Sunday 26 March 2023

Alonzo Hemsworth - A Callous Driver - South Street Sheffield - August 1910

The previous blog on the dishonest apprentice referred to my mother's maternal grandfather Fred Shirt but the following refers to her paternal grandfather and my great grandfather Alonzo Hemsworth.  

Once again  the first I knew about this incident is when I discovered it in the British Newspaper Archive  Needless to say it never came up in family conversations!

It is from the Yorkshire Telegraph and Star dated 8th September 1910 and refers to an accident that occurred on 21st August at South Street and Cemetery Road in Sheffield

Reading the report it does not appear a first glance to be favourable towards my great grandfather. The girl was carried "some distance on the front of the car" and when he eventually stopped he refused to take the girl to hospital. He was according to the prosecution travelling at between 15 and 20 miles an hour which was deemed excessive given the nature of the road. This I find difficult to believe - if he was travelling at that speed the girl would have in all probability been killed or at best seriously injured.
My great grandfather said he was travelling at 5 to 6 miles an hour and skidded 6 inch.

At that speed the girl would have and did survive and there is nothing to indicate that she sustained any major injury or trauma. I am more dubious about the 6 inch claim as I am about him travelling some distance with the girl on his bonnet. Also the fact that he did not take to hospital points to the fact that her injuries if any were superficial.

But he lost his licence for 6 month and was fined £2 which is about £165 in todays money.  

And so thanks to the BNA I have discovered that both my maternal great grandparents had a criminal past 


Fred Shirt - A Dishonest Apprentice - A Long History of Thefts - November 1897 Sheffield

Over the last few years many thousands of historical newspapers have been scanned and digitalised. Sadly it many cases you need a subscription to access them. For the last few months I have had access to the British Newspaper Archive which I have to admit is a tremendous resource in research.

Last month I was bringing my maternal family history up to date and I found this cutting from the Evening Telegraph and Star dated 19th November 1897

Fred was my mothers maternal grandfather and my great grandfather. I never met him as he died in 1944 in Sheffield's Northern General Hospital from lung cancer. He was 67 years old. Needless to say until I read this cutting I was unware of my great grandfathers criminal past and I am sure my mother wasn't either. In fact was anyone? 

Fred did have a difficult and poverty stricken childhood but his spell in prison probably sorted him out so to speak. I cannot find any other record of criminal activity and in the same year he was released from prison 1898 he married Florence. They proceeded to have ten children but two died in infancy. One who did survive was his daughter and my grandmother Lily 


Wednesday 1 March 2023

Frederick Sanby (1856 1931) Walkley Sheffield aka The Pansy King and Old Fred

 I have just posted an article to the site relating to the life of my great grandfather Edwin Sanbys twin brother Frederick

He celebrated his golden wedding on 27th May 1928 and was featured in the local newspaper the following day. It appears that he was a very keen gardener and enjoyed many successes in local horticultural shows. In fact he was so successful he became known as "The Pansy King"  

FREDERICK died on 22nd May 1931 at the age of 75, his wife ELIZABETH had died two years earlier. His death warranted two small pieces in the local press 

Sheffield Independent - Friday 29 May 1931

All local and district anglers will be sorry to hear of the death of Mr. F. Sanity, a well-known angler, and father of Mr. Fred Sanby, assistant secretary to the Sheffield and District Anglers’ Association. 

Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Friday 29 May 1931

Passing a Local Sportsman. A wide circle of anglers will learn with regret of the passing of Mr. Fred Sanby. “Old Fred,” he was known to host of intimates, was a keen and capable angler, several times figuring prominently in local matches. Although 75 years of age. he retained all his faculties until a few weeks ago. when a stroke supervened. Mr. Sanbv's son is assistant secretary to the Sheffield and District Angling Association, Ltd, 

There is no mention of his gardening prowess but the obituary revealed that he was "a keen and capable angler, several times figuring prominently in local matches". It also said that he was known to all his friends and colleagues as "Old Fred." 

The house where Old Fred and his wife Elizabeth lived 8 Parsonage Crescent was demolished many years ago and replaced by a modern building. The views from the rear of the property are amazing!