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No. 16: December 1989

  1. Heeley's First Sunday Schools Part VI.....................................................................................p.1&2
  2. Heeley Green Cinema.............................................................................................................p.3
  3. Heeley Station and Heeley Wheel...........................................................................................p.4&5
  4. Heeley Memorials....................................................................................................................p.6
  5. Heeley transport.....................................................................................................................p.7
  6. The Ivy on the old Garden Wall...............................................................................................p.8
  7. Did you know?.....................................................................................................................................p.2,4&8


This is our sixteenth 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 and also the Meersbrook Park Supplement and Milestones in the Emergence of a City.

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 Heeley Wesley which was opened two months after the Sheaf street Chapel. Mr Len Molineaux sent us some information which he researched in the library on the old Heeley mill and Heeley wheel. This was so beautifully written that we reproduce it as it is. Since Heeley Station was built on the site of the old wheel we are including some reminiscences of the building of the railway and a photograph of the station, no longer in use. The memorials in Heeley Church and churchyard provide us with some interesting links with Heeley's past and a photograph of Heeley Green cinema has been given to us since our reference to Heeley cinemas in earlier issues. Cissie Hardwick writes of her childhood memories of Frank Wornes and Lillian Haywood gives us some old uses of the ivy. 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 you help us? One suggestion we have had is that it is the place where puppies tails were docked.

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.


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.


While some members of the early Methodists were having their own meetings and organizing the building of the Sheaf Street Chapel (see booklet no. 15) which was to become allied to the Primitives Methodist cause, a large number of the congregation of the first Sunday School were buying land at the top of Oak Street for a cost of £95 through Mr W Sellars acting for the Methodists. They bought a flag in 1856 inscribed "Heeley United Methodist Free Church Sunday Schools" and intended to build a large chapel following the Wesleyan Reform Society services. Apart from those who joined forces with the Sheaf Street Chapel group there were others of the congregation who disagreed with the policy of amalgamating and joined the Wesleyan Reformers. These friends met at the house of Mr Archdale on Sundays for their own divine services (it was Miss Archdale who was one of the teachers in the first Sunday School and also in the day school associated with it). Mr Archdale's house was situated near the mill opposite the bottom of Albert Road. In the summer months the meetings for the services were held on Thirlwell Bank in a large tent at the back of the Red Lion Hotel. These summer meetings were very well attended and very successful. The Methodist Circuit (in Sheffield) was aware of the strength of the Reform movement in Heeley and realised the Wesleyan Methodists were struggling to survive, so after a report on these summer meetings, given to the Circuit meeting in Norfolk Street on september 12th 1857, it was decided to build Heeley Wesley.

Thanks to "The History of Heeley Wesley 1858-1938" by AW Booker we know quite a bit about the early history of the Chapel and Sunday School. The quarterly circuit meeting of September 1857 appointed a committee consisting of Rev. E Westlake (Superintendent minister) and Messrs James Allcard, William Cockayne, Thomas Charlesworth, Fisher Goodwin, Joseph Hallam, John Jones, Joseph Johnson, William Lodge and Joseph Fell, from whom a sub-committee was elected to obtain subscriptions. The architect was Mr Wilson of North Church Street and the building contractor was Mr Duke. The committee approved the final plans and tender to build the Chapel for £550, so that with the furnishings and opening expenses the cost totalled £674 11s 4d. The foundation stone for the building was laid on May 17th 1858 by Mr William Cockayne, who lived in Norton Lees and owned Cockayne's shop in Sheffield. A collection at the ceremony raised £16 15s.

Finally on Wednesday October 20th 1858 the opening services were taken by the Rev. Dr. Dixon - the morning service at Heeley and the evening at Brunswick. The opening celebrations were continued on the following two Sundays, on October 24th both morning and evening services at Heeley Wesley, the preacher was the Rev. James Methley and October 31st the Rev. John Shaw took the pulpit. The Sunday collections came to £62 5s 3d and the subscription fund raised £302 2s 0d, so with the stone laying collections a total of £381 2s 3d was amassed for paying the builder and architect. Singing at the opening services was led by a choir consisting of Mr Abram Sellers (leader) , Miss Sellers (soprano), Mr Wragg (tenor), Mr M Wragg (alto) and Mr S Johnson (bass). They were accompanied by Mr Bolton playing a violincello. After a few months Mr Wagstaff joined the choir and he lent his harmonium until there was money to purchase one for the chapel. For special services Mr S Wragg would also help by playing the violin.

On Sunday October 31st 1858 Mr Fisher Bodwin (who owned a nursery on the lower slopes below the Shakespeare Inn and was elected the first councillor for Heeley when it became part of Sheffield) and Mr John smith were appointed as secretaries to the new Sunday School and along with Mr A Sellars and Mr W Wood were the first Sunday School Superintendents. The chapel was a simple building with a central stove whose chimney went up through the roof. The pulpit was also simple with a few stairs and a door at each side.

The architect's drawing reproduced above shows where the school room was later added. The main entrance was in Thirlwell Road.

We are informed by a friend whose husband has been able to refer to an old diary that in 1950 June 12th was on a Monday, so that the programme for Heeley Coliseum shown in issue No. 14 was for June 1950 (an illustration from the film was shown in booklet No. 15).

Did you know that:- Oak Street Chapel was destroyed by fire on december 18th 1947.

We reproduce here a copy of a photograph of the old Heeley Green Cinema (see booklets No. 14 & 15).


This poem was recited to us by Fred Bell when he visited us recently.

You can carry a pack when it's strapped to your back,
You can carry a weight in your hands,
You can carry a bundle on the top of your head,
Folk do so in far away lands.

A weight can seem light if you carry it right,
Though it weighs as much as a boulder,
But a tiny chip is hard to bear,
When carried around on your shoulder.

Extract from Heeley Church Parish Magazine - 1901 : How We Got Our Numbers - by James Scott

A cross within a circle! In this simple sign all our figures may be traced. The first three numbers are clear enough, 5 and 3 have suffered some distortion, but popular usage has often done worse in maiming words. It will be seen that with 9 the possible constructions of lines from this original symbol are exhausted and O (the whole circle was employed to represent 10, the unit preceding the 0 signifying one ten. In the same way 20 means two tens. As to Roman numerals many people wonder why IIII appears in clock faces. It is correct. One raised finger meant one, two fingers two, three fingers three, four fingers four. Then five was formed by four fingers closed and the thumb pointing away from them, and for X we have two v's thus:

Memories of Heeley Station

The building of the railway from Sheffield to Chesterfield was started in 1867 and finished in 1870. The railway came right through Heeley, passing under Havelock Bridge, alongside the river Sheaf and Cutlers Walk below Cutlers Bank, behind the Sheaf Street Chapel and across the lower end of Sheaf Street and then across London Road and over the remains of the old Heeley mill (in the yard of which John Wesley preached on one of his visits). Heeley Station was built on the site of the old mill and should have been opened in September 1869, but owing to a fall of roof in the tunnel it was delayed until February 2nd 1870. Many labourers were involved in the railway construction and one local tradesman is reported by AW booker to have said "To see these fellows work was an eye-opener and especially to see them feed". The use to fetch three pennorth (three pennyworth) of meat and fry it on a shovel. (what did they eat it on? perhaps a thick slice of bread ).

Many who were Heeley youngsters in the inter-war years remember trekking down to Heeley Station to go for a day trip or a half day excursion, often their only holiday. Some would go only a short distance to the Peak District, such as Grindleford or Hathersage, but some would have the excitement of going to the seaside for a dig in the sands and a paddle in the sea. During the nineteen twenties and thirties the station was used a lot by people who worked in the east end, going through Brightside, Attercliff Road or Rotherham. Heeley station was finally closed down on January 2nd 1961.

Did you know that:- A Pullman train was wrecked at Heeley Station on November 22nd 1876.

Heeley Memorials

"Near the chancel (in Heeley Church) is a memorial stone which forms a link between Heeley and the Bronte family. It is to the memory of Thomas Wooler, a surgeon formerly of Dewsbury, who died in 1895 at the great age of ninety two. For several years this gentleman lived in retirement in Heeley, and I was practically the only one he received as a visitor. Notwithstanding his peculiarities it was evident that he was highly educated. He was the brother of Margaret Wooler, friend and school mistress of Charlotte Bronte and had been intimately acquainted with the Bronte family, concerning matters of which we had interesting talks. It is a matter for regret that I did not take notes of what was said on this very interesting subject."

Extract from "Fifty Years of Sheffield Church Life" by Canon Odom.

Also from the above book;
"notwithstanding the changed condition of its surroundings, Heeley churchyard, with its banks and hedgerows and spacious vicarage grounds above, still retains its rural aspect. Amongst the tombs are those of the Brownells of Newfield, the Creswicks of Norton and Henry Denson Jones, first vicar of the parish. A noticeable feature is the lofty obelisk resting on an immense block of granite to the memory of John Shortridge of Chipping House.

Did you know that:- John Shortridge, the man responsible for building the railway from Sheffield to Manchester and the Wicker Arches, was also the founder of the Heeley Omnibus. He lived at Chipping House, a house which stood on the site of the present Chippinghouse Road. He office was at 48, the Wicker with a stone dated 1853 on the front, this building still stands. He was killed on May 7th 1869 as the result of a carriage accident whilst driving in Heeley. An over spirited horse was blamed for the accident. His grave in Heeley churchyard has an obelisk resting upon a square block of granite which was so heavy that it took 10 pairs of horses to haul it up Sheaf Street (now Gleadless Road).

Heeley Transport

With reference to the first conductor of an electric tram, Mr Tom Baker, mentioned in "Albert Road Personalities" in booklet No. 12, we now reproduce from 1901 a memo to inspector Shorland about the training of a conductor to become a driver (please note, in his own time). Inspector Shorland lived on Artisan View in Heeley and later became a chief Inspector.

Did you know that:- Heeley horse tramway was opened on October 29th 1877.

Did you know that:- Used ticket boxes were first introduced on Sheffield trams on October 28th 1911.

Did you know that:- The electric tram service to Heeley started on November 1st 1900.

The reference to Mr F Wornes senior, the milkman of Albert Road, in our No. 12 booklet, takes me back to many years ago when I was a child. I was excitedly waiting for him to deliver our milk, as an aunt of mine had sent me some chickens for my birthday. These were housed in a hut and run at the top of our garden. When Mr Wornes arrived I said "Come and look at my chickens" and took him up to see them. He turned to me and said "Thems not chickens, they're Sparrers". Every after that he called me "Sparrers". Many years later around 1940 to 1942 I was working as a tram conductress, when Mr Wornes got on my tram at Landsdowne on his way home to Albert Road. He was carrying a churn and two measures (this was before we had bottled milk), he said "Hello Sparrers". It was a boiling hot day, not suitable for wearing thick uniform and I said "Oh, I could just drink some milk" and at once he poured me a pint in his measure, which I gratefully drank - much to the amusement of the passengers. He was always jolly with everyone. - by Cissie Hardwick.

Just Like the Ivy on the Old Garden Wall - by Lillian Haywood

It is two months since I wrote about the harvest of elder berries weighing down the bushes in their heavy clusters. By now all the berries have disappeared, those not gathered by humans for jam or wine making having been consumed by the birds, so the slender red stalks are now hanging loosely from the almost bare branches, since most of the leaves have now fallen as a result of the strong winds and frosts of the last few weeks.

Another harvest for the birds is now developing and I can see it changing daily from my kitchen window. The wall at the bottom of my garden over which the elder tree hangs, acts as a support for an Ivy plant and its rich growth acts as a shelter for many birds, insects and spiders and at times a predatory cat! November is the main month in which the Ivy comes into flower, but, depending on the weather, the flowers may open much earlier. This year, due to the glorious summer weather, by the middle of September most of the Ivy was covered in the clusters of flowers, the dark green of the leaves looking "speckled yellow" from my window, due to the yellow pollen on the flowers (they do not have petals) and the visiting bees. The berries usually ripen by March to provide a late winter food supply for the birds (they are poisonous to humans), but this year the berries are already well formed and unless we have very severe weather for a prolonged time, I think they will be ripe much earlier than usual.

Although not used medicinally, the plant did have its uses to the old country dweller. One beneficial use was for a corn cure. An Ivy leaf is to be soaked in lemon juice for three hours. In the last hour the sufferer should have a lengthy hot bath to soften the skin, or soak the foot in a bowl of hot water with frequent water changes to keep it hot. When drying the foot, bandage the prepared Ivy leaf in place and repeat the process daily with a fresh leaf. The corn will eventually come away. The same lemon juice can be used each day for the fresh leaves and thrown away when the corn is gone. You should also throw away the shoe which caused the corn in the first place!

The Ivy used to be gathered in quantities in December along with the Holly to be used as Christmas decorations for homes and churches. The well know carol "The Holly and the Ivy" reminds us of this universal custom.

A careful country housewife would also use the Ivy leaves to prepare a solution for the removal of stains and shine from navy and black clothes. Gather enough Ivy leaves to half fill an old saucepan, which must be iron or enamel, not a modern aluminium one. Cover the leaves with cold water and bring to the boil and boil for half an hour at least, then simmer for a further three hours. Cool and strain the liquid from the leaves and for each pint add a teaspoon full of ammonia. Keep this liquid in a labeled screw cap bottle, stored well away from children and use it to remove the shine and stains from gabardine, serge, barathea and other black or navy blue fabrics made of wool. I wish I had known about this solution when I was a schoolgirl - unfortunately I had grown out of those horrible gymslips and gabardine macs before I was told about it.

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