Monday, 2 April 2018

Irene Wilson May Queen - Sheffield 1937

This marvelous photograph appeared on Ebay this week but the details are non-existent.

It just states "Irene Wilson May Queen Sheffield 1937"


It would be fascinating to ascertain some further details about the photograph. The photograph looks as though it was taken by a professional photographer and the setting is formal.

Queen Victoria Memorial Statue - Fargate Sheffield 1905

I came across this photograph of the Queen Victoria Memorial Statue that used to be situated at the top of Fargate Sheffield near the junction with Pinstone Street (Sheffield)


This is the description from the Sheffield Halllam University Sheffield Public Art Website

""The bronze figure of a crowned Queen Victoria holding an orb and sceptre stands on top of a plinth of limestone blocks. The figure is about 3m high. She is attended by two bronze figures representing Maternity and Labour seated on either side of the main plinth, each about 2m high. 'Maternity' is a young woman holding a baby with her left arm around a young girl . 'Labour' is a young man sitting on an anvil with a sledgehammer propped against his left knee. The base of this bronze is signed: "ALFRED TURNER SC. 1904" - the '4' is somewhat indistinct. "

It was moved to Endcliffe Park on 24th February 1930 as part of yet another "road improvement" scheme that has tended to blight the area over the last century.

There are further details of the statue on the Sheffield History forum

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

The Family of Henry Hughes (1891 - 1918) - Sheffield and Merthyr Tydfil

Henry Hughes was executed by the British Army on  10th April 1918. He was 27 years old

Information on Henry is scarce but the CWGC records show that he was the son of John Charles and Ellen Hughes. 
I was researching the 1911 Census and found this entry


Name: John Hughes
Age in 1911: 52
Estimated birth year: abt 1859
Relation to Head: Head Gender: Male
Birth Place: Sheffield, Yorkshire, England Civil Parish: Sheffield County/Island: Yorkshire-West Riding Country: England
Street address: 25 New St Sheffield Marital Status: Married
Occupation: Hawker Of Hardware
Registration district: Sheffield Registration District Number: 510 Sub-registration district: South Sheffield ED, institution, or vessel: 8 Piece: 27856
Household Members:
Name Age
John Hughes 52
Ellen Hughes 42
James Hughes 12


His wife of 25 years Ellen was born in Merthyr Tydfil and a check on the BMD registers revealed this entry 

Surname First name(s) District Vol Page
Marriages Sep 1886 HUGHES John Merthyr T Volume 11a Page 659 Spouse Ellen Jones



and then there was this entry five years later

Births Mar 1891 Hughes Henry Merthyr T. Volume 11a  Page 671.

Superficially this could be Henry's family but to be certain I would need further information to verify them. I could send of for the certificates and this would undoubtedly help. But they cost £9.25 each at the moment which is prohibitive to say the least.  



Nevertheless three points on the census stand-out - firstly John was unable to read and write - he just placed his mark on the form and someone else must have completed it for him Secondly the family were living in just two rooms and finally their son James was living with them. There was another child that was still living (was this Henry who would have been 20 at the time of the census?) but was not resident at 25 New Street. John and Ellen had eleven children but only two were still living in 1911. 

If Henry was the other son it means that the British Army executed one of their only two surviving children. You are left literally speechless! 



Wingerworth Hall near Chesterfield Derbyshire - April 1924

I came across this cutting whilst researching an article for the site. I was going to incorporate it into an article but I found that there was an excellent website that was devoted to the history of the Hall and its occupants.

The cutting is dated 16th April 1924


Sadly this fine mansion with its many distinctive architectural features was demolished. According to the Wingerworth Hall website

"One of the (Wingerworth Hall) rooms was sold to the St Louis Museum in Missouri. The staircase, drawing room and library were for sale at Robersons of Knightsbridge in 1929, but their fate is unknown. The seventeenth century wing and stable block were subsequently converted and much of the park has now been built on."

And so if anyone comes across this blog and knows the fate of the staircase, drawing room and library please let me know

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Hathersage Open Air Swimming Pool opened 1936

The same paper that featured in the previous blog Sheffield Telegraph dated Thursday 17th March 2016 also carried a report about the eightieth anniversary of the opening of the Hathersage Open Air Swimming Pool in 1936 


The pool was made possible by the generous donation of a noted Sheffield industrialist Mr. George Lawrence who lived in the village. I have a great admiration for George and it is marvelous to see that some of the projects he help fund are still going strong today.   

William Sterndale Bennett (1816-1875)

The following cutting is from the Sheffield Telegraph dated Thursday 17th March 2016 and concerns the composer and musician William Sterndale Bennett (1816-1875).


It was the bi-centennial anniversary of his birth and a series of events were to be held throughout the year to commemorate the event.

But what the article fails to mention is that William Sterndale Bennett is the only person from Sheffield to be buried in Westminster Abbey  I am unsure of the criteria that are adopted that permit a person to be buried in the Abbey, but a recent publication stated that over three thousand people are buried within the Abbey's precincts. For William to be Sheffield's only burial at the Abbey is rather perplexing given the City's prominence in the late nineteenth and twentieth century

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Mr Benjamin Unwin (1799-1881) of Cromwell Street North Sheffield

In my family tree, my great uncle George SANBY married a Maud UNWIN on  13 Feb 1916 at St Bartholomew's Church , Primrose View, Langsett Road, Sheffield
 
But just six months later George lost his life due to the wounds he received on the Somme. Maud was the 21 year old daughter of Thornhill  Unwin and it whilst I was researching the UNWIN name I came across this obituary in the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 9th April 1881.
 
AN OCTOGENARIAN GRINDER.

The theory that grinders are never long-lived is not borne out by the experience of Mr Benjamin Unwin, spring-knife grinder, who died a few days ago at the advanced age of 82, after a life spent in pursuit of his calling. He worked at the trade named without any intermission from his youth until a few years ago, and he never suffered from what is commonly known as the grinders' complaint. He was of a cheerful and hopeful disposition, and scrupulously temperate, which may perhaps have much to do with the manner in which he retained his health, and was unaffected by the injurious conditions of his calling.
In politics he was a sincere Radical. He had a great facility for expressing his opinions, and a singularly retentive memory enabled him to recall with precision the great political events of his time.

Quite a remarkable longevity for a Sheffield grinder who life expectancy on average was barely 35 years of age.

Benjamin was buried in Sheffield's Wardsend Cemetery on 7th April 1881

UNWIN Benjamin 7 Apr 1881 Cromwell St Nth 81

As far as I can ascertain he is not related to Thornhill Unwin and his daughter Maud

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Private Frank Willetts (1920-1942) - Pioneer Corps

In February 2018  I received this information from a reader of the article I posted many years ago on the Beighton Rail Disaster of February 1942 and the aftermath of the tragedy


"I am getting in touch with you regarding the Beighton Train crash. My Father in-laws uncle Frank Willetts died on the 18th Jun 1942 - as a result of the train crash that happened on the 11th Feb 1942. Would love to know more about it. The family have no information and were never given a reason of his death. Would love to know more"

I checked the FreeBMD site and found that FRANK had died in Worksop, Notts. He would have been in hospital there.
Name: Frank Willetts
Death Age: 22 Birth Date: abt 1920
Registration Date: Jun 1942
Registration district: Worksop Inferred County: Nottinghamshire Volume: 7b Page: 48 
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission had very little information about FRANK just that he was a private in the Pioneer Corps, his Service Number was 13038410 and that he died on 18/06/1942
But when I placed the name in a search engine I came across this information on the excellent Salford War Memorials Site together with a photo of Frank's last resting place.  
PRIVATE FRANK WILLETTS
BIRTH unknown
DEATH 18 Jun 1942
BURIAL Salford Cemetery Salford, Metropolitan Borough of Salford, Greater Manchester, England
PLOT Sec. N. Grave 1364.
MEMORIAL ID 60118914


Frank died four months after the tragedy, and so he will not be remembered as one of the 14 who were killed that night. And it makes you wonder how many more died as a result of the injuries they received in the crash.  

Thursday, 15 February 2018

The Marriage of Bernard James Sanby and Margareitta Annie Howitt at St. John's Church, Sandiway, Cheshire - June 1906

I came across this small report in The Cheshire Observer 16th June 1906

It announced that the marriage of  Bernard James Sanby and Margareitta Annie Howitt at St. John's Church, Sandiway, Cheshire was the first to be held in the newly-built church. The church is still going strong today

Photo by Peter Vardy

SANDIWAY. FIRST WEDDING IN NEW CHURCH

The first wedding to take place in the new St. John's Church, Sandiway, Cheshire, was that I celebrated on Tuesday of Mr. Bernard J. Sanby, of Northfield, Knutsford, a well-known Manchester merchant, and Margareitta Annie, second daughter of Mr. J, J. Howitt, of Rosslyn, Cuddington. Fully one hundred guests accepted invitations to the ceremony, which was performed by the Rev. J. Edwards, vicar of Christ Church, Blackpool.

Cheshire Observer 16th June 1906

SANBY is my grans maiden name and over the years I have researched the surname. They all originate from the area known as South Lincolnshire and West Norfolk. Bernard's great grandfather James Sanby was born in Thurlby, Lincs in 1769 and died in Holbeach in 1848. My great (x4) grandfather Joseph Sanby was christened in Holbeach in 1776. There is a link between these "branches" but to date I have been unable to confirm it. 

Within a year the couple had a daughter Kathleen Ewan SANBY

Chester Courant 3rd April 1907

BIRTHS. SANBY On the 31st March at Northfield, Knutsford the wife of Bernard J. Sanby, of a daughter.

But in November 1911 Margareitta Annie Sanby nee Howitt died and was buried at

21 Nov 1911 • Whitegate, Cheshire, England

Bernard re-married three years later. The name of the bride was Margery Yates

Friday, 9 February 2018

The Confession of Ernest Bramham - Sheffield March 1945

Another article I have just completed is "The Confession of Ernest Bramham - Sheffield March 1945"

It is related to an article I posted a few years ago concerning the murder of Eleanor Hammerton on Saturday 13th January 1945 at her shop on Eccesall Road

The Manchester Guardian dated Monday 15th January 1945

In June 1975 the Sheffield Star stated that this was an unsolved murder, and in his book on Yorkshire Murders, the author Stephen Wade referred to the victim as a "Heather Hamilton." Both assertions proved to be incorrect - the police did "solve the murder" and the victim was not "Heather Hamilton." but a Eleanor Hammerton.


   






Sheffield's First Cremation - Eliza Hawley 24th April 1905

I have just posted an article to the site about the first person to be cremated in Sheffield in April 1905, one hundred and thirteen years ago

Her name was Eliza Hawley and she was cremated on 24th April 1905 at Sheffield City Road Crematorium. She was only 46 years of age when she died and was residing at 14 Birkendale, Upperthorpe, Sheffield. But for many years she and her husband were the proprietors of an "eating house" on The Wicker in Sheffield

It was no 114 and was a transport cafe in 1965 when this photograph was taken, It was burnt down in the late 1980's and was later demolished, It was an Indian restaurant/takeaway by then


Eliza has the cremation number "1" but what I would be interested to know is why Eliza chose to be cremated at a time when the process was in its infancy, and why was she the first in Sheffield.