Wednesday 25 March 2015

Herbert William Thomas died 7th October 1916

A few years ago I posted an article to the site about Herbert William Thomas who lived in our house along with his parents John and Gertrude and older sisters Ellen and Marion one hundred years ago. I also wrote about the terrible fate that awaited Herbert

Last week I found this small notice that was placed in the Yorkshire Telegraph and Star dated 19th October 1916. 

The only and dearly loved son of John and Gertrude was known as Billie. Billie has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial - Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 11 C and 12 A. 

Monday 23 March 2015

The Bell Hagg Crosspool Sheffield

The following cutting is from the Sheffield Telegraph and dates back to the early 1980's
 and it explains the rather unusual origins of the building. It ceased to be a public house in 2005 and was derelict for a number of years. It was eventually purchased from the receivers by a private buyer and is in the process of being converted into a private residence.

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Group Captain James Stagg (1900-1975)

Group Captain James Stagg (1900-1975) was the British RAF meteorologist who notably persuaded General Dwight D. Eisenhower to change the date of the Allied invasion of Europe in World War II, from the 5th of June to the 6th of June 1944. A quite momentous decision but this report from The Daily Telegraph dated Saturday 5th June 2004 paints a vastly different picture of Group Captain Stagg's meteorogical capabilities

Philip Eden has done an excellent job in "scotching the myth" After the war Group Captain James Stagg was showered with honours by the establishment and at the time of his death he was
Group Captain Sir James Martin Stagg, CB, OBE, FRSE
I suppose it goes to show that "bluster and tantrums" coupled with a "social ineptness" can be an asset rather than a liability

A Tram Accident in Sheffield - Spital Hill Sheffield 2nd April 1908

The same day the Sheffield Daily Independent carried the report of the inquest of Beatrice Mortimer - see previous blog, it also reported on a tragic accident that occurred in Spital Hill Sheffield the previous afternoon

It must have been a horrific accident given the nature of young Albert's injuries

He was buried in Sheffield's Burngreave Cemetery
SALVIN, Albert Edward (Son of J H Salvin, age 3). Died at 16 Handley St; Buried on April 6, 1908 in Consecrated ground;Grave Number 96, Section R of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Officiating Minister, G Osborne.
Nearly 26 years later his father John was laid to rest alongside his son
SALVIN, John Henry (Works Foreman, age 59).Died at 432 Earl Marshal Road; Buried on February 8, 1934 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 96, Section R of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.
Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Officiating Minister, L B W Heppenstall: Removed from Sheffield Parish.

Killed by a Cup of Tea - Beatrice Mortimer Sheffield 15th March 1908

From The Sheffield Daily Independent dated 3rd April 1908

A Walk Around Crookes - Tuesday 3 March 2015

Here are the notes I used on the final walk in Crookes Crookes - Tuesday 3 March - 17.00 pm - 18.30 pm

The final walk in Crookes, will be led by Chris Hobbs where we will revisit the 2 mile walk around Crookes, focusing on the cemetery and the stories of people who lay there. We will find out about the gruesome Chinese Laundry Murder which caused the papers to tag it "one of the most sensational crimes Sheffield police have ever investigated". This circular walk starts outside Barretts Café (S10 1TF).

 Crookes Baptist Church

Crookes Cemetery - It was opened in 1906, and covers 29 acres (120,000 m2). Over 29,000 burials have taken place since its opening.

Graves of Sir Stuart Goodwin (1889-1969) founder of the Neepsend Steel and Tool Corporation was born at 120 Upperthorpe, he was one of Sheffield’s premier industrialists in the inter war period. He later became one of the City’s most renowned patrons, funding Sheffield’s Christmas illuminations for many years and the Goodwin Sports Centre, he is commemorated by the Goodwin Fountain in the Peace Gardens

Henry Boot -Doreen Ackerman nee Morrison - John Maxfield -George Chandler and David Piper - Beighton Rail Disaster 11th February 1942

2 quarries on the south side (no great depth) and 1 on the north side (Sandersons) – latter 60-80ft deep – peaked 1890-1905. Decline and rented flat section of quarry to Mudfords (Ropemakers) – 100 yard lengths of hemp rope. Moved to Broughton Lane and then Petre Street. After 1945 domestic tip with ashes

Mount Zion – Wesley Tower

1790 Part shown on Fairbanks map 1851 Honey Poke 1876 Mary Awdas  - Isabella Howlden upto 1913 Edna Depledge (Lincoln Cathedral Boston Stump?) demolished 1968

St Thomas Church Crookes - Appeal 1837

"The district of Crookes, including Tapton,Steven Hills,Crookes Moor Side 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..."

 The trustees who gave the Church the original £1,350 were

Miss Harrison of Weston  Miss Rawson of Philadelphia  Reverend W.H.Vale of Ecclesall Joseph Wilson of Clifford George Younge of Sheaf House

The church is a classic Victorian church with a square tower and gothic arch stained glass windows

The foundation stone for the Church which incidentally given by local quarry owners was laid on 30th August 1839 by a Henry Wilson of Westbrook. Local farmers did much of the work for free. The Church had a nave,south aisle and porch, short chancel and west pinnacled tower. In fact St Thomas's had the same design as the smaller Christ Church Gleadless which was built two years earlier.. St Thomas's Church and the adjacent Burial ground were consecrated on October 1st 1840 by the Archbishop of York and the Church soon began rectifying the "lamentable destitution" that had occurred in the Parish

BAPTISM - the first christening in the Church Register occurred on December 6th 1840 when Joseph Dixon (born October 23rd 1840) the son of Joesph and Mary Dixon of Broomhill was baptised. His father Joseph's occupation was that of Groom

BURIAL - On March 23rd 1841 the first burial occurred in the Churchyard. Charles Joseph the infant son of Mr Fairbank of Mount Pigsah near Crookes

MARRIAGE - the first marriage occurred over 16 years after the Church was first opened. On January 1857 Andrew Smith a draper aged 40 of Victoria Street and the son of John Smith a farmer married Mary Brookes aged 30 of Crookes Road. Her father James was a manufacturer

CONFIRMATION - the first confirmations occurred on April 1st 1908 included 48 persons from St Thomas's and seven from St Timothy's. All were aged between 12 - 21

Wesley Hall - Crookes The Chapel had to be enlarged and re-developed several times as the work of the church grew. But it was still too small. Finally, in 1907 the foundation stones were laid for a completely new building, on a new site, that could accommodate up to 1000 people – Wesley Hall.

The decision to build a new church was not just based on the need for more accommodation. It marked the beginning of a new phase in the church’s mission to the people of Crookes. Since the Wesleyan Chapel was first built in 1836, Crookes had been transformed from a village into a densely populated suburb. The vision for Wesley Hall was that it would be “a church where rich and poor, ignorant and cultured, would all be welcomed, and the Christian cause would be exalted.”
Pickmere Road Tramsheds

 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. 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.

231 Crookes - site of the Crookes Chinese Laundry Murder 1922 -

Sunday 1 March 2015

A Walk in Crookes, Steel Bank and Walkley Saturday 28th February 2015

Here are the notes from the walk

Punch Bowl - Crookes

St Lukes Wesleyan Methodist Church – architect William John Hale

Although conventional in plan, the detailing of St Luke's (1899-1900) makes it stand apart from the great mass of Methodist chapels. Samuel Meggitt Johnson, Chairman of the liquorice allsort manufacturers, George Bassett & Co, covered the £4,000 cost of the chapel and adjacent Sunday school and this generous funding gave Hale greater scope in preparing his designs. He took the Perpendicular Glossary Term style favoured by chapel architects at the beginning of the twentieth century and transformed it into something quite individual - the way in which the railings reflect motifs used in the porch window lintels and in the carvings on the top of the buttresses is typical of Hale's care in detailing. The church closed in 1985 and has been converted to flats under the name Hale Court

Old Heavygate Inn - The actual pub came into being in the nineteenth century, but the building prior to that may initially have been a farmhouse and then at the beginning of the eighteenth century became a place where tolls were collected. Above the doorway to the bars is this date stone stating the year 1696 and the initials of the owners. I seem to recall the E standing for "Ellis"

On a Harrison’s map of 1637, Steel Bank is named and there's evidence of Heavygate Road already existing. The name could well predate this map and could be an ancient name that's survived. Certainly Crookes was connected to the village of Owlerton by the pack horse track which descended Walkley Lane and continued to Owlerton. 

There has been a discussion over the years as to how the building/pub got its name.  One explanation is that it is related to the name of a field adjacent to the farmhouse, and the gate that secured it. Another is that it is named after the " heavy" gate was placed across the road where tolls were collected But my preference is for this explanation. 'Gate' probably doesn't mean gate here. It's more likely to mean 'road' from Middle English derived from Old Norse 'gata'. So a 'heavy' gate is a steep road. And 'Heavygate Road' is a tautology, and the pub sign is a misunderstanding. A variation on this is that heavy means muddy or hard going and gate means road.
In the book "A Short History of Walkley" by Albert Stacey (1985) he states that.
"Later the road that went over Steel Bank became a turnpike road and a heavy gate was placed at the point where Heavygate Inn was later built. The first licensee of the Heavygate Inn was John Webster. He was keeper of the Tollgate. His family had farmed Steel Bank Farm years before. In the time before the Heavygate Inn was built in 1698 a survey was made by Harrison in 1637 and a view from Steel bank was mentioned where one could look down on the town of Sheffield....."
Sadly he does not give a source, evidence or exact dates for the above statement and so I cannot use it as a fact. But he does indicate that the "Heavygate Inn was later built" which seems to infer that the Inn replaced an earlier building. According to a 1855 map, the area is open countryside . But when the tolls were abolished in the mid-nineteenth century, it is thought that it was then that the Heavygate became a public house.  
Walkley Hall
The Sheffield Local Studies Library indicates that the Hall was 'probably built by William Rawson in 1600', and that it 'was demolished in 1926 to make way for the present housing estate'.

Walkley Cottage

Ruskin founded the Guild of St George in 1871 and first visited Sheffield in 1875 when the Guild founded the St George's Museum at Walkley

The museum was built to house a collection arranged by Ruskin for the people of Sheffield, including prints, plaster casts, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, books, minerals, geological specimens and coins. By 1890 the museum had outgrown the Walkley cottage and was moved to Meersbrook Park.
Henry Swan was curator of the St George's Museum between 1875 and 1890. He was the first curator of the Museum, and the only curator who served at the Walkley site.
Ruskin gave an account of his arrangement with Swan in Letter 62 (February 1876) of Fors Claverigera: 'I have appointed a curator to the Sheffield Museum, namely, Mr. Henry Swan, an old pupil of mine in the Working Men's College in London; and known to me since as an estimable and trustworthy person, with a salary of forty pounds a year, and residence. He is obliged at present to live in the lower rooms of the little house which is to be the nucleus of the museum:-- as soon as we can afford it, a curator's house must be built outside of it' (Works, 28, p. 529).
Sale of Cottage The cottage at Walkley was sold by the Guild in 1895. The rear extension was demolished, and the cottage rebuilt as a training home for young women, called Ruskin House. 
inscription above the door is from that era...GIRLS' TRAINING HOME RUSKIN HOUSE
That our daughters may be as corner stones
polished after the similitude of a palace Psalm 144:12 – The house is now flats

 At this point, the building was reorientated so that its main entrance faced southward, on to Bole Hill Road. Henceforth, the building was listed as an address on Bole Hill Road, rather than Bell Hagg Road where it was originally sited.

Sale of Land Four small plots of land near the Museum were sold in 1905 Further land was sold off for development later in the century. With the construction of new homes, Bell Hagg Road has ceased to be accessible from the old cottage 
Most of what you can see is later than Ruskin's time, from when it was the 'Naughty Girls' Home'.  

Bolehill School built 1896

Walkley Cemetery opened 1880

 Other tin chapels around at this time at Wadsley Bridge and, I'm told, around Rural Lane, Wisewood. I've also a feeling that Crookes Baptist Church, off Mulehouse Rd, also started as a tin chapel.

These are Cocked Hat Cottages, that were built around 1860. The Unwin family owned a quarry on the Bolehills and lived here. This end of the building was a stable with hay loft. The un-surfaced lane that ran by was called Cocked Hat Lane, from which the cottages took their name.