Thursday, 23 November 2017

Alfred Hancock's Accident - Sheffield January 1932

Sheffield's City Hall was officially opened in September 1932 but nine months prior to the event the site was the scene of an unusual accident

This cutting is from The Times and is dated 18th January 1932

It was a pure twist of fate but Alfred Hancock had a lucky escape from a terrifying death. I have checked the BMD registers for the period but can fing no trace of his death and so I can only summise that he survived his injuries  

Sheffield Methodist Bookshop (1839 - 1991)

A cutting from the Sheffield Telegraph 1991 marking the closure after 152 years of the Methodist Book shop. I remember it from the 1960's on Sheffield's Chapel Walk. The reasons given for the closure are still relevant today.

St. Vincent's Home for Belgian Refugees, Shirle Hill, Cherry Tree Road, Sheffield

I came across this rather marvelous photograph that must have been taken over 100 years ago

Britain welcomed around 250,000 Belgians to its shores following the German invasion of Belgium in August 1914. Sheffield offered hospitality to some 3,000 of these displaced Belgians. Shirle Hill at Nether Edge became a receiving base for Belgian refugees and other receiving bases were established in Westbrook House, Firvale House, Wadsley Hall and the Ecclesall Union.

The core of the Shirle Hill, (Cherry Tree Road, Nether Edge) was built in 1809. For a time it was the home of John Brown who founded the world famous firm of John Brown and Co. Ltd. More information is in the publication "Old Sharrow and Nether Edge in Photographs" by the Nether Edge Neighbourhood Group

Monday, 20 November 2017

Beauchief Post Office Sheffield

I came across this postcard recently that shows the old post office at Beauchief (Sheffield). It was on the corner of Abbey Lane and Abbeydale Road South, opposite the former Beauchief Hotel (Abbeydale Station Hotel)

The site is now occupied by a set of mundane flats/apartments and before those were built, it was a garage forecourt.

There is no date on the postcard but it looks as though it was taken in the inter-war period. The tram tracks are visible and there are no motor vehicle in sight!.

The post office was still there in June 1964. There is a copyrighted photograph on Picture Sheffield that shows the building but the tram tracks had been taken up by that time.

I would like to know when the post office demolished, and more importantly for what reason.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Tudor Square Sheffield 7th June 1991

The following cutting is from the Sheffield Telegraph dated Friday 7th June 1991 and refers to the official opening of Sheffield's Tudor Square 

Until I read this cutting I was unaware that this was the first public square to be opened in Sheffield for nigh on 81 years. And of course the square nowadays is rather different form when it was opened - the grassed area has disappeared and has been replaced by flagstones 

Friday, 20 October 2017

Lord Derby's Scheme 1915

And following on from the last blog is this postcard from circa 1915. The father refers initially to the fact that in 1911 the Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd-George inroduced maternity benefits.

His next reference to Lord Derby refers to a scheme that was introduced in the Spring of 1915 to bolster numbers in the armed services. Fuller details of the scheme can be found at this link but it had its origins in the simple fact that voluntary recruitment was never going to come up with the numbers needed to sustain a war that was consuming men and materials at an alarming rate.

As with so many cartoons of this nature, the facts are true. Those that were attested and then mobilsed under the scheme faced a baptism of fire on the Western Front and their chances of survival were diminishing as the war progressed. "What a Life" indeed

Squire nagged and bullied until I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby's Scheme). I died in hell –
(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duckboards : so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.
At sermon-time while Squire is in his pew,
He gives my gilded name a thoughtful stare;
For,though low down upon the list,I'm there;
In proud and glorious memory ... that's my due.
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:
I suffered anguish that he never guessed.
Once I came home on leave: and then went west ...
What greater glory could a man desire?
Siegfried Sassoon

Sheffield - Work and Rest 1913

I came across this postcard which dates back to 1913.

For sheer unbridled pessimism it takes a lot of beating. The imagery and executiion is bordering on the sublime but the author of the work remains unknown. I would be interested to know if he (or she) produced similar works that promoted misery and dejection.

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