OLD HEELEY: A FEW NOTES
WRITTEN BY MEMBERS OF
"HEELEY'S HISTORY" WORKSHOP
HEELEY BANK CENTER, NORTON COLLEGE
FROM MEMORIES AND OTHER MATERIAL COLLECTED AT THE OPEN MEETINGS ON MONDAY AFTERNOONS AT HEELEY BANK SCHOOL COMMUNITY ROOMS.
No. 15: Mid-October 1989
This is our fifteenth booklet since we first went to print in Spring 1986. Demand for our leaflets continues and each new edition is eagerly awaited.
Heeley History Workshop continues to meet on Monday afternoons at Heeley Bank School in term time. This is organised by Norton College. We still have a few copies of some of our earlier leaflets available, though numbers 1, 2 and 3 are now out of print. There are also a few copies, of the Meersbrook Park Centenary booklet left.
For the benefit of new reader, some of our material comes from the hundred plus hours of memories` collected at the meetings of the Workshop. The rest of our material is brought by visitors to our meetings or sent in by you our readers.
In this leaflet we are including information about the first three Sunday Schools to which we have already referred. So many readers have sent us details that we are not going on to deal with part four in this issue and include here references to the first Sunday School and Heeley Church - the Pudding Lane school seems to have left little trace. Arising from Mr. Chapman's visit to Povey, a friend loaned us two photographs of Lees Hall (Clark's farm) and the pond alongside it at the top end of Cat Lane. These were taken in February 1927 and show Mr. & Mrs. A.E. Smith and Mr. Dick Travis as well as a group of children. The same friend brought an old programme for Heeley Coliseum, can anyone help us with the date. Our article refers to all Heeley's Cinemas. Mr. Bell met one of our group at a Bramhall Lane football match, when they started talking they realised that they broth hailed from Tillotson Road. Leaflets were- passed to Mr. Bell and one Monday recently he visited us and brought some written recollections, part one of which, we include now. One of our group put into writing her problems in going metric and the articles on the way things are changing arose from this.
If you are spring cleaning or turning out your attic we should be pleased to have any old photographs, magazines, letters, book any other memorabilia of the Heeley district. The origin of the` name Docker is, still a mystery to us, can you 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 area 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 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, 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. Pease 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.
HEELEY'S FIRST SUNDAY SCHOOLS. Part V.
By the time that Heeley Church was built in 1848, it was obvious that the Methodists in Heeley were sharing the discontent that was evident nationally about the way in which the Elders of the Methodist Conference were leading the Methodist Movement. After the death of, John Wesley, things has initially continued in the way in which they had done when he fou3aded the Movement, but gradually power was spread between several instead of a single leader, and those in power tried to impose different ways into their churches. So, in Heeley, as in other parts of the country, small 'splinter" groups separate off and held separate meetings in their own homes where they could worship as they wanted.
As a result of such meetings, and also to efforts at fund raising, a new Sunday School was opened in 1856, by Joseph Berley. It was at the corner of View Road and Sheaf Street (this was the part of the part of Gleadless Road that now extends from /inns lid. clown to Heeley Bottom). This building was eventually taken over by a Mr. Henry Bramhall, who used it as a day school known as the `Heeley Academy;"
Another such group held their meetings at the home of a Mr. Tomlinson who lived in Oak Street. They eventually built their own Sunday School and Chapel lower down in Sheaf Street, with the River Sheaf running along its rear boundary and, when the railway was later built with the railway lines and new railway bridge alongside it. This building was opened in August 1858, and by the grandchildren ofits founders, is still referred to as "the Sheaf Street Chapel". The change in name from Sheaf Street was necessary when Heeley became a part of nearby Sheffield, which of course had its own Sheaf Street. The rising ground above the chapel continued to be called Sheaf Bank and eventually on part of this bank the Prospect Road was built. The Public house on the corner of what was Sheaf St. and Prospect Rd. was, and still is, called the Sheaf View.
Although no longer used as a place of worship, this chapel building, like that of Heeley's first Sunday school, is still in existence and used by an industrial firm.
Opened in 1858, this Primitive Methodist Chapel in Gleadless Road (then called Sheaf Street) was the forerunner of the Anns Road Church now called St. Andrew's.
Heeley Memories by Fred Bell Part 2.
As a youngster in Heeley I attended Heeley St. Peters when the Rev. Glen Smith and Mr. Morton were there, also a number of names of children like me, Cook, Dodds, -Meggitt, Barber, Chapman, Rawson, but never seen them for years. I don't remember knowing any of them as men except George Meggitt and we renewed our acquaintance as neighbours when we both bought our houses in Gleadless Road. Another thing that I remember about old Heeley, what a beautifully situated place it was for getting out into the country. There were very few motor cars and tile building of housing estates hadn't started. Packed sandwiches, a bottle of ginger beer (my Mother used to brew it) and up through the moon penny field for a day out, or Cat Lane, top of Meersbrook Park, Buck Woods, up Hurlfield Hill on the left what used to be Hagg Lane and the Toll Bar, catching tiddlers and newts and going home wet through sometimes through larking about or slipping and falling into the water.
The old picture houses in Heeley were all very well patronised, when we lived in lower Heeley it was Heeley Palace or the little Coliseum mostly, but in Gleadless Road it was generally Heeley Green Palace.
Another chap in the old days that I was amazed at, along with the other kids, was a man, I think it was a Mr. Rose who lived in Sturge Street, he used to sell fish which he carried in a huge round basket on his head, he always walked with both hands in his pockets on Forster, Cambridge, Tillotson and Gregory Roads, Hartley Street and Boyton Street and he only handled the basket when he stopped in certain spots and called to his customers. Freddie Cardwell was another pal I remember with his fruit. At one period I used to go round Ranskill and other villages out there buying fruit etc. with him, as I was teaching him to drive.
Just a few play spots I remember, the old bake house in Tillotson Road; the Docker now developed and houses built on and around it. It was like a miniature Table Mountain, many a time with my pals I have played for hours sliding on bits of board down the slope, played soldiers on the top, made huge snowballs and kept them rolling on the top until they were four feet or more in diameter. I wish I could run up the steps from Shirebrook Road to Nicholson Road nowadays as I used to; I played for hours around there. Cur old large backyard, enclosed by three houses in Tillotson Road and six on Forster Road with the old middens at the bottom, the workmen after emptying them during the night would leave a huge red patch of disinfectant powder staining the ground until someone swilled or it happened to rain heavily. Thackerays' fish and chip shop at the corner of Gregory Road and Tillotson Road very often had windows broken through us lads playing cricket - soft ball - in our large backyard. Softball reminds me that if you owned a twopenny rubber ball you were never short of playmates and a "double-skinned" threepenny or fourpenny, you were really something special, pride of the gang.
These notes are just some of my own personal memories. I hope that at least they will make a little interesting reading for some of your readers and perhaps, jog their memories of some of the old and what seem now trivial events of old Heeley as we old 'uns remember it.
I said at the beginning of my memories that I would not venture into the history and statistics of old Heeley, but I thought I would conclude with an item which I quote out of an interesting magazine that I have recently been reading. "Heeley derives its name from "Heah Leah" meaning a high woodland clearing and is first mentioned in a charter of 1343 when it was called "Heighleigh". However, from 1533 the spelling is as it appears today. The village of Heeley nestled in the hillside around the church and green. As the village grew, it split into Upper, Middle and Nether Heeley, this last part became known as Heeley Bottom. In the nineteenth century where the disused Heeley Station now stands, was a large pond where horse teams bringing their loads to Sheffield would stop to eat and drink. All around the area were pastures and cornfields extending to East Bank Road, all the district was known as East Bank.
Some thoughts on the "Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness" by Lilian Haywood.
As I write this, on Sept. 21st. 1989, I am reminded that today is the date on which, so we were always taught at school, there would be twelve hours of daylight and-twelve hours of darkness. It was the time of the Autumnal Equinox, and was supposed to signal the start of Autumn, just as the spring Equinox six months earlier on March 21st was the start of Spring. The Media over recent years would have us believe that these dates were not "fixed" and that the time when the sun is directly over the Equator at its Zenith at noon could be a day later than these dates. I had always imagined that this .had something to do with Leap fears and the fact that every year we are a quarter of a day out in our calendar reckoning. It has to be admitted that at the end of each year we are not usually aware of this difference and most of us would go on quite happily without putting in the "extra" day if we weren't told about it. This reliance on sun or "Solar" time is quite complicated because there are other types of "time" that we also have to know about.
We have always known that if we tried to measure the time by the moon instead of the sun, then we should have a totally different time scale. A year would consist of 13 lunar months instead of our 12 calendar months, since one lunar month is approximately 28 days in length. Even this can vary by as much as a day more or less, depending on whether we take the movement of the moon against the fixed stars, using Siderial time, or the sun. That the moon has an important effect on our life here on earth has always been evident, since the heights and times of high and low tides around our shores are affected by the phases of the moon and the variation in the date on which we celebrate Easter is also based on lunar events.
With recent advances in scientific technology the measurement of time is much more complex than the sundials, water glasses, hourglasses, chronometers and pendulum clocks our great-grandfathers ancestor relied on. Much use is now made of "Atomic" time, which depends on the radiation emitted by the decay of a radioactive element; the one used is called Caesium-133. Incredibly, scientists have now devised special atomic clocks which are "fixed" to atomic time and can adjust to the nearest atomic second if they start getting out o1 step. I still prefer to use the second hand on my wrist watch to establish the extent of one second, and if that is not available I use the way I was told as a child to count slowly 1 2 3- 1, 1 2 3- 2, 1 2 3- 3, etc.
This discussion on time is taking me away from the start of autumn but we are hearing on our daily weather forecasts on radio and T.V. that early morning mists are with us again and in some areas may take some time to clear before the sun gets through. Also, as I write this I can see the ripe elderberries hanging over the garden wall. It is an old country saying (and Heeley was once very rural), that autumn did not start until the berries on the elder bushes were fully ripe and pulling the twigs down towards the ground. If this was true then Autumn came early to us this year, because the large clusters of ripe berries were already pulling the twigs down as early as the beginning of September and I got my jampan out to start making some into delicious jam. It was my mother-in-law who told me how she, and her mother before her, had always made some elderberry and apple jam every year, using the windfall apples from the farm orchard and the berries gathered from the bushes growing on the lane sides and between the fields.
The windfall apples were too badly bruised to keep in winter storage and in those days there were no freezers available for storing cooked foods, Also the use of pectin to make jam set was not known, but the jam does set we know now that the unripe apples do contain a lot of pectin. When I make my jam I do not even peel the apples, but only cut out the bruises parts of the apples and remove just the innermost part of the core. The recipe is for each pound of elderberries use one pound of apples and two pounds of sugar (although I usually use 1lb of sugar and half a pound of honey instead). 'The berries should be gathered when they are dry -make sure they/ are not still wet with the dew of: from the rain - and it is easier to gather them by the stems, which go red when the berries are ripe, The berries are easy to strip from the stems with the prongs of a fork, and they are put into the jampan with the apples which have been cut into small pieces. No water is to be added, some of the berries will burst and release their juices when you heat and stir with a wooden spoon. 'The fruit is brought to the boil and simmered until the apples go soft, the sugar and honey are then stirred in end simmering on a low heat continued until a small quantity from the wooden spoon sets if it is left to cool on a cool saucer. This jam is delicious and apart from the usual uses for jam, a teaspoonful of this, stirred up in a mugful of hot water is a very soothing drink for anyone with a sore throat or in the early stages of a cold.
N.B. With the present problems associated with lead pollution, it is wise not to gather your elderberries from a bush growing alongside a busy road -just washing the berries from such a source will not get rid of the pollution.
Did you know that:
Heeley once had a cinema called the Olympia? This was the roller skating rink on Bramall Lane-144hh in 1911 was converted into a cinema. The experiment was not a success and three weeks later it reverted to its original use as a skating rink. The building is now a corporation depot and before and during the war it was a bus depot.
Did you know that the month of February 1866, was one of the most remarkable months in the world's history. January had two full moons and so hid March, but February had none. This had not occurred since the creation of tile world and, according to some astronomers, the some thing may not occur again for a period of 2,500,000 years.
Did you know that about 1,500 tons of iron and brass wire were yearly made in England into pins? The Newhall Works, Birmingham, make 10,0003000 pins per day.
Did you know that the Post office savings Bank was established on September 16th 1861? The minimum deposit was one shilling and the maximum deposit in any one year was £30. The total amount on deposit was £150 exclusive of interest. When the principal and interest amounted to £200 all interest ceased.
The above items are taken from a pocket almanack for 1893. Unfortunately the back is missing, so we don't know who it was published by, although the reader was exhorted on nearly every page to 'Use only Sterling baking powder'.
Church Life in the 1920s by Alf Cooke.
There seemed to be no shortage of adults in the churches who were prepared to give of their time for religious education, social activities, uniformed organisations and sport. Christ Church, Heeley, was typical - on Sunday provision was made for Sunday school. All children between the ages of five and fourteen were accommodated in the Church Hall or Hartley Street schoolroom. At six o'clock on Sunday evenings there was a service for children held in Hartley Street schoolroom by Mr. & Mrs. Batty. When attending Sunday school each scholar was presented with a stamp album and each Sunday received a coloured stamp of the story which was the basis of the lesson. The older scholars had a star card which was stamped each Sunday. Whether this was to prove that he had been to Sunday School or whether it had some connection with the right to attend the Whit Monday tea I do not know.
Easter and Whitsuntide were Church festivals which were celebrated in the open air. On Faster Sunday afternoon, the choir, Sunday School and congregation assembled in the Churchyard to take part in a Resurrection Service. At Whitsuntide there was more activity. The children who attended the Sunday School, went to the schoolrooms for breakfast on Whit Monday morning and then processed to Meersbrook Park, where all the nonconformist Sunday Schools of the area assembled to sing Whitsuntide Hymns. Heeley Church did not join the Chapels, but paraded through the parish, led by the choir, the uniformed organisations etc. stopping at various road junctions to sing hymns. In the afternoon, the children assembled at Church and walked to Lawsons' field (just beyond what is now the Newfield Green shopping centre) to join in games and races and most of all to enjoy a paper bag containing sandwiches and buns.
In the late 1920s a Bible Class was organised in the Institute at the corner of Hartley Street and Gleadless Road (Heeley's first Sunday School). During the week the Institute was a billiard room for the older youths and men. As the Bible Class grew it moved to St. Leonards Mission Church near the bottom of Gleadless Road and proved very popular. It-included males of all ages and was the biggest Bible Class in the Deanery, numbering over a hired and twenty members and having a small orchestra to lead the singing. During the week there were meetings of the uniformed organisations, Girl Guides and Church Lads Brigade. The latter was not very popular with neighbours on band practice nights in Hartley Street Schoolrooms On other evenings there was the meeting of the Girls' Friendly Society and a missionary meeting for children of eight to fourteen where magic lantern slides were shown of missionary work in Africa and the East, from time to time the children performed a play in eastern costume. Later a children's' operetta society was formed under the direction of the Rev. A. Smith which brought great pleasure to the children and enjoyment to the parents.
The churches and chapels also tried to provide opportunities for football and cricket. This was difficult because of shortage of money and suitable sports fields. It meant that the players had to be prepares for a good walk before the match. I believe that Heeley Church had a ground on Hemsworth Road, just past the New Inn. Another chapel team played behind the Bagshawe Arms, whilst others played the top side of Buck Wood at Paddock Farm, so most Saturday afternoons were spent in playing sport of one kind or another.
Did you know that:
Sheffield's first V.C. of the 1914-18 war, who was called Loosemore, is buried in Heeley Churchyard.
The Shoreham Street tram route was opened on May 19th 1904.
Lees Hall Golf Course was opened on May 204th 1907.
A hailstorm on July 5th 1843 broke 5,700 panes of glass in the Botanical Gardens.
A cholera outbreak which killed 402 people (including the then, Master Cutler) started on July 8th 1832.
The Rules of Heeley Pay Schools in 1843 extracted from Canon Odom's Book.
(1) Each child on first coming to school is to pay twopence, which sum is to be paid regularly in advance early Monday morning. For this, will be taught reading, writing and arithmetic and to the girls needlework.
(2) The school hours are from Lady Day to Michaelmas, in the morning from 9 a.m. to twelve noon and in the afternoon from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. From Michaelmas to Lady Day, in the morning from 9 a.m. to twelve noon and in the afternoon from 1.30 p.m. to 4 p.m., On Sunday throughout the year at 9 a.m. in the morning and at 2 p.m. in the afternoon.
(3) Children are to be sent neat and clean and the girls without necklaces, feathers or Finery.
(4) It is expected that no child be kept from school without leave being granted the day before. Children whose attendance is irregular after repeated admonitions will be dismissed. If any child be detained at home by illness the parents are expected to acquaint the master.
(5) If any child behave ill at school, or be idle and careless in doing what is set them, they will be detained after school hours.
(6) Parents who intend to withdraw their children are expected to give previous notice to the Master of the school.
(7) Work will be provided for girls two days in the week. On other days they may bring their own work, only fancywork will not be allowed.
(8) The presence of the children on Sundays is required in order that they may receive religious instruction and attend church.
(9) Any child living in Upper or Lower Heeley may be admitted, provided the parents agree to conform to the above rules.
(10) When a child is brought for the first time, one of the parents or guardians of the child is required to come and consent to the rules and receive a copy of them, after which the Child's name may be enrolled.
(11) Children attending the Sunday School and not the day school are required in all respects to submit to the discipline of the school and to attend church under the conduct and guidance of the Master.
In 1843 Heeley was in the Parish of St. Mary's, so the Church mentioned was St. Mary's, Bramhall Lane.
In 1841 Parliament directed that in addition to paying scholars, eighteen children were to be taught free.
Memories of Heeley Green Cinema and Theatre.
When the cinema was first opened in 1920, (see our booklet No. 14) it showed silent films in black and white. Mr. Chapman, who is our oldest member, remembers seeing Will Rodgers, a knockabout comedian, in a film in which he becomes involved in a cross country foot race by accident and which he eventually wins. Some members of the group remember being given an apple and an orange if they went to a Saturday afternoon performance, but they cannot remember any details of any particular film they saw.
A lot of our group can remember when the cinema was changed and the stage was set up for a theatre. This charge was made in 1930 and the theatre was used for variety, pantomimes, music hall, operas and plays. There was a change of production each week and Mr. Chapman's sister, Mrs. Gandy, remembers that her husband was involved in dismantling the scenery after the last performance on Saturday night and getting it down to the railway station ready for transport for their next venue for Monday. He usually had to walk back home and often it was after 3o30 a.m. when he got in. His pay for doing this was half a crown.
Around Christmas time about five different pantomimes were shown, each being given for one week. The animals being used on stage in the pantos or other productions were kept in the back yard of the Waggon and Horses public house opposite the theatre. The members of the casts of the plays, pantos etc. used to lodge for the week in nearby houses, e.g. Denmark Road, the Newfield Inn, some in Romney Road and some in large houses down on Meersbrook Road.
Everyone tried to talk at the same time in recalling what had been seen and recalled as a memory. A selection includes "I remember seeing Harry Korris and the Arcadian Follies one winter. The last scene of an old fashioned wedding group in a picture frame remains in my mind. I went to see Gypsy Petulengro and she asked people to come up on the stage from out of the audience. The woman went up and he looked at her hand, then said to her "I think you had better go back to your seat madam, because if-I told you your future you would never sleep for worrying". I have often wondered if she had been planted in the audience on purpose." "I remember going to a pantomime where we were all encouraged to sing and they let down a large sheet with all the words written on it. As little children we thoroughly enjoyed this and tried to learn all the words. All that I can remember now is:
If Santa Claus comes down the chimney
At twelve o'clock at night
Why doesn't he leave the soot
Where he puts his sooty foot?
I hope that someone else can remember the remaining words." "I went to the first house performance of one show and all I can recall is some of the chatter from two comics who were entertaining us from in front of the curtain during a scene change. The first comic said 'Is it cruel to stick pins in spiders?' the second comic repeated this before saying 'Of course it is, why?' The first one replied 'Well no-one worries when we stitch buttons on flies:' I was too young to understand why everybody laughed and had to ask my mother what it meant." "Saturday evenings were great round about Heeley Green Cinema. There were two performances then and at the end of the first performance, what with the first house coming out arid others hurrying to join the queue for the second house it was a busy as Piccadilly Circus." "I remember during the war, when it was a cinema my brother was home on leave from the army. He offered to take me to the pictures as a treat and after checking what was on elsewhere, we went to the Heeley Green cinema to see Laurence Olivier in Henry Vth."
Have any of our readers got any memories of the theatre or the cinema at Heeley Green? If you have, please don't keep them to yourself but send them to us to include in a future issue.
Did you notice that we have a new front cover on this issue? '?'This has been specially designed for us by Peter Freeman who is head of the Graphics department of Norton College, which is at the moment based at Heeley Bank.
Further to our query in issue fourteen about the Heeley Coliseum programme, we learn from the "Star" that "Boys in Brown" which featured Jimmy Handley, Richard Attenborough and Dirk Rogarde was released in 1949, so the date of the June programme is likely to be 1950.
SCHOOL DAZE: Jimmy Handley, Richard Attenborough and Dirk Bogarde in a scene from Boys in Brown (1949)
The following items come from the notebook of Adelaide Bevan, who was a pupil teacher in the early 1900s. The book has been lent by her daughter Miss Young.
Pick up the cotton with the right thumb and forefinger close to the end. (Point the end of the cotton). Twist cotton with left thumb and forefinger. Pick up needle with left hand thumb and two fingers with the eye to the body and top level with chin. Place the right thumb on the left thumb, both hands level to chin. Rush through with the thumb and finger up to left thumb and finger so that the needle can be held by the right thumb and finger. Pull cotton through with left, hand. Hold up with right hand.
Child holds up hand palm facing child. Take up thimble with left thumb and all the fingers. Put it on the finger.
Combining needle and thimble
Use smaller needle which will take canvas. Have needle threaded and thimble on desk. Put-on thimble. Take up needle with right thumb and finger and hold it in a horizontal position. The eye of the needle to right, point to right level with chin using only finger and thumb. Use the left hand for first two or three times to help needle into position. Put thimble on to eye of needle, top of thimble to eye of needle, not side. Push the needle between the thumb and finger with thimble. Put back into place with left hand and repeat.