Thursday, 15 April 2021

The Queen and Prince Philip's Visit to Sheffield - Thursday 18th November 2010

As the nation enters into its seventh day of mourning following the death of Prince Philip last Friday, I thought it would be fitting to remember a previous visit to Sheffield by the Royal Couple on Thursday 18th November 2010. 

The Sheffield Star dated Wednesday17th November 2010 carried a report on the following days agenda which was centred around the University of Sheffield. The report was accompanied by a photograph of the Queen that was taken in 1954 the last time a reigning monarch had visited the University.

It was not the last time they visited Sheffield. The last time Queen Elizabeth II visited Sheffield was on Thursday 2nd April 2015 for the Royal Maundy service where she honoured 89 men and 89 women in recognition for their service to the church and local community.

It appears that thousands of people awaited the Queen's arrival outside the Cathedral. The Cathedral Choir was joined with Her Majesty's Chapel Royal Choir to accompany the Queen while she distributed two pouches of specially minted Maundy money to each recipient.

Remarkably this was the first time the Royal Maundy had been distributed in Sheffield since it's inception in the seventeenth century. 


Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Annie Shimlisky (1904-1922) Shoreditch London "Amazing Letters of Girl Suicide"

The third and final post today and again it concerns poison. Carbolic acid is still widely in use today in the manufacture of industrial products, and as an anti-bacterial measure.   

The cutting is from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 22nd January 1922 and refers to an inquest that had taken place the previous day in Shoreditch London.

The victim was 17 year old Annie Shimlisky not Shimnlisky as in the report. The sentiments expressed in the letter have a modern ring to them, and I am sorry to say a certain amount of truth. There is no doubt that Annie was sane in the legal sense when she made the decision to end her life and that the verdict recorded by the Coroner was an incorrect one. Annie did not act on a fit of "impulse" and she was "responsible" at the time. A verdict of suicide due to chronic or acute depression may have been more appropriate verdict than the one delivered by the Shoreditch coroner. 

Messrs, J.T. Leaper, Ltd of Crookes Sheffield - Dispensers of Strychnine - 11th July 1939

 This is from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 11th July 1939 and relates to the sale of a "medicine" by a chemist in Crookes Sheffield

Messrs, J.T. Leaper, Ltd of Crookes Sheffield were a wholesale as well as a retail chemist and I was amazed that strychnine was dispensed and sold in such a fashion.

For those readers who are not familiar with properties of strychnine these are its effects

" it can fatal to humans and other animals and can occur by inhalation, swallowing or absorption through eyes or mouth. It produces some of the most dramatic and painful symptoms of any known toxic reaction, making it quite noticeable and a common choice for assassinations and poison attacks. For this reason, strychnine poisoning is often portrayed in literature and film, such as the murder mysteries written by Agatha Christie

Ten to twenty minutes after exposure, the body's muscles begin to spasm, starting with the head and neck in the form of trismus and risus sardonicus. The spasms then spread to every muscle in the body, with nearly continuous convulsions, and get worse at the slightest stimulus. The convulsions progress, increasing in intensity and frequency until the backbone arches continually. Convulsions lead to lactic acidosis, hyperthermia and rhabdomyolysis. These are followed by postictal depression. Death comes from asphyxiation caused by paralysis of the neural pathways that control breathing, or by exhaustion from the convulsions. The subject usually dies within 2–3 hours after exposure."

From Wikipedia

The fact is that Mr Leaper was not prosecuted for selling the preparation but was prosecuted for not being present when the drug was sold over the counter. It was considered at the time a tonic but if taken to excess it "produces some of the most dramatic and painful symptoms of any known toxic reaction"

Needless to say, strychnine is now longer on sale in Crookes!  


Private Richard Lancaster (1882 - 1914) No 8372 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers 2nd 12 Bde 4 Div

I came across this article from The Metro newspaper dated 05th July 2007 concerning the delated funeral of Private Richard Lancaster (1882 - 1914) 8372 who served with the 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers 2nd 12 Bde 4 Div and was killed in action on 10th November 1914, aged 32.

Richard's body remained buried undiscovered for 90 years before it was unearthed. He was identified by his identity disc and regimental cap badge. Two other soldiers from the 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers were found nearby but they were not identified. All three received military funerals

Further details can be found on the Burnley in the Great War website


Monday, 22 February 2021

The Few - July 1939

On the front page of the Sheffield Star & Telegraph was this small article featuring the views of Flight Lieutenant C E Reynolds, the Officer Commanding the North East area. He was responding to reports that recruitment to the R.A.F. had halved in recent weeks, and that the current figures were nearly the lowest in the last twelve months.

The Officer Commanding the North East area was not alarmed though and referred to a number of factors that caused the drop in recruitment such as paid holidays etc. 

What Flight Lieutenant C E Reynolds did not know at the time is that this report appeared on the 11th July 1939 and in 7 weeks time the country would be at war with Germany. I wonder if he was alarmed then!

Mr Thomas Wardley receives an intimation - Clun Street Pitsmoor Sheffield - October 1906

The following cutting is from the Yorkshire Telegraph dated 6th October 1906 and refers to death in service of a 16 year old signalman Leonard Wardley. Leonard was drowned off Portland when the HMS Landrail capsized.

I was contemplating posting a full article on the circumstances of Leonard's but whilst researching content I came across this information on a Dorset diving site. It appears that Leonard was the only casualty of the incident and that it was not possible to recover his body.

As for Thomas he is buried alongside 19 others in a public grave in Sheffield's Burngreave Cemetery. He died in 1912 in the Sheffield Union Workhouse. Also in the grave are his wife Elizabeth (52) who is referred to in the article and three of their children who died in childhood. They were certainly no strangers to tragedy,

WARDLEY, Agnes (Dau of S. Wardley, age 14). Died at 43 Clun Street; Buried on October 5, 1898 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 90, Section K1 of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield. 40277 Attending Minister: Arthur Sykes.

WARDLEY, Albert (Dau of Thos Wardley, age 5 months). Died at Clun Street; Buried on November 5, 1886 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 90, Section K1 of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.

WARDLEY, Beatrice (Dau of Thos Wardley, age 4).Died at Clun Street; Buried on November 5, 1886 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 90, Section K1 of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.

WARDLEY, Elizabeth (wife of E Wardley, age 52).Died at 43 Clun Street; Buried on September 18, 1906 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 90, Section K1 of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield. Officiating Minister, Edw D Dannatt.

WARDLEY, Thomas (Night Watchman, age 60). Died at Sheffield Union; Buried on June 27, 1912 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 90, Section K1 of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield. Officiating Minister, Thos Torrens : Removed from St Cuthberts.


Thursday, 4 February 2021

Denise Marsden (1935 - 2008) Sheffield Family History Society

I was digging ouy some information the other day relating to family history, In one of the books I consulted a bookmark "flew out"
I had never seem the bookmark before and so it came as a bit of a shock when the bookmark was in fact a memorial. I believe Denise was a founder member of the Sheffield and District Family History Society and was very active in their activities

Mr Charles Roberts - the Founder of Robert Brothers The Moor Sheffield

I came across this obituary dated 11th July 1939
The store was on The Moor in Sheffield. The first photograph was taken in the aftermath of the Second World War and gives a hint of the devastation that was inflicted on the city in December 1940 by the German Luftwaffe. The second was taken in 2008. The original store was demolished and was rebuilt in the 1950's. But it only had a limited lifespan. Robert Brothers ceased trading and was occupied by a series of firms and was eventually boarded up.

Monday, 11 January 2021

The Hammonds of Fold Farm Hollow Meadows Sheffield circa 1907 - The Moscar Tragedy

Many years ago I posted an article to the site about the tragedy that occurred at Moscar near Sheffield on 25th August 1907

In the interim I also posted updates on this blog concerning the fate of the charabanc W671 and  The Funeral of "the boy Harrison" - Sheffield Friday 30th August 1907, one of the victims of the crash 

But this weekend a reader of the article sent me these photographs

 "After the accident, the vehicle was moved to the yard of Fold Farm, Hollow Meadows, where the photos were taken.  At the time, it belonged to my great grandfather, George Hammond.  In the photo with spectators, front and centre are a small girl and boy.  These were his daughter, Elsie, and son Harold, who was my grandfather.(see first photograph)

The second photograph was taken at the other side of the yard, as if looking directly at the wrecked vehicle.  Obviously, this wasn't taken at the same time.  George Hammond is centre, with his wife Anne.  Elsie, the little girl in the wreck photo, is left.  Middle is Alice and right, young George.  Family legend has it that Harold didn't want his photo taken, so hide in the cow shed, sadly.

The last photograph is of Harold in later life, the boy who did not want his photograph taken. Looks quite a character!

Thursday, 31 December 2020

View From A Hill - 31st December 2020

This blog is the 55th I've posted in 2020 which is an increase of 11 on the previous year. I have also managed to post a few articles to the website but not as many as I would have liked. 

I have just received a e-mail from the company that has hosted my website for the best part of 20 years

"Please read the important announcement at

It is with regret that we have to announce that WiserHosting is winding the business down over the next year due to a change of personal circumstances affecting the business owner.
We have been unable to negotiate satisfactory terms for the sale of the business such that disruption to our clients’ hosting services would be minimised. Therefore we have opted to wind the business down over the next year, allowing our hosting clients to migrate existing hosting accounts to another hosting provider in their own time, but before the deadline of 30 November 2021, at which time WiserHosting will cease all web and email hosting services." 

It is a shame as I have never had a problem with the company or its services which counts for a lot nowadays.

But I think that the winding down may have something to do with this event that occurred in September 

"You may be aware that WiserHosting has been under Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS) since Tuesday 8 September and we are having to take emergency measures to migrate all of our client sites to a safer datacentre location. We would certainly prefer to give our clients much longer notice but this is not viable in this case."

It must have been a stressful time for the company and one that may have contributed to it's ceasing operations. It is a shame that the UK government is ill-equipped to deal with the perpetrators of such attacks! 

Of course it means that I am going to have to find another hosting company in the spring which should prove to be an interesting experience!  

But on a more upbeat note, a big thanks to the many readers who have contacted me in the last year, I have been able to update a few of the earlier articles on the site with new information which always helps. .  

And so all that remains is to wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year with the fervent hope that it is a tad better than this one has been

See Below

Sunday, 27 December 2020

Crookes Brass Band - circa 1890 Sheffield

 The two photographs below appeared on a well-known internet auction site. It is the first time I have seen the photo and I was totally unaware that Crookes was at the one time playing host to what appears a sizeable brass band.

The seller put a spoiler across the photograph and also placed a minimum price of £30.00GBP for the photo which definitely ended any interest I had in bidding for it. The seller placed the card as circa 1890 which is correct   

Xmas Day - 25th December 1879 Sheffield

 Attached is a report from the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 27th December 1879. The reporters detailed the events that occurred in Sheffield on Xmas Day

One hundred and forty-one years later in 2020 I can report that nothing occurred in Sheffield on Xmas Day 2020.