Friday 30 December 2016

View From A Hill - 31st December 2016

This blog is the 60th I've posted in 2016 which is a lot better than a year earlier. I have also managed to post a few more articles to the site which is never a bad thing. And 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 with new information.  

And so to sign off for 2016, a couple of images are published. The first two were taken in July when I was filming a piece for ITV Calendar at Hillsborough

Never thought that I would end up smiling at Hillsborough!

And the next image is a card a friend sent me offering advice for my advancing years!

 And on that note may I wish all my readers a Very Happy and Healthy New Year! 

Saturday 24 December 2016

The Wedding of Mr Arnold Robert Hardy and Miss Fanny Fletcher - Whit_Tuesday 1919 Sheffield

Another piece of memorabila that has surfaced from the files!

An invitation to the wedding of Mr Arnold Robert Hardy and Miss Fanny Fletcher that was sent by the brides father Mr G. H. Fletcher to Mr and Mrs Ludgate. The wedding took place at Cherry-Tree Chapel, Union Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield on 10th June 1919. (The year was omitted on the invitation). The reception was to be held at the Devonshire Hall, Devonshire Street

The invitation looks as though it was handwritten in painstaking fashion and the RSVP at the bottom corner seems as though it was an afterthought. 41 Gloucester Place was the home address of Mr George Henry Fletcher. the brides father. His wife Mary Jane Fletcher (nee Shaw) had died the previous year at the age of 62. She never saw her daughter get married.

Arnold and Fanny are buried together in Sheffield's Norton Cemetery. They both died in 1968, a year short of their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

HARDY, Arnold Robert (Retired, age 73).
Died at Royal Hospital; Buried on February 21, 1968 in Consecrated ground; 
Grave Number 68, Section EA of Norton Cemetery, Sheffield.
Remarks: Removed from Sheffield.      Plot Owner: ~ ~ of ~. Page No 31 
HARDY, Fanny (Widow, age 74).
Died at 5 Fairview Rd, Broadstone,Bournmouth; Buried on June 18, 1968 in Consecrated ground; 
Grave Number 68, Section EA of Norton Cemetery, Sheffield.
Remarks: Removed from Broadstones, Bournmouth.      Plot Owner: ~ ~ of ~. Page No 32 
RICE, Mary Elizabeth (Wife of ~, age 41).      Died at 4/4 Little London Place; Buried on March 18, 1911 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 68, Section EA of Norton Cemetery, Sheffield.
Remarks: Removed from Heeley parish. - Plot Owner: of . Page No 234 
Surname  First name(s)  Spouse  District  Vol  Page 
Marriages Jun 1919
Fletcher  Fanny   Hardy  Ecclesall B. 9c 1116   
Hardy  Arnold R   Fletcher  Ecclesall B. 9c 1116
Births Jun 1894  - Hardy  Arnold Robert    Ecclesall B.  9c 349 
Births Jun 1894  - Fletcher  Fanny    Ecclesall B.  9c 409
Deaths Mar 1968 - HARDY  ARNOLD R  73  SHEFFIELD  2D 99

Thursday 22 December 2016

George Carr of Crookes - one of the oldest chemists in Sheffield

I came across this obituary in the Sheffield Daily Independent dated 13th January 1926 whilst researching another article.

Apart from being one of the oldest chemists in Sheffield, George was also connected all his life with the United Methodist Church in Scotland Street Sheffield. In fact the family's connection with methodism stretches over 100 years.

I was also pleased to find out that the church in Scotland Street still exists and is now a listed building

From Wikipedia

The Carr family as mentioned in the obituary are buried in Crookes Cemetery. These are their burial records

CARR, Catherine (~, age ~).
     Died at On Walkley Tramcar; Buried on February 19, 1955 in Unconsecrated ground; cremated. 
     Grave Number 4161, Section A of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Parent or Next of Kin if Available: ~. Remarks: Cremated remains.

CARR, Charles Henry (Retired, age 73).
     Died at Wyngrove Nursing Home; Buried on July 4, 1956 in Unconsecrated ground; 
     Grave Number 4161, Section A of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
CARR, George (Retired, age 77).
     Died at 250 Western Road; Buried on January 15, 1926 in Unconsecrated ground; 
     Grave Number 4161, Section A of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.
CARR, Mary (Wife of George, age 71).
     Died at 250 Western Road; Buried on August 30, 1922 in Unconsecrated ground; 
     Grave Number 4161, Section A of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.

Ethel Christie and the Sheffield connection to the 10 Rillington Place murders.

I've just posted this article to the site - Ethel Christie and the Sheffield connection to the 10 Rillington Place murders. It took a bit of sorting out and as ever there are a number of unanswered questions. The Sheffield connection proved to be quite a strong one - her sister Lily and brother Henry lived here for many years and it was whilst Ethel was visiting them Christie committed his first murders.

Ethel as a young woman 
Ethel also lived in the city for five years between 1928 - 1933 She had a job at a steelworks on Saville Street as a shorthand typist. She also had a long-term relationship with a shop-owner in the city despite being still married to Christie. When this relationship ended, she re-established contact with her husband and moved down to London, eventually living in Rillington Place. This decision costed Ethel her life.

As an aside I also found this photograph from a 1958 book Murder With A Difference by Molly Lefebure.

It was taken in Rillington Place in June 1953 at the time of Queen Elizabeth's coronation. It was only a few months after the six bodies were discovered at No 10. I would not have fancied the Queens chances if she had lived at 10 Rillington Pace!


Tuesday 13 December 2016

The descendents of James Welch VC - Stratfield Saye and Sheffield

Last week I received this e-mail from the Parish Clerk of Stratfield Saye Parish Council. Stratfield Saye is the home village of Lance Corporal James Welch VC who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 29 April 1917 near Oppy, France. James was not from Sheffield but spent most of his working life in the city

Dear Chris
I have just looked at your web page & found a lot of information about Mr Welch.

I am the Parish Clerk of Stratfield Saye and next year we are receiving the commemorative paving stone to place in the Parish.

I am well into arranging the commemorative service with much help from the Rifles at Salisbury as it is something that need s to be done appropriately to honour his award.

While I have a nephew still living here unfortunately it was a large family that got split up somewhat when a mother dies so he has no knowledge of his cousins – the children of James & Daisy – living in Sheffield area.  I believe they are now also dead but there must be direct descendants – grandchildren – and I am desperately trying to find to invite them if possible to the service in the Parish for the unveiling of the commemorative stone & am not at all sure how to go about it – one married name I have been given is Salt & I have already got it wrong as I was told Ilkeston NOT Ecclesall!!!

I am not sure if you can help at all perhaps give me the contact for the offices holding registers which I could contact. From your page I am not sure what it means after the children’s names B 9c 933, 895, 780 739 & 687.

Any help you can provide would be gratefully received.

Thank you
 Penny Mayo
Parish Clerk - Stratfield Saye Parish Council   01189332379 ( mobiles are useless here!!)

I replied to Penny and gave her a few avenues that may prove fruitful. But if anyone reading this article knows of any descendents of James and his wife Daisy please let me know. The event is planned for 29th April 2017.

Arthur Proctor VC and Sergeant Major William Clarke MC - 5th Battalion of the Kings Liverpool

One of the articles on the site relates to the life of the Rev. Arthur Procter who served his country in the Great War and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his brave actions on 4th June 2016. Arthur has the distinction of being the first British soldier to be decorated with the Victoria Cross on the battlefield.

I have just received this e-mail from a researcher who kindly sent me a copy of  the 1/5th Battalion, the King's (Liverpool) Regiment; Territorial Forces. War Dairy that details the actions that led to the award

I came across the original description of Arthur Proctor’s deeds of June 1916 when I was researching my grandfather’s war service in the 5th Battalion of the Kings Liverpool. William Clarke was Sergeant Major & was awarded the Military Cross, gazetted in January 1917. I haven’t yet found a description of the action that led to his award.

If anyone has any further information on Sergeant Major William Clarke MC - 5th Battalion of the Kings Liverpool please contact me and I will forward it to his grandson

Monday 12 December 2016

Sidney Whitlam's medals - Sheffield 1914-1918

I've just posted an article on Sidney Whitlam's medals.

It took a bit of sorting out but I did establish that Sidney was born Sidney Lawson Burkinshaw but changed his name to Sidney Whitlam between 1911-1914. Whitlam was the nameof his stepfather George Whitlam.

There is also a section on Sidney's half-brother Claude Whitlam was lost his life when the RMS Leinster was torpedoed on 10th October 1918. The strange point to note is that Claude lost his life in October 1918 but was not buried until December 1920. He was interred in Sheffield's Burngreave Cemetery

But despite my efforts I have been unable to obtain a photo of Sidney. And so if anyone can help please let me know.  

The Regal Cinema (Theatre Royal) Staniforth Road Darnall Sheffield

I came across this print  - I bought it quite a few years back and then "misplaced" it.

It shows the Regal Cinema on Staniforth Road Darnall Sheffield. There is a brief history of the cinema on the Cinema Treaures site. But its history goes back a bit further to the late nineteenth century.

This is from the ABC of Sheffield Cinemas booklet that is now out of print

Theatre Royal Staniforth Road 
Opened: as the People's Theatre, Attercliffe on the 26-12-1896,being renamed the Theatre Royal, Attercliffe on the 13-12-1897. The Theatre Royal Attercliffe mainly operated as a cinema from the 9-2-1907. 
Architect: Flockton Gibbs and Flockton 
Capacity: 1100 (1904); 950 (1923) 
Proprietors: 1904 North of England Theatre Corporation, a Frank MacNaghten s company 
1908 it was reconstructed as the North of England Theatres Ltd; 
1923 MacNaghten's Vaudeville Circuit Ltd., but leased to the manager Wilfrid Bryan. 
Closed: 17-6-33 
Subsequent use. The theatre was reconstructed as a cinema (see under Regal) 
NOTES Wilfrid Bryan recollected in 1926 that pictures were first shown in 1904 and, while quite possible in the summer months confirmation is lacking in contemporary reports; films were certainly shown from 25-6-06 and throughout the summer month of 1906. In the autumn film weeks were interspersed with drama, vaudeville and musical plays, but from February 1907 the hall mainly operated as a cinema. 

"The Regal Cinema stood on Staniforth Road in the Attercliffe district of Sheffield on the eastern edge of the city. It was a rebuild of the former Theatre Royal and occupied the same site, with some of the original external walls retained in the new build. The architect was Harold J. Shepherd and building contractors were George Longden and Son Ltd. The Regal Cinema was opened on Monday 14th October 1935 with the film “The Dictator” starring Clive Brooke and Madeleine Carroll.
REGAL. Staniforth Road, Attercliffe Opened: 14-10-35 (Built on the site of the Theatre Royal) Architect: Harold J Shepherd Capacity: 918 
Proprietors: Regal Attercliffe Ltd. ; from January 1936 leased to J F Emery Circuit.; from March 1955 Star Cinemas Closed: 27-5-61 
Subsequent use: Bingo and then demolished and site redeveloped for shopping 
The new cinema retained some of the external walls of the Theatre Royal but the reconstruction involved considerable rebuilding. The Regal was damaged on the second night of the Sheffield 'blitz' and did not reopen until the 10-3-1941 

Tuesday 6 December 2016

The Case of Doreen Baird South Yorkshire November 1958

Whilst I was researching the case of Annie Drinkall, I came across a similar case three years later in which a baby was killed.

The case papers are held in the National Archives and are closed until 2059. This is the description

BAIRD, Doreen (aged 14): Murder of June CROFTS (aged 16 months)
This record is closed
Closed For 100 years
Opening date: 01 January 2059

Submit FOI request

More information about the Freedom of Information review process
Reference: DPP 2/2873
BAIRD, Doreen (aged 14): Murder of June CROFTS (aged 16 months)
Note: The naming of a defendant within this catalogue does not imply guilt.
Date: 1958
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department 4230
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Closure status: Closed Or Retained Document, Open Description
Access conditions: Closed For 100 years
FOI decision date: 2009
Exemption 1: Health and Safety
Exemption 2: Personal information where the applicant is a 3rd party
Record opening date: 01 January 2059

The case is also refered to in Murderpedia and the Black Kalendar.

The problem is that Doreen did not murder June Crofts. She was acquitted of the charge by the court. Doreen was found guity of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibilty which is totally different from pre-meditated murder

This is from the Manchester Guardian dated 27th November 1958

The Trial Judge Mr. Justice Hinchcliffe in summing up stated that the death of June was accidental, unintentional and directed the jury to return a verdict of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibilty. He clearly acknowledged the age of Doreen when he said that they would be treated "sympathetically and as children" Even the punishment of "approved school" was tempered with the remark "You will be well looked after." In fact it seems to me rather disconcerting that the charge of murder should have been made in the first place. None of the evidence produced in court points to an act of murder

This is clearly not a case of murder and yet it is being portrayed as such by the National Archives and on-line authors. Furthermore apart from newspaper reports no-one will be able to ascertain the full and correct facts of the case until 2059. The ruling is there ostensibly to protect the privacy and confidentiality of those involved which is understandable. But surely a more accurate title for the record would be

given that no murder took place.

Annie Drinkall - The Last Woman to be Sentenced to Death in Sheffield - November 1955

"However great the sorrow, sadness and tribulation, our law says that human life is sacred" - Mr. Justice Oliver - Sheffield Assizes 17the November 1955 

I have just posted an article on the case of Miss Annie Drinkall who I believe has the distinction of being the last woman to be sentenced to death in Sheffield. The date was Thursday 17thNovember 1955 and the venue Sheffield Assizes on Castle Street.

The following report is from the Manchester Guardian dated 18th November 1955

A sad and at times harrowing case. The article contains more details and also a sequel to the trial