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No. 17: January 1990

  1. Heeley's First Sunday Schools Part 7....................................................................................p.1&2
  2. Heeley Station......................................................................................................................p.3, 4&5
  3. Heeley Wheel.......................................................................................................................p.6
  4. The first tree in the Greenwood by Lillian Haywood..............................................................p.7&8
  5. More about Ivy.....................................................................................................................p.8
  6. How we got our numbers (2).................................................................................................p.1
  7. Donald Ross - a tribute..........................................................................................................p.4


This is our seventeenth 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. We still have a few copies of some of our earlier leaflets available, though numbers 1to 4 are out of print. We also have a few copies of the Meersbrook Park Centenary booklet and supplement available. Also a few "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 weekly meetings at Heeley Bank School. This is organised by Norton College and meets Monday afternoons - newcomers are always welcome. Increasingly, some of our material is being written by our readers and being sent or brought to us.

In this leaflet our series on Heely's first Sunday Schools deals with the building and opening of the Oak Street Chapel. Several readers have asked us about the meaning of some of the words in the article on the Heeley Wheel, sowe are including a glossary - we are very grateful to our senior member, Mr. Chapman, for his discriptionof the trows, though the ones he worked on were much more up to date than the ones mentioned in the Heeley Wheel extracts. Our photograph on Heeley Station brough back so many memories from our group and our readers that we are including some of them. Lillian's article on the Ivy brough some interesting comments from two of our group and she has written another account - this time of the holly and its uses. Another item on how we got our numbers is included from the Heeley Paris Church magazine in 1901. We also acknowledge a debt of gratitude for many past contributions from Don Ross, who died just before Christmas.

If you are spring cleaning, or turning out your attic, we would be pleased to give a home to any photographs, magazines, letters, books, or other memorabilia of the Heeley district. The origin of the Docker is still a mystery to us, can you help? One suggestion we have had is that it is something to do with the Dogger Bank, but as Heeley is some miles from the North Sea that doesn't sound very likley.

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 and share our recollections about Old Heeley.


Meetings: Heeley Bank School, Heeley Bank Road, at the junction with Myrtle Road, Sheffield, 2. Every Monday 1.15 - 3.15 (except school holidays), open to anyone, newcomers are always very welcome.

Extra copies and back numbers: Heeley History Group (as above).

Enquiries and messages: Joan Palfreyman, Tel. Sheffield 550027.

Heeley's First Sunday Schools (part seven)

With the separation of the Primative Methodists to the Sheaf Street Chapel and the Weslyans to Heeley Wesley in 1858, the remaining members of the first Sunday School built in 1826 continued to worship at the little chapel as a Weslyan Reform Chapel, but they became linked with the Weslyan Methodist Association, which became known as the "United Methodist Free Churches", so they were no longer listed in the Sheffield Weslyan Reform plan.

Before many years had passed, there was a need and a desire for a new chapel, so on the 9th December 1864 a deputation waited on the trustees of the Sunday School and announced their intention of building "a new chapel which should be an ornament to the village". They also declared an interest in the secular as well as the religious education of Heeley's children. four years later, land was bought at the top of Great Oak Street. The conveyance is dated 19th December 1868, when £200 was paid for one thousand square yards of land, the trustees being listed as, James Deakin, Thomas Grafitt, William Robinson, Edward Bailey, John Berley, Charles Briggs, William Cass, Alfred Craven, William Deakin, George Hobson, John Knowles, Edmund Knott, Joseph Knott, Edward Memmott, George Woodcock Sharman, Jabez Sharman and Charles Weston.

The contract for the new chapel was let on 9th March 1870 to Mr. Milner, a Sheffield builder, for the sum of £2, 974. The organ for the chapel was built by Thomas Love of Burton, who was a "Free Methodist", local preacher, for a cost of £330 and at the time of installation was described as a "fine toned and beautiful instrument".

The new Chapel was built and ready for use in a little more than a year and the opening ceremony was performed by the Reverend John Guttridge, who was a former minister of the Circuit and was considered one of the finest orators of the Methodist Connexion, of which he had been president in 1863, during his time at Heeley. The Chapel's minister was the Reverend John Thornley who reported that "The services of the day were beautiful, the Chapel was crowded by attentive congregation and reverent worshippers; the presence of the OLord was manifest and His power was felt". The text of the sermon for the first service was "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God" and the collections for that opening Sunday totalled £57 17s.

Soon after the Chapel was opened, it was apparent that there had been some miscalculation, since the pulpit was too high for the floor of the Chapel, but it was of no use lowering the pulpit since it would then be too low for the gallery! Eventually, they decided that the only thing that could be done was to raise the floor of the Chapel and this was not achieved until 1881-1882 (presumably if your pew was at the front downstairs you just had to put with a stiff neck until then). Later memebers of the Oak Street Chapel who did not know of this became aware of the evidence of this when the Chapel was burnt down in 1947. The window sills were higher than the bottoms of the windows and it was the existence of this second floor on top of the first that prevented the fire from spreading down to the schoolroom below.

This Extract is from Heeley a Parish Church Magazine of 1901

How we Got Our Numbers
by The Rev. E Davys

"I am sending another account of how we got our numbers" writes Rev. E Davys. Our readers will remember that last month we gave Mr. James Scott's idea of their origin. We think that suggestions by Mr. E Davys may help young folk who have not yet learned their figures how to master them:-

Figure One is one stroke.
Figure Two is two strokes, written rapidly, without taking pen from paper.
Figure Three is three strokes, similarly connected.
Figure Four is made the same way.
Figure Five is made with three horizonal and two perpendicular strokes, the Chinese five is similar.
Figure Six is three horizonal and three perpendicular strokes.
Figure Seven is like the Hebrew "Zain" symbol...

(The rest of this text is missing from the orignal document).

A Page from the Jubilee Handbook Produced in 1922

Heeley Station

The picture in our last booklet of Heeley Station and reference to the railway through Heeley have brought back many memories. We have been loaned a leaflet advertising an excursion train starting from Heeley and going to Bridlington, Filey and Scarborough which was organised by the Nether Sunday School in Norfolk Street, for 22nd July 1889. Anyone able to go had to get up early, since the train left Heeley Station at 6:35am, a third class adult return fare for a day trip was only three shillings and sixpence. We are including a photstat of the leaflet and extracts from memories of members of the workshop and our readers.

"When I was a baby about three months old, my mother wanted to take my coach built parm on holiday, on enquiring at Sheffield Station she found that it was what she considered too expensive to carry the pram, so she packed quite a lot of things in the pram (I don't know if I was packed on top of the lot) and we all walked down to Heeley Station which was an open station (no ticket barrier). My parents paid their penny to Sheffield and the pram was on the station, so no trouble at that end. coming home we reversed the procedure and walked up from Heeley Station."

"My father and my cousin and his father went on an early train from Heeley Sation and got off at Brightside or Wincobank to get to their work".

"Yes, my grandfather and my uncle both worked at Arthur Lee and Sons Ltd. Crown Works, they used to walk down to Heeley Station and get off the train at Attercliff Road Station, then walk to work, this was before there were buses to Upper Heeley".

"As children, if we had been shopping in town, we used to get a train from the Midland Station back to Heeley Station, then we only had a short walk home."

"I remember going on the train from Heeley to Dore and Totley to play in a football match on Saturday afternoon."

"My dad and his brothers and my cousins all played in the Heeley Brass Band and if the Dore band were playing a special fete or sports day they used to go and play with them to augment their numbers. They always travelled from Heeley Station to Dore and Totley Station by train and then walked up Dore Road to the village."

"We used to go from Heeley Station to Dore and Totley Station when we went blackberrying."

"The milk trains brought milk from the farms to Heeley Station and the local milk men used to collect their milk from there."

"Every year the Sheffield Adult Schools used to hire a train for all their members to go on an excursion on Whit Tuesday. It always stopped at Heeley Station to pick up members from Heeley friends Adult School. One year I remember we visited Colemanís mustard factory at Norwich, another year we went to the Lake District and sailed on Lake Windermere, another year we had half a day visiting a biscuit factory in Crumpsall and then had the rest of the day at Southport."

"If we were going to Boston to a fishing match we used to get up early and walk down to Heeley Station to get a day return ticket or an early workmenís train which was cheaper than going on an ordinary train later in the day. I remember once that the chap sitting opposite me had put his fishing tackle and basket on the rack above and it wasnít properly fastened. As we were travelling along, the odd maggot kept dropping down from the edge of the basket, but I didnít dare to tell him. I often wondered what happened to all those maggots."

"One day my uncle was walking along the pavement under the railway line when a train passed overhead, the driver chose that moment to release the water (it was a steam train of course) and my uncle got drenched. His suit was ruined but he put in a claim to the railway and he did get some compensation for it."

"A lot of Wednesday football supporters used to get a train from Heeley Station to Wadsley Bridge Station to watch a Saturday afternoon match. I remember going that way from time to time from 1912 up to and through the 1920ís."

"There used to be a lot of evening trips from Heeley Station. I remember going to Rhyl for 3/6 return and you could go to Blackpool Illuminations for 2/6. You could also get a ticket to Belle Vue which admitted you to the zoo at no extra charge, these tickets were 5/-."

"Heeley Church ramblers used to organise walks in the Hope Valley on Saturday afternoons. We got a train from Heeley to Grindleford or Hathersage, then walked and got a train back. In the 20ís, 30ís, 40ís and 50ís a lot of ramblers used to get a day return from Heeley on a Sunday and go out walking in the Peak District from one of the stations in the Hope Valley."

"A lot of pigeon fanciers used to take baskets of pigeons down to Heeley Station to put on certain trains, the pigeons would be released on reaching their destination and the baskets returned to Heeley on another train for picking up."

"Yes, I remember a man who was a coffin maker. He used to keep pigeons and you could always tell when he had entered his pigeons in a race because he used to load his pigeon basket on the coffin trolley to wheel them down to the station."

"I remember going to the station at Heeley to go for a holiday at Filey. Dad made mum pack our things in two smaller cases instead of one big one because he could walk down to the station with better balance if he had one in each hand. We were so excited and carried our buckets and spades and fishing nets in our hands and the platform was crowded when the train came in. Dad put the cases well away from the platform edge and made us stand behind them so that we didnít get near the train as it came in."

"My sister-in-law worked at the Hathersage Laundry which was quite near the station, so she used to go to work from Heeley station to Hathersage every day."

"At the beginning of the last war, the evacuee children were collected together at the school playground, then they walked down to Heeley Station to get on the trains which were to take them to their foster homes."

"My friend first met her husband on Heeley Station as they were waiting for the ramblerís train to Grindleford. She would clatter down the Gleadless Road on a Sunday morning in her hob-nailed hiking boots, waking all the neighbours who were having an extra hour in bed. On arriving at the station a young man said "Good morning" and as the train from the Midland Station came in, crowded with ramblers, they both rushed for the same carriage, their friends, hauling them aboard, thinking they were together. Thus the start of the romance."

Donald Ross B.E.M.

Our readers will be very sorry to learn of the death of Donald Ross at the age of seventysix last December. Don has been a regular contributor to our leaflets for some time, he contributed all the aticles on the Albert Road district and many of the "Did you know?" items, he also researched and collated the "Milestones in the Emergence of a City". At the time of his death he was researching history of Shirebrook Road. We shall all miss Don and his contributions very much.

Heeley Wheel

We have been asked to explain what score words, in the account of the Heeley Wheel in our last issue, really mean. The following is an attempt to give some explanation.

"Barber chirurgien" (pronounced Kirurgen) is derived from two Greek words, "Cheir", pronounced kire meaning hand and "urgen" meaning work. It was the name of the Qualification given to a surgeon and today a doctor with this equivalent qualification is awarded a B.Ch. degree and is a bachelor of surgery.

A "trove", pronounced to rhyme with know, is another name for a trough. A "trough with weirs" is a complex set of machinery allowing grinding wheel or wheels to be operated. A weir driven by water, would drive a shaft which in turn would be geared to a trow or even several trows, as in eight trows from
one weir.

Each trow would consist of three parts, with a grinding wheel, a glazing trow behind it and a polishing platform behind that - as shown from the right to left in the simple sketch of two trows. Each man on each part of a trow would be skilled in his own port of the process and would have to prepare his own tools and wheel.

Using a chisel the grinder (for the front grinding wheel and middle glazing wheel) had to prepare the grinding stone. This was a circular piece of stone about eight to nine inches in diameter. First he had to "chop" the hole out in the middle, a process called"oyling" (holing) and then it had to be split down the middle and this was called "riving". The split was needed to make a wheel of narrower width - if you were lucky with the stone and the skill of the grinder, you would have two wheels, but usually you got only one, because the other broke up. Then the wheel had to be "trued up" or "turned" to take all the rough edges off, this was done with a "scaring iron" or a "straggling" iron". The wheel was then ready for work.

The finishing was done with a "lapp" which was made of wood and lead. There were three parts to the wooden lapp and a small gap between the parts with holes bored into the sides, so that when the lead was poured in it formed pegs to hold the lead in place. When cold the lead had to be "trued up" and it was then ready for use in polishing.

The bucket into which the grinder put his finished work was called a "kit" (short for bucket). The old trows were built on wooden supports four inches thick and had wooden supports called gantries slotted in at the sides.

The First Tree in the Greenwood - by Lillian Haywood

It seems little more than a day or two since we were putting up the holly and the ivy and the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, and Twelfth Night is already at hand and we have to take them all down. Already the holly berries are looking smaller and wrinkled, presumably the warmth in the house, but the leaves still look glossy and the prickles are as sharp as when they are picked from a tree.

Traditionally, the holly as well as the ivy has been used over the centuries to decorate houses at Christmas, but in former years only small quantities would be uses because the plants were very useful and were harvested during the winter months. At one time the woods around Heeley were "cropped" regularly fro their timber and other products and some areas of coppiced wood were always planted with holly. The value of this tree is that it is evergreen and so could be used to give a fresh green crop, rich in vitamins to farm animals being fed on dry hay. During the most severe part of the winter some of the holly trees would have their upper branches cut down (the next year other trees would be cut and so on in rotation). The leaves from these branches would be eaten by the farm stock, especially sheep, who eat the holly in prefer-ence to winter grass. The sheep does not have soft gums and teeth in the front part of the upper jaw, but the jaw and the roof of the mouth are covered with a thick horny pad against which the teeth at the front of the lower jaw 'chop off' the food. The horny pad allows the sheep to eat holly leaves with no pain or discomfort. Deer are also able to deal with holly leaves without injury or pain and some old deer parks also had plantings of holly trees in clusters.

In parts of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire the feeding of holly to sheep and deer occurred over several centuries. The records of the forester to the Lord of Hallamshire show that in 1442 there were several farmers who bought holly from the Lord's estate. A census of deer in Tankersley Park in 1653 records a population of two hundred animals and in 1637 Sheffield Park is recorded as containing one thousand head of deer. This was a reduction from previous times because by 1637 over nine hundred and seventy one acres of the old deer park had been separated off from a 'great park' and let off to tenants. The tenanted parts included area around the Sheaf, the old 'little park' near what is now Central Sheffield and a part known as 'Heeley side', now the Myrtle Road, Heeley Bank Road area. This land was a mixture of arable, grazing and meadow land. In 1637 the Great Park area of two thousand, four hundred and sixty-two acres and had an eight mile circumference, but the perimeter that had included Heeley Side and the 'little park' was of nine miles. However the wooded area of Arbor Thorn Hurst and Stone Hurst and the grassy Blacko Plain remained part of the Great Deer Park and this was finally divided into forty farms in 1707.

These clusters of holly trees that were regularly harvested were known as holly hags and a farm or estate that had one or more of them on its land was often called the 'Hollies' or 'Hollins' or 'Hollynges'. In some of the ancient woods that still east around Heeley you can still see some holly hags. Of course, the trees in them have not been cropped for a very long time so that they are now overgrown and misshapen, but they do indicate that sheep especially would be reared around here in the past. From old maps we also know that the old Heeley was on the edge of the Duke of Norfolk's Deer Park. Heeley residents of the 1930's will also remember that the nearby Hollythorpe estate was built on land belonging to The Hollies and Thorpe House.

Many people do not know that some holly trees never have berries. This is because the holly is a plant that is either male or female. Both types have small white flower but the male flowers are not conspicuous and they shed pollen which has to be carried to the female flower, so the male trees do not develop the red fruits which will appear only trees after their flowers have been pollinated. In late autumn a holly hag will have some trees with only leaves and others which have clusters of red berries and these are the females which have their small white flowers in clusters on the twigs. We know that birds enjoy eating the berries and no doubt in the past the farmyard and back yard hens would eat them too. In the past also the old Christmas holly would not be thrown away - even green holly makes good kindling for a kitchen fire.

The old farmers wives used to make use of holly as a medicine. Culpepper in his 'Complete Herbal' first published in 1653 records that 'the berries expel wind and are therefore curative in colic'. He also adds that 'a dozen ripe berries eaten in the morning fasting will purge the chest of gross and clammy phlegm'. The bark and leaves were commonly used as fomentations (poultices) for broken bones and strains, such as sprained wrists and ankles.

The Holly and the Ivy

With reference to using ivy for removing corns, some years ago I was given a piece of Poot's Ivy Leaf Corn Plaster by a friend. It was dark green and had a sticky back and you cut a small square gust big enough to cover the corn, I can't remember how long it had to be left on, but as I remember, the corn completely disappeared.

The very week that booklet number 16 was available I was reading an Australian book called "Playing Beatie Row" by Ruth Purk which is based on. older times the Australian outback. "A visiting relative was aghast when she learned that there were no bathrooms or showers and having been told about the old wooden bathtub and its use on a Saturday "so as to be clean and proper for the Sabbath" she then asked "But what about your clothes, how do you wash them?". Dovey said, a little indignantly, "Our linen is boiled in the downstairs copper every Monday, rain or shine, and hung out to bleach in the yard. Our outer clothes are sponged regularly every month with vinegar or ivy-water, which is a fine cleanser and better than the ammonia that some use. Oh we keep good and cleanly, have no fear of that." The story goes on - it had never occurred to Abigail that manufactures would actually produce a fabric that couldn't be washed or dry cleaned. Probably Granny's black linsey-wool dress had never had a wash in it's life, though it smelled clean enough - if you liked campher and lavender water that is."

This was a remarkable coincidence - I had never heard of the use of ivy for removing stains before and then I read two accounts of it in the same week. Perhaps some of the early Australian settlers took the knowledge of ivy-water with them, I wonder if thay also had to take the ivy plant with them, or would it be growing in Australia before then?

Some Clusters of the Ivy berries as they now appear on the top of my garden wall. The top leaves are single pointed.

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