OLD HEELEY: A FEW NOTES
WRITTEN BY MEMBERS OF THE
"HEELEY'S HISTORY" WORKSHOP
FROM MEMORIES AND OTHER MATERIAL COLLECTED AT THE OPEN MEETINGS ON MONDAY AFTERNOONS AT HEELEY BANK SCHOOL COMMUNITY ROOMS.
No. 11: DECEMBER 1988
This is the first booklet after Adult Education in Sheffield has joined with Further Education Colleges and Sixth Forms to form the new Tertiary Colleges. Heeley is now part of Norton College, which uses Rowlinson Campus as it’s main site.
Heeley's History Workshop continues to meet on Monday afternoons at Heeley Bank School. We have already produced this term the Meersbrook Park supplement for the hundred and first anniversary of Meersbrook Park and the hundredth anniversary of the Whutsuntide Sings.
By the way, we still have a very few copies of the special Meersbrook Park Centenary booklet (price 50p), if you haven’t got your copy yet (they will be collector's items in a few year’s time!). We also have back numbers of most of the "Old Heeley" booklets (10p each).
For the benefit of new readers, much of our material comes from the hundred-plus hours of memories collected at the meetings of Heeley’s History Workshop.
This is organised by Norton College and holds weekly meetings at Heeley Bank School every Monday afternoon newcomers are always welcome.
In this leaflet we complete Don Ross’s journey up Albert Road and with his comments on early Methodism in Heeley, begin to look at the various Heeley Churches and Chapels, starting in Heeley’s oldest purpose-built Sunday School. A building still in existence today. We are also printing early memories that Mr. Chapman (our senior member) wrote for us a while ago under the title, I remember.
We are always concerned to see that the information we publish is as correct and accurate as possible. As can be expected when different people are recall memories from fifty, sixty, seventy, or even eighty 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 look-out for anything can add to what we print. So please keep the new information flooding in - don’t keep it to yourself, le you are 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 will be made 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 - 3.15, except school holidays. Please note NEW STARTING AND FINISHING TIMES.
Open to anyone - newcomers especially welcome.
Extra copies and back numbers: Heeley’s History Workshop, Heeley Bank School, Mondays, 1.15 - 5.15, normally every week except school holidays.
ENQUIRIES AND MESSAGES : Joan Palfreyman, Tel. Sheffield 550027.
A JOURNEY UP ALBERT ROAD. PART 2.
by Don Ross.
Opposite Ruskin Square
The next block were a queer block of back-to-back houses,4 in all ,and of three stories but with all four access doors at the front, so two of them had long passages to the back, In one of the front ones lived a Mrs. Jordan, a Justice of the Peace.
The next three were of the villa type I have already described and behind these there was a tennis court, much used in the summer by the people who lived here. They had tennis parties, the ladies all in white, the men in white flannel trousers and straw boaters. Next was a big detached house facing Ruskin Square. All these houses on this side of Albert Road were demolished in I970 except for the beer-off on the corner and a block of flats has been built where the tennis court used to be.
Ruskin to Kent Road.
Continuing up Albert Road on the right hand side are 18 more of the villa type houses, as previously described, except they have out shot kitchens as well as cellar kitchens.. Again, they had long sloping dark passages down to the back and long gardens down to the river. Above these are 8 brick built houses, 2 up and 2 down, but with cellar kitchens. Then there was a piece of waste land and Kent Road leading down to the river and a little wooden foot bridge. When the river was piped, the bridge was demolished and the road made through. Later, houses were built on the land, the top one being a shop, newspaper and general store run by Mr. and Mrs. Knowles. I crossed that little wooden bridge at least four times a day on my way to and from Norton Lees Council School, now Carfield School.
The first three houses on the left hand side past Ruskin Square have gardens at the front at least six feet higher than the footpath. The next four had gardens at the front sloping down to the pavement with sets of two steps at passage through the block to the back yard. The next four houses are very high up.
There is a wall at least 15 feet up from the pavement at the front, behind which are two flights of steps across the width of two houses, then a sloping path up to the houses. These have very long back gardens. The next house is a very big house, detached, with driveway up to the front. This house actually takes up four plots, with a big orchard at the back. Then there are four large houses, one with a driveway, and five terrace type houses built close to the road. Next was the Doctor's orchard, the house and surgery being round the corner on Kent Road. On this corner is an unusual type of street lamp, I believe burns sewer gas and there is another like it outside the school.
Kent Road to Meersbrook Road.
The first three houses past Kent Road on the left hand side are fairly big detached type. The first was occupied by the Roper family whose son ran Roper’s Motors on London Road opposite John Street. He also traveled up and down on a motor bike.
At this is point were the stoops and chains across the road. Then beyond these was a plot of waste land, known as the Docker, and this stretched up to Carfield Road, known to us as the "cutting". This was all later built on. The last three buildings were shops, the first was a furniture shop, next Mr. Northends, the chemist, and then Gray’s, the bread shop, with a bake-house at the back.
On the other side of the road the first four houses past Kent Road, now demolished, were queer houses, well below the road level with lots of steps down to them. Mr. Mappin, the chimney sweep, eventually came to live in one of them. Beyond the stoops and chains are six villa type houses, the first of which was known as "Hewitt’s Dancing Academy". After these six was, and still is, a piece of waste land, then two more detached dwellings.
Opposite Carfield road is a pathway down to the bridge over the river, and up a flight of steps on to Rushdale backs. The path is still there, but the bridge and steps have gone. was a piece of waste land, later to have a house and garage built on it. Then was the river and tunnel under the road. At the corner of Albert Road and Rushdale Road was a field, I believe belonged to a Mr. Cook who was a city councilor. Later this field was built on.
And so we have completed our journey up Albert Road.
The Way it was, and The Way it was done.
During 1988 members of the Heeley History Workshop have been busy in helping to make a video. It all started last year when we made a visit to the Living History exhibition at the Herdings School at Norton. The teachers there were so pleased to hear our comments about all the articles they have on display and even more pleased when various members of the group could actually use them in the way they had been used in homes in the earlier years of this century. So we were asked if we could go back to the school and show some of the children how to use them.
Having noted all the various kinds of articles and books hey had, we returned to our weekly meetings and started to plan what we would do and how we could involve the children. It was eventually agreed that we would spend a whole day at school and that we would all, adults and children, wear late Victorian dress, and would act a series of short scenes in which the children would be shown how to use all the equipment and tools available. So we had the children learning all about washday, with washing tubs and rubbing boards and "peg-leg poshers, how to use a "blue" bag and make starch, as well as turning the mangle to squeeze out the water, another group found out about flat ‘smoothing’ irons and how to check whether they were too hot. Some children were busy cooking and made bread, mixing the flour and barm in a pancheon and leaving it to rise under tea towel, while others were shown how to produce home-made sweets and "dips" that you ate out of a paper screw bag. The boys were introduced to the hobbing-foot and the art of putting a sole and heel on shoes, while others started cleaning the brass and attempted to do some black-leading. A partially made peg-rug was brought in and some learned how to cut up the strips and fasten them in to build up a pattern. Another group helped to make patchwork quilt and a patchwork cushion cover. One little girl with long hair found out what it was like to have your hair put in "rags" to make it curl, and another learned how to knit socks on four needles while one who couldn’t knit at all learned how to by starting to knit a dishcloth on large wooden needles. The mysteries of darning with a mushroom were shown and some simple crochet work was started. Our oldest member was the "grandfather" and read from the "book", a large family bible.
By the end of the session we were ready to join the children in their break, so we went out into the playground and joined in their play, it was great fun to play again with a whip and top, to spin a top and jump with a skipping rope. Sadly, many of the children had never had things like whip and top to play with ever before, yet they had probably been given many more toys and playthings each year than any of us had had as children.
We all thoroughly enjoyed our day and had even more amusement when we finally saw the video. We hope that it will be very useful at the school to show other children from visiting schools the way it was and how it was done.
MY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES
by Eddie Chapman (born 1.1.1902).
.......the people walking to church in hundreds, and the sound of the congregation singing, coming through the open door.
.......the church bell would start to ring about ten-o-clock and would cease about twenty-five minutes past ten-it was a single bell and its sound was Dong.... Dong..... Dong..... with a slight hesitation between when the ringer got a bit tired.
.......Whitsunday sounds were different from any other Sunday in the year, the children bubbling with excitement making their way to Sunday school to collect their ticket for the bun and coffee on Whit Monday afternoon, (only those who attended regularly got a ticket although some managed to get away with it).
.......on Whit Monday morning the children and the teachers would assemble outside Sunday school and after singing there, the band bugles and drums, with the Sunday school banner leading the way, would march up Gleadless Road, Penns Road, singing again at the corner of Denmark Road and Penns Road, down Denmark Road to the junction of Heeley Green, then down Heeley Green to be joined then with the children from Heeley Friends, Anns Road, Oak St., all with their bands and banners, down to Heeley Bottom to be joined by Ebenezer and Heeley Wesley and other churches.
.......the hundreds of people lining the route, all calling to the children, and they were proudly marching to the Park in their Whitsunday best.
.......the friends and relatives all talking happily together.
.......the big drum banging away, and children being lifted on the platform who had got lost.
.......the bun and coffee in the afternoon after the races.
.......the children racing in their various ages excited the parents shouting them on.
.......If the wind was in the right direction you could hear the singing in Heeley from Meersbrook Park.
.......The Salvation Army on Sundays, the open-air meetings on Saturday nights, the portable harmonium providing the music.
.......the pull-up horse that waited on Havelock Bridge to be hitched to the muck-cart to get the cart over the hill the drivers shouting the horses to "goo-on, ger-up"
.......the stillness of the night broken by the screech owl.
.......the sound of class breaking as the "gas-tank" gang came up to Heeley smashing the gas lamp windows from Queens Road to Heeley Green.
.......The Heeley Green gang singing outside the Beer-off on the corner of Heeley Green and Denmark Road.
.......the man who came round shouting "knives to grind, scissors to grind".
.......the hiss of the knives and scissors being drawn across the stone as he peddled away.
.......lying in bed at night hearing the wagons being shunted in Queens Road goods yard
.......hearing the trains going through Heeley Station, the whistle going as it sped towards Dore and Totley.
.......the shouting and singing, the occasional fight, when the pubs turned out on a Saturday night.
.......hearing the corncrake as, I walked down the lane opposite Walton's farm, down to Farlees wood.
.......the grouse telling me to "go-back, go-back" as I walked through the Rollin wood.
.......the larks singing as I walked through the "hillocky" fields, the cuckoo calling "cuckoo-cuckoo".
.......hearing a man who wore clogs running to work, on Cross Myrtle Road, down Heeley Bank Road, the sound gradually fading away-this was five-o-clock in the morning.
.......the sound of boys and girls sledging and sliding down Myrtle Road.
.......voting day-the Cambridge Road gang and the Heeley Green gangs marching up and down Gleadless Road singing and shouting for their candidates. They had balls of paper made as hard as possible with layers of paper tied together with string, then a final piece of string was fastened to the ball, the thicker the better, and whirling the ball round they attacked each other. Some put stones inside the paper, those who got hit with them knew they had been in a fight.
.......the lads going through the streets singing "the Blues, the Blues, the bonnie, bonnie Blues, the Blue that shall be worn, for the Yellow, Green and Black shall go on the fire back, and we’ll vote for the Blues in the morning". They also sang "Vote, vote, vote for Mr. (so-and-so), you can’t vote for a better man, for (so-and-so) is the man and we’ll have him if we can, and we’ll put old (the other candidate) in an old tin can, Hooray."
.......the sound of the dust-cart, the barrow being wheeled up and down the yard and emptied in the Street and then into the cart.
.......the sound of rattling milk cans as Mr. Walton delivered the milk.
.......the ringing of the muffin man’s bell.
.......Bonfire night with very little organised bonfires, the Lady crackers, Chinese, a ha’penny for 60 plaited together, one penny for20 Chinese loose. Some of the boys would push them through people’s letter-boxes. The most popular, Lady crackers, Chinese crackers, jumping thunder flash, Catherine wheels, Roman candles, red lights, green lights, sparklers
.......the handicaps that was held in the Ball Lane ground, quite a number of local lads ran in the races.
.......the parties at Christmas - these would go on for a fortnight or so, till it had gone round the family - only for those who could afford to have one.
.......the cockerels waking us up in the morning, and the cats keeping us awake at night - everybody seemed to have a cat.
.......the lads "tossing" on the street corners, and the cry going up "Hey up, there’s copper", then the rush up passages and over walls. They never got caught.
Conversation overheard in the playground at Herdings.
"Wasn't it fun this morning? I made some paper fire lighters, what did you do?" "I polished some brasses and got my hands very dirty". "I did some mangling and it was very hard work". "Oh, I did some knitting, but what is mangling?
No comment needed from us!
EARLY HEELEY METHODISTS
by Don Ross.
The foundation of Methodism in Sheffield has direct links with Heeley. David Taylor, a preacher of the Gospel and follower of John Wesley’s teaching, brought the Gospel to the home in Heeley of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. The night before he came Mrs. Bennet had dreamed that a man had entered her house, announcing himself as a preacher. She had described his age, complexion, height and dress, which was exactly that of David Taylor.
The Bennet home became a Preaching House in 1738. The Bennet’s son, Edward, built the first Methodist Church in Sheffield in Cheney Square in 1741 (on the site now occupied by the Town Hall). So, Heeley Methodists can claim to be the first Methodists in Sheffield, and among the earliest in the country.
When in Sheffield, John and his brother Charles often stayed at the Booth’s farm at Woodseats, and, it is said, bathed in the River Sheaf at Norton Hammer and at Little London, Heeley.
In 1743 John Wesley preached in the corn mill yard at the bottom of well Road, where the railway is now. Preaching and teaching the Gospel continued in the cottages of Heeley for a further 88 years before the first chapel was built and opened in 1826 at the corner Gleadless Road and Hartley Street. The Primitive Methodists built a chapel at the bottom of Gleadless Road (then called Sheaf Street), in 1858, the direct predecessor of Anne Read Church, now St. Andrew's. These two old buildings are now workshops.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
(Photographed in October. 1977)
HEELEY'S FIRST SUNDAY SCHOOLS.
On many occasions we have discussed the various Sunday Schools that the different members of our group used to go to as children, and the various activities they were involved with. The references we received from Don Ross about early Methodists in Heeley, and the fact that this year we have been celebrating the anniversary of John Wesley’s conversion and the centenary of the Whit sings in Meersbrook Park (as detailed in our supplement booklet), seemed to be a good time to start our series on the Sunday Schools, the Churches and Chapels. We have few references on which to base our early investigations, and there are no survivors of the earliest schools to tell us of their memories.
We do know that the Bennet home in Heeley became a preaching house and remained so for many years, we also know that they became involved with the first Methodist Chapel in Sheffield. In 1766 the first Sunday School, as such, was opened in Heeley at Pudding Lane, near the present St. Andrew’s Chapel, but we are not sure of the exact location of this building. By 1797, Heeley was represented on the Methodist Local Preachers Plan with two meeting places, one at Gleadless Road and the other at Newfield Green. A Methodist Sunday school was Opened in 1817, it was situated at the top of Oak Street, opposite the Shakespeare Inn.
According to A. W. Booker, the school was opened at a very anxious time, just two years after the Battle of Waterloo. The first Quarterly Meeting of the school was held on Sept. I2th, 1817, to "consider and make rules for its future guidance". Later, when this building was too small for the increased numbers of scholars, it was used as an Infant School on Sundays, and on weekdays was kept as a Day School by Miss Archdale. The morning school began at 10 o’clock and the afternoon session at two. The object was to teach the scholars to read and write, to learn the Catechism arid the principles of the Mew Testament as taught by Wesley in the first four volumes of his sermons.
Some of the rules of this Sunday School would sound. harsh to us, superintendents and teachers were fined one penny, (and later Twopence) for being absent without a supply, and other fines were inflicted for being absent from meetings, etc. These fines were spent at the Social Tea Meetings held at Christmas, when the sale of tickets had to be limited because so many wished to attend. A rule was later added that no ardent spirits or ale be admitted to social gatherings". Reports were issued, and scholars were struck off the books if they were absent for six times-they were also not admitted unless they were "clean and tidy". All were exhorted to remember always that the "Great God is angry with frivolity". At Whitsuntide they had a gathering with other scholars in Sheffield and left Heeley at 6.30 a.m. but later they thought it too far to walk so they started a local walk in procession round the village, sang hymns and had refreshments which consisted of cakes and ale. The needy scholars who did not have their own were supplied with bonnets, tippets and handkerchiefs. All were expected to go "in uniform".
The numbers attending these meetings increased so much that a special Chapel or Sunday School was built in 1826 at the corner of Gleadless goad and Hartley Street. When it, in turn became too small, another larger building was erected, but we will come to that in due course. This building is still on the same corner today, although no longer used as a place of worship. Many of our members do remember it as the "Institute", as a building in which several groups linked to Heeley Church had their meetings.
On September 5th, 1926 over 5000 people met outside this building to hold a service to celebrate the centenary of the Sunday School. We are told that the churches represented were Heeley Parish Church, Heeley Wesley, Oak Street U.M., Anns Road P.M., St. Peter’s Mission Church, Kent Road P.M., and the Salvation Army. The Vicar of Heeley, the Reverend A. E. Duckett, B.Sc. who presided, spoke of the unity and fellowship of the old members of the church. The Reverend L. J. Hunt, minister of Heeley Wesley, gave a very earnest address which was most impressive, and Mr. Henry Kirk of Oak Street P.M. referred to "the mighty faith and courage of our forefathers in building this church." He said that the conveyance of the land, which cost £I6 13s 4d was signed on July 15th, 1826. by four men of Heeley and eleven men of Sheffield. The singing of the hymns and the Hallelujah Chorus by the united choirs of over 90 voices was accompanied by the Oak Street U.M. Orchestra and conducted by Sir Henry Coward, Mus. Doc. The hymns were, "All hail the power of Jesu’s name", "0 God our help in ages past", "The Churches one foundation", "Jesu lover of my soul", "The King of love my shepherd is" and "A ray of sunshine". Two Heeley Councilors and numerous Leaders arid Officials also attended this gathering and the Vicar of Heeley referred especially to the services of Messrs. H. H. Booker, Henry Kirk, R. Semper and the committee in connection with the arrangements.
Mr. Clifford Mills. tells us that he remembers singing at this service under the baton of Sir Henry Coward-he was a 14-year old choir boy regularly singing in Heeley Parish Church choir. He gained a valuable lesson as a member of the special choir on this occasion. During rehearsals, Sir Henry had advised everyone to count carefully the "Hallelujahs" during the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus since at one point there were four "Hallelujahs" in a row, However, with the arrogance of youths he disregarded this advice, and at the crucial moment he was the only one who sang five "Hallelujahs". Mr. Mills adds that since that service, in all the "Hallelujah Chorus" renderings he has sung, he has always remembered to count four!
In September 1976, another open-air service was held, in Hartley Street because of the traffic using Gleadless Road, to celebrate the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the building of the Sunday School. Although several of our group remember attending this service, we have no record available of the hymns tat were sung or who gave the address. If any of our readers have any details of this service we .would like to have them. Similarly we would welcome a additional information on the history of this building. It is still in existence today, although it is no longer used as a place of’ worship, but as a store house for industry. Due to weathering with the passage of time, the full date of 1826 is not fully visible above the door, but externally it has probably not changed much in it’s appearance since it was built.
In future booklets we hope to continue with this series of items on the various meeting places of worship in Heeley. Anyone with special memories or points of interest about any of them, would be most welcome at our meetings on Monday afternoons at Heeley Bank School, or they could pass on their information to any member of the group.