Tuesday, 10 October 2017

John Lewis Womersley (1910-1990)

The other day I came across an old newspaper cutting from the Sheffield Telegraph that announced the death of John Lewis Womersley at the age of 80. As far as Sheffield is concerned John's claim to fame is that he was City Architect J. L. Womersley was City Architect 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 recently demolished Castle Market and a number of schools and colleges that have also received recent visits from demolition crews. 

Apologies for the quality of the cutting



I was going to post a fuller article on John but decided that there was plenty of information and "opinion" on his life and career on-line. There is an extract in the Yorkshire Film Archive on Park Hill that is worth watching


Monday, 9 October 2017

Crookesmoor Vestry Hall - 80 Crookesmoor Road Sheffield - October 2017 Update

In late November 2015, nearly two years ago I posted a blog on the parlous state of the Crookesmoor Vestry Hall - 80 Crookesmoor Road Sheffield. At the time I did witness some activity on the site and stated at the end of the article that I hoped that it would be " a precursor to renovating this rather pleasant building. Time will tell!"




Well I passed the building last month (September 2017) and as you can see any hopes I had, have been well and truly dashed. It appears that very little has been done to renovate the building. In fact the addition of sitex boards to the windows and doors seems to me that the developers are intent on prolonging this dereliction so that future generations can witness the demise of this building.

Perhaps it could become a memorial in time - one dedicated to apathy and indifference 



Friday, 6 October 2017

The Death of PC James Ward's wife - Blake Street Upperthorpe Sheffield

The following cutting is taken from the local newspaper in December 1925 and refers to the death of Doris Ward, the wife of PC James William Ward, a local policeman


It is indeed a tragic story but two things strike me about the report. The first is is the abruptness shown by the Deputy Coroner towards the deceased's mother. He infers that the suicide was the result of her failing to admonish her daughter "some months ago" for "threatening to do away with herself." And the second point which leads on from the first is that there is no mention of the debilitating condition "post-natal depression." It is self-evident that this was far more likely be the main causal factor that lead to Doris taking her own life, but this factor was ignored by the Deputy Coroner. In fact it is highly likely that he was unaware of the condition.

Doris is buried in Sheffield's Abbey Lane Cemetery

WARD, Doris (Wife of James A, age 29).
Died at 6 Blake St; Buried on December 5, 1925 in Consecrated ground;
Grave Number 4036, Section E of Abbey Lane Cemetery, Sheffield.

Her parents were laid to rest with her 
HOLTON, Harry (Boot Repairer, age 69).
Died at 58 Helmton Road; Buried on October 22, 1936 in Consecrated ground;
Grave Number 4036, Section E of Abbey Lane Cemetery, Sheffield.
HOLTON, Emily (Widow, age 71).
Died at 2 Herries Rd; Buried on February 12, 1940 in Consecrated ground;
Grave Number 4036, Section E of Abbey Lane Cemetery, Sheffield.

I do not know if her bereaved husband re-married or what happened to the child who was mentioned.

I checked on FreeBMD and found the following entry

Births Jun 1924 Ward Douglas A Holton Ecclesall B. Volume 9c Page 737

Douglas would have been around 18 months old at the time of his mothers death. The house where the family lived was demolished many years ago




The Lescar Hotel Sharrow Vale Sheffield

A friend has sent me this marvelous photograph of The Lescar Hotel Sharrow Vale Sheffield. It was taken over 100 years ago


There is a brief history of the hotel on the CAMRA website

But the image brings back a apocryphal story that someone mentioned years ago. It was rumoured that John Reginald Christie (of 10 Rillington Place, London) used to drink there when he was stationed in Sheffield during WW1. Another version is that he used to visit the pub when he was staying with his wife's relatives in Sheffield after the war. And there was a letter from Christie that was in a frame behind the bar area..

I have absolutely no evidence to suggest that any of this is true. It seems to me that this story is spurious to say the least but if any reader can prove otherwise please let me know.    

Frank Saltfleet (1860 - 1937) - A Sheffield Artist

I came across this sketch of the artist Frank Saltfleet a few years ago. It was a self-portrait of Frank in old age


Frank Saltfleet was a Yorkshire artist, who lived and worked in Sheffield and painted watercolours of landscape, river and marine subjects. Frank was a protégé of John Ruskin and exhibited at the Fine Art Society and Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours

He married  Jean Mitchell, daughter of Young Mitchell [founding headmaster of the Sheffield School of Arts] and Mary Elizabeth Smith

Mary Elizabeth Smith's brother was William Smith,(died 1901) and sister in law of his wife Louisa (died 1909) William a solicitor and Alderman of the city of Sheffield was a noted supporter of the Arts and lived at Westwood House, 11 Brocco Bank

Jean Mitchell, who flourished from 1897 till 1936 and who also was a Sheffield girl exhibited one work at the Royal Academy in 1932 titled, ‘The Deaconess’.

Frank Saltfleet became President of the Sheffield Society of Artists and lived locally throughout his life, where he died on the 16th April 1937 at 11 Psalter Lane aged 77 years.

Today Frank Saltfleet is considered a minor artist and his work today fetches prices in the hundreds, rather than thousands

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Bradway Hotel Bradway Sheffield (demolished 2013)

This is from the Sheffield Telegraph dated 2nd May 2013 and reports on the plans that were submitted by Sainsbury's to Sheffield City Council to demolish the public house and erect one of their supermarkets. There was local opposition to the plans from residents but this was ignored and the plans approved.

The public house was demolished with haste and the supermarket erected. It is always a mystery that sites like this are allowed to become derelict with litter and graffiti - surely the owners of the building have a responsibility to ensure that it remains in a safe and secure condition.

  And the reason why it appears on this blog - it was in this very pub that I spent my 18th birthday in - a long long time ago!

Mrs Jones of 150 Hoole Street Walkley Sheffield - April 1907

This is from the Yorkshire Telegraph and Star dated 3rd April 1907

It also appeared in the Daily Mirror two days later.

A rare occurrence in 1907 and one that would have put a major strain on the meagre finances of the family. The King's Bounty which incidentally I had never heard of, approximates to about £335 in today's money. I hope that the family received further contributions to assist them in bringing the triplets up. And it would be fascinating to know what happened to the family in the years to come      




Edwin Millwood Oakes (1813 - 1900) - One of Sheffield's Oldest Manufacturers

I came across this report of a funeral for the late Edwin Millwood Oakes (1813 - 1900) dated 7th June 1900


I was going to find out more about Edwin and post an article to the site. However Edwin and his ancestors feature in the Story of Old Attercliffe (Part 2 ) by G R Vine, a transcription of which appears on Eric Youle's excellent blog.

As I have no wish to replicate the information I have just pasted a brief family tree of the Oakes family

  

Edwin was buried as the report states in Sheffield's General Cemetery on Sat 6th June 1900 - the grave reference is Q1 101

Sarah HANDLEY Spinster, Shrewsbury Hospital age: 71, buried: 21 Nov 1862

Sarah Ann OAKES Wife of Edwin Millewood Oakes, Manufacturer, 46 Wilkinson Street
age: 58, buried: 12 Oct 1870


Mary Charlotte OAKES Spinster, 62 Wilkinson Street age: 45, buried: 26 Dec 1897

Edwin Millord OAKES Gentleman, 62 Wilkinson Street age: 87, buried: 6 Jun 1900.

Friday, 8 September 2017

St Michael and All Angels in Neepsend Sheffield. 1906

On Friday 18th August I posted a blog on the missing war memorial from the long demolished church of St Michael and All Angels in Neepsend Sheffield.

To date I am still no nearer locating its whereabouts but I have found two photographs of the church when it served as the focal point of the local community


The second photograph was taken in 1906 and shows the interior of the church


There is more information on the church on the Sheffield History Forum

Oak Street, Heeley, United Methodist Free Church Sheffield

I came across this photograph of Oak Street Chapel, a chapel I did not know even existed


In 1905, Oak Street, Heeley, United Methodist Free Church formed part of the Sheffield (Hanover) Circuit. It is believed the congregation was established in the early years of the nineteenth century. From 1826 until 1871 when the Oak Street Church opened, the Church met in Gleadless Road. In 1867 there were 56 members, by 1927 this had grown to 450. The church came to be known as Oak Street with Anns road (St Andrews) during the 1930s and 1940s and by 1957, was referred to as St Andrews. The last entry for a marriage is 1947. The register was officially closed in 1950.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Known unto God - Death of a Baby Girl - June 1900 Sheffield

Whilst I was researching some family history material I came across this small report in the local press

"June 14th 1900

An inquest was held this morning on the body of a newly born female child, found in the canal at Sheffield yesterday. Mr. W. E. Ryves, surgeon, said the body had been in the water about five days, and he could not form any opinions as to the cause of death. The man who found the body in the canal said it was wrapped in brown paper. Round the child’s neck a piece of window cord had been tied, and attached to the cord were a piece of coal and a coal hammer.
The verdict of the jury was that there was not sufficient evidence to show how the child came to its death or got into the canal."
Whilst I agree with the surgeon as to cause of death - he could not find one, and the jury "there was not sufficient evidence to show how the child came to its death" I would contest the statement about "how the (new-born) child got into the canal"
She was wrapped in brown paper with a cord around her neck and attached to the cord was a piece of coal and a coal hammer. This strongly suggests to me that other parties were involved in the preparation and disposal of the body. It is blindingly self evident but the coroner and the jury chose to ignore this fact. 
No investigation was ever launched which was the norm at the time
As for the baby she was most likely buried in a communal public grave like so many others - a very brief life extinguished at the outset





Friday, 18 August 2017

The Lawson Family of Green Street Sheffield - June 1920

And on the same page that the two unveiling's of the war memorials were reported, there was this report that shows another side of Sheffield after the war

It is from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 28th June 1920


Green Street does not exist anymore - in fact I have been unable to find its location. The report is unequivocal in its description of the filth and sqaulor the family were living in. But what is remarkable is the statement that the head of the household Charles Lawson made in court. He said that this kind of thing, that is "gross child neglect" had been going on for 20 years and blamed his wife for it.

If that is the case and I have no reason to doubt Mr Lawson what were the "lady inspector of nuisances" and the Town Clerk's Department doing in that twenty year period. The report infers that more than one visit was made but it appears no action was taken. A familiar story

And what did Mr Lawson do in that period - nothing according to his statement, it was all his wife's fault. But I do find that difficult to believe! He should have received a far greater sentence as the family was his responsibility and not solely his wife's.

It would be interesting to know what happened to the family. I just hope that the children were not scarred by their childhoods but I think that unlikley    

        

Wickersley War Memorial (Rotherham)

Whilst I was attempting to research the current location of the St Michael's (Neepsend) war memorial (see previous post) I came across this newspaper cutting from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 28th June 1920, In fact(it was adjacent to the St Michael's cutting.

 
But thankfully this memorial is still there and what is more a local historian has posted an excellent article on the servicemen that appear on the memorial.

Neepsend St Michael and All Angels, and Wicker Holy Trinity - War Memorial

At the prompting of a friend, I was asked if I knew anything about the whereabouts of the war memorial that was in the long demolished church of St Michael and All Angels in Neepsend Sheffield.

The excellent Sheffield Soldiers of the First World War site does have a transcription of the names on the memorial that was prepared by the vicar at the time but sadly no photograph



I was able to locate a press cutting from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 28th June 1920 which gives an account of the inauguration of the memorial in the church.


St Michael and All Angels was closed in 1952 and demolished three years later. It is believed that the war memorial was moved to the custodianship of Wicker Holy Trinity..

Wicker Holy Trinity Church still stands at the corner of Johnson Street and Nursery Street but is now The New Testament of God

I contacted the church and asked if they knew anything about the war memorial but sadly they did not.which is not really surprising. According to the National Archives the Wicker Holy Trinity church was merged with Christ Church Pitsmoor Sheffield in 1972.

If anyone can offer any further information on the whereabouts of the memorial then please contact me.