Friday, 29 July 2022

Maurice Madden's Last Day - Friday 02 July 1915 Nether Edge Sheffield - an Update

Earlier this year I posted an article to the site with the title "Maurice Madden's Last Day - Friday 02 July 1915 Nether Edge Sheffield"

It was a family tragedy that received widespread coverage in the local press due to the fact that Maurice was only ten years old when he was involved in a collision with a motor vehicle near his home in Montgomery Road, Nether Edge Sheffield

This afternoon I was going through some old magazines, one of which was the local advertising magazine called "Grapevine." In the January 2021 edition there was this article that was submitted by Mr. Jason Heath of John Heath and Sons. It refers to a photograph that was taken in Montgomery Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield by the company  some hundred years ago. There were no details on the photograph but a couple of local residents definitely identified the houses and the road as being Montgomery Road, the same road were the Madden family lived and died. 

Of course you can never be sure but the funeral could well be that of either the son Maurice who died in July 1915 or his father who died two years later in July 1917. Apart from the location the fact that the aforementioned trees are in leaf would point a funeral that took place in summer rather than winter. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Queen Elizabeth 11 Last Visit to Sheffield - Thursday 18th November 2010

 From the Sheffield Star dated Wednesday 17th November 2010

Her Majesty was accompanied by her husband Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and I am pretty sure that this was his last visit to the city prior to his death on 9th April 2021.

The photo below is Sitran which is part of the University of Sheffield and was opened officially by the Queen  on Thursday 18th November 2010

It is opposite the Royal Hallamshire Hospital on Glossop Road and is adjacent to what was Hanrahan's and later Loch Fyne's 

Hugh Dixon - the first prisoner of war to return home to Sheffield 1945

 I came across this article from the now defunct Sheffield Weekly Gazette dated Thursday 10th March 2005. It relates to the death of Hugh Dixon who died at the age of 84. In the article it refers to the fact that Hugh was the first prisoner of war to return home to Sheffield in 1945. 

 It is a harrowing story of Hugh's captivity at the hands of the Nazi's. There is an article that was written in the Sheffield Star dated 12th April 1945 that may furnish further information and so I have made a note of it for my next trip to the Local Studies Library   

Monday, 27 June 2022

The Funeral of Squadron Leader Ken "Hawkeye" Lee (1915 - 2008)

 This cutting is from The Sheffield Weekly Gazette dated Thursday 7th February 2008 and refers to the funeral in Sheffield of Squadron Leader Ken "Hawkeye" Lee (1915 - 2008), one of "The Few" 

There is also a book that has been written about Ken 

Kenneth 'Hawkeye' Lee Battle of Britain Ace: Battle of Britain & Desert Air Force Fighter Ace Hardcover – 17 Feb. 2011
by Nick Thomas  (Author)

Following training Hawkeye Lee received his commission and was posted to 501 Squadron which was sent to support the Expeditionary Force in France, arriving on 10 May, only hours after the Blitzkrieg had been launched. Lee quickly opened his score, claiming several bombers during the first week of operations. Having been wounded when his Hurricane exploded following a dogfight, Lee was briefly rested but soon rejoined the Squadron before they moved to their first Battle of Britain base at Middle Wallop. Lee scored more damaged and destroyed enemy aircraft and by the end of July he was Mentioned in Dispatches. Lee was forced to take to his parachute for the second time. He later recalled how each of the Squadron s aces , even Ginger Lacey, had been shot down at least twice during that summer. Lee was later posted to 112 (Shark) Squadron, flying Curtis Kittyhawks on Fighter and Fighter-Bomber missions in North Africa and then to 260 Squadron which was heavily involved in the lead-up to the battle of El Alamein, seeking out and destroying enemy troop columns and fighting off the Luftwaffe which still had air superiority. In March 1943, 123 Squadron began Fighter-Bomber operations against Mediterranean targets, during one Lee was hit by AA and made a forced landing in an olive grove. He was captured and sent to Stalagluft III just in time to play a key role in the Great Escape.


Friday, 27 May 2022

Images of the Sheffield Flood - March 1864

I have never written about the Sheffield  Flood of March 1864 on the grounds that the tragedy was well covered both in print and on-line and there was nothing really I could add to the narrative. Two of my wife's ancestors had their businesses and property damaged and made successful claims but so did many others.

However quite a few years ago a neighbour gave me the following photocards of the disaster. He had had them in his possession for some years and seemed to believe that they were taken initially from lantern slides taken at the time of the disaster.  

Images of the Sheffield Flood - March 1864

Sheffield Whitsuntide Fair - May 1869

This is a report from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 19th May 1869 and refers to the annual Sheffield Whitsuntide Fair that was held 153 years ago this week

Sadly the print and image quality is poor and so this is a transcription of the report - apologies for any errors. The other amusing part of the report is the jaded recollections of the reporter who was sent to view the affair. Apart from the Queens Menagerie from Wombwell he was not at all impressed by the event!


The Sheffield Whitsuntide fair of 1869 is precisely similar to that of last year, and to those of twenty years previous. There are same novelties to attract not only the attention of youth but even children of larger growth. There is food for the body and food for the mind. You "simply pay your money and take your choice." 

Should you feel hungry and wish to dine economically score of portly purveyors are at your service, and having replenished the inner man the vulgarities of the " noble art of self defence" claim your patronage. In their saloon, for the trifling charge one penny, the human face divine can be beaten to a pulp with the gratifying knowledge that it has been accomplished by the renowned Ben Caunt, —the world famed Molyneaux, or the ever-to-be remembered rival of Tom Sayers. 

Next you have the Hottentot Venus, a peculiar specimen of humanity weighing sixty stones, more or less, who might have been considered " a beauty had not itinerant showmen recently introduced to the British public the French Giantess whose colossal dimensions we should be afraid to describe. 

Tbe man who rejoices in the possession of three legs and thirty toes should not be permitted to pass his days in solitude. So his keepers are of opinion, and during the time he is " on view " may be safely computed that it is £2 per hour to their advantage. 

But the most attractive feature in the whole fair is the Queen's Menagerie, Wombwells Royal No 1. This noble collection has been several times exhibited in Sheffield, and on each occasion has received well-deserve patronage. is one of the largest in Europe, and comprises lions from South Africa and Barbary, tigers from the haunts of India, leopards from the Cape, the ocelot from Chile and Mexico, tibetan sun bear and the polar bear, the Tasmanian devil from Van Dieinan's Land, wolves from Egypt and Lapland, elephants from the southern part of India, and host of other wild and tame animate and birds, which to the student of natural history as well as to the public at large, must prove interesting and instructive. 

The quantity of provisions necessary for the animals in this establishment is very large. The carnivorous or flesh eating animals require about 2 cwt. of meat daily, and it composed generally of bullock's shins, hearts, and heads; lion requires about 121bs. of solid flesh; tiger about the same, a leopard 51bs.; bears are fed almost exclusively on bread and sop; monkeys on rice, bread, sop, and fruits; and the herbivorous animals are fed much the same as horses. As a proof of the excellence of the menagerie it may be stated that it has been patronised by Royalty on four separate occasions. 

There are other attractions "too numerous to mention," all of which, no doubt, will have sight-seers galore. The horse fair was not nearly so well attended as previous years, nor were the animals offered for sale much value. They were mostly cart horses, but the demand was very limited. The cheese fair was an equal failure. There was not one fifth of the usual quantity exhibited, and of little not more than half was sold. Cheshire thicks realised from 80s. to 95s and Derby cheeses from 80s. to 90s.

The Death of William Blackshaw, Sheffield Union Workhouse December 1882

 In Sheffield's City Road Cemetery there is a public grave (Grave Number 11933, Section X) that houses 14 bodies. Most of them died at their own addresses in Sheffield but all were so poor they could not afford to pay for a grave. One of the persons in the grave is William Blackshaw and this is his burial record

Blackshaw, William (Cutler, age 40). Died at Union Workhouse; Buried on December 13, 1882 in Consecrated ground;  Grave Number 11933, Section X of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.

He died in The Sheffield Union Workhouse but the manner of his death caused a great deal of consternation at the subsequent inquest.

This is the report from the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated December 19th 1882. As a footnote opium tincture or laudanum was widely used in the 19th century as a pain killer or sleeping aid; it was highly addictive, leading to many of its users forming a drug addiction.

 Nurse Thompson was censured for her neglect which was self evident from the report but for the Coroner to threaten her with a charge of manslaughter was a over the top but he obviously thought it was warranted


Sunday, 24 April 2022

Places in Time - The Art of Kenneth Steel - Sheffield December 2021 - May 2022

 Many years ago I posted an article to the site relating to the life and work of a Sheffield artist Kenneth Steel  At the timer I had never heard of him and there was hardly any information either on-line or in print. But he had an interesting life that had more than its share of tragedy and sadness.

Since then awareness of his work has increased and over the last four months there has been an exhibition of his work at Sheffield's Weston Park Museum.

I visited the exhibition yesterday and to be quite truthful I was staggered by the number of exhibits and also the quality as well. It was very well laid out and informative. I just did not realise how prolific Kenneth was as an artist and also the range of his works. I did not know about his Mallorcan and Mediterranean works and so that was a bonus. 

All in all the exhibition did Kenneth proud and I hope it does bring his life and works to a wider public. 

Kenneth now has a dedicated website that vividly portrays his works and so is well worth a visit

The exhibition closes on Monday 2nd May 2022 and so there is only one week left to visit it.



Friday, 22 April 2022

Loxley Cemetery Sheffield Open Day - Monday 2nd May 2022

 A friend has asked me to post the following flyer on my blog. The event is for an Open Day on Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May 2022 at Loxley Cemetery Sheffield 


Friday, 8 April 2022

The Tormented and Appalling Death of Ellen Thorpe - Sheffield November 1881

 I have just posted an article to the site entitled "The Tormented and Appalling Death of Ellen Thorpe - Sheffield November 1881" It was based on a cutting that I had from the London Times dated 7th December 1881 and relates to the death of 12 year old ELLEN THORPE.

The Sheffield Coroner stated that it was "the most abominable case of ill-treatment he had ever known" and severely admonished the father JOHN THORPE for his conduct and actions.. The Coroner did take the matter further but the eventual outcome was not what he and the jury had in mind when they delivered their verdict.

Note The insurance of £5GBP that he was due to as a result of her death is about £425 in todays money