click to close window

OLD HEELEY: A FEW NOTES

 

WRITTEN BY MEMBERS OF THE

 

ADULT EDUCATION

"HEELEY'S HISTORY" WORKSHOP

FROM MEMORIES AND OTHER MATERIAL COLLECTED AT THE OPEN MEETINGS ON MONDAY AFTERNOONS AT HEELEY BANK SCHOOL COMMUNITY ROOMS.

No. 10: JULY 1988

  1. CHILDHOOD MEMORIES OF MR CHARLES HENRY STOKES............................................p.1
  2. OLD NEWSPAPER CUTTINGS:

  3. - "UMBRELLAS AND TROUSERS"....................................................................................p.3
    - LOCAL - ELECTIONS...................................................................................................p.4
    - CORONATION DAY,1902.............................................................................................p.4
  4. BITTER MEMORIES OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR.............................................................p.4
  5. A JOURNEY UP ALBERT ROAD IN THE 1920s (PART 1) BY DON ROSS.............................p.5

INTRODUCTION

We are very pleased to be able, in this edition, to feature the childhood memories of Mr. Charles Henry Stokes, who was born in 1892 and died in January 1983 - many of his memories are about the Boer War!

This is also the last booklet before Adult Education in Sheffield joins with the Further Education Colleges and the Sixth Forms to form the new Tertiary Colleges (for all education after the age of 16). Heeley will be part of Norton College, which will use Rowlinson Campus as it's main site.

But the Heeley’s History Workshop will continue to meet as before and produce these booklets as before. The next one will be a special bumper "101st Anniversary" booklet on Meersbrook Park, with all the follow-up material local people have contributed after reading our Centenary booklet (September 1987).

By the way we still have a very few copies of the special Meersbrook Park Centenary booklet (price 50p), if you haven't get your copy yet (they'll be collector's items in a few year's time!). We also have back numbers of most of the 'Old Heeley' booklets (l0p each).

For the benefit of new readers, much of our material comes from the hundred-plus hours of memories collected at the meetings of the Heeley History Workshop. This is organised by Heeley Adult Education and weekly meetings at Heeley Bank School every Monday afternoon - newcomers especially welcome.

We are always very concerned to see that the information we publish is as correct and accurate as possible. As can be expected when different people are recalling memories from 50 or even 80 years ago, differences of recollection are bound to crop up from time to time. Usually it turns out that both people's memories were correct on most points, but that they were talking about different dates or slightly different places.

We are also always on the lookout for anything you can add, to what we print. So please keep the information flooding in - don't keep it to yourself while you're still around to tell us! Either tell one of our regular members or write or telephone to Heeley's History Workshop at the address below. Best of all, come along to Heeley Bank (see below) and join our conversations about Heeley. You'll be very welcome.

HOW TO FIND US AND OUR BOOKLETS

Meetings: Heeley Bank School, Heeley Bank Road (at the Junction with Myrtle Road) Sheffield 2, Every Monday, 1:15-3:l5pm, except School holidays. PLEASE NOTE NEW STARTING APN FINISHING TIMES. Open to anyone - newcomers especially welcome.

Extra copies and back numbers: Heeley's History Workshop, Heeley Bank School, Mondays, 1:15-3.15pm normally every week except school holidays.

Holidays: Please note that the last meeting before the summer holidays is on 11 July. First meeting in the Autumn: 12 September.

Enquiries and Messages: Joan Palfreyman, Tel. Sheffield 550027

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES FROM MR CHARLES HENRY STOKES, BORN 1892

Born 25.8.92. Started school August 1895. We lived in Myrtle Road halfway between Anns Road and the top of Myrtle Road. Started school at just 3 years. I can remember my mother taking me to school in the morning and fetching me back after dinner time, taking me back after dinner and fetching home for tea. Heeley Bank was the School. Miss May was the Infants Headmistress and Miss Cleghorn Headmistress over the Girls and Mr. Snelgrove was Headmaster over the Boys. Schooling those days was confined mostly to three Rs - reading, writing and (a)rithmetic. I think I left Heeley Bank when I was either 11 or 12 years old. I then went to Abbeydale School where the classes went on to standard 7 and +7. I was fortunate enough to get what was termed the Merit Certificate at Abbeydale. School life was not bad in those days, we went to the Public Baths once a week, Park Baths at first and then when Heeley Baths were built on Broadfield Road we attended there. To the East and South of Heeley Bank School it was all fields and farms. I remember Lawsons had a farm almost adjoining the school, the farm stretched over Black Bank right along to Abourthorne. He had several sons - one Tom who was in my class and I was good pals, hence I used to go to the farm quite a lot. He had quite a good dairy herd and no milk marketing nor milk bottles. Milk was taken around in horse drawn milk float from door to door and sold at about l½d a pint (old money). It was amusing to see the horses that pulled the float. He or she knew just where to stop and start without the milkman giving orders of command. Reverting back to school life, discipline was pretty severe, there was very little restrictions on caning. The class teacher and the Head all bad a cane handy, or sometimes a strap, but mostly canes and according to the will of the Teacher the method of dealing it out was determined either six across the hand or touch your toes six times while he had a split second delivery of the cane. By jove and didn't it hurt, and most of us made it worse by withdrawing the hand as the cane came down, consequently it landed on the fingers where it tingled more, and often than not if you complained at home or made too much of a song about it you got a second dose, so you kept quiet.

A couple of hundred yards past the school up Myrtle Road was the Ball Inn Public House which had a large sports ground adjoining the Public house, this ground was entirely surrounded by a high stone wall. The ground was used at the weekend by local football clubs and cricket teams also during the summer evenings you could see the Bookmakers on the way up to the ground to take bets on handicap races. Crowds of people used to attend these races and I summised a good few lost their wages. Pigeon shooting was also a very popular weekday afternoon sport. Dozens of live birds were taken to the ground in baskets and let loose. Some were lucky and others not so lucky. It was quite a regular occurrence for a dead pigeon to fall in the schoolyard. There was a big rhubarb field between the school and the sports field and anybody who liked pigeon pie and had a dog with a good nose could mostly find an odd bird or two after the shooting was over and be sure of a meal. Mr. Lawson the farmer let off two of his fields for cricket and football, one to Heeley Friends to Oak Street Chapel, games were played on a Saturday afternoon and the rivalry between local clubs was pretty lively. The country side in those days was very open and pleasant you could walk from just past the Ball Inn through Back Woods right to Gleadless and hardly see a house, or branch off over Arborthorne to Intake, on the brow of the hill near Arborthorne was a fairly large pond, where in Winter a few went skating. Half a mile or so after leaving the Ball Inn and branching right you come across Gleadless Road and have a delightful walk through Rollinson Wood to Bagshaw Arms and Chantry land or come through what was called the Plantation past Clarks farm and through Lees Hall Golf Course, alas all this lovely country is gone now and crowded with houses. I suppose the extension of a city is inevitable but at what a cost.

And so now we have reached August 1905 and time to leave school and commence work. We have got the Boer War over. I can remember that very well. My father took me down Howard Street, approaching the Midland Station to watch the Green Howard on the way to entrain for South Africa, the band leading them but the, marching wasn't very orderly as wives and girlfriends were hanging, on to their respective soldier for the last few moments. I saw Queen Victoria come to Sheffield somewhere about 1897. I am not sure whether she was opening the new Town Hall or whether it was her Jubilee. We stood on the path up to Avenue in Norfolk Park and it was marvellous, all the mounted soldiers with spit and polish, all horses and carriages no machine driven vehicles.

In those days and for quite a few years hence, like the Relief of Mafikin, the city was a mass of buntings and flags, flags hung out of bedroom windows or in gardens or anywhere in the humblest of homes. If a soldier came home either wounded or some other cause the neighbourhood would hang strings of small flags etc. across the roads with a 1arge flag saying "Welcome Home" and circumstances permitting have huge street parties etc. Those were the days. Gen. Roberts, Gen. Butler, Lord Kitchener and Baden Powel who got the idea of khaki as a means of camouflage and he started the Boy Scout movement. On the Boer side, it was Kruger and a few more.

I have now 2 brothers with about 4 years difference in age between all three of us and I am ready to commence working.

The first job I got on leaving school in August 1905 is running errands for a small cutlery machinery firm whose head office was in Birmingham. J Morton & Sons in Carver Street. My job was to collect knife blades from Little Mesters who would forge a knife blade by hand out of a piece of steel about 4" x 1" x ½" on a coke fire blown of a hand bellows. I would collect 2-3 gross of blades, sometime taking them back to the warehouse or more often taking to the grinders and the grinding done by sandstone wheels with the grinder sitting straddle leg on what he called his horse and to and from there, to the polishing and holstering, then the handles so back to warehouse to be wiped and cleaned, and made ready for despatch. I learned more about the centre of Sheffield in those days - Carver Street, Solly Street, Upperthorpe, Meadow Street and adjacent district. I think I received about 5/- per week. I don't know but I must have wore a lot of shoe leather away. I stuck this job for about 12 months, the hours of work were 8.00am to 7.00pm and 8.00am to 1:00pm on Saturday. It was pretty hard work but fortunately my parents always provided a reasonably good table, nothing elaborate but wholesome.

After leaving the cutlery firm I went to Messrs. Atkin Bros., Truro Works, Matilda Street as an apprentice silversmith with my Father. In those days the only way you could become an apprentice was that you should have some relative already working at the same factory and he would ask the firm for a job for you (it was almost equal to the closed shop of today), except that nobody came out on strike if the rule was broken. How times have altered if any of the management spoke to you it had to be "yes sir", "no sir", and under your breath "3 bags full". One of the main things you were told was to behave yourself and don't forget If you get the sack your job will be filled almost as quick as it takes to fill the hole you make by putting your finger in water and withdrawing it. The apprenticeship was for about 7 years and you had indentures. When you were 21 you had no job and had to go to the head of the firm; in my case Mr. Harry Atkin and ask to be taken on as a fully qualified silversmith and if he agreed he would give you a golden sovereign, actually I never heard of anyone being turned down. This was your 21st birthday and as soon as you got back into your shop you had to pay for what was called Foot Ale. All work stopped for that day and you paid for as much ale as you could afford (not as much as the men could drink) and eventually you left for home sometime after dinner.

I forgot to mention that before leaving school I joined St. Barnabas choir when I was about 8 years old as what was termed a probationer. After about 12 months you became a regular choir boy with cassock and surplice and received 1/- per quarter, according to your service and ability you could manage at the most 2/6 per quarter and choir trip once a year to Bridlington all free. The vicar in those early days was the Rev Chester and the Choir Master Mr. Brewster who was a teacher at Sharrow Lane School. We used to attend choir practice Monday and Wednesday evening also service on Wednesday evening. Sunday Matins and Evensong.

At the bottom of Sharrow Lane was the Girls Charity School and these young girls who had no home used to march from the school to church for Mattins. I can see them now poor kids a damned hard life for them, but probably much better than they had left.

Most, firms in the lighter trades were run by Grandfather, Sons and Grandson and among the employers you could find quite a few brothers and fathers and sons working for the same firm. My father had three brothers working with him and his father had been a manager there. One of his brothers, Percy, was a fairly good soccer player (Goalkeeper) and cricketer. He played with Heeley Friends and being only about 10 years older than me I used to go about with the team.

Written by Charles Henry Stokes in 1980, he died on 7 January 1983 aged 90 years. A keen cricketer all his life he was the Secretary of the Norton and District Cricket League for over 25 years. He was the originator of the Parkhead Cricket Week which was first started as a Charity Cricket Week during the war when he got county players who were serving in the forces to make guest appearances. He was a silversmith for many years.

Bryan G Stokes
4 Hollythorpe Crescent
SHEFFIELD
Tel: 585432

EXTRACTS FROM NEWSPAPER CUTTNGS FROM THE TURN OF THE CENTURY
by Alan Montgomery

Umbrellas and Trousers

A note may not be out of place on the introduction to Hallamshire of these modern conventions.

The father of George Hadfield, until lately one of our MPs, was the first to use the umbrella in Sheffield and his elder son the late Samuel Hadfield, used to tell that as boys he and his brother were so ashamed of these "novel rain-shields", that they would not got to chapel with their father on rainy days.

William Trickett, Master Cutler 1771, excited the scorn of his brother Enoch, a rough and homely Sheffielder, by falling a victim to the temptation to hoist this new invention. "Sithee", shouted Enoch, "ahr bill has gotten a walking stick wi' petticoats on";.

Old Mr. Marriott, whose name remains in the firm, Marriott & Atkinson, was a daring pioneer in the direction of trousers and was the first to introduce these unknown garments. After one of his London journeys, one greeting he got with was, "Why hast tha gotten breeches wi' chimbly pipes on 'em? Where didst get 'em?"

The ridicule thus excited was so merciless that Mr. Marriott consigned them to temporary oblivion - not resuming his breeches until he should have occasion to visit again "more enlightened regions". It is reported that his facetious friends contrived to get these obnoxious garments out of his wife's custody and pawned them. When Mr. Marriott wanted them for his next journey, they were nowhere to be found.

Local Elections

Local elections often caused great excitement - although violence was not the order of the day, children, armed with "coshers", (bundles of paper tied up with string), would often stand outside the voting halls, advising those entering, whom to award their vote.

A candidate for the Walkley Ward 1902, who had had a rather distressing experience when he put up for election in a previous year in Heeley, somehow aroused the sympathy or scorn, (depends with way you look at it) of an amateur poet who sent in to the local newspaper the following lines of verse:

If you give your attention, I will tell you what I am.
I'm the only all round candidate all the other kinds are sham.
I'm possessed of all the virtues and a lot of other's too,
I've forgotten tomes of wisdom, besides tomes I never knew.
I betook me down to Duffem, where I flattered and I smiled,
But strange to say them chucked me, they spurned me and reviled.
They looked upon my antics with a feeling worse then ill,
For everybody seems to think I'm such a bitter pill.
And I can't tell WHY.

The candidate's name was Mr. Matthew Wilson.

Whether or not he was any more successful at Walkley, I have unfortunately not been able to discover.

Coronation Day, 9 August, 1902

499 aged persons enjoyed tea and entertainment in Heeley Ward, catered for in 3 different, centres. The largest attendance was at Heeley Church Room, where 180 people, mostly women took tea.

Councillor Cattell, assisted by Rev. Odom and other clergy assisted. The tea was followed by a 3 hour concert, when a succession of musical items of a high order and generally well executed, provided excellent entertainment. Councillor Cattell, having earlier addressed the assembled gathering, finally led them into the singing of the National Anthem.

BITTER MEMORIES OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR
by Gladys Wilkinson

I'm writing this story to see if anyone else in Heeley remembers their parents telling any story like it and if so to contact the Heeley Local History classes.

My father lived at the top of Cambridge Road in the Big Yard with some of the houses fronting Kent Road. The back of the chip shop came into the yard and I remember the chip shop man preparing chips in the yard. My Dad was afraid of nothing having been brought up with the birch and punished severely even spending time in Hollow Meadows for playing truant. I often wonder how he could write so well, and worked as a train driver with not much education.

Having introduced him I can relate this story. I used to dread 11 November when we had to take a penny to school for a poppy. My Dad would never let any of the children buy a poppy but the teacher thought we must have spent it on sweets and I always ended up crying as she ranted and raved.

I asked my Dad why I could not have a poppy and he said, "because it says Haig in the centre of the poppy and he sentenced me to death". I was young at the time (I left Anns Road at 11 years and it was before that time) and couldn't really understand about the War very well. I asked why, and his answer was "Well, when I came home on leave from the War, I didn't go back but stayed home until they fetched me, then I was sentenced to death and saw two of my friends shot before I was given a reprieve". I again asked why? Dad answered "because we were ordered to build a bridge of the bodies of our dead comrades, and although I could do most things, I could not do that. They were my mates, and while ever Haig's name is on the poppies you can never buy one."

I thought a lot about this but dare not ask any more questions until I saw the "Monocled Mutineer" on TV in 1986. Was my Dad telling the truth or not? I've asked some old people but cannot verify the story. In my Dad's diary written in the trenches, he mentions Etaples but because another 30 years has to pass before the true story can be revealed I wonder was it true? I did wonder how he came to write a diary in the trenches until Mr. Chapman told me, "I bought a diary like that for my brother in the First World War". I asked "where did they get the pen and ink?" Mr. Chapman said, "They had fountain pens". So, that was why the diary stopped - Dad's pen must have run dry - I'm sure they would not have bottles of ink in the trenches. In a letter to my Mother, written in pencil, about the same time as the diary - no, later than the trenches, because it says "You say in your letter that you saw the man that fetched me back and he said that he hoped I would soon be back again, but if you should see him again you can tell him from me that when this war is over he wants to keep out of my sight, for the first time I meet him I shall do him in for sending me back to Hell upon earth, so don't forget to tell him for his sake". "I do sincerely hope that you will forgive me for the letter I wrote before this as I was in such a temper at being kept in solitary confinement for nearly four weeks, and still got to put up with it perhaps until the war is over, so I will leave you to guess at my feelings." In this letter Dad talks of sending 3 letters which I suppose Mum never received.

I think Mum and Dad were married during the time he was absent without leave. He did have medals from the War so I suppose he did some good work but I often think about the poppies, Earl Haig, my teachers making me cry for not having a penny for one and if any of my friends of the same age (66 years this year) remember any such stories. We still have the diary.

C Wilkinson 10 April '87

A JOURNEY UP ALBERT ROAD IN THE 1920s - (PART 1)
Further memories from Don Ross

London Road to Plantation Road

On the left hand side was Mr. & Mrs. Bartons grocery shop recognised in those days as a high class shop selling different blends of tea and coffee etc. This shop is now the "Brown Sauce Restaurant". Next were 16 back to back houses - 8 at the front and 8 in a court yard at the back. The toilets for all 16 were in the courtyard, so that those living in the front had to walk up the entry and across the yard to the toilet, in fact, in those days, when you wanted to go, you said "I'm going across the yard."

Above the entry to the court was a chimney sweeps brush on a bracket on the wall, advertising that this was where the local chimney sweep lived, a Mr. Mappin.

The top house of the 8 on the front was a house window shop owned by a Mrs. Brett. She sold sweets like, gobstoppers, tiger nuts, liquorice root, and all sorts of odds and ends from 'Seller's Salve' to gas mantles.

Next was my Grandad Ross's coal yard and house with outhouses and stable at the back. When Grandad died the business was taken over by a Mr. Hardy.

Backing on to the coal yard was the Red Lion pub bowling green. The next house on Albert Road was also a house window shop selling cigarettes, tobacco and snuff.

At this point in the road wore three stoops one on the edge of each pavement and one in the middle of the road with chains draped front each preventing vehicles from entering Albert Road, because it was a private road.

On the right hand side at the bottom is the Crown Inn then another 16 back to back houses, now demolished. Next to these were the tram sheds, built in 1878, the name Sheffield Tramway and the date can still just be seen above the large doorway. Later it was used as a garage for Corporation Refuge Carts or 'Bin Lorries' as they used to he called. Later it became the 'Wheeler Road Transport Dept.', and today is the Riverdale Garage.

Continuing up the road beyond the stoops on the right are 9 bay windowed houses all with cellar kitchens. On the opposite side were 23 similar type houses, but without cellar kitchens.

At the corner of Plantation Road and Albert Road was the Post Office run by Mr. and Mrs. Broadbent, Mr. Broadbent was also the local postman.

I am turning left now into Plantation Road, because this road was to play a big part in my life. On the left were 12 houses, 4 houses to a yard, all with about 6 steps up to the back doors, and with a view looking out over Abbeydale and Nether Edge. It was in one of these houses that a girl of 12 years came to live with her father from near Skipton, having lost her mother at the age of 10 years. She later became my wife. On the opposite side of the road was Heeley Wesley Chapel, built in 1858 where my wife attended as a Sunday School scholar, and then as a teacher, and later as Ladies Meeting Secretary, and of course where we got married, but not in the Church Sanctum, but in the 'Ladies Room', because it was 9 days after the 'blitz' in 1940, and the church had been damaged in the air raid. Continuing on Plantation Road to Goodwin Road named after the first town councilor to be elected by Heeley people. Mr. F Goodwin was elected when Heeley was incorporated into the town of Sheffield in 1843. He was also a founder member of Heeley Wesley Church, which closed in 1958, became a warehouse for a period, and is now an Islamic mosque.

All the houses on Plantation Road and Albert Road down to the Brown Sauce Restaurant were demolished in the 1970s Heeley Development Plan. Where my Grandad lived is now a parking lot.

Plantation Road to Shirebrook Road

Opposite Plantation Road is a drive way leading to the 'Brookside Works' that runs behind the next 6 houses. Then apiece of land that at one time was an Orchard, but eventually had garages built on it.

The next 10 houses on this side are large bay windowed, three storied, with cellar kitchens and long sloping gardens down to the river.

Next was a plot of waste land, on which the Heeley Labour Party built a long wooden hut. This was sometime in the early 1920s. They held their meetings here and dances on a Saturday night. It was later taken over by Priory Organ Works, and is now occupied by Meersbrook United Junior Football Club.

On the other side of the road are 13 houses set well back and high up off the road. Really these houses are on Shirebrook Road.

These houses were built by one of the many Building Societies of that era, like the Liberator, the Meersbrook, or the Montgomery Societies. One fact we learn from the history books is that the land was purchased from the Shore family of Meersbrook House now the Recreation Department Offices in Meersbrook Park.

Mr. Shore was a banker and went bankrupt. We also know that Shirebrook Road was first called Victoria Road. So here we had two roads named after Queen Victoria and Albert her Consort.

On the corner of Shirebrook and Albert Road was a beer off run by a Mrs. Drabble.

In the centre of the road where the two roads met was a large stone about 3 feet high and about 4 foot in diameter, on which stood a rather ornate gas lamp.

Shirebrook Road to Brooklyn Road

Next to the beer-off yard are two, bay windowed houses then a long high wall about 10 foot high with 7 doors at intervals, these were the back gates into long gardens sloping up to 7 houses on Shirebrook Road, in one lived Dr. McKeen, next door lived one of my school pals.

These 7 houses were demolished by a direct hit during the blitz. 9 people were killed. A row of flats have been built in their place. After the long wall are 5 big houses with big front and back gardens. These villas had, kitchens, living room, drawing room, 3 bedrooms, wash houses and attics. Mr. Ponsford, the founder of Ponsford's Furniture Store lived in one of these.

On the other side of the road, next to the Labour Hall, was a waste niece of land, which later had a brick house built on it

Then came 12 very large stone built villas, three stories with bay windows on two floors, and large attic windows, with hallways and cellar kitchens. 8 of them have wide access to their backs, suitable for business people with horse-drawn vehicles. In this block lived the Wilkinson family, they were steeplejacks. Mr. F Worns the milkman and Thornton's dog kennels.

Next was a large detached house with the front door between two bay windows.

Set back from the road are 4 shops. The first was Hancock's Bread Shop. During the coal strike people could take their broad dough there to be baked in their big ovens. Next was Mr. Wesleys the cobbler, then a drapers and next was Tom's hairdressers, now the post office.

Brooklyn Road to Ruskin Square

Next to the Post Office is a gennel leading to a bridge over the river (now piped) into Malloy Street. The river at this point is some 12 to 15 feet below the bridge.

Continuing up Albert Road on the left are six more of these Villa type houses all stone built. I believe the stone came from local quarries too. The remains of these quarries can still be seen on Chesterfield Road, Archer Road, and Meadowhead just to mention three local ones. They eventually became brickworks, now defunct.

In one of those houses lived Mr. B. Sempers, who had a very high-class gents outfitters shop on London Road, between Chippinghouse Road and Wolsey Road. Then came four brick built houses with lots of steps up to the passage in the middle of the block, and with only a small back yard.

The second house of next four was my home for twenty years. We too had long sloping front gardens with fourteen steps up to the front door. To gain access to our back yard was up Ruskin Square. The two end houses had what were called "OUT-SHOT" kitchens. Our house had two up and two down with an attic, and of course a coal cellar. I slept in the attic as long as I can remember with my two brothers sleeping in the back bedroom, and Mum and Dad in the front.

The first three houses up Ruskin Square had long back gardens the length of the eight houses on Albert Road I have just described, above these was a waste piece of land. Over the wall from this was the Meersbrook Propriortory Bowling Club, still in use but now known as the Meersbrook Bowling Club Ltd. Next to the bowling club was a place I knew as Ducketts Ink Works. They had a fire there when I was about thirteen years old, and we were allowed to collect packets of ink powder from the debris. We had ink of all the colours of the rainbow which we put in our cellar to dry out. This is now a builders yard.

On the opposite side of Ruskin Square are six more small brick built two up two down houses. Opposite our backyard was what we called the "Hay Loft" and stables in the backyard of the next three houses in Albert Road. Later the hayloft was made into a dwelling house and the stable into a garage.

On the other side of Albert Road at the corner with Brooklyn Road was Boulbys Grocers and Beer Off. The Boulby family lived on Shirebrook Road. One daughter lived with her husband Mr. W Gregory over the shop. When old Mr. Boulby died Mr. and Mrs. Gregory took over with another of the Boulby daughters assisting. They also had the house next door to the shop as a warehouse. Grocers shops did a lot of their own packaging of certain commodities in those days and Boulbys employed a man, we knew him as 'Owd Frank' for weighing up and delivering orders. Talking about packaging, flour was in plain white bags, sugar blue, currants or raisins in grey. Next to the shop and warehouse were 12 houses known as Brooklyn Terrace houses. There was a passage in the center with 6 houses on each side the back doors were high up opening on to a narrow yard with about 14 steps down to an earth yard across which were toilets up against a wall in Brooklyn Road. What a trek when you wanted to go! Then there were two detached houses, one was occupied by a man who was a Punch and Judy man at Blackpool in the summer, and only came to Sheffield in winter.

The next block was a queer block of back to back houses, 4 in all. They were 3 stories, but with all, four access doors being at the front.

Two of them with a long entrance passages to the back. In one of the front ones lived a Mrs. Jordan, a Justice of the Peace.

(To be continued)

click to close window