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. 12: FEBRUARY 1989
This is our twelfth booklet since we first went into print in Spring 1986. Demand for our leaflets continues and each new edition is eagerly awaited.
Heeley’s History Workshop continues to meet on Monday afternoons at Heeley Bank School in term time. We still have a few copies of most of our earlier leaflets available, but No. 1 is out of print. We also have a few copies of Meersbrook Park Centenary books and supplements available.
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 include the second part of Heeley’s first Sunday Schools and the first part of Mr. Chapman’s memories of a boyhood visit to Povey and the memories of Mrs. Bramhill’s mother who as a girl lived in Heeley in the eighteen eighties and eighteen nineties.
We have been given two bound volumes of Heeley Church magazine for 1893 and 1895. We are very grateful for them and in this leaflet we include references to the severe winter mentioned by Mrs. Bramhill's mother. We hope to include further extracts from them in the future. We are also pleased to have been given the bound volumes of Heeley Street Peter’s Church and the books that were given to Lizzie Gaunt as prizes from Heeley Bank School and Anns Road evening school around the turn of the century. If you are spring cleaning or turning out your attic we should be pleased to have any old photographs, magazines, letters, books or any other memorabilia of the Heeley district. The origin of the name Docker is still a mystery to us, can help us?
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 recalling 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 lookout for anything you can add to what we print. So please keep the new information flooding in, don't keep it to yourself while 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 - 3.15, normally every week except school holidays.
Enquiries and messages: Joan Palfreyman, Tel. Sheffield 550027.
Mr. Chapman remembers a visit to Povey.
It is May 1914; May Day has been and gone with all the excitement of the parade the Morris dancers, the decorated milk floats, the Brewery drays, the horses with braided manes, coloured ribbons, all the brass work shining, the paint spick and span. My friends and I are going to Povey for the day, we have packed. up some bread and butter, plum tomatoes (Italian), a scone or a teacake and. a bottle of water.
Our starting point is Cross Myrtle Road, picking up Sam and Bill Montgomery in Myrtle Road, and Bill Anderson, Albert Davenport, George Welsby outside Crowther’s shop (sweets). We make our way on. Denmark Road and down the school steps and school lane (Heeley National School), to cross Gleadless Road with the chip shop on one side of Northcote Road and the grocer’s shop on the other side. We pass the church, (Heeley Street Peter's) and opposite the Church is a house-window shop selling sweets, minerals, pins, hairpins, (nothing bulky). If we had any money we would have to spend it at this shop as it was the last shop before we come home again, there is no shop between Northcote Road and Povey, a walk of about three miles.
We continue down Northcote Road, across the Docker to the bottom of Cat Lane. In the last house down Cat Lane lives a Mrs. Garner, she makes and sells cakes and pastries from her house. Going on Cat Lane we pass the Hillocky fields on the left and the Meersbrook allotments on the right, then on the left is the lane up to Brownhill’s Plantation. Before we come to the bridge over the stream is a clump of gorse bushes, with a nest in the bushes. Bill Montgomery says it is a kingfisher’s nest. I don’t know I take Bill’s words as gospel for he seems to know the bird’s habits. As we walk along the lane we come to two cottages, one is occupied by Mr. Hustler, the Gamekeeper. I know because he is a friend of my Grandfather. Just before we get to the cottages the stream goes under the lane. This stream rises in the field at the back of the Police Station in Gleadless, and is joined by several other small streams from springs in the woods, before running along the bottom of the Meersbrook allotments-they get their name from the stream - and goes under the. road. at the bottom of the cutting (now called Carfield Road). Eventually, we knew that the stream finished by joining the Sheaf at Heeley Bottom.
Just beyond the cottages a wooden bridge crosses a small side stream leading into the allotments. Iron railings start at the entrance of the woods and finish at the farm; some people call these woods Cat Lane woods, but we always call them First, second. and third woods. We go up the cart track which is the last bit of Cat Lane, to the farm - to our right are the railings and the wood, where the catkins would make a good. show earlier in the year, but there are not many bluebells. Kidnapper’s Lane is at the end. of the First Wood, and at the bottom of this lane was a high bank. In. this bank the Jenny Wrens built their nests - according to Bill. A big bed of what I call Wild Spirlea grew in a large area of moist ground. To the left of the track were the Pansy Field and the Nightingale Field. The first building on the farm was the cowshed, this was on our left, on our right was the Driving Tee for the 5 hole of the golf course at the bottom of Far Lees wood. Near the entrance to the cowshed. the farmer boiled his pig swill - and it did smell.
The driveway leading up to the farmhouse was covered in small pieces of pearl - this was waste from the firm that made pearl buttons. Going forward was a shed with farm machinery in, the swallows flying in and out in a constant stream. A duck pond was in front of the shed, but it is not there now. As we start to climb the hill, a cart track goes off towards Clarke’s farm. A hedge along this track looks a good place to find birds nests, this lane is off the beaten track. The field at the farm overlooks the second wood. We are now going up the hill with the houses on our left and the golf course on our right. Harebells grow on the bank on the lane, also on the bank-side of the golf links.
As we walk on the track it becomes like a gully - I expect it has been caused by the heavy rain coming down the hill. As we walk up the track we pass a field with a small pond inside it and as we walk up the track a stream runs down the side and it becomes larger. As we continue our walk we come to a small waterfall, which we pass, then come to a stile on our left. This leads into the fields going to a farm. Kent Road Church rent one of these fields we go through, for their cricket club. We go forward towards the farm and come to the road near the Bagshawe Arms.
This is hunting country and the hounds meet here. If we cross the road Oakes Park is to our right and an opening in the hedge leads into the fields. We go to our left down Hemsworth Road, to Lightwood Lane and turn down into it. Soon we come to a pond on our right - it is dark and overgrown round this pond and seems a little sinister. Then a farm on our left comes into view and it doesn’t seem so frightening, and soon, lower down, is another farm.
Everything seems to change now. It feels as though we are in a different country, everything is so quiet. There are no cows or sheep, they only seem to grow corn round here. There is another building on our right and this stretch of lane has iron railings down the right-hand side. Finally we come to the end of the lane and climb over this stile. In the farmyard the cats are lying about, waiting and watching for anything running about. As we walk down the lane to Hazlehurst there is a cottage on the right - the last place where we can ask for a drink of water. So, we go on down to Povey Bottom, the end of our journey. At last, we can get our dinner out and refresh ourselves, before we start looking in the stream and begin our afternoon adventures. (To be continued in our next issue).
A sketch map of the Meersbrook and the three woods,
ALBERT ROAD PERSONALITIES (of the 1920’s) by Don Ross.
First, I must mention my Father-in-law, who worked for the railway. He was about 6 ft. 4 ins, tall, and known as Big Jim, although his name was Ralph. He was a sort of station Commissionaire at the Midland Railway Station. He patrolled the station front dealing with any celebrities like the Lord Mayor, the Master Cutler or any big business executives.
Mr. Mappin , the chimney sweep.
He carried his rods, brush and sacks on his shoulder. The only things that were not black when he was doing his rounds were his teeth and the whites of his eyes. His son carried on with chimney sweeping when he retired.
Mr. Frank Worns, the milkman.
A well-built man who was very bad on his feet and never wore boots or shoes, only slippers or "pumps" as we called them. He never wore a collar or tie or a jacket, just a shirt and waistcoat, regardless of the weather. He had rosy cheeks and prominent teeth. Every day he would go up Albert Road in the horse-drawn milk float with two big churns on the back. I believe he went up to Ash Farm for the milk. It was said that during the depression period and the coal strike of the mid 1920’s nobody went without milk, regardless of whether they could pay or not.
His son, also Frank by name, helped him and later took over. He delivered milk with a bicycle which had a box affair fitted on one side to carry the churns. They were both very good Crown Green Bowls players and played for the Meersbrook Park First Team.
Mrs. Jordan J.P.
Mrs. Jordan lived opposite our house, and I can recall a horse-drawn cab from Tomlinson’s Cab Co. (based on the corner of Havelock Bridge and Queen’s Road) calling for Mrs. Jordan. I supposed it came to take her to the Magistrates Court.
This gentleman lived in the big house opposite Ruskin Square. I understand he worked for the railways compiling time tables of the trains for business people. I believe they called them The Bradshaw.
He had his surgery where he lived, just up Shirebrook Road. He was the ‘Poor Law" doctor. If you could not afford to pay, you called him. I remember having to fetch him once when one of my brothers had chicken pox. This house, and those adjoining it received a direct hit during the Blitz, and were totally destroyed.
He was the ‘School Board" man who came to see why you were absent from school. He called within a day or two of your first being absent and then again after about ten days. He was a tall, very pleasant, friendly man, and lived locally on. Rushdale Road.
Mr. Tom Barker.
Lived on Albert Road and he issued the first ticket on the first electric tram in. 1899. He died in 1936.
He came after Dr. Fordham, in Kent Road. He was another who never bothered about payment and he worked all hours. I’ve been in his house at turned midnight waiting for medicine. The waiting room was just up Kent Road. His surgery was the big front room overlooking the orchard. You then moved into the Hall where there was a row of chairs, and you waited here for the medicine which was dispensed in another ground-floor room. When the Hall got full you sat on the stairs.
He was the first man on our road to have a car. There were one or two motor cycles, young Mr. Roper had one. I can remember the doctor "flying" up and down Albert Road, 30 M.P.H. was "shifting" some in those days.
Cardwell’s had a Greengrocer’s shop on Sheaf Bank, just up Gleadless Road. Fred and his sister Annie came every Saturday with a horse and cart with fruit and vegetables. They came hail, rain, snow or shine, winter and summer. By the time they reached Ruskin Square it was often 9-30 to 10 p.m.
This was what we called the street lamplighter, I never knew his real name. All the kids hated him. As I remember, he was a foul-mouthed bad-tempered old man and had, I suppose, some reason to be, with the tricks we played on him. Enough said.
Look out for some more Personalities in our next issue.
Some Memories of Old Heeley, by Mrs. Norah Bramhill.
You have asked us for any old memories of Heeley - My Grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. Albert Henry Denton, lived at a small shop at No. 11 Alexandra Road. Grandpa worked at Spaffords, he died in August 1896, after which the family moved to Pitsmoor. So, all that I write about this from before that date, and was told to me by my mother, who was born in 1881, the eldest of six children.
As a small girl she used to stand outside the shop on Saturdays selling oranges from the box at a halfpenny each. This was quite a luxury in those days. She was sent, when money permitted, to a "Ladies School" at the sum of one penny per week. This was before the days of free education. This school was held in the building at the corner of Gleadless Road and Hartley Street which was a Methodist Chapel, and I can still read the remains of the name on the stone in the upper part of this building. (See our article about Heeley’s first Sunday school in our last leaflet, No.11.). I think the day school was only for girls, but I am not sure. It was a private school run by two Ladies - hence its name - a Ladies School. They taught reading, writing, arithmetic and spelling, but little else. Each afternoon they had sewing, needlework, crocheting and knitting, these skills, however, lasted her all her life and she had clever fingers.
Another memory of hers was that she was sent to "help" a couple of deaf and dumb people who lived opposite the shop, where there was a well in the cellar. She seemed to think that there was some trouble about this and so it was covered over or filled in.
Myrtle Road was considered very "upper class" at that time, and Grandma took in a bit of laundry. She used to wash and starch stiff, round collars for the gentlemen. Mother had the job of dollying half a tub at once, and as a child I used to play with a round iron (not a Flat iron) which was the iron she or Grandma had used for the job of ironing them.
Of course, she had to leave school and go out to work at early age and she was employed in Dixon’s Silver Warehouse, Cornish Place, Shalesmoor. The hours were 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and she had to walk there and back. This meant getting up at 6.30.a.m. Grandma often mistook the time by Grandpa’s watch and Mother was then called at 5.30 a.m. This did not matter as she then had time to knead up a stone (14 lbs.) of bread ready for Grandma to bake for the shop!
This leads me to a winter about this time when she got to Havelock Bridge and workmen who were clearing snow lifted her over. It must have been a very hard winter because most of the outside water pipes froze. Grandma had done so much baking that hers lasted longer than most of those around. Hers was allowed to run night and day to keep it flowing, and people came and helped themselves to water from the tap. Eventually it did freeze up and then water had to be carried from a standpipe in the yard of the Earl of Arundel. I wonder if anyone remembers this, and what a contrast to now, with hot water ad. lib. (see our extracts from the Heeley Church Parish Magazines for 1895).
In 1934 my mother and I returned to Heeley, she lived at No.17 Richards Road until her death in 1950. During that period her girlhood friend, L. Ellis (maiden name) was still living in the same house at No.15 Alexandra Road. The small shop of her childhood was now a Ladies Hairdressers, where my Mother went occasionally, but on the night of the Sheffield Blitz it suffered at the hands of the enemy from a time bomb. So also did the shop at the corner of Alexandra & Prospect Roads. This shop was called Barlow’s in 1896. Mr. Barlow must have been somewhat of an undertaker because he played a big part in my Grandfather’s funeral arrangements.
These are just some of the memories passed on to me from my Mother, I hope you will find them of interest.
EXTRACTS FROM HEELEY PARISH MAGAZINE
April 1985. The winter had been very severe and inevitably there had been many deaths, while most families had endured a period of severe and general sickness. This, coupled with the depressed state of trade had caused much distress locally. Canon Odom, in his monthly magazine letter welcomed the approaching Spring and prayed that the sun, which is shining so brightly as I write, would bring abundant rays of hope and brightness to the hearts and homes of my readers. On a somber note Canon Odom mentioned that Mr. George Parkinson, of 23 View Road, who had died in Feb. 1895, aged 67, was the first man whose marriage had been solemnized in Heeley Parish Church, on December 2nd 1848. "What changes had taken place in the parish since that date", he wrote.
At a time when life expectancy was short and many children died in infancy, it is surprising to read that Thomas Walker, of 103 Richards Road, had died at the ripe old age of 92. He was the brother of Margaret Wooler, the governess and friend of Charlotte Bronte, the authoress. Mr. Wooler was once a well known physician in Yorkshire and a contributor to medical journals, but had lived a secluded life in Heeley for many years.
A comment on "healthy eating" - from 1895.
Children should be trained to eat slowly, so the article read. "Much safer a little food well ground than a big meal swallowed in haste".
"Give no more to every guest than he is able to digest, Give him always of the prime & but little at a time".
"Denticate, masticate, bite, champ and swallow".
According to this article, Mr. Gladstone attributed his good health partly to his habit of giving twenty bites before swallowing. A leading doctor said he never knew a case in which any man took too little food when he had plenty before him. However, he knew many who owed their ill-health to eating too much too quickly.
Elsewhere, Canon Odom strikes a humorous note. "A schoolmaster once said of a certain boy, that he had never known any boy do so little work in such a long time. The boy, his pride somewhat wounded by this insulting remark soon had his revenge. When "The Result of Idleness" was given as the subject of an essay, he handed in to the master a clean sheet of white paper!
More extracts will be included in future issues.
DID YOU KNOW?
If you stand at the top gate of Meersbrook Park (Norton Lees Road entrance) on a clear day, you can see twenty-five churches, and if you turn round and look up the road you can see another one, St. Paul’s Church at Norton Lees. (This was sent to us by Mr. Don Ross for our Meersbrook Park Supplement, but the proofs had already gone to print by the time we received it).
On the 3rd of February in 1881, Heeley became a separate parish.
On the 17th of January in 1838, a cricket match was played on ice-skates on Little London Dam.
On the 31st of January in 1838, a sheep was roasted on the River Don which was frozen for a total of ten weeks.
On the 19th of January in 1852 the Haymarket to Heeley Omnibus was started..
On the 11th of March in 1864, the Dale Dyke Dam burst and caused the Great Sheffield Flood in which over 240 people were killed.
HEELEY’S SUNDAY SCHOOLS. Part 2.
Members of St. Andrew's Church (the old Anns Road P.M. Church) have told us that records exist of the establishment of a Sunday School in Heeley as early as 1766. It was in Pudding Lane, somewhere near the present Anns Road, but we have no clear record of the building or even of the exact site of Pudding Lane.
To continue our story of Heeley’s places of worship, in 1833 a Sunday School was built in Quarry Lane, which was also known as Dirty Lane or Mucky Lane. This lane later became known as Anns Road, but it’s earlier name was due to the fact that it led to a large quarry on the site of the present Anns Grove School, which was quarried by the Boot family who lived in a large farmhouse at the top of Oak Street (where the Oak Street Chapel was eventually built). It is recorded that Mr. Shore, of Meersbrook House, became a trustee of this Sunday School, and that he was a liberal benefactor. Another trustee was a Mr. Branson, who was responsible for executing the Deed of the School property. This school replaced the Pudding Lane School of 1766, and also accepted scholars for whom there was no room at the building erected in 1826 - so rapidly was the population of Heeley growing. Several people in Heeley also hired this school as a night - school, and eventually a Mr. Bramhall ran it as a day school for many years , calling it The Heeley Commercial Academy.
It is recorded by A. W. Booker, that all the Sunday School scholars attended the Centenary celebrations of Wesleyan Methodism on Monday, Oct 28th, 1839, when a mug was given to each one, with a portrait of John Wesley on one side and the words "John Wesley, Founder of Methodism, born June 17th 1703, died March 2nd, 1791" and on the other side were the words "Celebration of Wesleyan Methodism, Oct.28th, 1839." A special hymn composed by James Montgomery was sung, the first four lines were,
A hundred years ago, what then?
Then rose the world to bless
A little band of faithful men
A cloud of witnesses.
Altogether, they appear to have had a good time. There were many other occasions when they had special gatherings, for example, a newspaper cutting dated June 8th 1850 reads - "On Sunday last, two Sermons were preached to numerous congregations in the open air at Heeley, by Mr. S. Herriman of Baslow, for the benefit of the Wesleyan Sunday School connected with that place, when the very liberal sum of Fifteen Pounds, Three Shillings and Eight pence was collected (the usual collection not averaging more than Five Pounds). The committee of this excellent institution wish to express their gratitude for this substantial proof of the Public’s favour and unprecedented liberality."
A. W. Booker records that these Anniversaries were always Red Letter days with the people and scholars. He adds that Musicians were always invited to help on these occasions. They must have been very hearty and robust, because a bill for one such occasion reads- 8 lbs. of Beef; half a peck of potatoes; 6 lbs. of bread and 4 quarts of ale. It seems that they worked well both with the music and the eating.
In 1831, the large Methodist Circuit of Sheffield had been split, with Heeley included in the Sheffield East Circuit. It is recorded that at Heeley, the Sunday Services were held at 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. during the 1830’s arid 1840’s. It was during the early 1840’s that some of the people of Heeley who had been walking to the Church services at St. Mary’s in Bramall Lane started to ask for a church in their own locality - we shall go on to consider the development of Heeley Church in our next issue.
In this whole-page extract from the Heeley Parish Magazine for January 1895, in which births, marriages and deaths for December 1894 and most of January 1895 are given, we can see some indication of the high birthrate of that time and also the high death rate, particularly of the very young.