Monday 30 June 2014

Rings of Steel - A Social History of Sheffield Boxing

I had this note from my co-author Matthew Bell last week

He is in the process of writing a book with Gary Armstrong) on boxing in Sheffield. Or to be more precise A Social History of Sheffield Boxing. The title of the book is Rings of Steel and includes chapters on John Sullivan and Alfred "Squint" Milner, both of whom appear on my website

 Matt sent me two chapters which I will incorporate into the articles in the next few days 
"The first (chapter) is more about John L. Sullivan's visit to Sheffield (did you know he came again the following March?) and quite a bit on Alfred Milner, who brought world champion contenders Jem Mace, Tom King, Jem Smith and Charley Mitchell to Sheffield before Sullivan came here. Mace could even claim to be unofficial world champion when he visited Sheffield twice in 1864, the second time to raise money for the Sheffield Flood victims".

Matt would love to find a picture of Milner but to date he has had no luck. If anyone can help please contact me .

Wednesday 25 June 2014

John and Pauline Jeffries - - Stansfield Suffolk

I spent last week on holiday in Suffolk. It is the first time we have had an "inland" holiday for quite a few years. The village we stopped in was Stansfield and I had a wander around it one morning. I visited the very pleasing church which is located on the outskirts of the village.

Surrounding the church is the graveyard and to the rear is a section that has more recent burials. One which caught my eye is the grave of John and Pauline Jeffries who are remembered as a composer and violinist respectively. I had never heard of them and so when I got back I "googled" them and found this rather interesting obituary in TheGuardian dated Thursday, 21st October 2010.

There is also a fulsome tribute on the Music-web site as well as this one

As published in International Record Review
The song composer John Jeffreys, of Welsh parentage, died suddenly in Suffolk on 3rd September 2010, aged 82, only four days after the death of his wife Pauline, whom he had met when she was a violin student at Trinity College of Music in the 1950s. He was one of several composers of a traditional bent who were discouraged by a perceived antipathy to their art, particularly at the BBC, in the 1970s. Consequently he destroyed much of his earlier music, including a symphony, two violin concertos (an earlier one written for his wife survives), a cello concerto, a string quartet, a piano sonata and some 200 songs, and he then concentrated on his other interests, including the reclamation of ponds, gardening (he published two books on perennials), the making of elaborate fishing rods, fine cuisine and musicology (his biography of Philip Rosseter ran to two editions).A revival of interest in his music was kindled by the publication by Kenneth Roberton in 1983, 1984 and 1990 of three large volumes of his songs, in reproductions of his own tiny but
exquisite calligraphy. Many of these were reconstructed from old recordings, but there were new songs too.

His literary sensibilities had been formed in early childhood from the library of his father, a Congregational minister, and the family's move from Cliftonville, near Broadstairs, to Exeter instilled in him a love of nature, both of which are reflected in his song texts - the Georgian poets and early English lyrics predominate. The music is melodious and refined but often with surprising harmonic twists. The songs are usually slow-moving - clear enunciation was of paramount importance to him and it is no coincidence that the recordings of his songs are all by male singers (Ian Partridge, James Gilchrist and Jonathan Veira) rather than sopranos.

Although the songs will be his main legacy, there are several beautiful orchestral scores (including elegies for his friends John Fry and André Mangeot), a quantity of organ music (he used to visit local churches on his motorbike to try out the organs) and several works for recorder (an instrument he studied at Trinity College under Edgar Hunt) including arrangements of Welsh folksongs recollected from the pure singing of his mother in his early childhood.
John Turner, November 2010
‘The far Country’songs performed by James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook Divine art dda25054
‘Northumberland and Beyond’ – songs performed by Ian Partridge and Jennifer Partridge
Idylls and Elegies’ orchestral, piano and vocal music performed by Jonathan Veira, Shelley Katz,
Paul Bateman, Orchestra da Camera, the Philharmonia Orchestra Divine art dda 25



Sunday 8 June 2014

My First Football Match - Sheffield United v Burnley 10th March 1962 FA Cup Sixth Round

I've just posted to the site an article I have been meaning to do for over eight years!. I scanned the match programme in November 2005 and then forgot what I set out to do - post an article on the first football match I attended

At the Eagles Nest - July 1976

I came across these photos the other day. Taken in the infamous summer of  1976, it shows me as a rather youthful 23 year old at The Kehlsteinhaus in the Obersalzberg. It is of course better known as the Eagles Nest, Hitler's mountain-top retreat.

The Eagle’s Nest was originally designed by Martin Bormann as a birthday present for Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday on behalf of the NSDAP (Nazi Party). In fact, Hitler seldom visited the Eagle’s Nest.
In the end, Allied bombing at the end of World War II did not damage the Eagle’s Nest and thanks to the intervention of former Governor Jacob, the Eagle’s Nest was spared being blown up after the war.
Today the Eagle’s Nest remains in its original state.

At a height of over 6000 feet, it is also the highest place I've actually been, and the views are sublime!


Saturday 7 June 2014

Beauchief Estate Bought By Sheffield Corporation - Feb 1931

I just came across this newspaper cutting from The Times dated 19the February 1931 

At today's prices that would be approximately £1,780,000.

New Heeley Voice June 2014

There is an article in this months edition of  The New Heeley Voice which mentions our latest book and remembers the life of John Raynes V.C. who spent his childhood in Heeley     

George Arthur Nicholson died 27th February 1904

Just posted an article to the site about George Arthur Nicholson who died on Saturday 27th February 1904
outside the Moseley Arms in Westbar Sheffield

Apart from the incident that caused George's tragic death, there is also quite a detailed history of the Nicholson family which certainly did see it's fair share of tragedy

Monday 2 June 2014

Ernest Brownhill 1893 - 1918

I've just posted a couple of photos of Ernest to the article on the site. They appeared in the previous blog but until they appeared in the Sheffield Star on Saturday 31st May 2014, I had never seen a photo of Ernest.

 This was taken on his wedding day in late 1917. He married Annie Tanner at St Barnabus Church in the Highfields area of Sheffield. Eight months after this photo was taken Ernest was killed in action whilst flying over Mannheim in Germany