Thursday, 10 October 2019

The Last Car to Walkley (Sheffield)

A postcard titled "The Last Car to Walkley" There is no date on the card and the illustrator who signed the card is a "F. Macleod"

It is a fascinating card and it has left me wondering whether or not the artist was making a point about the activities of the inhabitants of Walkley aboard the last tram. It was of course a full moon

If anyone could furnish me with more details of the artist F. Macleod I would be grateful 

Danville Steet Pitsmoor Sheffield

20th March 2014 - I posted a blog on Frederick Stratford who was the first victim of The Zeppelin Air-raid of 25/26th September 1916. He was also the first nearly 700 Sheffielders to lose their lives in German air attacks on Sheffield during the twentieth century

This is a photograph of Danville Steet, Pitsmoor Sheffield. No date is on the photograph. The street going off to the right is Letwell Place and the building on the corner of it (with big windows)  was Gunby's store. The street below Letwell Place was called Cantley Place.

From the reports of the inquest it seems as though Frederick in his bed at the time of the raid and a piece of schrapnel from an exploding bomb hit him and led to injuries that proved fatal 

The Bay Horse, Silver Street Head, Sheffield

This is a photograph of The Bay Horse, Silver Street Head, Sheffield There is no date on the photograph but judging from the clothes the children outside the pub were wearing, it is was taken circa 1900.

The Bay Horse was part of the estate of the brewer Thomas Rawson & Co. Ltd, one of Sheffield's oldest breweries

Thursday, 3 October 2019

The Crookes Chinese Laundry Murder 1922 - An Update

One of the first articles I posted many years ago was what came to be known as The Crookes Chinese Laundry Murder in which the owner of the laundry Sing Lee was murdered by his employee Lee Doon. His body was then buried in the cellar of the laundry before it was discovered a few days later.

Lee Doon was arrested and charged with the wilful murder of Sing Lee and after a trial at Leeds Assizes, was found guilty and sentenced to death. An appeal against the conviction was dismissed and Lee Doon was executed at Armley Prison in Leeds on 5th January 1923.

For year I have been trying to obtain a photograph of  Crookes where the murder occurred and at last I have located one,

There is no date on the card but I am estimating that the date will be circa 1910 which was about ten years before the murder took place. The actual laundry - 231 Crookes is in the centre of the photograpgh

The One-Legged Pall-bearer - St Mary's Parish Church, South Elmsall, South Yorkhire

I came across this old newspaper cutting which sadly has no date. It was before 2008 because that is when the journalist Gail Robinson who wrote the item received her compulsory redundancy notice from Johnston Press in 2008. It appears that the local press barons decided to close the regional offices of the Sheffield Star in a cost-cutting exercise

The cutting relates to funerals at South Elmsall's St Mary's Parish Church and one in particular which led to a one legged woman being coerced into being a pallbearer at the funeral ceremony.

"It hardly added to the dignity of the occasion" was a bit of an understatement by the vicar Father George Moffat. What is more disconcerting is that the one-legged woman was the only volunteer. If she had not taken a corner of the coffin, I dread to think what would have happened next. 

Litter in Crookesmoor, Sheffield - October 2019

This flyer came through the letterbox the other day

Normally material like this is recycled immediately, but I thought that this splendid imitative requires greater publicity. Litter is a problem in the area where I live and sadly over the years it has got a lot worse. There are many reasons for this deterioration but it is heartening that some people are attempting to reduce the impact that littering has on our lives   

Friday, 27 September 2019

The staff of Attercliffe Road Railway station, Sheffield - date unknown

There is an informative article on the station on Wikipedia. Attercliffe Road station was situated on Leveson Street between Attercliffe Road and Effingham Street at Norfolk Bridge (Sheffield).

According to Modern Railways Magazine, March 1995(page 137) Attercliffe Road station closed on Saturday 28th January 1995.

The Unveiling of the Statue of King Edward V11 - Fitzalan Square, Sheffield - Monday 27th October 1913

This photograph shows the Unveiling of the Statue of King Edward V11 in Fitzalan Square, Sheffield on Monday 27th October 1913.

There is more information on the statue in the Public Art in Sheffield and the Hallamshire Historic Buildings websites

Bit the interesting part of the photograph for me is the background. It shows the shop of Fitzalan Square, No 4, Fisher, Son and Sibray Ltd., Nurserymen and part of the Marples Hotel, both of which were destroyed just over 27 years later on the night of 12th December 1940

Eskdale Road, Wadsley Bridge, Sheffield - Tuesday, 8th May 1945 VE Day

This photograph was taken on Tuesday, 8th May 1945 VE Day. It shows the people of Eskdale Road, Wadsley Bridge, Sheffield celebrating the end of the war in Europe.

Apart from the cat, the cup and the upturned Tizer crate, what is most noticeable about this photograph is the near total absence of men - they can't have been all on active service 

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Murder at Camp 17: Lodge Moor Sheffield - 24th March 1945. - An update

A few years ago I posted an article to the site relating a murder at Camp 17 Lodge Moor Sheffield on 24th March 1945.

A summary is as follows

"It appears that a month or so before the war ended inmates at a German POW camp on the outskirts of Sheffield were enraged when a tunnel which was near to completion was discovered. They had spent many months tunneling. Suspecting an informer they rounded on a GERHARDT RETTIG who had been seen talking to guards near the tunnel entrance. Furthermore in a camp that had a large National Socialist contingent, he was not a Nazi. Once threats were made, it was decided by the Camp command to move him to another camp. But before the transfer was made, Gerhardt Rettig, was chased around the camp by a howling mob before he was severely beaten. He was taken to hospital but died from internal bleeding. "

The four ringleaders of the attack on Gerhardt Rettig were charged with the murder
Unteroffizier Heinz Ditzler
Soldat Juergen Kersting
Feldwebel Emil Schmittendorf
Armin Kuehne
and after a trial at a military court in London Emil Schmittendorf and Armin Kuehne were found guilty and sentenced to death. They were executed by Albert Pierrepoint at Pentonville prison on 16th November 1945"

On Thursday 4th July 2019 The Guardian posted a report about an archaeological dig that was taking place at the site of the camp. What I did not know when I posted the article was that the prisoner of war camp at Lodge Moor, was at its peak, the largest camp in the United Kingdom with nearly 11,000 captives.

The Sinking of the Athenia September 1939 - The Sheffield Connection

I came across this cutting from The Telegraph and Star dated September 1939,  Iwas going to post an article to the website about the sinking of the Athenia and the Sheffield connection.

But whilst researching material I came across this excellent blog on the Athenia and its sinking. by a German U-Boat

It really is an very informative and detailed piece of research and so I decided just to post the cutting to the blog and not post an article to the website. 

Back in Time for the Corner Shop - Hadfields Sheffield

I received an e-mail this week from the producer BBC Back in Time for the Corner Shop

"Dear Chris,

I hope you don’t mind me contacting you, but I came across your site discussing your father’s role within the Hadfield Steel Works in Sheffield. I wondered if you might be able to help me – or could point me in the direction of someone who might. 

I am a Producer on a prime-time BBC Two social history series called ‘Back in Time for the Corner Shop’ and I am writing to you regarding the Hadfield Steel Works and looking for previous workers of the site who might be able to speak to us on the programme.

Following the success of previous BAFTA nominated series’ including Back in Time for Dinner and Back in Time for Tea - which regularly reached audiences of 3 million - this new programme will see a modern family transported through one hundred years of domestic and working life as they live and work in a corner shop in the heart of a working-class community.

Guided by presenter Sara Cox and historian Polly Russell, one Sheffield-based family will experience what life was like for working families in Yorkshire as they wear the clothes, eat the food and experience the lifestyle of a different decade each week, reflecting on the social and economic changes of the era.

As part of our 1980s programme we would love to hear from someone who worked at Hadfield Steel works, perhaps someone from a generation of steel workers – and someone who was unfortunately part of the redundancies in the early 1980’s. We would love to hear from them on the programme about Hadfield, how it had played such an important part of life in the area and the effects of its closure in the 80’s. How were they affected personally and also how did it affect the local area?

I was wondering if you knew of any groups or someone who I could speak to, who might be able to help me with this. It is certainly a key part of the history of the area and something we would be keen to highlight in the programme.

I look forward to hearing from you. Kindest Regards Claire"

I replied to Claire but if anyone can help Claire out with ex-employees of Hadfields let me know and I will pass the information on

Welcome Home Hector - An Update

In November 2011 I posted a blog about an iconic photograph that was taken in 1945

Last week I received an e-mail from a descendent of the family

I recently stumbled across your blog on the photo concerning Hector Murdoch returning home after World War 2 and you wondered what became of the people in the photo.

I am married to John's daughter (the boy in the photograph) and can happily tell you that John is still alive and well and living here in Cumbria since about 1974 along with his wife.

My wife can't really remember her grandfather Hector as he died when she was very young but used to go in school holidays to visit her nanny Rose in Norfolk until she died when my wife was around 
18 which was in 1989.

John was also five years of age in the photo and not nine as stated in the blog.


In my defence the information regarding John's age came from a newspaper caption. I thought at the time he looked younger than nine years old but I believed what the newspaper said. You never learn! 

Friday, 26 July 2019

Private Frank Willetts (1920-1942) - Pioneer Corps - An Update

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"
Since then I have corresponded with the reader and as a result of our joint endeavours I received this information which is an update
" wanted to update you with good news! Because of your article and interest, I have found a cousin of my mother (my second cousin I guess!!). So Frank Willetts has brought us together (by email) and Neil (my mother's cousin) and his wife have been kind enough to send me a photo of Frank, two sketches of his and a photo of Frank's great grandma, so happy!! Thank you Chris for being the connection!

Not a bad result!

Enid Blyton and the Sheffield Connection - An Update 2

I received this information from a reader who came across an article on the website about the author Enid Blyton and her connection with Sheffield

The reader was Cliff Watkin and he sent me two photos from a book that he had privately published in 2010 for

a)    members of the Enid Blyton Society

b)    old BSC colleagues who worked in the British Steel Corporation (BSC) in works in the Sheffield and Rotherham areas

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

George Robert Patchett 1903 - 1974 Sheffield

A couple of years ago I posted an article to my website relating to the tragic death of a five year old girl Doris Hill in a traffic accident on City Road Sheffield on 8th October 1929.

Decsendents of Doris kindly provided me with information which I was able to incorporate into the article. And at the end of the article I asked that if anyone could assist me with any further material to contact me.

In response to my request I received an e-mail from a reader of the article who stated that he was the grandson of George Robert Patchett, the driver of the vehicle that fatally injured Doris.

" I read with sadness and interest the article on your blog at the following link.

George Robert Patchett was my own grandfather, and he was deeply affected by that tragic day for the remainder of his life.

He had two children of his own including Robert Valen (my father) who was an RAF officer killed in tragic circumstances in 1969.

George has (had) 3 grandchildren, myself, my brother Mike and also a granddaughter Samantha who was herself killed in 1967 at the age of 18 months in similar circumstances to little Doris.

Smanatha had been sitting with myself and a group of young friends outside our house in RAF Little Rissington. I ran across the road to get some money from the house as an Ice cream van had just turned up, Samantha followed and was run over as the vehicle reversed back.
My Grandfather was haunted till the end of this days by this event - believing it was payback for what happened to young Doris all those years previously."

The newspaper reports of the time show that Doris's death was just a tragic accident but it clearly affected George for the rest of his life. The loss of his own granddaughter Samantha in 1967 must have been unbearable for George, given the circumstances of her death

Monday, 17 June 2019

Sheffield's Treasures Are Put In Dustbins - September 1939

I came across this newspaper article from September 1939.

Apart from acknowledging the foresight and ingenuity of the Curator, it would be interesting to know where the dustbins were stored once they were full.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

The Funeral of Mr G Middleton - Burngreave Cemetery Sheffield - 16th September 1920

Yorkshire Telegraph and Star dated 20th September 1920

The remarkable feature of this cutting is that Mr G Howell worked for the same company in Sheffield for over 40 years. Howell and Co were based at Wincobank in Sheffield and were Tube manufacturers. A fuller history of the company can be found in the excellent Graces Guide.

The Wicker Congregational Church where the funeral took place was at the junction of Burngreave Road and Ellesmere Road. It was demolished in the mid 1960's

Although not mentioned in the report his christian name was George. When I checked his burial record I found that his son William died less than nine years after his father in 1929. He was just 36 years old

MIDDLETON, George (Secretary, age 57).
Died at Cardigan Nursing Home; Buried on September 16, 1920 in General ground;
Grave Number 347, Section KK of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Officiating Minister, A Dring: Removed from Sheffield Parish.
MIDDLETON, William (~, age 36).
Died at Brinkburn, Grenoside; Buried on March 16, 1929 in General ground;
Grave Number 347, Section KK of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Officiating Minister, J.A. Halfpenny: Removed from Sheffield Parish.

The Last of the Dennis Dominator Buses - Sheffield June 2006

The following cutting is taken from The Sheffield Weekly Gazette dated Thursday 15th June 2006 and is a report of the last Dennis Dominator Buses to run in Sheffield

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

City Bids Farewell To A Tramp - Cyril Griffin Sheffield January 1976

I have just posted a brief article to the site that I obtained from The Guardian dated 5th January 1977

There was a brief thread on the Sheffield Forum in 2005 which added some more information but it was the burial record that I found rather poignant. Cyril is buried in a public grave in Sheffield's City Road Cemetery along with 12 other people - some of the burials go back to the late C 19th.

GRIFFIN, Cyril (Electrician, age 52).
Died at British Home Stores Haymarket; Buried on January 6, 1977 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 7031, Section V2 of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield. Page No 230 
BMD References
Births Sep 1924 quarter Griffin Cyril Mothers Maiden Name Howe Sheffield Volume 9c Page 839 
Deaths Dec 1976 quarter - GRIFFIN CYRIL Born 19JE1924 SHEFFIELD Volume 3 Page 2047 

It states that he "Died at British Home Stores Haymarket" when the truth is that he died in the "doorway" of British Home Stores and not the actual store. A whole world of difference on a bitterly cold night in December. 

A Bulldog at 167 Crookes Sheffield - 15th September 1924 - The Heroism of Joshua Greatorex

The above cutting is from The Manchester Guardian dated 2nd December 1924 and refers to the actions of Joshua Greatorex at a house at 167 Crookes. The report ends by stating that he "undoubtedly saved the boy's life". I wonder what happened to the boy whose life was saved.

The house at 167 Crookes where the attack took place no longer exists. It was demolished after the war and replaced with flats   

As for Joshua, I have found out that at the time of the attack he would have been around 63 years old. He was to live for another 19 years before passing away in July 1943. He is buried in the cemetery at Crookes

GREATOREX, Joshua Frederick (Retired, age 82).
Died at 52 Newlands Drive; Buried on July 31, 1943 in Consecrated ground; 
Grave Number 5159, Section JJ of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

The Death of Samuel Brameld - Brightside Sheffield September 1880

This is from The Times dated 8th September 1880 and refers to the death of a steelworks labourer Samuel Brameld in a steelworks accident

Samuel must have suffered an agonising death as he was "terribly scalded about the body" and in addition suffered a broken hip.

As usual The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 11th September 1880 gave a fuller account of the events leading up to the tragedy

And with the help of the excellent Sheffield Indexers site I have been able to locate Samuel's grave in St Thomas Cemetery, Brightside Sheffield and confirm that he was only 28 years old when he died

BRAMELD, Samuel (~, age 28). Died at Carlisle Rd Grimesthorpe; Buried on September 7, 1880 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 127, Section ~ of St Thomas Cemetery, Brightside.
     Parent or Next of Kin if Available: ~. Remarks: ~.Plot Owner: ~ ~ of ~. Page No 198  

Enid Blyton and the Sheffield Connection - An Update

I have just posted three newspaper reports from The Times to an article I posted many years ago concerning the author Enid Blyton and her Sheffield connection.

 For most of her writing career, Enid Blyton lived at Green Hedges, a house in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. The house was named by her readers through a competition in the children's magazine 'Sunny Stories'. The demolition of Green Hedges, came about after the house was sold at auction in 1971. The plot where Green Hedges and its gardens once stood is now a small development of  dwellings called imaginatively called Blyton Close.

Sheffield By Night - Kenneth Steel Sheffield circa 1960

I received this e-mail note the other day asking about a work by the Sheffield artist Kenneth Steel

"I have viewed your website regarding Kenneth Steele.

I recently bought a print by Steele knowing nothing about him but because I liked it as it reminds me of Crookes in Sheffield.  I have put it in another frame and the print has faded from the original colours.Have you come across it before and have you heard anything about where the original might be?"

Unfortunately my response was a double negative - I have never seen the painting before and I do not know where the original is. But I said that I would post the details on this blog and hope that a reader would provide some additional information.

And for my part I think it is a rather impressive piece of art 

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Gold Mining in Derbyshire - June 1854

The following is from The Times dated Monday 19th June 1854 but it looks as though the initial report was from the Derbyshire Courier.

I was going to post an article to my site about this facet of Derbyshire's history but found this article that is from Bygone Industries of The Peak which seems to cover the salient points.  I was unaware that the Crown, under the auspices of the Duchy of Lancaster, was the owner of such deposits.  

The Untimely Death of Dr. Alexander Robert R. Hudson - Grimesthorpe Sheffield October 1931

The following cutting is from The Manchester Guardian dated 3rd October 1931 and relates to the sudden death of Dr. Alexander Robert R. Hudson. Alexander was described as "one of the oldest and best known medical practitioners in the city" 

I checked and found that his surgery was at 4 Burngreave Road Sheffield - the house no longer stands but there is a Surgery on the opposite side of the road.

I also checked the excellent Sheffield Indexers site and found this burial record for the Hudson family

HUDSON, Alexander R R (Medical Practitioner, age 64).
Died at Royal Infirmary; Buried on October 7, 1931 in General ground;
Grave Number 3641, Section LL of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Officiating Minister, R Walter Hull: Removed from Sheffield Parish.
HUDSON, Constance (Spinster, age 13).
Died at 4 Burngreave Rd; Buried on January 22, 1926 in General ground;
Grave Number 3641, Section LL of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Officiating Minister, H Oliver Evans: Removed from Sheffield Parish.
HUDSON, Lydia Constance (Widow, age 98).
Died at High Torr Nursing Home; Buried on August 20, 1971 in General ground;
Grave Number 3641, Section LL of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Removed from Hoysthorpe, Nr. Skegness Parish.
HUDSON, Stuart (~, age 30).
Died at The Mental Hospital; Buried on November 16, 1942 in General ground;
Grave Number 3641, Section LL of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Officiating Minister: L B W Heppenstall: Removed from Sheffield Parish.

The age at the date of death differs from the newspaper report by 4 years but 64 is the correct age as Free BMD has this record

Deaths Dec 1931 Hudson Alexander R R age 64 Sheffield  Vol 9c Page 469

And it looks from the burial record that the Hudson family were not new to tragedy

Monday, 18 February 2019

The Death of Elizabeth Trott - Little Sheffield Sunday 23rd March 1806.

I came across this report the other day, It is dated Saturday 29th March 1806 and refers to the death of Elizabeth Trott that occurred on Sunday 23rd March 1806.

Little Sheffield, was a small collection of dwellings which was separate from the main town of Sheffield which was over "the Moor", then a muddy rural area. It is roughly around the bottom of what is now London Road and Cemetery Road.

"On Tuesday a Coroners Inquest was held on the body of Elizabeth Trott, a young woman of Little Sheffield, who in a fit of despair drowned herself in a pond on Sunday last.

The deliberate manner in which she put an end to her existence is somewhat extraordinary; the pond being frozen over, she broke a hole in the ice, just to admin her head, which she put into the water, and her body remained quite dry".

For the end of March it must have been particularly cold that year for ice to have formed on the pond. And poor Elizabeth must have really been in a state of deep despair for her to take her life in such a manner.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Fred Dawson (1897 - 1915) Gallipoli and Crookes

This headstone appears in Crookes Cemetery Sheffield and relates to the last resting place of the Dawson Family.

These photographs were taken on 27th January 2018 and what is unusual about them is that they show a replacement memorial. 

The original memorial is shown below  

My interest was in their younger son Fred

"Also of FRED the youngest son of the above named HENRY & ANNIE DAWSON who died on active service Oct 20th 1915 in his 18th year."

A check on the GWGC database gave the following information

Lance Corporal DAWSON, FRED
Service Number 17510
Died 20/10/1915
Aged 18
6th Bn - York and Lancaster Regiment


Son of Mrs. Annie Dawson, of 42, Vernon Terrace, Manchester Rd., Sheffield.

6th Bn - York and Lancaster Regiment
Aug 1914 Formed at Pontefract as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Grantham as part of the 32nd Brigade in the 11th Division and then moved to Witley by April 1915.
03.07.1915 Mobilised for war and embarked for Gallipoli from Liverpool via Mudros.
0.08.1915 Landed at Sulvla Bay and engaged in various actions against the Ottoman Empire including; The Battle of Scimitar Hill and attack on Hill 60.
Dec 1915 Evacuated to Mudros due to serve casualties from combat and disease.

And so it appears that Fred died from his wounds or disease in Greece after service with his regiment in Gallipoli

He is remembered as well on 
Sheffield Council Official Roll of Honour
Ranmoor War Memorial
St John The Evangelist Church Ranmoor Roll of Honour

The original headstone must have been erected circa 1939  - the first burial in the grave was that of Fred's father Henry. You can clearly see the effects of 80 years of Crookes weather on the stone but it is refreshing to see that they are not forgotten after all these years. Someone still cares

DAWSON, Annie (Widow, age 98).
     Died at 42 Vernon Terrace; Buried on January 19, 1953 in Consecrated ground; 
     Grave Number 313, Section AA of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Plot Owner: of ~. Page No 201 

DAWSON, Henry (Retired, age 81).
     Died at 42 Vernon Terrace; Buried on December 30, 1959 in Consecrated ground; 
     Grave Number 313, Section AA of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Plot Owner: of . Page No 294 

DAWSON, Henry (Retired, age 91).
     Died at 42 Vernon Terrace; Buried on January 4, 1939 in Consecrated ground; 
     Grave Number 313, Section AA of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Plot Owner: of ~. Page No 327 
DAWSON, Kate (Spinster, age 92).
     Died at Lodge Moor Hospital; Buried on August 4, 1967 in Consecrated ground; 
     Grave Number 313, Section AA of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Plot Owner: of . Page No 16 
HARRISON, May (~, age 91).
     Died at 3 Barncliffe Road; Buried on April 11, 1983 in Consecrated ground; cremated. 
     Grave Number 313, Section AA of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Remarks: Cremated remains removed from City Rd No 312633.
     Plot Owner: of ~. Page No 122 
HARRISON, Victor (~, age 72).
     Died at 3 Barncliffe Road; Buried on January 31, 1973 in Consecrated ground; cremated. 
     Grave Number 313, Section AA of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Remarks: Cremated remains removed from City Rd No.95849.
     Plot Owner: of . Page No 58 

Monday, 28 January 2019

Crookesmoor Junior School (1874 - 1994) - Crookesmoor Sheffield

I came across this cutting from the Yorkshire Post dated Wednesday 28th December 1994

I vaguely remember the occupation of the school but what I cannot understand is how and why Sheffield Education Authority permitted the school to be vandalised after it was closed in the summer of 1994. They were the legal owners of the school, as they reminded readers of the newspaper, but they had permitted "vandals" to smash toilets and windows, strip lead off the roof  and destroy the fabric of the building. And it begs the question of what the police were doing to apprehend the miscreants. Very little by all accounts

The squatters appear from the report to be doing the opposite!. Over the last few decades this type of vandalism has happened time and time again in publicly-owned properties in Sheffield, but the custodians of the properties (Sheffield City Council) are never held at least partly responsible for the destruction of their assets.

Perhaps responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of such buildings should be transferred to organisations that can fulfil that role.     

Sunday, 27 January 2019

The Funeral of John Firth - Ecclesall Church Sheffield May 1869

I was going to post an article to the site based on this report  that appeared in the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent newspaper on 8th May 1869. A classic Victorian funeral

John Firth (c 1824-1869) Merchant and steel manufacturer

c.1824 Born son of Thomas Firth, Senior in Sheffield

1841 Living in Sheffield: Thomas Firth (age c52), steel refiner, with Mary (age c48), Mark (age c220 a clerk, Thomas (age c190 a steel refiner, John (age c17) a clerk, Edward (age c11), Mary (age c9), Elizabeth (age c6), and Charles (age c4)[1]

1850 Thomas Firth Snr died. John joined his brothers in their business, Thomas Firth and Sons.

1856 Married Charlotte Harding

1861 A steel and iron manufacturer, living in Chesterfield with Charlotte 31, Charles H Firth 4, Lewis John Firth 2, Mary Alice Firth 10 months[2]

1869 Died at sea[3], whilst on holiday with his wife in the Mediterranean[4]  

Holt House also appears on my website - I spent a couple of years there as a pupil!

As a footnote the arrangements for the funeral was made by Mr Skelton Cole, one of the Cole Brothers