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OLD HEELEY : A FEW NOTES

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WRITTEN BY MEMBERS OF THE

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ADULT EDUCATION

"HEELEY'S HISTORY" WORKSHOP

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FROM MEMORIES AND OTHER MATERIAL COLLECTED AT THE OPEN MEETINGS ON MONDAY AFTERNOONS AT HEELEY BANK SCHOOL COMMUNITY ROOMS.

No. 4: MID MARCH 1987

  1. MEMORIES OF MRS. STYRING.....................................................p.2
  2. SHOPS AND TRADERS IN THE RICHARDS ROAD AREA.................p.4
  3. HEELEY 70 YEARS AGO, PART 2.................................................p.5
  4. OUT AND ABOUT, PART 2 : TRANSPORT......................................p.6
    : OUT OF DOORS................................p.7
  5. READER’S COMMENTS: Old Heeley Hall.....................................p.7

 

INTRODUCTION

Well, here it is at last! Apologies to the. very many readers who have been looking forward so much to this next edition of "old heeley." Put we are sure you can imagine how much time and work must Go into the collecting, sorting out, writing, correcting, arranging, typing and printing (and stapling) before a new one is ready for distribution. To catch up, the next one will come out in March, too.

The earlier editions were drawn mainly from the hundred-plus hours of memories collected at the meetings of the "Heeley’s History Workshop." This is organised by Heeley Adult Education end has weekly meetings at Heeley Bank School every Monday afternoon-newcomers especially welcome.

However, we have had such a good response from our renders, to our requests for any additional memories or corrections, that those will take up nearly half of this booklet and probably nearly all of the next one. We are very grateful to Mrs. Quincey for her memories of the area around Richards Road at the beginning of the century, and to Mrs. Birkinshaw for her invaluable memories of the ruins of Old Heeley Hall. (Now we just wish we could find somebody who remembers the original public well, or wells? in Well Road).

We are also grateful to Mrs. Nightingale for giving us the opportunity to correct, with our very sincere apologies, the misrepresentation of her mother Mrs. Styring in our November booklet. Mrs. Nightingale and many of her friends and neighbours were very distressed at the mistaken suggestions, firstly that Mrs. Styring had been a rag-and-bone woman, and secondly that she had starved her donkey to death. Mrs. Nightingale points out that, in fact, her mother sold fish, fruit and vegetables, she sold the donkey (to buy a pony as her business built up), and she was well known and loved for her hard work and kindness. Mrs. Nightingale’s memories, in her own words in conversation, appear on page 2.

We are always very 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 50 or even 80 years differences of recollection era bound to crop up from time to time. Usually it turns out that both people’s memories wore correct on most points, but that they were talking about different dates, or slightly different places (or even different donkeys!).

So please keep the now information flooding in don’t keep it to yourself while you're still around to tell us: Either tell one of our regular members, or write or telephone to Heeley’s History Workshop at the address below. Best of all, come along to Heeley Bank (see below) and join our conversations about old heeley. You’ll be very welcome.

Finally, a date for your diary:

SATURDAY 4TH APRIL, 10 .00AM-4 .00PM, OLD TOWN HALL:
SECOND ANNUAL LOCAL HISTORY FAIR

Look out for our Heeley stall, as well as those of local history societies end groups from all over Sheffield. We’ll be displaying photographs and old everyday items, and selling copies of all the booklets produced to date.

HOW TO FIND US AND OUR BOOKLETS

Meetings: Heeley Bank School, Heeley Bank Road (at the junction with Myrtle Road), Sheffield 2. Every Monday, l.45-3.4Spm, except school holidays.
Open to any one - newcomers especially welcome.

Extra copies: Community Snack Bar, Heeley Bank School, Mondays, 10.00am-3.00pm, every week except school holidays.

Enquiries and Messages: Oliver Blensdorf, Tel. 553587 or do Mount Pleasant Community Centre, Sharrow Lane, Sheffield, Sll 8AE.

 

MEMORIES OF MRS. STYPING OF CLIFFEFIELD ROAD

(The following account is from a recording of a conversation in December with Mrs. Nightingale and her husband, in their own spoken words. Mrs. Nightingale was Mrs. Styring’s youngest daughter. She and many of her friends and relatives were upset to read, in the November booklet, about her mother being described as a rag-and-bone woman, and about her starving her donkey to death. Both of these points must have come from misunderstandings, probably being about a different woman and a different donkey. We sincerely apologise to all concerned).

It did upset me. We loved animals. My mother had the donkey stabled up at the milk place in Beverley Road, then she sold him and my husband fetched the white pony for her. It didn’t die, She sold it, She had to have something a bit bigger because her business was increasing. And it wasn’t rag and bone, it was fruit and vegetables.

She was left, when she was 39, with seven children. My father died in the Nether Edge hospital, which you know was the workhouse. He had a sister that was Headteacher at Low Fields School when it first opened, and she said to mother, "you’ll not sit with your feet on the fender, will you, love, you’ll work hard for him?" So she went and bought some fish and she started with a basket from door to door, and she had such a good name. When she had been going a bit she said ‘I think we will move out of Scarsdale Road, we’ll go further down here,' so we moved to Cliffefield Road. When we came to live down here all the houses were let but the one at the end and she said ‘shall we have this one’ and we said yes, all of us.

She loved us, all of us. She went on serving until at the finishing up, she worked that hard, everyday in the rain and never ailed anything, and everybody loved her round here - she was loved by everybody - at the finishing up, she wasn’t very well, and she had a stroke. We sent for the Doctor and he said "she might last another day," and he said she was a hard working woman, he had never known anyone to work for her children as she did. She died in 1950, when she was about 79. She worked right hard till the last.

When my father died, the insurance money, when we finished, there was half a crown left, and she bought a box of kippers with that - I was five. I’m 83 now, so that makes it 1908. She sold the kippers, (and fish which she bought at half-a-crown a stone). Then she decided to improve the business so she bought this donkey. She sold the kippers all round here (Norton and Norton Lees). She went on foot.

We went to Norton Lees Church and she did a lot in the church. She went collecting for the harvest festival and we all got married there.

Of course from there, the business got a bit bigger, and she sold the donkey to the same man as she bought the pony off, on Saxon Road. It was a big pony, a white one, My husband went and fetched it and it took him all his time to hold it up Derbyshire Lane. It was like a little racehorse. And that was stabled at the same place up Beverley Hill, Hr. Shaws, milk people they were then, He used to fetch it corn and straw from Parkers1 at the end of Broadfield Road, where they’ve pulled it down and built Heeley Bridge garage. Mr. Shaw used to feed it end bed it, sometimes my husband’s gone and fed it and groomed it. Or she employed a boy, Colin Marshall, to do it. Also there were a young feller that wasn’t working at t’time, he used to come and carry her potatoes down from the hut to the cart, for a packet of cigarettes or something. Even the teacher at Meersbrook Bank School used to say to the children "if you see Mrs. Styring carrying anything heavy up the hill, you must go and help her, and you’ll be excused."

She was a very generous woman. If some of the people that lived round here had given her the money that they owed her, for this strap business, have finished up better off than she was. She’d help anybody. She’d give ‘em money, help ‘em do anything. She were rosy-checked aid bonny. She were really a hardworking woman, that’s what I’m saying.

SHOPS AND TRADERS IN THE RICHARDS ROAD AREA
From Mrs. Quincey - born Jessie Wever

I was born in Richards Road in the early l900s. When we were children we played cricket, rounders End marbles in the middle of the road, stopping only occasionally to let a bus go by. There were very few private cars, mostly horse driven vans and carts. It is now amusing to recall that if you were riding in the upper open top deck of the bus and it rained, you could sit there with an umbrella up. The Bus Terminus was by the Co-op Stores - Gleadless Road/Carrfield Road.

There was a big yard at the top of Richards Road where horses were stabled and loose coal sold. People bought 1 cwt or ½ cwt and it was collected in home-made wooden boxes or hand carts on 2 wheels. Sometimes an old pram would be used. If anyone bad a larger quantity of coal delivered the coal dealer would tip it out on to the pavement outside the house and it was left for you to shovel the coal into your own cellar. Neighbours were very friendly and used to help, and sometimes men would follow the coal carts offering to shovel the coal into the cellars to earn a few pence. If they got 6d (24p) that was marvelous. There was a lot of unemployment in those days and men were glad to earn a few coppers which would help the family.

Mrs. Price had a house window shop at the top of Richards Road and she sold almost anything you could ask for. Where she kept all her stock in such a small place I don’t know. Mrs. Reynolds had a chip shop in Spencer Road below Anns Road, She was very well known. Miss Cobb had a drapery and wool shop on Anns Road and she was a very kind and helpful person. There was also a deaf and dumb cobbler on Anna Road who was a very busy man. All these were house window shops. In fact there were shops at nearly every corner of Anns Road and the roads crossing it. One wonders how they all made a living. The busiest I think was Hartley’s fruit and veg shop at the corner of Alexandra Road and Anns Road.

I can vaguely remember a man leading a dancing bear down the road. It was walking on its hind legs. Also a man selling slabs of salt. Salt was not sold in packets then and we had to crush it ourselves for use in the house. Milk was delivered by horse and cart and the milkman would measure the milk and pour it into your own jug. The horses were marvelous. They always know just when to walk and stop, and were very popular with the children. The doctor’s surgery was in Gleadless Road opposite the paper shop, and the waiting room was the Caretaker’s kitchen. A bit different to the Clinics we now have,.

Once a year the schools held a Sports Day at Bramhall Lane. There were races and I, with many other girls, did Morris dancing. It was something we all looked forward to.

I attended Heeley Church Sunday School, and on Whit-Monday morning we paraded round the Parish singing hymns at different places. We always’ stopped at the Public House at the bottom of Thirlwell Road and sang one: or two hymns. The landlord was always there waiting for us. In the afternoon we had sports and tea, and I remember once going to a field at the bottom of Hurlfield Hill, but after that we walked on Olive Grove to a field in East Bank Road. We passed the end of Charlotte Road where now stands the National Coach Garage. It seemed a long walk but we enjoyed it.

I can also remember a fair in Gerard Street at holiday times, and the Docker as it was then before any houses were built.

My mother, who was also born in Richards Road, in 1880, told me she fetched milk from a farm where the Co-op Stores now stands at the end of Carrfield Road/Gleadless Road.

ROUGH PLAN OF CORNER SHOPS ETC. AROUND ANNS ROAD, HEELEY, 1920's-30's (not to scale)
based on the memories of Mr. Clifford Mills and Mrs. Jessie Quincey (who both lived in Richards Road)

 

HEELEY 70 YEARS AGO: PART 2
From Mr. Eddie Chapman

From Upper Heeley Club (Abney House) we come down to Memmots at the corner of Fitzroy. Memmots, in the first instance were farmers. All land round Northcote and round there used to be called Memmots fields. There was a brickyard there, but it was not working. It had gone bust. They must have made bricks there to build houses on Northcote. I should say so because there was the brickyard in Hurlfield Hill as well. They were both in the same scheme because they both closed at the same time.

Across road there was Langhorns but there was somebody before Langhorns - I forget. That was provisions. I think they used to sell milk - I’m not too sure but I’ve an idea they did. The shop next to 261 was Alice Storey’s general provisions shop. We are now at the end of Fitzroy where the Church is. Then there was the chip shop at the corner of Northcote Road. Then another provisions - I can’t think of the name - one down Northcote Road. A little house window shop, in fact I think there was two.

Then there was Hainings, the Chemist, a Newsagents (Woolhouse), Fish shop (Gaunts), Sweet shop (Holborns), and the Co-op. Rackhams were a very famous shop. She was the midwife. Poor people used to go for stock that they had boiled the pork in and take it home in jugs and Nuns would add all vegetables from the allotments. Nearly everybody had a garden, if not at the back of the house then on allotments. They used to grow their own vegetables and make soups and stews.

Now the shops opposite Heeley Church. There was the barbers-hairdressers. A 4oz-a-penny shop (Woods). There’s Gowers’ corner shop. And I think there was a fruit shop.

Going back to Cat Lane - Mrs. Garner, she lived in Cat Lane and she used to make pastries and that and sell them from her house. Mrs. Garner was a friend of my Mother’s. Mrs. Prince was her daughter. T’old lady might never have gone into shop - I can’t recollect that. But Mrs. Garner used to make the pastries and that, from her house. Anti then she had the bakehouse built. Or perhaps the daughter had it built, I don’t know. I don’t know whether they got married before she died or whether they had the shop built before she died. So whether it was Prince’s shop in first instance or whether it was Mrs. Garner’s I don’t really know. This is about 1930 something. I can remember the houses being built on Cat Lane. Before that there were cottages. They were on the right hand side going down.

I took that bakehouse myself, about 1952, for about 2 years. I had a little A35 Austin van. I used to go round shops supplying them with custards and fruit pies and cakes and teacakes. I used to go up Gleadless Estate as well. It carried on. Mrs. Burrows bought it. They had a bakehouse up Highfields.

There was another bakehouse at the bottom of Carrfield Road, round the corner into Albert Road, called Selby’s. They used to have the bakehouse in the yard at back. They were Mrs. Wilkinson’s brother-in-law and his parents.

Now Anns Road - there were two corner shops at Anns Road and Myrtle Road. There were bakehouse and sweet shop, corner of Alexander Road and Anns Road, then there were newspapers shop and fruit shop on other corner of Alexander Road and Aims Road. Further on there were two more shops on corner of Spencer Road. Opposite corner were a house. On the corner’ of Richards Road there were Gordon Lee’s. Gordon Lee was Sheffield Band Leader. They called them C. Lee Bend. They did G. Lee’s Dances. His parents had the beer-off shop on the corner of Richards Road. We were in the same class at school. He used to go to Heeley Bank with me. Just below him in Richards Road there were Butchers, Hoylands, where my mother used to go for meat.

OUT AND ABOUT: PART 2
(From the information collected in the Heeley’s History Workshop conversations
Most of the memories quoted are from the l92Os and 1930s)

TRANSPORT

Many people walked to work - and back. Around the turn of the century there were horse-drawn trams along Heeley Bottom as far as the Red Lion. The horses were stabled at the bottom of Albert Road. Later, there was an electric tram service to Woodbank Crescent and Woodseats. The first bus service up to Heeley Green and beyond started in the 1930s. The earliest buses used on this route did not stop between Havelock Bridge and Heeley Green because it was difficult to restart them on the steep hill.

The steep gradients of Heeley roads have always made haulage difficult. There were ways of making the work easier for horses. One coal man "used to fetch coal from the Heeley sidings, and when he got to the bottom of Hurlfield Hill he used to take some of the coal off the dray, prop it at the side of the wall, and take the horse up with about 6 bags on, because Hurlfield Hill was like that, and it could only get up with about 6 bags, then come down again, and his 6 bags of coal would still be there. There would be no vandalism in them days, you know." Hurlfield Hill was notoriously dangerous for cyclists, more than one having lost control of his bike on the way down.

Draymen often took a ‘pull-up’ horse, i.e. a spare horse fastened behind the dray which could be re-harnessed at the front to help the regular horse pull up steep places. "Corporation always had one at the bottom of Havelock Bridge waiting to bring the dust carts up to Olive Grove." Horses were kept at Lowfield to help haul the horse trams to Highfield, a lad in charge bringing them down again. Myrtle Road was considered steep, "but they managed to get up there with one horse, with coal and things like that, and of course every ten or twenty yards there was a block of stone at the edge of the footpath (about 1 or 2 feet high) and they would take the cart up and when they got to that piece of stone they let it rest there, and then it would have another go to the next piece of stone and they would wedge it again, until they finally got to the top."

It was reckoned that a horse could pull a ton. Sometimes a pull-up horse was needed, but could the people afford to have one? It had to go up whether it liked it or not."

It used to be pitiful, though, when you sew a horse fall. Some of them used to fall down because they were hungry." In frosty weather they might fall and be unable to get up. "They used to put sacking down, didn’t they? and try to get them up. But they didn’t grit roads like new."

People were responsible for clearing snow from the paths outside their houses. The policeman would tell people to get it done. People used ashes from the coal fires to spread on slippery places.

Railway and brewery drays were pulled by big horses. Breweries were thc first to use traction engines, steam traction. In 1914 lorries were beginning to come into Sheffield, but horse-drawn transport was common well into the l93Os. Only better off people could afford cabs. One member recalled being taken to Heeley station in a horse-drawn cab in the l920s to catch a tram to Bridlington. Taxis were not common.

"Thomas Wilkinson, the builder, he always used to ride about chauffeur driven when he got a car, but I remember him being ma horse and carriage once, but I can only just’ remember. Old man Themes Wilkinson, he had a beard, portly, ‘fellow, end he had a Heeley fellow called Pemberton, and Tom Pemberton was a driver, and all his late years he used to drive Mr. Thomas Wilkinson about in his car."

Some farmers delivered their own milk. Others sold it to local dairymen who looked after the retail trade. Milk was carried in churns with taps at the bottom on a horse-drawn milk float. many of the-horses stopped automatically at customers’ houses. Milk was drawn from the churn into pint and gill measures (in Heeley a gill was half a pint) and poured into a customer’s jug or basin. Sometimes the jug was left on the window ledge outside. Some children looked out for the milkman to give his horse a piece of apple or a biscuit.

OUT OF DOORS

Before the first World War and up to the coming of motor transport children were not afraid to play in the streets. In Heeley the coarse rope from greengrocery boxes was in demand for skipping. Spinning tops, marbles and shuttle-cocks each had their season, and ball games, tiggy and hidey were popular.

A short walk up Gleadless That brought you to the fields above ‘T’Cuckoo’ (Inn) each of which had its name and character the daisy field, the buttercup field, the hillocky fields and so on. In some of these one could play and go sledging in the winter. Some were very steep.

Twice a year the children from the Infant school were taken for a walk as far as an old grassed-over mine (quarry?) higher up Gleadless Road. Children used to go there on their own. "Baby would be in the push chair with a bottle of cold tea and some bread and dripping. They wore good days. We used to go there and nobody would bother. We walked for miles. We walked to Gleadless and over to Graves Park." Craves Park was a private park then, but it was opened in winter for skating on the lake.

On the way to Graves Park, in Norton Lees Lane, was a cottage where children could buy home-made ginger beer, and another up Gleadless 2oad where lemonade was sold. Ice-cream made locally by Taggy's was popular.

Children played in the old Northcote brick works. "Bobby’ Blower, he had a garden at the bottom and he was like the caretaker, end when he sew us playing in it he used to come and chase us out. Now we think about it, probably for our own safety, I mean, because it was derelict."

No-one seems to know the origin of the name ‘docker’ for the area c-round Carrfield Road. "It was all shale from the quarries and brick yard that got piled that way and that way. And to make a road, which is Carrfield Road they made a cutting and that’s how it got its none- of ‘Cutting’. tie never went down Carrfield Road, we always went down the Cutting. Well, it were different to what it is now, obviously. They must have excavated it, and on the other side it was all rough clay in parts and we had football pitches on, didn’t we? end cricket pitches." Later a jam factory wee built there (Geldart's).

The owner of Holly Thorpe House was Knobby Hall, who had a firm in Hereford Street. "It were whet we call a knobbing shop, they were always trying to get people to work for next to nothing, you know, so he were called Knobby, Knobby Hall. He had two marvelous berzoi dogs. We used to go up as children to go and look at these borzois, and they used to come up to t’gates of t’park as it was then and we were very disappointed if we went up and we never saw t’dogs, because they were two marvelous specimens."

READERS’ COMMENTS: Old Heeley Hall

Mrs. Birkinshaw, who’s now 85, as a child lived at the wardrobe dealers at the bottom of Well Road, before her parents took the Shakespeare Inn in 1918. She remembers as a young child, playing amongst the rubble and swinging on the remaining beams of the old heeley Hall, which was at the back of the pub. Her father who had 2 or 3 horses, used to house them in the derelict stables of the old hall. So, she says, the illustration of the leaflet No. 3 must have been from a drawing done in 1793, rather than 1893 (the original drawing only gives ‘93 as the year).

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