Monday 29 November 2021

Richard Johnson and the Atlas Lodge of the Sheffield Equalised Druids

I came across this entry in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated Saturday January 24th 1904 which refers to the death of a Mr Richard Johnson at the Cross Scythes Hotel Totley;Sheffield and his funeral that took place two days earlier.

Apart from noting that Richard had worked for 40 years at the firm of Messrs. Bury of Penistone Road Sheffield, it also states that Richard was Treasurer for Atlas Lodge of the Equalised Druids in Sheffield for 22 years. 

I have never heard of the Atlas Lodge of the Equalised Druids in Sheffield. The Ancient Order of Druids still exist and is still a viable organisation.  


However there is an old thread on the Sheffield Forum dating from 2007 that gives a bit more information about the organisation

"White's 1919/20 Directory suggests that there were 2 different kinds of 'Druids' in Sheffield. As well as the "Equalized District Order" in Queen Street (Mr Short already secretary) there is...
Sheffield Equalized Independent Druids (Isaac Wright, general sec.), at 35 & 37 Suffolk Road.
I wonder if the 'Idependent' means there had been a split in the Order, with this being a 'breakaway' group.

I also found these in the Sheffield Local Register (digest of local news stories up to 1908 )
12 Oct 1891 - The Druids’ Society: Sheffield Equalised District decides by 9018 votes to 282 to secede from the order [this secession allowed on 26 Feb 1892]
8 Aug 1892 - First Quarterly meeting of the Sheffield Independent Druids; secession completed.
9 May 1898 - Half-yearly meeting of the Sheffield Equalised Independent Druids. Membership, 21,134; capital, £72,723. 12s. 10¾d....

 There are lots of other mentions of both organisations. It seems that the Independent Druids (and possibly their rivals) were running into financial problems after 1900 when outgoings were exceeding income by substantial ammounts"

The Sheffield Indexers state that Richard is buried in Grave Number 25, Section C of Walkley Cemetery Cemetery alongside his wife Emma

JOHNSON, Emma (~, age 66). Died at 40 Woollen Lane; Buried on June 6, 1897 in ~ ground;

Grave Number 25, Section C of Walkley Cemetery Cemetery, Nichols Rd  Page No 36

JOHNSON, Richard (~, age 70). Died at Cross Scythes Hotel Totley; Buried on January 21, 1904 in ~ ground;      Grave Number 25, Section C of Walkley Cemetery Cemetery, Nichols Rd Page No 45

Thursday 4 November 2021

Beauchief & Abbey Dale Railway Station Sheffield

I came across the postcard showing the Manchester Express roaring through Beauchief & Abbey Dale Railway Station Sheffield. Unfortunately the card is not dated but the indications are that the station was still in use, The Wikipedia entry quoted below states that the station closed on New Years day 1961 

"The station was built by the Midland Railway in 1870 and was designed by the company architect John Holloway Sanders.

The station served the communities of Beauchief, Woodseats and Ecclesall and was situated on the Midland Main Line between Millhouses railway station and Dore & Totley station, near Abbeydale Road South in Abbeydale. The station was originally called Abbey Houses and later Beauchief & Abbey Dale station.

The station was opened on the site of Hutcliffe Mill at the same time as the main line from Chesterfield. At opening it had two platforms, but this was increased to four with the widening which took place between 1901 and 1903. It closed on 1 January 1961. The stationmasters house survives as a private residence and the nearby Abbeydale Station Hotel was renamed the Beauchief Hotel. In 2018 the hotel site was redeveloped as apartments.

Photographs of the stationmasters house taken in March 2011

Sheffield Telegraph dated 25th May 2017 had this report on the development of the site. 

"Proposals to create a development of 30 properties on the site of the former hotel and restaurant on Abbeydale Road South are recommended for approval at a meeting of the council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

The scheme would involve creating six two-bedroom apartments in the existing hotel building, as well as putting up a new block of 12 two-bedroom flats and 12 detached homes.

A report to councillors said just five objections had been received since the plans were lodged. Reasons for opposition included the impact on air quality, and fears the proposal would ‘overdevelop’ the site. Neighbours also claimed the character of the old hotel building itself would be affected.

However, the report said: “The extension to the main hotel has been amended to ensure that the new development does not detract from the distinct character and appearance of the original hotel. The extension and hotel are both four floors in height; however, as the ground levels fall away to the rear of the existing hotel, the overall height of the extension is significantly lower than the original building.

The site was a ‘sustainable location’ and the layout was ‘reflective of the wider area’, officers added.

“The proposal involves a range of different house types that have been designed to ensure the living conditions are of a good standard.”

Officers also accepted the outcome of a review that concluded offering affordable homes ‘would not be financially viable’.

“It is considered that the applicant has proposed a good quality housing scheme,” said the report.

Brocco Street Netherthorpe Sheffield

Brocco Street was where my great grandparents Edwin and Mary Sanby (nee Broomhead) began their married lives together and started raising a family in 1879. They were living next door to my great great grandfather Edward Broomhead who was a widower by then

This photograph was taken in 1902 and shows Brocco Street looking up from Edward Street towards Solly Street. The district name was Netherthorpe.

Sixty years later in 1960 Brocco Street as a residential area had disappeared being replaced by small scale commercial and industrial units

And sixty years later in 2020 it is now a student quarter

I suppose the photographs mirror the changes that have occurred in Sheffield over the last 140 years but I feel there is a constant theme running through all three photographs - the dire quality of the buildings that have been erected on the street. "Nihil (umquam) mutatur" as they used to say!


Wednesday 3 November 2021

Ebeneezer Elliott (1781 - 1849) - Upperthorpe Sheffield

There is quite a lot of information on-line and in-print relating to Ebeneezer Elliott (1781 - 1849) but the other month I came across a postcard of his house in the Upperthorpe district of Sheffield. He lived at this address from 1834 until his retirement in 1841 after which he moved to Great Houghton near Barnsley. 

He is also remembered by a statue that is located in Sheffield's Weston Park

Photograph taken August 2012