Tuesday 30 December 2014

A View From A Hill - Sheffield 27th December 2014

 A couple of photographs that were taken on the morning of Saturday 27th December 2014. We were going to visit our daughter in West Yorkshire but due to the snowfall and the total absence of any attempt to clear the snow, we stayed in.

This blog is the 69th I've posted in 2014, one more than 2011, and 27 more than last year!. Hopefully I may be able to better that next year and so all that remains is to wish my readers a Very Happy New Year!  

Thursday 18 December 2014

Helen Hoole 1935 - 1925

This small obituary appeared in The Sheffield Star dated February 17th 1925 and refers to the death of a Helen Hoole at the age of 90. The Hoole family were well known in the Crookes area in the nineteenth century. Her father-in-law was a former Lord Mayor of Sheffield and lived in Hallamgate House on Crookes Road. The house was demolished in the early 1960's so that The University of Sheffield could use the land to build the Tapton Halls of Residence. These are now being demolished so that the land can be used for smart executive housing! 

I believe she was the wife of Francis Hoole's son Charles 

But what did interest me was the fact that her brother Mr Ensor Drury was a leading freemason in the city. I did contemplate posting an article about the family  - she was not very well known in Sheffield" But when I checked I found that there was excellent information on The Sheffield Freemasons Website

The family can be found in 1881 living at

Dwelling: No 5 Whitham Rd Census Place: Ecclesall Bierlow, York, England
Source: FHL Film 1342119 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 4633 Folio 119 Page 27
Marr Age Sex Birthplace
Robert F. DRURY M 48 M Sheffield, York, England Rel: Head
Occ: Solicitor For Paitent (Agent) And Valuer Of Machinery
Sarah DRURY M 44 F Sheffield, York, England Rel: Wife
Frank T. DRURY U 24 M Sheffield, York, England Rel: Son
Occ: Clerk To Above
Auther J. DRURY U 20 M Sheffield, York, England Rel: Son
Occ: Commercial Clerk
Charles DRURY U 19 M Sheffield, York, England Rel: Son
Occ: Commercial Clerk
Robert DRURY U 17 M Sheffield, York, England Rel: Son
Occ: Commercial Clerk
Miarce S. DRURY U 15 M Sheffield, York, England Rel: Son
Occ: Scholar
Bernard E. DRURY U 13 M Sheffield, York, England Rel: Son
Occ: Scholar
Gilbert N. DRURY U 10 M Sheffield, York, England Rel: Son
Occ: Scholar
Ensor D. DRURY 10 M Sheffield, York, England Rel: Son
Occ: Scholar
Joseph H. DRURY 8 M Sheffield, York, England Rel: Son
Occ: Scholar
Frances J. DRURY 5 F Sheffield, York, England Rel: Daur
Maria M. KNIGHT U 17 F Sheffield, York, England Rel: Serv
Occ: Nurse (Domestc Sert)
Florance ROBERTSON U 18 F Sheffield, York, England
Rel: Serv
Occ: Cook (Domestic Sert)

Final Curtain at The Sheffield Playhouse - November 1978

I came across this article whilst researching for something completely un-related. It is often the case. It brought back a couple of memories from a different era!

 The Sheffield Star 13th November 1978

There are a couple of photographs on the excellent Sheffield History forum that show the Playhouse as it neared its end

Tuesday 16 December 2014

George Arthur Deffley died 17th October 1918

In August I posted I've posted an article to the site about the terrifying death of Alice Deffley who was the daughter of the licensee of the Bridge Inn at Ford Ridgeway Sheffield.

Four months later I received additional information from a descendent of Alice Deffley

" Blanche's father George Deffley was killed in the First World War when she was only 3 so she had two heart rending tragedies by the time she was 13. She was pulled from pillar to post before she left home and went into service. One of her positions was living in the Tower of London looking after the children of the niece of the Keeper of the Keys. Not many people can point to a room in the Tower and say that their mother in law lived there. I suppose a few Royals could say that  they had relatives who lived ( and died) there. She (Blanche) went on to have a full life and was dearly loved and respected by her children and grand children who she adored.
We never managed to find Alice Deffley's grave in Ridgeway church although we searched quite a few times. However we did manage to take her to France to see her fathers grave. It was very emotional and was reported in The Sheffield Star on 1st Nov 1999.
It really is the end of an era and a lost way of living-for good or bad."
I checked with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and found the following entry for George
Rank: Private
Service No: 50060
Date of Death 17/10/1918
Regiment/Service Essex Regiment 11th Bn.
Grave Reference: V. A. 1. Cemetery PREMONT BRITISH CEMETERY
Additional Information:

George Arthur Deffley Private 50060 served with the 11th Bn., Essex Regiment and died on Thursday 17th October 1918. He is buried in Premont British Cemetery at Aisne, France (Plot 5, Row A, Grave 1). He enlisted in Sheffield and was formerly Private 64979 of the North Staffordshire Regiment

Name: George Arthur Deffley
Birth Place: Eckington, Derbyshire
Residence: Sheffield
Death Date: 17 Oct 1918
Death Place: France and Flanders
Enlistment Place: Sheffield
Rank: Private
Regiment: Essex Regiment
Battalion: 11th Battalion
Regimental Number: 50060
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre
Comments: Formerly 64979, North Staffs Re

Sunday 14 December 2014

A Walk in Crookes Sheffield - Sunday 14th December 2014

Sunday 14th December 2014, 1.30 to 3.30pm.  Meet Chris Hobbs outside the Grindstone Pub (3 Crookes, S10 1UA).  This 2.5 mile tour explores the less-well known aspects of Crookes past and its people.

These are my notes from the walk

Hallamgate House was built for Francis Hoole and family and was occupied by him in 1790, if not earlier. The house stood out in its locality in terms of scale and had an ornamental garden

 Later occupants were:

Peter Frith, optician, from 1839 - 1844;

Charles Hoole, grocer & tea dealer, 1846 - 1879;

Arthur Wightman, solicitor, Justice of the Peace for the City of Sheffield, Town Trustee, Trustee Birley’s Charity, Governor of the Sheffield Royal Grammar School, member of the Council of the University of Sheffield, from 1879-1924;

G.Graves Ltd, wireless manufacturer from 1929-1948, who turned the house into the ‘Hallamgate Works’ and sold it to Plessey Ltd. The site was acquired by the University in 1963 and demolished to make way for the (now empty) student halls of residence.

Demolition underway December 2014 - private executive housing

Pisgah Dam and Dam Cottage

School Road – Sewage Destructor Lamp

Blakeney Road Corner Shop - 2011

Spring House  - Warrington Slater of Slater Bros

Spring House

He had a very simple system, he used to build a row of houses and then mortgage them for as much as he could get, and with the money (and other money that he put to it) he'd build another row of houses and so on and so forth, so that eventually he finished up with a tremendous lot of houses and also a tremendous lot of mortgages, and finally, of course, this led to his downfall because when the South African war started the mortgagees got in a panic, money was very, very tight, they all called the mortgages in and nobody else would take them up and so the old chap was ruined, bankrupt.....

He also bought a mansion in School road, it was called Spring House, a big old-fashioned stone-built house situated facing the top of Conduit Road and on the corner of Western Road and School Road, and it composed the whole of the land where there are very many houses built on now. It had a high wall, it must have been at least ten feet or probably more, round, and a sort of wicket gate let into it to get into the garden. It had large rooms and upstairs was more like a rabbit warren as regards cupboards and room and lofts and all manner of things and we, as children, we used to have a terrific time playing hide and seek etc. Round about it, it had a lovely garden, they used to grow figs, grapes and all manner of things in the greenhouses. They had a gardener, and it was a real nice job....

Western Road

The Laurels -  Spring Villa Jewitts Bakery - Commonside

Hallamshire Proprietary Bowling Club - Steel Bank
October 2010

74 Townend Street James William Edington - Edington was born in Dowlaw Berwickshire, and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, where after a distinguished career as a student, he graduated M.B., ChB.,with honours in 1913 and gained his M.D. with honours in 1920. Soon after qualification he served in the was as a captain in the R.A.M.C., being awarded the Croix de Guerre for his services in Salonika. From there he was invalided home and became attached to the Cantebury District Laboratory and later took charge of the Shorncliffe District Laboratory. In 1919, after demobilisation, he went to Bradford as an assistant bacteriologist, and from there he came to Sheffield in 1921 to take charge of the University Public Health Laboratory under the direction of the late Professor J. S. C. Douglas. In the course of a few years the service grew to very large proportions and Edington worked increasingly in organising his  department so that it could deal with the ever-increasing volume of work coming from the Sheffield City hospitals and from the hospitals of the surrounding districts. In 1931 a Chair of Bacteriology was created in the University of Sheffield, and Edington was the natural choice for this appointment; he was also appointed honorary bacteriologist to the Royal Infirmary, Royal Hospital, the Jessop Hospital for Women, and the Children's Hospital

Killed in a road accident 1939
Princess Royal

St Timothy’s Church

Bolehills - Harry Wragg – Bolehill Lane

The Crookes Picture Palace opened its doors on 2nd December 1912. The building was primarily a brick building with a cement frontage. Above the entrance to the cinema were some embossed decorations and the name "Crookes Picture Palace". The front of the building was flush with the adjoining shops and a blind alley ran down one side of the building to accommodate the queues waiting to see the films. From the small foyer a door on the right gave access to the stalls whilst a series of steps lead up to the rear of the auditorium. The auditorium was a single floor with the audience only sitting in front of the stage. A heavy red curtain covered the screen when not in use.  A raised section at the rear had a steeper rake than the rake in the stalls. The overall capacity of the cinema was 660.
The proprietors of The Picture Palace were Hallamshire Cinemas Ltd. In 1931 a Western Electric Sound System was installed. The cinema remained open until 2nd April 1960 when it shut its doors for the final time. The last film to be shown was the Brigitte Bardot classic "Babette Goes To War" and "Senior Prom" with Jill Corey.

129 Crookes

Wesley Hall - Crookes

St Thomas Church Crookes
Appeal 1837
"The district of Crookes, including Tapton,Steven Hills,Crookes Moor Side etc.at this time contains a population (which is rapidly increasing) of 1500 souls, nearly destitute of Pastoral superintendence and instruction. To provide for this lamentable destitution, a few friends of religion and The Established Church commenced a subscription for building a Small Church..."

Thursday 11 December 2014

Sheffield City Hall Ballroom Re-opens October 2005

From The Sheffield Weekly Gazette dated Thursday 20th October 2005 

Sadly neither myself or my wife were invited to the "Barkers Ball" but from the report is looks as though the "glamorous guests" had quite "a bit of a do."

Still the re-opening of the City Hall Ballroom brought back thoughts of an event that was pivotal in my life.

Thursday 9th November 1950 at a dance in the City Hall Ballroom is where my dad met my mother for the first time. Where's mi DeLorean!! 

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Births Marriages and Deaths - 16th November 1974

I came across this cutting the other day. It came as quite a surprise as I had totally forgotten about it. It marks "my coming of age" - I am unsure if people still bother with marking the date. The only thing I can remember is that on the previous day I passed my driving test at Handsworth.(Sheffield) and so I was "rather chipper" which is saying something in 1970's Britain! 

How my dad lost his teeth - Friday September16th 1938

From The Yorkshire Post Friday 7th July 1939

From The Telegraph and Independent 7th July 1939

My dad only spoke about it once and that was towards the end of his life. He said that he lost half his teeth when he came off his bike in a collision and ended up hitting a wall. He was given the choice of having "them put back" or "having the lot out" He chose the latter!

My dad and his dad Clem rode bikes all the time but it is the one thing my dad put his foot down about - I was not to ride a motor-bike at all. Of course I did not know about his accident until years later which explains why he did not want me to ride a bike.

I only found this out last week. The award is about £19000 in today’s money which was a sizable sum for a 18 year old in 1939. At least he could afford some top notch dentures!

I have also left the article that proceeded the one that related to my dad's award. It refers to the thoughtful musings of Mr Beverley Baxter in the previous nights Sheffield Star 

"and frankly I find much to convince me that it (war) will be avoided" 

Less than two months later war was declared mmmm....and we all know how Germany resolved their labour shortages!