphanage Admissions Book entries for the years 1866-1929. There is also an alphabetical index for you to look at.

With more people having access to faster broadband and mobile networks, we have uploaded seven full and unedited oral history recordings and also added more short excerpts for you to listen to.

Our transcriptions of local trade directories have been expanded to cover the 95 years from 1837-1932 and have also been indexed. From the days when there were a handful of farmers, stone masons, saw handle makers & scythe grinders to the wonders of the Totley Bridge Garage Company, Betty's Boudoir and The Heatherfield Shopping Centre.

We continue to add to our Totley Newspaper Archive. Recent entries have included several about The Plumbe Family, Thomas Glossop and accidents during the construction of Totley Tunnel.

Totley Church of England Parish Magazines for the years 1922-1939 and 1948-1967 with notices of births, marriages and deaths and accounts of spiritual, educational, charitable and social matters in the village. 

Around 90 photographs taken by Stuart Greenhoff for his thesis A Geographical Study of Dore and Totley including several of Totley Moor Brickworks. Superb!  

Chronologically ordered snippets of information recorded by Brian Edwards during his many years of research into our local history.

Read the inscriptions on more than 700 gravestones in  the churchyard.


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