Thursday, 7 December 2017

Crookes Valley Methodist Church January 2005

On 29th June this year I posted a blog on the opening of Crookes Valley Methodist Church and mentioned how the building had been allowed to deteriorate prior to its conversion to the student apartments.

I came across this cutting the other day  - it is from the Sheffield Telegraph dated Thursday 6th January 2005 which reports that planning permission was given to developers for the change of use

What I did not realise was that there was widespread local opposition to the application and that Sheffield City Council hardly passed a ringing endorsement of the plans. No-one could come up with any viable alternative for this marvelous building and so student flats and apartments it became A DECADE LATER.

It is a long and sorry saga that reflects badly on all those concerned but I suppose the fabric of the building was retained. But it is a mystery to me why so many glorious buildings are allowed to literally fall to bits before something is done. Surely the Methodist church should have least ensured that the dry rot should never have taken hold in the way that it did.

'Visitation of God' (ex visitacone dei). in Wickersley Rotherham - August 1828


A fellow researcher passed this cutting on to me. It is from The Sheffield Independent dated 30th August 1828. The interesting inquest is the third - that of the late Joshua Spurr who died by the "Visitation of God." I had not heard this phrase before in this context  



but it appears that is was used when doctors struggled in the darkness over the causes of disease and death, and how the human body functioned. If a person died, because of the doctor's limited knowledge they could only describe the cause of death as a fever, apoplexy, or convulsions, or what he could visibly see such as a head wound, or evidence of a lifestyle such as over indulgence of drink.

Occasionally he would describe the cause of death as a Visitation of God. Used in a more religious time than ours, it meant the death was inexplicable and it was thought that God had decided that it was time for the person to die.

It later came to mean that the person died of natural causes. It was a verdict often given by Coroner's juries, particularly in the 19th century. It was very rare that any autopsy was held and a doctor would give his opinion from the physical evidence of the body before him and the accounts he heard from others of the health of the deceased.

Also the coroner was only really concerned with the detection of crime, so the medical reason for the death did not matter to him once criminality had been ruled out.

In 1837 compulsory registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages was introduced. In an attempt to bring statistical order to the reports made by the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages on the numbers of such events, coroners were directed that the cause of death were to be made in precise terms. Terms such as Natural Death or Visitation of God were to be avoided where more precise medical terms on the cause of death could be used.

However, there was a slow response to these directions, and it did not overcome the problem of a death where the coroner was not involved. Many doctors continued using the term.

(From the History House site)

Friday, 1 December 2017

Attercliffe Parish Church (Sheffield) and the opening of a Garden of Rest - August 1953



The above photograph is Christ Church Attercliffe which is also referred to as Attercliffe Parish Church. My grandparents were married there on 12th August 1918. However the church was badly damaged in the Sheffield Blitz of December 1940 and was later demolished.

A shame because it was a fine building. But nearly thirteen years later the "Blitzed Church Site" was now "An Oasis". This cutting is from The Sheffield Telegraph dated 13th August 1953, thirty five years after my grandparents wedding.


I have not been to Attercliffe for three years but I cannot remember seeing "an area of pleasant green turf" with salvias and beds of petunias in bloom. I certainly cannot remember seeing a "refreshing spot in the heart of industrial Attercliffe." 

There is an excellent photograph taken in 1959 showing the Garden of Rest and it does look a "refreshing spot." I obviously need to find out its current status for want of a better term

  

The Opening of Tinsley Park Golf Club (Sheffield) Saturday 17th July 1920

This cutting is from The Manchester Guardian dated Monday 19th July 1920 and refers to the official opening of the golf course at Tinsley Park two days earlier.

I did not realise that the course was nearly 100 years old, and that plans for the course must have been made prior to that date. It would be interesting to know the last time the course was played by "celebrated professionals"!

Saturday, 25 November 2017

St Cuthberts Church, Fir Vale Sheffield

I came across this postcard showing the interior and exterior of St Cuthberts Church Fir Vale


It is dated 1907. I must have passed this church hundreds of times over the years but ubtil I saw this postcard I did not know it was called St Cuthberts.


 © Copyright Richard Newall and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Helen Caverley's marriage - St Philips Church Shalesmoor Sheffield 25th April 1929

In the BMD registers there is this enetry for the marriage of Helen Caverley to George Shephard

Surname First name(s) Spouse District Vol Page
Marriages Jun 1929
Calverley Helen           Shephard Sheffield 9c 1126
Shephard George W           Calverley Sheffield 9c 1126

This is confirmed by this entry in the marriage register at St Philips Church Shalesmoor Sheffield

CALVERLEY, Helen (Spinster, age 24, ~, residing at 26 Upperthorpe).
Married George William SHEPHARD, on April 25, 1929, by E W Selwyn (Banns) at
St Philips Church, Shalesmoor.  Father's name is Joseph Calverley (Tackler).
Married in the presence of Albert Edwin Dodwell,Minnie Clayton,Ivy Olive Shephard.
Notes: ~.    Page No: 167 Reg No: 334

But neither of these entries reflect is the "excitement" of the previous day. The cutting is from The Manchester Guardian dated 26th April 1929



The altar at St Philips where Helen and George were married (at eight o'clock in the morning)


Sheffield United Gas Light Company Offices, Commercial Street Sheffield

The following cutting is from the Sheffield Telegraph dated 20th October 1989


"One of Sheffield's finest buildings" and a "New role for a grand old lady" states the headlines.


"The Gas Company vacated the premises in 1972 and was offered for sale but no buyers came forward. Property developers sought consent to demolish the building and redevelop the site but this was opposed by several preservation societies and in June 1973 it was designated as a Grade II* listed building (later downgraded to Grade II).

An inquiry into the building’s future in 1977 resulted in Sheffield’s Assistant Chief Planner David Cathels stating that the building was considered to be “A vigorous and distinguished example of Victorian architecture which should be retained”. Local businessman Les Vickers paid £110,000 for the building in 1978 with a scheme to turn it into a hotel and conference centre, however these plan fell through and in the early 1980s the building’s lower floor was converted into “Turn Ups” nightclub and “Bloomers” pub. In 1990 Canadian Business Parks of Bedfordshire acquired the building with plans to restore it, but this never happened as the company hit financial problems.

The building continued to deteriorate throughout the early 1990s and in 1996 Sheffield City Council served a legal notice on the owners to effect repairs. However, no maintenance was carried out, rain came in through the damaged roof and period fireplaces were stolen by thieves. The Council in partnership with English Heritage sealed the building against further damage and it was then acquired by English Partnerships, the Government agency for regeneration. The building has been restored and at present hosts the No. 1 Oriental Buffet Restaurant on it lower floor with office space above.

Sadly the building never became "the headquarters of a major prestigous company" but it does host a Oriental Restaurant. Not what Sheffield City Council had envisaged in October 1989  

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

MEMORIAL TABLET 
(GREAT WAR)
 
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

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.








Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The War Dead - 1939 - 1945 War Graves Commission Statement

I came across this article in The Times dated 4th October 1945


I was unaware that requests had been made for the repatriation of the fallen both during and after World War 2. Whilst I recognise the distress and anguish that non-repatriation may cause relatives and friends of the deceased, I think that the principle of "equality of treatment" is paramount The Imperial War Graves Commission were fully justified in re-stating their position. 

Arbourthorne School (Sheffield) Class 3A, circa 1948.

The following is a a class photograph from Arbourthorne school (Sheffiled) with Ivy Hill on it (third from right, back row), The photograph was taken circa 1948.


The back of the photo says: 
Arbourthorne school Class 3A, Teacher Mr Whitham.
Back row L-R: P. Copley, M. Hopcroft, S. Stott, J.Pearson, M. Naylor, J. Marsden, I. Hill, R. Beety, B. Schofield.
Front row: P. Finlay, M. Hopkinson, M. Stimpson, J. Wheatly, S. Thompson. 

If anyone can recognise any of the pupls in the photograph please can you let me know

Saturday, 15 July 2017

A Sheffield Funeral - November 1925

I just cannnot seem to get away from involving myself in Methodist Chapels in Sheffield. The other day I sat down and read through this months edition of Grapvine Magazine and came across this photograph in the excellent column "Immortal Words." The writer Jason Heath uses archive photographs that are in the possession of his family business John Heath & Sons. and places them in a historical context.





Jason identified the location as Carver Street Methodist Chapel - the shop Runwell Cycles was opposite the main entrance. Furthermore Runwell Cycles did not start trading until 1925 which dates the photograph post 1925. Jason points out that double funerals are rare and given the presence of  fireman in full ceremonial dress concluded that the funeral was that of two of their colleagues. His great great uncle Joe officiated at the funeral - he is the man with his back to the camera checking that the coffins are steady and correctly positioned.

I did check first with the British Library Newspaper Archive but could find no instances of death in service for Sheffield firemen in the mid to late 1920's. 


I contacted Jason and referred him to the article. He confirmed that it was his firm John Heath & Sons that were the funeral directors that day. The boys' father Cllr. Melling was Chair of the Sheffield Watch Committee which would explain the presence of the ceremonial guard and the mourners were certainly dressed for a cold day in November.  

A mystery solved but whilst I was verifying the material I came across some more information about the origins and history of Carver Street Methodist Chapel. I think I might be embroiled again at sometime in the future 

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Wards Pub Guide - Sheffield Best Bitter

I Have just posted a pamphlet to the site that I came across whilst going through some old booklets that I have accumulated over many years.

It is a publicity pamphlet but unlike much of the material that is produced today, the content in this booklet is both interesting and informative.



The maps are in the article. I was going to expand this pamphlet but I discovered this full history of the brewery and the people who made it on this site

I would like to know though the names of the four employees of the brewery who lost their lives in the Sheffield Blitz of December 1940. I have asked the owner of the site if he has any idea who they were but if he doesn't I will have a go at finding them. 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

St John's Wesleyan Chapel Crookes Sheffield

Whilst I was engrossed in religous matters concerning the erection of Wesleyan Chapels in Sheffield (see previous blogs) I came across references to St John's Wesleyan Chapel in Crookes. This is from the Leeds Mercury dated 23rd January 1890.


I had never heard of such a Chapel in Crookes but with a capacity of 800 it must have been a large building and prominent to boot - "one of the finest set of religious building's in Sheffield." 

A little research revealed that St John's Wesleyan Chapel in Crookes was no other than Crookes Valley Methodist Church which is situated in Crookesmoor

  

This report is from the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 29th July 1890



The building and its adjacent premises served the people of Crookes and the surrounding district for over 100 years but it suffered a long and painful death. For many years it was derelict but it has now been converted to student flats and apartments.

The Mysterious Poisoning of Ernest Foster - Crookes. Sheffield May 1896

I've just posted an article to the site titled "The Mysterious Poisoning of Ernest Foster - Crookes. Sheffield May 1896"

It is based on an report that appeared in the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated Saturday 30th May 1896.



I have disagreed with the verdict but one of the more interesting parts of the report is that it was initially thought that the poisoning was due to the consumption of tinned lobster by the deceased. I was not aware that tinned lobster was available in Crookes in the late nineteenth century never mind eaten!

The other point is that that they produced the tin at the inquest at the Royal Hospital six days after it had been opened. It appears that the smell was over-powering for want of a better word! 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

The Death and Funeral of Pablo Fanque - Leeds May 1871

Many years ago I posted an article to the site - The Hendersons Were Not There (Neither Was Mr Kite) Sheffield 1848 which had its origins in the Beatles song "For The Benefit of Mr Kite"

Last week I received this e-mail from a researcher who came across the article and asked this question

Dear Chris
I hope you do not mind me contacting you. I have been reading your fascinating article about Pablo Fanque and I had a question about the article you posted.  You mention Wallett taking part in the funeral procession- and I wondered if that was indeed the name of his favourite horse at the time or whether it was in fact his friend W.F. Wallett?
I am researching Pablo's life and your mention of Wallett is the only one I have come across- if it is the name of his last favoured horse it would appear to be a fine tribute to his good friend!
Best wishes in advance
Grant Philpott

ps I have posted the section below for ease of reference!

2. 1871 - By the 1860’s Pablo’s circus was in decline. Pablo died on 4th May 1871 at the Britannia Inn, 22 Churchgate, Stockport, at the ripe age of seventy-five.
Churchgate, Stockport, Cheshire, 1871 (RG10/3664 4 73 19)
Pablo Fanque, lodger, 61, Norwich, Norfolk, equestrian circus proprietor
Elizabeth Fanque, lodger, 40, Sheffield, Yorkshire
George P Fanque, lodger, 17, Liverpool
Edward P Fanque, lodger, 15, Manchester
William Walker, lodger, 15, Luton, Bedfordshire, apprentice? music
Mary Walker, lodger, 13, Glasgow, Scotland, ditto, music
He had been there with his second wife, Elizabeth, and two sons, George and Ted, since at least the beginning of the previous month. Pablo’s funeral took place in Leeds Woodhouse Cemetery and was a spectacular occasion. The hearse was preceded by a band playing the ‘Dead March’, followed by Pablo’s favourite horse, Wallett, and four mourning coaches. The deceased and his horse were brought from Stockport by train, and were met by throngs of well-dressed spectators.

Thankfully I was able to answer his question - when I posted the article The British Library Newspaper Archive had not been digitalised

This is from the Leeds Times dated 13th May 1871


It appears that Wallet the horse followed the hearse but Pablo's dear friend Mr W F Wallet who the horse was named after, was detained in Hanley Staffordshire and so did not attend the funeral

Ebenezer Wesleyan Reform Chapel, Bramall Lane, Sheffield

I am starting to get worried now as this is the second time in less than a month that I have posted a blog that relates to Wesleyan Reform Chapel's. A sign from above perhaps?

But like the one I posted on the Weselyan Chapel at School Road, Crookes this does include a photograph that has not been seen before


Ebenezer Wesleyan Reform Chapel, Bramall Lane, Sheffield


This photograph appeared on the Sheffield History Forum and shows the chapel in its prime.


The above photograph was taken by a family member whilst the chapel was in the process of being demolished. I have not got an exact date but the photograph is circa 1979 - 80. I believe that the reason for the demolition apart from declining attendances was that it stood in the way of the now-fabled Bramall Lane dual-carriageway.