Friday 18 February 2022

The death of Richard Rainforth - Sheffield February 1885

This report appeared in the London Times dated 23rd February 1885 and refers to the death of a druggist Richard Rainforth. I should explain that when the coroner referred to "a clear case of hydrophobia" he was stating that the victim died of rabies. In other words he was bitten by a rabid collie dog

 What I found remarkable is that Mr Rainforth was sanguine about his imminent demise. He recognised at once that he was suffering from rabies and just accepted his fate. And he correct in doing so. It was later that year that Louis Pasteur and Emile Roux developed and administered the first rabies vaccine. For Richard it was just too late

He is buried in Sheffield's Norton Cemetery

RAINFORTH, Richard (~, age 43). Died at Bramall Lane, Sheffield; Buried on February 21, 1885 in Consecrated ground;  Grave Number 10, Section I1 of Norton Cemetery, Sheffield.Remarks: Removed from Sheffield parish.  Plot Owner: ~ ~ of ~. Page No 46

The wedding of Mr Alan Bassett Ward and Miss Rachel Rothenstein - Hampstead Parish Church London - 20th April 1937

 This is a cutting from the Sheffield Daily Independent dated 20th April 1937 reporting on the wedding of Mr Alan Bassett Ward and Miss Rachel Rothenstein in Hampstead Parish Church London 

The groom was the son of the noted Sheffield industrialist and "steel magnate" Thomas William Ward who was the founder of the world famous company T.W.Ward. The bride was the daughter of Sir William Rothenstein and the brother of Dr. John Rothenstein, both of whom played a prominent role in the history of art in Sheffield


Rachel Rothenstein was the daughter to a Jewish artist William Rothenstein. She is one of four children, her siblings being John Michael and Betty. Michael and John also became involved in the art world, Michael a printmaker; John  a art historian. Rothenstein (1872-1945) was an artist, print maker and writer. He is also known as a War artist. He co-founded the Carfax Gallery that held exhibitions of the Camden Town Group. Rothenstein became the Principal of Royal College of Art from 1920-1935. He was knighted in 1931.

Print of Rachel Rothenstein by Eric Gill 1924

Thursday 10 February 2022

A Surprise for Slackers - Sheffield April 1917

 This cutting I hgave had for years and it is fron the Western Daily Press dated 22nd April 1917.

I did not do anything with the cutting as I did not know where the raid was carried out - it had been blanked for some reason or another. But a trawl of the British Newspaper Archive had another report from the Weekly Dispatch dated 22nd April 1922 and it was idetical but this time it stated that raid was on the coke ovens at Nunnery Colliery in Sheffield. 

Unfortunately there were no further details of these "batch of men" but reading the newspapers around that time it is startling to read the bitterness and anger that was directed towards anyone who was perceived to be "shirking" or "slacking" or "not pulling their weight." And particular hostility was directed at consientious objectors who apart from periods of imprisonment and forced labour had to endure constant vilification from politicians, the press and the general public. Modern parallels??. 

Tom Gaunt (1907 - 1938) - International Brigade Spanish Civil War

 Another cutting but this is slightly different in that I do not have a record of the date but I do have the publication - The Workshire Post. It states that Tom was posted as missing in action on March 17 1938 and so 48 years on would make that article publication date 1986.

A plaque was to Tom was placed in the Parish House at Clowne, Derbyshire and erected by Chesterfield & District Cooperative Party, It was unveiled by Dennis Skinner MP, on 31 October 2009.

Wednesday 9 February 2022

Walkley National School Walkley Sheffield 1895

 Another postcard from the Walkley district of Sheffield. It states that it is of  "Walkley National School  1895."

There is a similar photograph on Picture Sheffield but that was taken ten years later, Information is thin on the ground but I believe that the school referred to is now known as Walkley Primary School and located on Burnaby Crescent in the Lower Walkley area of Sheffield. 

West Bar Police Station Sheffield (1965 - 2011)

 This cutting is from the Sheffield Telegraph Thursday 21st October 2021.

It did close six months later and it was reported on the BBC website

"It is the end of an era for Sheffield's main police station, which opens its doors for the final time on Friday.
West Bar police station opened on 16 July in 1965 under the City of Sheffield Police Force.
Now the crumbling building, which once towered over the city's skyline and served the force for over 45 years, is closing for a new state-of-the-art building.
Chief Superintendant Andy Barr told BBC Sheffield: "It's a day of sadness, a lot of the cops have loved working there over the years. There are some fond memories and some great stories."
The five-storey building has been sold to a development company which plan to demolish the former headquarters to make room for a new hotel and restaurant establishment.
"Instead of housing prisoners it will be housing some of Sheffield's many visitors."
Mr Barr added: "We're closing it because it's past its sell by date.
"The boiler and lifts kept breaking down. It's very cold and officers need somewhere better to work. We've also had a rat infestation problem too.
"We accessed the costs and they really would be too much for the police to continue working there and update the building."
Officers and staff will be relocated over the weekend to the new headquarters at Snig Hill.
The police will remain to operate a 24-hour public enquiry desk which was available at West Bar."

The Chapel House Channing Street Lower Walkley Sheffield

 I came across this rather slendid postcard of The Chapel House Channing Street Lower Walkley Sheffield

On the reverse it stated just "112 Channing Street" It looks as though it was associated with the Sheffield, Wesleyan Reform Union chapel. As far as I can ascertain both the chapel and the house were demolished in 1967 and replaced by the modern housing which now forms part of the Langsett Estate.

The Methodist Church is Sheffield in Sheffield 

"Hampden View Wesleyan Reform Union Chapel which is  a plain, modern, square building given a mark of distinction by its lantern with its echoes of clerestories and steeples".