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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. 20: Late July 1990

  1. Anns Grove Centenary Celebrations....................................................................................p.1, 2&7
  2. From our postbag - A few memories of Heeley....................................................................p.2
  3. The old Waggon and Horses................................................................................................p.3&4
  4. Charlie Peace.......................................................................................................................p.5
  5. The Heeley Playreaders.......................................................................................................p.5
  6. Heeley's first Sunday Schools part 10..................................................................................p.6
  7. The common or garden raspberry........................................................................................p.8

INTRODUCTION

This is our twentieth 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 in termtime in the Community Rooms at the old Heeley Bank School.

We have no copies of our earlier leaflets available, but we do have copies of number 14 onwards. We also have a few copies of the Meersbrook Park Centenary Book, but the Meersbrook Park Supplement is out of print, the 'Milestones in the Emergence of a City is being reprinted.

For the benefit of new readers, some of our material comes from the hundred plus hours of memories collected on tape at our weekly meetings at Heeley Bank School. Increasingly some of our material is being written by our readers and either sent or brought to us.

In this leaflet we include part ten of Heeley's Sunday Schools, Heeley Friends, an article on the old and new Waggon and Horses prompted by a visitor to one of our meetings. She came after learning about us during the Anns Grove Centenary Celebrations and we are happy to include a brief account of the activities at the school which all our members enjoyed being involved with. From our post bag we include memories from Mr. Humphreys and Alun Montgomery gleaned some interesting information for us during a chance conversation. Lilian Haywood has been busy with her jampot again and this time writes about the raspberry and its old herbal uses.

We are very pleased to say that despite the departure of the Graphic Art department of Norton College from the upper floor of the old Heeley Bank School, we have been told that the Community Rooms on the ground floor are still available to us. This means that we, as well as other community groups will continue to meet here.

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.

We are always concerned to see that the information we publish is as correct and accurate as possible. As can be expected, when people are recalling memories from as much as fifty, sixty, seventy or even eighty years ago, some 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 places.

We are always on the lookout for anything that you can add to what we print, so please keep the information flooding in. Don't keep it to yourself, either tell one of our, regular members, or, write, or telephone the group at the number below. Best of all, come along to Heeley Bank arid share our recollections about old Heeley.

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), 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.

Anns Grove School Centenary

The children now living in Heeley, currently attending Anns Grove Nursery and Infant School are celebrating the centenary of the laying of the foundation stones and the building of their school. They have been learning about what Heeley was like a hundred years ago and have had special exhibitions on "The Past, the Present and the Future''. Two open days in June were attended by the Lord Mayor, the Mistress Cutler, the Bishop of Sheffield and many former pupils as well as present day parents and friends of the school. Former classmates were briefly re-united and shared reminiscences of earlier school days. The tables displaying old photographs, reports, medals and certificates were abuzz with conversations all the time.

One day in early July was treated as a Victorian day, when all the school came in Victorian costume and had a Victorian school day - even-- the dinner ladies dressed up as well as the children and teachers. At the end of the school day, parents and friends came to a Victorian Fair, the children danced round the maypole and a brass band of former pupils played stirring music. Many unusual visitors attended, the pikelet man, a grinder, the School Board man [the school bobby], a red coated army officer, a Victorian fireman resplendent in his brass helmet and an old time policeman were some of the n costume. Refreshments, crafts, books and toys were sold and a time was enjoyed by all. Altogether just over 1,000 was raised of funds and the children not only learned a great deal about their home area, but experienced some of the community spirit that has always been evident, in Heeley.

The brass helmet of this "Victorian" fireman was reflecting the sunlight - having no fire to extinguish during the Victorian fair day.

From Our Postbag:
A few memories of Heeley - R. Humphreys [late of Romney Road]

Everyone in Heeley will remember Taggy's ice cream, but what about the other old ice cream seller, Barkers of Gregory Road? They had a house window shop as well as a corner general shop. They made their own ice cream and had one o0 the old-fashioned handcarts which had a drum of ice all round the inner drum of ice cream. Mr. Barker used to get some local lads to push the cart to a pitch at the end of Carrfield Street and his son, who was a cripple, stood and sold the ice cream. It was a race to get that pitch, because it was a regular meeting place along with Jack Allen's drink shop which was a few doors away. Mr. Barker's son was also a very good pianist and he played a large grand piano in the very posh lounge of the Red Lion public house on Heeley Bottom. Mr. Thomson was the landlord and very strict he was, you were not allowed in that lounge unless you had a collar and tie on` The Red Lion was one of our meeting places when we went dancing at Meersbrook Vestry Hall on Saturday nights. It was a great night out with a five piece band called the Cavendish, all for a bob [1 /- in those days]. Talking about dancing, when one of my brothers and I learned to dance we went to the Guild Room over the Co-op. in Gleadless Road every Friday night,price fourpence. You had to get past the caretaker who sat at the door. If he didn't like you he tried to stop you going in, so we had to go in with our parents who also attended. That caretaker was Mr. Neil, a small very bowlegged man, who sat for hours on end on his front window sill which was almost built for him. It was the second house at the beginning of Richards Road. Next door lived Little Dick who owned the coal shed next to Heeley Green, where you could buy half a hundredweight of coal and borrow one of his barrows to take it home. The shed is still there and it is now used by a joiner. Just another item of interest, my first job which I did at twelve years of age was to work at weekends at Broadhead's beer-off shop at the corner of Gleadless Road and Carrfield Street. I worked from 5 o'clock to 9 o'clock on Friday night and on Saturday from 8.30 in the morning until 9 o'clock at night, taking orders out and weighing up flour and sugar into bags. My wage for all that was 2/6 and a bottle of pop. Still it was good grounding and I don't regret it.

Mr Bingham (hatless) at the door of the "Waggon"

Mr & Mrs Bingham were "mine host" when this picture was taken in the 1930's.

The "old" Waggon and Horses, on the corner of Kent Road and Gleadless Road, was certainly plying it's trade as early as 1825. It was a coach house for the stage coaches on the main road south from Sheffield to London.

Outside the Waggon in the 1930's

Back row L to R: unknown, Mrs Bingham, Mr Bingham, unknown, Charlie Hague, Harry Hunter. Front row L to R: Mrs Fisher, Jack Bingham, Will Fisher, unknown

Can you name the others?

The "Waggon"

We recently had a visit from Mrs. I. Marsden, whose parents were mine hosts at the Waggon and Horses at the corner of Gleadless Road and Kent Road for over thirty years. She brought two photographs, one of the pub itself and another of the family and staff taken in the early days of her parents' tenancy. She cannot identify everyone on the group photograph, can any of our readers help? Mrs. Marsden says that her parents were told that she was the first baby to have been born at the pub for over a hundred years. Below the photograph of the present building we are showing a copy of a print of the original Waggon and Horses which was built on the same site in 1825. The old building was pulled down and the present one built by Joseph Burley in 1883 [the date is on the underside of the centre stone over the doorway]. The 'new' building has recently been given a new roof and a general face-lift and looks good for another couple of hundred years. Mrs. Marsden's visit reminded many of our members of one of the Waggon's former customers 'Chopper' Shirtcliffe, he had a barrow from which he sold fish and flowers, he used to leave it on the corner on the pavement outside the pub with a notice on it which said "If not in attendance please tap on window". Some of his spelling was weird and wonderful, a favourite was "Enemies [anemones] 6d a bunch.

Stop Press!!

We understand that congratulations are due to the management of the Victoria Hotel at Heeley Green [known to most Heeley people as the Roundhouse]. For the third year, running their garden display has won the second prize for the best kept and most attractive garden of all the hotels in the Ward's Brewery Group [of which there are a few hundreds over an extensive area, the winner this year is in the Doncaster area]. We hope that next year their efforts will enable the Roundhouse to carry off the first prize.

HEELEY           LABOUR           HALL
108 Albert Road

THE      HEELEY      PLAYREADERS

will present

"D  E  A  R       B  R  U  T  U  S"
=======================
on

SATURDAY     -     NOVEMBER     5th,     1932    -    @ 7:30 p.m.

ADMISSION FREE!          COLLECTION
*****************************
Future playreadings will be given on the 1st Saturday
in each month      Book the dates!


Did you ever go to one of the playreadings in the old Labour Hall in Albert Road?

Charlie Peace - Alun Montgomery

During the course of an interesting conversation with a local elderly man, I happened to mention the recent discovery of two tombstones which had been used as capping stones on a long stone wall. They referred to the death of a seven year old girl in 1791 who we believe was buried in the garden of the nearby farm. Who was the expert craftsman who had carved and engraved the tombstones? Was he a local man and where did he live? These were the questions that I put to my companion. Surprisingly he gave me an answer.

He knew two brothers who were renowned for this type of work. They had followed in their father's and grandfather's footsteps and were in business in Ridgeway.

This was interesting news but it was not the end. Somehow or other the conversation turned to the subject of Charlie Peace, the notorious murderer who was :nested in the Sharrowvale district of Sheffield and held in Highfield Police Station. Apparently Charlie was a gifted musician and did a lot of husking in the Ridgeway and Moss Valley district, where he had become a close friend of the two brothers who often invited him in for a drink and a chat. My informant then told me that as a lad he had gone to their workshop where he saw a small carved gravestone dedicated to the memory of Charlie who had been hanged for murder in Leeds. It was placed in the window of the workshop for all to see, not hidden away in a corner for the brothers still retained their affection for their frequent victor with whom they had spent so many happy hours.

Naturally I then asked for the exact location of this workshop and was readily given this information. Sadly, it no longer stands in the yard of the farmhouse on High Lane, Ridgeway. Many are the times that I have passed and still pass that farmhouse with its black stone walls and wondered whether it had any strange tales to tell.

Can you help?

Does any of our readers have any information about friendly societies in Heeley? The Buffs, Druids and Foresters etc. If you have any information please share it with us.

Heeley's first Sunday Schools part 10 - Heeley Friends

In 1883 a school for teaching men to read and write was started in Heeley. A little later a school for women was formed and a children's Sunday School opened. Some of the older girls were housed over a cowshed in Gifford Road, where the warmth rising from the animals was welcome on cold days. These schools were developments from the Friends' First Day [i.e. Sundays Schools which had been started earlier in the century by dames Henry Barber, a leading Quaker, at Hartshead in Sheffield. The First Day Schools were regarded as both educational and a social service. The volunteers who ran the schools had also the idea of bringing working people to love and follow Christ, to understand the Bible, to apply Christian principles in all walks of life and to join in the fight against drunkenness, gambling and other unworthy forms of living. One of the early Heeley members, whose grand daughters still live in Woodseats, stopped drinking wholly out of respect for the men who gave time and effort to teach him. His wife, a member of the Women's School, provided the chair upon which speakers stood when open-air meetings were held outside the public house at the bottom of Gleadless Road. It was hoped that some members might be drawn to become Quakers. The Friends' First Day School movement was the result of efforts by Friends in many parts of the country, but there were also a number of groups run by non-conformist, church and other socially minded people that had similar aims and ideals. Eventually over many years, all were amalgamated into an independent, non-sectarian Adult School Movement.

The School at Heeley had the use of the Reading Room at Skelton's Sheaf Bank Works and a house in Prospect Road as well as the Gifford Road cow shed. Money raising efforts, e.g. selling "bricks", by the members and the generosity of Friends made it possible for a schoolroom to be built in Prospect Road. This was the home of Heeley Friends' First Day Schools, later, Heeley Adult School, known locally as "Heeley Friends". Though at various times Quaker meetings were held in the building, Adult School members became Quakers only if they applied to join the Society of Friends as anyone else might. Some were members of other denominations, but the majority belonged to none. At one time the rule was that the time of Adult School sessions should not clash with local church services so that members were free to attend their church and their school.

At the beginning, when reading and writing were taught, the Bible was the text book and each member who became proficient was expected to teach someone else. "Each one teach one" was the rule. Later, the School sessions were based on Bible study and prepared topics for discussion - literature, art, science, social studies and the like. In its heyday Heeley School had a Sunday morning men's class at one time over a hundred strong, a mid week women's class and a children's Sunday School run on Church Sunday School lines with around one hundred and fifty scholars. On 'Sunday afternoons men's women's and young people's groups opened together with hymns and prayers, separated for the "lesson" and closed together. Festivals such as Christmas were marked by special sessions, often taking the form of simple religious services, but the School was in no sense a church. This fact led to doubts about its eligibility to belong to the local Sunday School Union, but it was accepted in the end and played an active role in the Union, joining the "Whit Sings" in Meersbrook Park and other events. One member was MPSSU Secretary for some years and two conducted the hymns in Meersbrook Park.

Social, educational and religious facets of life were regarded as interlinked. During its lifetime the School ran a social club over a shop in Gleadless Road, a youth club, drama groups, concert parties, children's May Days with a May Queen, old folks' treats, outings, a rambling club, flourishing football and cricket clubs, bazaars, craft clubs, choirs and dances and produced several pantomimes which were initiated with the intention of getting old and young members to work together and get to know each other. A missionary group was formed in support of two members who went to Madagascar to teach in a Quaker School there. All the work was done by volunteers. Officers and committee which kept the School running were elected by members, the whole organisation being organised democratically.

Heeley School members played an active part in Adult School work in Sheffield, Yorkshire and nationally, helping to found a School at Woodseats and, later, groups meeting in homes in other parts of the city.

Celebrations marking the School's 60th, 70th and Both anniversaries were held. Soon after the latter a proposal to build a trunk road over the site threatened the School building. City development meant the demolition of local houses and people moved away from the area. Membership declined. The road was not, in the end, built, but the building was repeatedly vandalised. The children's Sunday School had to be closed and the few remaining adults continued to meet in member's homes. Eventually the building had to be demolished and the site is now a grassed-over area. Soon after the centenary in 1983, the last few members disbanded, most of them joining other Adult Schools in the city.

More "Victorians" from Anns Grove School

Recipe for Rasberry Vinegar

For every pound of fruit add one pint of vinegar, allow to stand for seven days. Strain through two thicknesses of muslin, do not attempt to hurry the procedure with a spoon, as this will make the vinegar cloudy. To each pint of liquid add one pound of sugar and boil in a double saucepan, if this is not available stand in a jug in a large pan of water. Allow to cool and bottle. This is very good taken hot for sore throats and colds and is delicious on Yorkshire pudding or ice cream. The same recipe is used for blackberries.

Did you know?

that on July 28th 1868 the temperature in Sheffield reached 92 degrees Fahrenheit causing wood fires in many parts of the region?

The common or garden raspberry - Lilian Haywood

Although the first week of July is being unusually damp, cloudy and chilly this year, I am still able to gather enough ripe raspberries in my garden each day to use in a fresh fruit salad for tea time. Soon, when the main crop ripens, the jam pan will come out again and various forms of jam and jelly will be made, some jam using raspberries alone and some preserves in combination with rhubarb or other available fruits.

Long before their cultivation in gardens, the small sweet wild raspberries were known and used by farmers' wives and country folk and herbalists. There are still some wild raspberries in old Heeley haunts and in the next week or two their fruits will be collected by those who know where to look for them. Apart from their use in raspberry and mixed fruit jam, the fruits have also been made into raspberry jelly and raspberry vinegar. My mother always made at least two bottles of raspberry vinegar from father's allotment raspberries every year, so that we had a supply to use for sore throats and chills in the winter months. In addition to the fruit, the distinctive leaves have been known to herbalists and written about in the ancient herbal texts and through the middle ages to the present day.

The most noteworthy contribution of the raspberry leaf was its use to make as a 'tea' to be drunk daily by expectant mothers, it was noted as a considerable help in the 'labour of childbirth' and although nowadays referred to as 'an old wives' tale', it does have a scientific foundation! Just before and during the second world war, when some drugs imported from the continent were unobtainable, the Professor of Obstetrics at Birmingham University heard of this use of raspberry leaf tea and investigated it in the laboratory, with some work also being done at Oxford University and Chelsea College in London University. The leaf of the raspberry was found to contain a substance similar in its action to a hormone produced by the pregnant woman in the early stages of childbirth, the action of which is to stimulate the muscles of the womb to contract. The raspberry leaf substance was called 'fragarine' and many tests were done in which its effectiveness was proved beyond doubt, both in stimulating muscles and reducing the pain of labour. The tea can be drunk hot or cold, sweetened or unsweetened, or with lemon added. The tea, consumed regularly, also eases menstrual pains and when taken in the first few weeks of pregnancy helps to reduce the severity and nausea of morning sickness.

I did not learn about this use of raspberry leaves until I was grown up, but as a child remember that Father always gathered masses of the leaves after we had picked all the berries for jam and Mother hung them up in bunches to dry and then stored the brittle leaves in screw-top jars. If any of us became ill with a bilious attack, we would be taken off all food and drink and only be given raspberry leaf tea at frequent intervals, unsweetened and without milk. Within twenty-four hours we were able to keep down toast and then go onto our normal food. If we started with a feverish chill we were given a hot drink of raspberry leaf tea with lemon and honey and put to bed to 'sweat it out'. I recollect that it usually did!!

 

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