Thursday, 19 November 2020

Cyril John Hyde (1920-1935) - "The boy who did not like school" - Sheffield January 1935

The following newspaper report is from The Manchester Guardian dated 18th January 1935 and refers to an inquest that was held in the death of a 14 year old boy Cyril Hyde. He attended the Sheffield Junior Technical College at Broomgrove Crescent, Sheffield. According to the Head Master's records Cyril had been a persistent absentee during the autumn term of 1934, recording a figure of 34 missed attendances.    

Cyril clearly resented having to go to school so much so that his father had to personally deliver him to the school on the first day of term. Strange for a 14 year old schoolboy!

Cyril obviously thought better of this, returned home in the afternoon, and promptly gassed himself in the bathroom. The coroner's verdict was a formality.

I have had great difficulty getting a handle on this family due to the closure of the Local Studies Library in Sheffield. However I have managed to obtain the following information from the BMD Registers.

Surname First name(s) Spouse District Vol Page 

Marriages Jun 1919  Hyde Cyril L  Aline Short Sheffield 9c 1254  

Births Dec 1920 Hyde Cyril J Short Ecclesall B. 9c 887

Deaths Mar 1935 Hyde Cyril J 14 Ecclesall B.     9c 484

Deaths Dec 1931 Hyde Aline M 37 Ecclesall B.     9c 414  

From this information two points arise - it looks as though Cyril was the only child of the marriage and that his mother Aline died in 1931 when Cyril was only 11 years old. 

Did these two events have a bearing on Cyril's tragic death?



The Execution of George Ainley (1898 – 1918) - An Update

I received this information earlier this week which related to an article I placed on the site many years ago

"We were unaware of this tragic story. My husband  and I visited the National Memorial Arboretum a few years ago. Whilst visiting the 'Shot at Dawn memorial we noticed a plaque with a familiar surname- Ainley. We looked through my late father-in-laws family tree paperwork when we got home and discovered that this was indeed a relative. We have since returned to lay flowers by the memorial."

I also received a few weeks earlier this information that relates to George and his family

"Another addendum to this is the sad case of Arthur Loversidge a newspaper article dated 19 Oct 1910 in the Sheffield Evening Telegraph titled "Sheffield Tragedy Ivory fluter killed on the railway". Arthur was the brother of Alice Mary Ainley nee Loversidge 1875-1922"

Arthur Loversidge was George's uncle and the brother of George's mother Alice Mary

Unfortunately I have been unable to access the newspaper report that relates to the accident. The Sheffield Local Studies Library hase been closed since March this year and it is anyone's guess when it will re-open 

Friday, 23 October 2020

Have you heard of the unsolved murder of shopkeeper Eleanor Hammerton in Sheffield in 1945? - An update

I was checking some information earlier this week and purely by chance I came across an article in the Sheffield Star dated Monday, 13th July 2020 with the headline

"Have you heard of the unsolved murder of shopkeeper Eleanor Hammerton in Sheffield in 1945?"

The writer of the article was Andy Done-Johnson.

Well readers of this blog and my website will have known about the murder of Eleanor before it appeared in the Sheffield Star. Many years ago I posted an article about the murder to the site and in the interim posted a few updates. In fact the article in the Sheffield Star does bear marked similarities to my article but with one noticeable exception - the murderer of Eleanor was apprehended and sentenced to death for the crime. As far as everyone was concerned the crime was solved and the perpetrator brought to justice

 I posted a blog to this effect on 9th February 2018 when I announced that I had finished an article entitled "The Confession of Ernest Bramham - March 1945". 

Bramham was not arrested for the murder until 28th March 1945, fully two months after the murder of Eleanor on Saturday 27th January 1945. It was this time period between the murder and the arrest that thwarted me at the Local Studies Library - I only checked the local and national press until the end of February 1945 when the police inferred that they were no nearer finding the murderer.

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Mercury dated Saturday 28th April 1945

In the article "The Confession of Ernest Bramham - March 1945" I expressed my doubts about the whole case from start to finish - it is most unusual if not unique that a "callous and brutal murderer" is spared the death penalty but Ernest was, believe it or nor, reprieved.

I did make an oversight in that I failed to place a link in the original article ("Who Murdered Eleanor Hammerton") relating to the apprehension and conviction of Ernest Bramham. If I had done this , I am sure that the journalist who wrote the Star article would have amended his article and removed the word "unsolved" from the headline and text.  

It is a problem to ascertain the facts surrounding an event when you are relying on just one source. Over the years I have had to shelve or delay a number of articles relating to Sheffield as I was not convinced about the authenticity and veracity of the source.    


Thursday, 15 October 2020

Crookes Junction - Then and Now

 Another postcard that is simply entitled "Broomhill, Sheffield"

But to be more specific it shows the junction of Crookes with Glossop Road at Broomhill probably circa 1910.

I took a similar photograph in November 2006 although unlike the photographer in the above photo I stood on the pavement!

But the whole scene is better expressed in the George Cunningham painting "Crookes Junction"


Alsops Farm, Crookes, Sheffield

 I came across this old postcard of "Old Crookes." The only information on the postcard was that it is a photograph of Alsop's Farm.

It is difficult to believe nowadays but the district of Crookes in Sheffield was predominantly a farming community up until the late C19th

The location of the farm is a matter of guesswork. Picture Sheffield have a couple of images showing 
"Cottages in Barker's Yard, off Crookes (situated between Toyne Street and Marston Road), possibly also known as Alsops Yard. Demolished 1908 or 1909"

I think that the lane that dissects the photograph may well be Toyne Street and the taller house to the rear of the photograph may be the ols Punch Bowl public house.The chimney stack on the house is very similar to the one on The Punch Bowl



Thursday, 10 September 2020

Herbert Hargreaves "The Worst Lighting Case in Sheffield" - September 1916

 This report appeared in the local press dated 17th October 1916 and related to a case that was conducted the previous day at Sheffield's Police Court. 

The Chairman of the bench was Sir Frank Mappin, one of Sheffield's most prominent industrialists and from his comnents he was clearly incensed by the conduct of Herbert Hargreaves on the night of 25th September 1916. The fine of £20 is the equivalent of over £1200 in todays money which is nothing short of draconian. The usual fine for a breach of the regulations was between 10s and £1 

But Sir Frank had every right to be incensed because Hargreaves flagrant disregard of the blackout regulations occurred on the night of Sheffield's first ever air-raid, a raid that led to the loss of 29 lives.It is no wonder that his neighbours were bitterly complaining about his conduct and some even accused him of signalling to the enemy.

There is no doubt about it Herbert Hargreaves got a lenient sentence that day in the Police Court

The Beighton Doodlebug - Xmas Eve 1944

Last week a reader of my article on the Beighton Doodlebug (German V1 rocket) contacted me and asked the following question - 

"Could you please tell me which part this is? -I'm almost 100% sure that it is off the Beighton V1 as it was given to me about 25 years ago by my late father-in-law (Bill Layne of Aughton) who at the time was a Bevin boy at Brookhouse pit. They were sent to the site to either help carry out the clean up operation and somehow this must have got stuck in his pocket!! As best I can remember he said he thought that it was a part that twisted on impact and caused the detonation.I'm not sure this is correct as an engineer it seems to be overcomplicated for this. Can't help being in admiration for the left-hand spiral tapered milling on the cone-with no C.N.C's in those days it can't have been easy to produce! Object height 24mm/dia.32mm"

My response was as follows

"Well first of all I am not an expert in flying bomb technology and so I am not much help in that respect, But as you may have gathered from my article readers have informed me that by December 1944 the Germans were increasingly cannibalising parts from their rapidly diminishing U-Boat fleets, and I wonder if the part your father rescued, was from a German naval torpedo This may explain the complexity of the machining".

If anyone can assist me further on this item. please contact me and I will pass it on 

Bert Nichols and the Phoenix Theatre Sheffield 27 August 924

 I posted an article to the site a few years ago relating to the Phoenix Theatre in Sheffield.  

Last week a reader of this article contacted me with information that related to his late grandfather, and his appearance at the Phoenix in 1924

"My grandfather, Albert Emmanuel Nicholson was a member of ‘The Strolling Players’ theatre group who appeared at The Phoenix Theatre, Hillsborough and other local venues in the 1920s. The attached poster from I believe 1924 lists him under his stage name of ‘Bert Nichols, Light Comedian’. He lived at that time with his family in Minto Road (where I also lived up until three-years old) opposite Hillsborough Park and worked as a manager with the Brightside & Carbrook Co-operative Association. Interestingly, along with the poster I also have a photograph of The Strolling Players together with a letter to him from the BBC requesting details of fees for The Players to perform.

A lovely well-liked man he was also an active local lay-preacher. I also recall that he was aboard for the very last cruise of the original Queen Elizabeth Cunard liner in 1968. He passed away in 1977 aged 85 and is most-fondly remembered"

He also kindly supplied me with a scan of the poster that advertised the show.

Friday, 28 August 2020

"Driver banned after elderrly couple Killed" Prince of Wales Road, Sheffield April 1967

 In 2017 - 2018 I posted a couple of blogs on the life and career of John Lewis Womersley. John was City Architect for Sheffield from 1953 - 1963 and led the team that planned and designed the mixed high-density housing developments, Park Hill (1957-1961) and the Gleadless Valley estate (1955-1962). He was also involved in the building of the now demolished Castle Market.

I had was archived the cutting and but when I retrieved it I found this cutting that was adjacent to it. It was from the Sheffield Star dated April 1967

I cannot really add anything to the report apart from my dumbfounded amazement at the leniency of the sentence. "There is no doubt he was going far too fast" was the keen observation of Mr Justice Veale who then fined the defendent £50 (£635 at 2020) and banned him from driving for 7 years.

Times certainly have changed, and in this instance, for the better 


Births Sep 1897 Nutbrown Harold Sheffield 9c 668

Surname  First name(s)    District  Vol  Page 

Marriages Sep 1931  

Nutbrown  Harold  Pipe  Sheffield  9c 1185  

Pipe  Florence B  Nutbrown  Sheffield  9c 1185  

Deaths Sep 1967 Nutbrown Harold 69 Sheffield 2d 281

Deaths Sep 1967 Nutbrown  Florence B 58 Sheffield  2d 281

In the 1939 National Register Harold and Florence were still at Greenwood Drive Sheffield (no 36).

Frank Anthony Porter who "died doing his utmost with a Lewis Gun" - Passchendaele October 9th 1917 and Intake Cemetery (Sheffield)

 My only aunt and uncle are buried in Sheffield's Intake Cemetery which is located just off Mansfield Road, Sheffield. I have visited the grave a few times since their deaths and when returning to the cemetery entrance, I passed the follwing family grave of Sarah Ann and Robert Porter

Photographs taken 6th July 2011 

The memorial also refers to their son Frank Anthony who died in the Great War "doing his utmost with a Lewis Gun."

I resolved that I would find out a bit more about the memorial and after a gap of nine years I have!

Frank Antony Porter

Date of Death 9/10/17  France & Flanders

Age 24

Service Number 203028  Rank Lance Corporal

Army Regiment West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales Own) Batallion 1/5th Battalion

Attachments / Former Regiment 21953 York & Lancaster Regiment

Memorial / Roll of Honour Information

Sheffield Council Official Roll of Honour

Gleadless War Memorial

Gleadless Valley Methodist Church Roll of Honour

Sheffield Gas Co Roll of Honour Now at Transco House Effingham St/Sussex St

Where Born Ranmoor Where Enlisted Sheffield Where Resided Sheffield

CWGC Additional Information

Son of Robert and Sarah Porter. of 44 Seagrave Rd.. Gleadless. Sheffield.

CWGC Grave / Memorial Tyne Cot Memorial Panel 42 to 47.

Frank does not have a kown grave in Flanders for he is one of the many thousannds who are listed on the Tyne Cot memorial. And yet that is not to say he is not "buried in Passchendaele". He may well have been buried there but they have not been able to locate Frank's body.

And at least "his loving mother Sarah Ann" was spared the agony and misery of losing her son -she died in April 1913, four and a half years before her son Frank  


Tuesday, 25 August 2020

What happened to Lord Haw-Haws Dog? - Hamburg, Germany May 1945

For anyone who is not familiar with Lord Haw-Haw - Lord Haw-Haw was a nickname applied to William Joyce, who broadcast Nazi propaganda to the UK from Germany during the Second World War. The broadcasts opened with "Germany calling, Germany calling", spoken in an affected upper-class English accent.

There is a lot of content relating to the life and death of William Joyce both in print and on-line but there is nothing about his dog. But the Western Morning News dated Tuesday 15th May 1945 did reveal that Joyce abandoned the puppy to its fate.But as the report demonstartaes the puppy dog fared condsiderably bettter than its previous owner did!


The Funeral of Robert William Tebbutt - 18th April 1923 City Road Cemetery Sheffield

 I have just posted a full report of the committal proceedings for Rose Artcliff who was arrested and charged for the murder of a nurse, Ada Bradley in April 1923.

The detailed report of the tragedy and its aftermath appeared in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 19th April 1923 and occupied nearly two full columns in the newspaper.

At the end of the report which at times was rather gruesome, was another report of a funeral that took place the day before at Sheffield's City Road Cemetery


It was for a Robert William Tebbutt who died at Birley East Pit in an accident earlier that month. Robert was only 24 when he died but he was awarded full military honours which seems to indicate that he was held in high esteem. At the time of his death he was a member of the Hallamshire Territorials.

From the report it looks as though Robert did not have much luck in life - gassed twice in the Great War, and then killed in a pit accident four years after his discharge,

His burial record is as follows  

Tebbutt, Robert William (Collier, age 24). Died at 123 Fitzwilliam St; Buried on April 18, 1923 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 23298, Section II of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.

MorrellL, Harriet o/w Arnold (Widow, age 51). Died at Royal Infirmary; Buried on October 6, 1926 in Consecrated ground;  Grave Number 23298, Section II of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.

Tebbutt, Alice (Widow, age 77).Died at 80 Lancing Road; Buried on March 10, 1952 in Consecrated ground;  Grave Number 23298, Section II of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.

The Murder of Emma West - Woodhouse, Sheffield August 1889

From Illustrated Police News, 31 August 1889

The follwing report appeared in the Times newspaper on Saturday 24th August 1889  

"The Murder Near Sheffield: At Sheffield (West Riding) Court yesterday, Robert West, a travelling showman, was charged on remand with the murder of Emma West, his wife, at Woodhouse near Sheffield, on Saturday morning, the 17th inst. 
It will be remembered that while his wife was in bed in the caravan West cut her throat and then surrendered to the police, making a full confession. When deceased's mother was called an extraordinary scene occurred. Mrs. Sketchley called prisoner a murderer and villain, on which West said she was partly the cause of it, and that he was glad he had killed deceased, and only wished he had killed a man going by the name of "Leicester Jack" of whom he was jealous. 
He only wanted to die now, and the sooner for better.  He was committed for trail on the capital charged and on leaving the dock called out, "Good-bye" to his friends in Court in a most careless manner".

This seemed to be an interesting case and as the murder occurred in the Woodhouse district of Sheffield I thought I would do some research.

However someone had already done this in July 2015 and as have no wish to replicate this excellent article I am just goung to post a link to "Murdered by a Travelling Showman"

And I would like to know more about "Leicester Jack" but I think the possibilty of that is next to zero 

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Mary Riddall - A Case of Selling Adulterate Milk - Sunday 24th October 1897 - the Park Sheffield

 I came across this case in the Evening Telegraph and Star dated 19th Novemeber 1897 . It concerns a Mary Riddal and her husband (not named) who were summoned and convicted for selling adulterated milk in the Park. 

The adulteration was one of the worst the inspector had seen yet - in fact the samples taken were adulterated with 30% water. But the defendent explained that he had had bad luck with his cows and that he had to buy milk off other people. He had received assuarances that the milk was pure but it appears he did not check it or receive any guarantee to this effect.

Not surprisingly the magistrate was unconvinced with this explanation and fined the defendent £4 plus costs (circa £370 in current value) 

From the report it appears that the defendent has had a rotten run with his bad cows. This was the fourth time he had been convicted of this offence!

The Melancholy Death of the Reverend Samuel Carver and his wife - Malin Bridge Sheffield - September 1842

 This cutting is from the liverpool Times dated Septermber 1842 and refers to the "melancholy death" of the incumbent at Stanningtion Church and his recently married wife who is not named.

Malin Bridge is at the bottom of the hill from Stanningtion Church and must be at least two miles way. Nevertheless a horse bolting at full gallop down the hill to the bridge must have been a terrifying experience for the couple. Serious injury and death were inevtable given the contruction of the bridge.

I checked to see if this accident had been reported elsewhere and the onlt on-line reference I could locate was on the Stannington Church website

"Samuel Robinson Carver 1842-1846
To alleviate the problem of a travelling clergyman, a syndicate of local businessmen built a parsonage and school and provided a stipend of £100pa for a resident minister.  There nominee was Samuel Carver, a Sheffield man who was a Cambridge graduate and had recently married a Cambridge woman of some wealth.  Irregularly the appointment was made without consulting the Vicar of Ecclesfield but nobody seemed to mind.  Sadly Mr & Mrs Carver were both killed when their horse bolted causing their carriage to overturn at Malin Bridge.  The couple are buried in the churchyard."

Unfortunately the writer gave the impression that the Rev Carver continued to serve his parish for another 4 years after his death in 1842. And like the newspaper no name is given for his wife who is nameless.

Here are the correct details of the marriage and death and also the name of his wife - Eliza Anne (nee Harris)

Surname First name(s)         District Vol Page 
Marriages Dec 1841   
CARVER Samuel Robinson Cambridge 14 19  
HARRIS Eliza Anne Cambridge 14 19   

Surname First name(s) Age District Vol Page 
Deaths Sep 1842   
CARVER Eliza Ann Ecclesall Bierlow 22 71

From the excellent Sheffield Indexers site

Carver, Eliza Anne (~, age 42).
Died at Stannington; Buried on September 8, 1842 in Consecrated ground;
Grave Number ~, Section ~ of Christ Church Cemetery, Stannington.
Plot Owner: ~ ~ of ~. Page No 36

Carver, Samuel Robinson (~, age 38).
Died at Stannington; Buried on September 8, 1842 in Consecrated ground;
Grave Number ~, Section ~ of Christ Church Cemetery, Stannington.
Plot Owner: ~ ~ of ~. Page No 36

I have not been to the church at Stannington for a few years now and so I cannot say wether or not there is a memorial to Samuel and Eliza.