Monday 21 June 2021

The Crookes and Cobden Branch of the Hallam Women's Conservation Association - 5th December 1932

This photo appeared in The Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 6th December 1932 and shows a group photo of The Crookes and Cobden Branch of the Hallam Women's Conservation Association who were holding a "carnival dance" the previous night.  

The photograph came as a surprise because I never viewed Crookes and Cobden as a hotbed of Conservatism. In fact in the mid to late c19th the district of Cobden was viewed as being the rough area of Crookes. And I never associated Crookes and Cobden with having a carnival especially in December.

But the event seemed very well attended and even though it was in the midst of what was termed the Great Depression, they were all well turned out.

I am going to try and find out some more information on this association as I am rather interested in it.

The Painful Death of Arthur Gee - Upperthorpe, Sheffield February 1901

Rather like the last blog relating to Joseph Taylor, the death of Arthur Gee is also rather troubling.


The Upperthorpe Hotel, Sheffield  - the scene of Arthur's inquest - photo taken 2011

The following report is from The Yorkshire Telegraph and Star dated 28th February 1901 and relates to Arthur' death the previous day.  

It appears that Arthur had bought from the chemist that day "some medicine". The medicine was oxalic acid. Arthur must have ingested it and suffered. Oxalic acid is toxic because of its acidic and chelating properties. It can cause burns, nausea, severe gastroenteritis and vomiting, shock and convulsions. It is especially toxic when ingested. As little as 5 to 15 grams (71 mg/kg) may be fatal to humans.

But his depressed state was due entirely to religious melancholia. Again I have not come across this term but it may have had its origins in the aftermath of the English Reformation. But I would never have thought that it would have surfaced in C20th Upperthorpe which has never a god-fearing district of Sheffield.

Arthur was buried the following day in Sheffield's Burngreave Cemetery

GEE, Arthur (Baker, age 23). Died at 44 Upperthorpe R.; Buried on March 1, 1901 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 30, Section O3 of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield. Officiating Minister, S Brook.



The Fatal Shave of Joseph Taylor - Scarborough, Yorkshire - August 1924

 I was going to post an article to the site concerning the unusual death of Joseph Taylor purely on the grounds that I had never come across this particular cause of death before

The report is from The Manchester Guardian dated 10th September 1924 and relates to an adjourned inquest into the death of Joseph Taylor in Scarborough the previous month. The cause of death was deemed to be anthrax that was contracted whilst shaving with a safety razor.

The Manchester Guardian 10th September 1924 

I checked this on-line and there were a number of articles that explained how anthrax was transferred from a shaving brush and the history behind it. It was a lot more widespread than what I thought it would be. And the above article in Live Science (apologies re the advertising) ominously notes

"Although the risk of contracting anthrax today from an animal-hair shaving brush is extremely low, the report "serves to remind those interested in a return to 'natural grooming' that use of untreated hair from horses, pigs, badgers, or other animals" poses a potential risk of getting anthrax spores into openings on the skin,"  

We have been warned! 


Friday 18 June 2021

Was Arabella Elizabeth Tetley alive when she was interred? - Leeds Yorkshire 5th March 1888

The following report is from the regional press and relates to an inquest that was held on Monday 5th March 1988 in Leeds. It concerned the burial of a Mrs Arabella Elizabeth Tetley at Woodhouse Cemetery the previous month. The gravedigger a Mr Posey contended that whilst he was backfilling the grave he heard the "sound of knocking underneath his feet" and summoned his colleagues from other sections of the cemetery. But by the time of their arrival no further sounds were heard.

The matter was brought to the attention of the Home Secretary who asked the Leeds Borough Coroner to investigate the whole matter. 

A classic case of Victorian Gothic!

Joseph Senior of Crookes, Sheffield (1880 - 1914)

 Last month I received an email from a reader that stated

"I wonder if you can help. We have found this small metal plaque in our garden. It reads j. Senior. 70 st thomas road crookes. Do you know what it could be?"

and attached a scan of the plaque

I replied that it was an interesting find - my immediate thought was that it was related to "The Bard of Crookes" Joseph Senior, I posted an article to the site quite a few years ago

Joseph Senior was well known in the district for his works and poetry. But on reflection I was uneasy about the address - 70 St Thomas Road. The addresses I had from the UK Census all pointed to 30 Crookes and Crookesmoor not St Thomas Road

After some thought I decided to check if there was a grave in either Crookes Churchyard or Crookes Cemetery. There was no entry in the former but a check on the excellent Sheffield Indexers site revealed that a Joseph Senior was buried in Crookes Cemetery along with 3 others

SENIOR, Joseph (Farmer, age 34).
     Died at 70 St Thomas Road; Buried on January 29, 1914 in Unconsecrated ground;
     Grave Number 2639, Section D of Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield.

Armed with this information it was easy to find Joseph in the 1911 UK census, Th transcript is below 

NAME: Joseph Senior
AGE IN 1911: 31
STREET ADDRESS: 70 St Thomas Road Crookes Sheffield
Name Age
Annie Elizabeth Senior 32
Joseph Senior 31
Maurie Staniforth 19

I cannot be totally sure but on the balance of probabilities I would say it was either a house no. or it could be some form of marker/stamp, Joseph was after all a cowkeeper/ farmer by occupation and so it may have been used in this context

If any reader can add anything about the plaque please let me know


Thursday 17 June 2021

The Murder of Nurse Ada Bradley - April 1923 Sheffield

The following report is from the Illustrated Police News dated Thursday 19th April 1923 - the same edition as the one mentioned in the previous two blogs.

I posted an article about the murder to my website 13 years ago and have added to it over the years.

I had not seen this report before but the case was well reported in the local and national press which is not surprising given the savage nature of the attack.


The tragic death of John Biggar at Macclesfield - Thursday 19th April 1923.

 The following report is from the Illustrated Police News dated Thursday 19th April 1923 - the same edition as the one mentioned in the previous blog. 

Illustrated Police News dated Thursday 19th April 1923. 

It is inferred at the inquest that this was the Biggar family's attempt to keep themselves together as a family - in the workhouse, all families were separated on arrival. After eviction from their house for the non-payment of rent they had "tried to live" in a bell-tent in a field. Sadly their son John fell into a nearby lime-pit whilst chasing ducks and met a terrible death. 

That the case is a "very pathetic one" is an understatement - it was and still is a disgraceful one.


The removal of lead from Messrs. Tarbuck's, Warren Mews London - Thursday 19th April 1923

The following report is from the Illustrated Police New dated Thursday 19th April 1923. 

Whilst I realise that the theft of metal was and still is a serious offence against property, I cannot help but smile when I came to the section when the miscreants realised that they had stolen a lead shell with a body in it, and then they ran away "at top speed." 

And the two police officers who had the task of returning the body to the mortuary.