Wardsend Cemetery: Photographs

Published: February 28, 2012    Last modified: January 12, 2017

Wardsend Cemetery, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Headstone left: Albert Ashforth, Harry Renwick, Frank Renwick
Headstone right: Harry, Emily and George Waller

In October 2010 I participated in a tour of Wardsend Cemetery, Livesey Street, Owlerton, Sheffield. The tour was organised by the Friends of Wardsend Cemetery and later I published an article 'Wardsend Cemetery - The guiding spirit of George Waller' about what I found.

Over the last 14 months I never did seem to find time to process and upload the photographs, so I set aside this evening, processed the images and uploaded them to this Album in the Gallery.

Since this was a tour of the cemetery, the gallery of photographs depicts the overall state of the cemetery, rather than pictures of individual headstones. Anyone not familiar with Wardsend Cemetery is more than likely to be quite shocked and will no doubt wonder why it has been allowed to fall into such a level of irretrievable decay.

Learn more at the Friends of Wardsend Cemetery.

Mary Maria Carter (née Mary Maria Maplethorpe 1878-1964) and Joseph Carter 1872-1959: Marton

Published: February 26, 2012    Last modified: November 20, 2016

Joseph Carter 1877-1959 and Mary Maria Carter (née Mary Maria Maplethorpe 1878-1964) Outside their cottage at Marton, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire
Photograph courtesy the family of Joseph and Mary Maria Carter
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Joseph Carter 1872-1959
Mary Maria Carter (née Mary Maria Maplethorpe 1878-1964)
Outside their cottage at Marton, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire
Photograph courtesy the family of GH

This photograph is one of a batch of approximately 50 that I scanned during my recent visit to Marton, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.

This is Joseph CARTER 1872-1959 and Mary Maria CARTER (née Mary Maria MAPLETHORPE 1878-1964) outside their cottage at Marton, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. The cottage is now demolished but I remember visiting when I was a small child. The cottage was quite dark inside, with very low ceilings, a cooking range and the smell of paraffin from the oil lamp. Electricity or gas wasn't available and the toilet was an earth closet further up the yard.

Joseph was Mary's second husband, her first husband Samuel DIXON 1869-1906 having passed away from tuberculosis in 1906. Mary was the mother of Ivy DIXON 1901-1983 my paternal grandmother and Samuel DIXON 1869-1906 Ivy's father.

Mary and Joseph were to live in this cottage (please see the update) until their deaths, Joseph in 1959 age 87 years and Mary in 1964 age 86 years. Joseph and Mary had two children, Harold CARTER 1913-1977 and Kathleen CARTER 1917-Deceased.

2015-03-14 Reading through some old emails I came across one from my aunt. In this email my aunt notes:

"Granny Carter ¹ ended her days in a council bungalow on Littleborough Lane ² as the cottage was condemned and pulled down before she died."

¹ Granny Carter is Mary Maria CARTER (née Mary Maria MAPLETHORPE 1878-1964)

² Littleborough Lane is at Marton, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.

Family history weekend

Published: February 20, 2012    Last modified: November 20, 2016

Knaith Hall, Knaith

Knaith Hall and the Church of Saint Mary, Knaith, Lincolnshire

This weekend I visited an area of north Lincolnshire associated with my paternal grandmother Ivy JACKLIN (née Ivy DIXON) 1901-1983. Ivy was born at Upton (Upton-cum-Kexby) in 1901, moved to the village of Marton, eventually marrying Wilfred JACKLIN 1896-1967 at the Church of All Saints, Aston-cum-Aughton, Yorkshire. Sometime later they moved to Beighton Street, Darnall, Sheffield, Yorkshire.

Many of my relatives still live in this area of north Lincolnshire, including 3 cousins from the village of Marton.

Primarily this trip was to try and achieve the following:

  1. Participate in the 'Snowdrop Walk' from Knaith Hall, Knaith, Lincolnshire to The Château at Gate Burton, Lincolnshire.
  2. Scan some of the family photographs archived by my cousin GH.
  3. Visit some of the north Nottinghamshire villages associated with my Jacklin line.

Thanks to my cousins and to some very good weather, I was able to achieve virtually all the goals I had set myself.

Saturday afternoon we took the car and visited some of the villages associated with my family's history including Upton-cum-Kexby and Fillingham, Lincolnshire.  On our return I visited one of my cousins and we sorted through a large box of old photographs where I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to identify many of the people and places. I then spent a few hours scanning the selected photographs and will gradually add them to my 'Gallery'.

Sunday I completed an early morning walk along Littleborough Lane, Marton to the banks of the River Trent, returning by way of Trent Port Road.

I then attended the wonderful 'Knaith Snowdrop Walk' at Knaith Hall, Knaith. The hall was not open to the public except for a small refreshments room but visitors were able to explore the grounds and follow a marked route to The Château at Gate Burton. As if on cue, the snowdrops under their canopy of trees, were looking truly resplendent.

The Church of Saint Mary built alongside Knaith Hall and over looking the River Trent was also open. This is the first time I had visited this church and though it was quite crowded with visitors I was able to take a number of photographs of the interior.

After leaving Knaith we headed off towards the north Nottinghamshire villages of Everton and Harwell. Again these are small villages associated with both my paternal grandmother Ivy JACKLIN (née Ivy DIXON) 1901-1983, my paternal great grandmother Ziller JACKLIN (née Ziller ALLEN) 1858-1949 and gg grandfather John ALLEN 1831-Deceased of nearby Little Gringley. I particularly wished to visit the Church of the Holy Trinity at Everton, Nottinghamshire.

Finally and in order to photograph the tiny Church of Saint Nicholas we drove to Littleborough, Nottinghamshire. Although I have yet to find a connection between this church and my family, I have always wanted to make a visit. In the graveyard I did find an headstone for one Olive Mary BARLOW and her husband Reuben BARLOW, a family surname associated with this region.

Altogether a splendid weekend.

I will gradually publish, over the next few weeks, both the scanned old photographs together with photographs of the churches and villages we visited.

The Château, a National Trust property at Gate Burton, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire is available for holiday bookings through the Landmark Trust.

2015-03-09 To view the photographs of the village of Marton, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, please click here.
To view the photographs of Knaith Hall, the Church of Saint Mary and The Château, please click here.

Emily Renwick (née Emily Cooper 1861-1926)

Published: January 29, 2012    Last modified: January 12, 2017

Emily Renwick (née Emily Cooper 1861-1926)
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Standing (l-r): Lotte Renwick, Harry Renwick, Elizabeth Renwick (née Elizabeth White), Bill White
Seated left: One of the two ladies is Aunt Emma (Emily's sister)
Seated right: Emily Renwick (née Emily Cooper), Winnie Feltrup (Emily's granddaughter)
Pincher the dog
Photograph courtesy the family of JRA

In 2009 I received an email from a gentleman located near Ottawa, Canada whom for privacy I will refer to as JRA.

In his email JRA describes how as a child, his mother, who lived at Bower Street, Hillsborough, Sheffield 6, remembers going round to uncle Harry's (Harry RENWICK 1885-1959) in nearby Burton Street to play.

JRA who is descended from John Thorpe RENWICK 1790-Deceased sent a family tree of his RENWICK line of his family in order to save other researchers, including myself, a lot of searching or at least allow us to cross check our existing research. One can see from this document JRA has obviously spent a great deal of time researching his family tree.

Robert Renwick 1859-1919 and Emily Renwick (née Emily Cooper 1861-1926)
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Robert Renwick 1859-1919
Emily Renwick (née Emily Cooper) 1861-1926
Photograph courtesy the family of JRA

JRA included copies of the two photographs that illustrate this article. Originally the copies were made to record identities, after which and rather unfortunately the originals were mislaid. This is a great pity since all but one person in both photographs have been identified.

If anyone wishes to be put in touch with JRA please use my contact form and I will pass on your details.

Joseph Barker Smith 1875-1956 and Sarah Elizabeth Smith (née Sarah Elizabeth Maplethorpe 1876-1962)

Published: January 24, 2012    Last modified: February 7, 2017

Joseph Barker Smith 1875-1956 and Sarah Elizabeth Smith (née Sarah Elizabeth Maplethorpe 1876-1962)
Photograph courtesy the family of Joseph Barker and Sarah Elizabeth Smith
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Joseph Barker Smith 1875-1956
Sarah Elizabeth Smith (née Sarah Elizabeth Maplethorpe 1876-1962)
Photograph courtesy the family of Joseph Barker and Sarah Elizabeth Smith

Just recently and totally out of the blue a gentlemen whom for privacy I will refer to as JM, having seen this website emailed me regarding Sarah Elizabeth MAPLETHORPE 1876-1962 the elder sister of my great grandmother Mary Maria MAPLETHORPE 1878-1964. Sarah and Mary were the eldest daughters of John Robert MAPLETHORPE 1851-Deceased and Rebecca MAPLETHORPE (née Rebecca FORD 1855-1883).

JM came across this website while researching his branch of the MAPLETHORPE family. He has very kindly provided some family photographs and certificates. I will endeavour to add the photographs to my Gallery and hopefully find time to transcribe the certificates.

Sarah Elizabeth Smith (née Sarah Elizabeth Maplethorpe 1876-1962)
Photograph courtesy the family of Joseph Barker and Sarah Elizabeth Smith
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Sarah Elizabeth Smith (née Sarah Elizabeth Maplethorpe 1876-1962)
Photograph courtesy the family of Joseph Barker and Sarah Elizabeth Smith

Searching my email archive I remembered back in 2005 a lady by the initials PH had also contacted me, she too being a descendant of John Robert MAPLETHORPE 1851-Deceased and Rebecca MAPLETHORPE (née Rebecca FORD 1855-1883). Both PH and JM provided the Remembrance card shown below.

Remembrance Card
Rebecca MAPLETHORPE (née Rebecca FORD 1855-1883)
Courtesy of PH and JM

I do so appreciate people contacting me since even the smallest clue can lead to huge steps forward. Information about the MAPLETHORPE connections that JM and PH so kindly provided has allowed me to extend my knowledge of our MAPLETHORPE connections. It has also helped establish links to more villages located in the north Nottinghamshire and north Lincolnshire area.

Joseph Barker SMITH 1875-1956 was born in 1875 at Kirton-in-Lindsey, a small town in north Lincolnshire. Sarah Elizabeth MAPLETHORPE 1876-1962 was born in 1876 at Upton-cum-Kexby a small village in north Lincolnshire. They married in 1895 and lived on a farm at Pusto near Everton, later moving to Scaftworth near Bawtry and eventually to Everton, both villages are just inside the Nottingamshire county boundary.

Joseph Barker SMITH 1875-1956 and Sarah Elizabeth SMITH (née Sarah Elizabeth MAPLETHORPE 1876-1962) are buried together at Everton cemetery.

Minnie Taylor: England and Wales Census 1891

Published: December 31, 2011    Last modified: February 13, 2017

Minnie Taylor, School Log Book, 1890

Minnie Taylor, School Log Book, 1890

In this article I discussed research into a document found amongst my father's papers.

A little more research has found this 1891 census record:

FHJ Ref: 019
Census: England and Wales Census 1891
Place: Decoy Farm, Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Household: King Taylor

TaylorKingHeadMarriedMale53Farmer (Em'er)Branston, Lincolnshire
TaylorBetsy AWifeMarriedFemale47Boston, Lincolnshire
TaylorAliceDaughterSFemale23Farmers Daughter(Em'ee)Boston, Lincolnshire
TaylorMinnieDaughterSFemale19Schoolmistress (Em'ee)Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
TaylorArthurSonSMale16Clerk In Office (Em'ee)Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
TaylorFrederickSonSMale13Farmers Son (Em'ee)Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
TaylorThomasSonSMale11ScholarSkellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
TaylorFrank HSonSMale9ScholarSkellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
TaylorAlfredSonSMale6ScholarSkellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
TaylorAda MDaughterSFemale4ScholarSkellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
TaylorRebeccaVisitorSFemale27Farmers Daughter (Em'ee)Bracebridge, Lincolnshire
TaylorAnnie MVisitorSFemale20Farmers Daughter (Em'ee)Coleby, Lincolnshire
WilsonThomasServantSMale18Farm Servant (Em'ee)Wellingore, Lincolnshire

To view this table full width please click here.

This census information seems to suggest I have the correct Minnie TAYLOR though according to the England and Wales Census 1891 she is still living at the family home in Skellingthorpe and not at Misterton where I located the Reverend H.R. Dunlop.

The 1901 British Census records Minnie Taylor as a visitor to the family home at Skellingthorpe and her occupation is given as a 'retired school mistress' so this is not a great deal of help in locating the school.

If at the age of 29 Minnie TAYLOR is described as a 'retired school mistress' I did wonder if she was ill and died an early death but I have yet to find her date of death or a record of marriage.

Perhaps I now need a little more research of the Reverend H.R. Dunlop.

Meanwhile a search on the 1891 Census address of Decoy Farm revealed some very interesting information regarding 'duck decoys' and some specific information about the 'duck decoy' nearby Decoy Farm, Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire:

"To the east of the village lies a decoy farm one of about 40 that existed in the Fens during the 18th century. Pipes were laid, down which wild duck were led by tame decoy ducks and driven into nets by terriers. Skellingthorpe duck is reputed to have been a delicacy. Consideration is given to this important historical site which is listed as the Duck Decoy ancient monument." - Skellingthorpe Parish Council

2012-02-03 I decided to try a few searches. Only a few marriages were available. Since Minnie TAYLOR is shown as 'single' in the 1901 census and knowing her possible date of birth and place of birth I started to cross check possible surnames against the 1911 England and Wales Census record. As luck would have it the first surname I tried 'Turner' returned a direct hit on the submitted credentials.

This would seem to point to Minnie TAYLOR marrying Frederick TURNER in 1902.

As yet I still cannot see any connection to our family.

Annie E Ellis and Hector William R Withall

Published: December 23, 2011    Last modified: January 12, 2017

Annie Elizabeth Withall (née Annie Elizabeth Ellis 1902-Deceased)
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Annie Elizabeth Ellis

Annie Elizabeth ELLIS was born in 1911 at Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. Our family always referred to her as Aunt Annie. I remember her as a happy, jovial person, often visiting my grandmother Emily ASHFORTH (née Emily BELLAMY) 1903-1992 and great grandmother Florence ASHFORTH (née Florence FLOWERS) 1876-1973.

Annie E ELLIS married Hector William R. Withall at Sheffield in 1923. My mother recalls Vic WITHALL was employed in newspaper production and had relocated to Sheffield from the south of England to work with one of the local newspaper companies. According to mother Uncle Vic (the family always referred to Annie's husband as Uncle Vic, so I did wonder if Hector was an incorrect transcription of Victor, though after further research I have found his name is always given as Hector) was born at Arundel, Sussex and his parents lived at a property in the shadow of Arundel Castle.

Further research shows his date of birth to be the 31st of March, 1900, in the registration district of East Preston, Arundel, Sussex. This seems to confirm my mother's recollections.

Some time after Annie and Vic were married he joined one of the Manchester based newspapers and they relocated to Moss Side, Manchester, Lancashire. During school holidays I remember I would occasionally stay at their terraced house at Moss Side, which was a much less salubrious area then than it is now.

Minnie Taylor: School Log Book: 1890

Published: December 23, 2011    Last modified: January 12, 2017

Minnie Taylor, School Log Book, 1890

Minnie Taylor, School Log Book, 1890

While sifting through a box of my late father's papers (mainly old night school exercise books related to maths, physics and engineering), I came across this curious document:

It is a page out of an old school exercise book that has been photocopied, and judging by its quality, I would guess this was copied many years ago. For it to be amongst my father's papers I would surmise it must have some relevance to our family.

The most obvious facts presented by this document are as follows:

  1. The year 1890.
  2. The names of 3 individuals: Minnie Taylor, Reverend H.R. Dunlop and John H. Fielding.
  3. The name of a school: Skellingthorpe C. of E. School (Skellingthorpe Church of England School).

It being just a few days before Christmas I am rather busy on other projects but as usual curiosity got the better of me and so I decided just to spend an hour or so seeing what a few searches might unearth.

On first glance I thought the document was regarding Skellingthorpe C. of E. School but on reading the document again I realised it says "late of Skellingthorpe C. of E. School". So does this mean Minnie Taylor is a former scholar or a former teacher; I will go with the latter.

The date suggests that a good starting point might be the England and Wales Census 1891, so I carried out a few online searches.

As expected there are many Minnie Taylors in this area, compounded by the fact that Skellingthorpe is on the borders of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. I quickly moved on.

The Reverend H.R. Dunlop was more enlightening. The Reverend was the current Vicar of the Parish of Misterton. This immediately expands the geographical area but once again this is compounded by Misterton also being on the border of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

John H. Fielding I presume to be a scholar, so I would expect him to be between 7 and 12 years of age. The only exact census match sent me on rather a wild goose chase.

According to the 1891 census John H Fielding was born at Todwick, then a small village twixt Sheffield and Worksop, well out of the Misterton area. By an amazing coincidence, in the early 1960s, our family lived at Todwick. At this time Todwick was a small village with a population of around 200 people, its Church of England school having just one large room with a folding divider. At this time my father was fairly prominent socially in Todwick so of course I immediately assumed that maybe this document had come into his possession during our time at Todwick.

This document seems to suggest Minnie Taylor had opened this school in 1890 but a little research shows that the school at Todwick was opened much earlier. Also I find it difficult to believe that the Rev. H.R. Dunlop would have travelled all the way from Misterton to Todwick, quite a journey in those days, just to "examine a parcel of books".

For the time being I will go with the theory that the school is located close by to Misterton and the John H. Fielding I found is not the correct person.

I need to carry out some more structured research and hopefully I can shed some light on this mystery document.

2011-12-28 Over Christmas I had the opportunity to show the document to my mother. She had never seen this document and was as intrigued as I myself am.

2011-12-31 I carried out further research into Minnie Taylor and found a census record of 1891 recording a Minnie TAYLOR living in the household of a King TAYLOR at Decoy Farm, Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire. Minnie TAYLOR's occupation is given as 'employed school mistress'. I have created a new article detailing this research. To view this article please click here.

2012-02-03 This is rather ironic. I carried out a search for "schools misterton notts 1890" and found a link to 'NOTTSGEN-L Archives: February 2003'. In this post:

From: "kbann3" <>
Subject: [Notts] Misterton Parish church lists of vicars/rectors/curates
Date: Sun, 9 Feb 2003 23:21:27 -0800
is a list of all the vicars / rectors / curates of the Church of All Saints, Misterton, Nottinghamshire c.1200-1950.

Since I am unsure of copyright pertaining to this list, I will merely provide a link to the post. Suffice to say that the name of Henry Robert DUNLOP appears on this list.

The irony? Well when I visited the church in 2007 I picked up the same leaflet and made a donation in the church's collection box. Somewhere in my office under an enormous amount of clutter I already have this information, I just never realised!

To view my photographs of the Church of All Saints, Misterton, Nottinghamshire, please click here.

Family and Local History Day, Bradfield Village Hall, Sheffield

Published: November 13, 2010    Last modified: February 4, 2017
Family and Local History Day, Bradfield Village Hall

Family and Local History Day, Bradfield Village Hall, Low Bradfield, Sheffield

In this article I mentioned an upcoming event, a Family and Local History Day to be held at Bradfield Village Hall, Low Bradfield near Sheffield. Well I made the time to attend and was not disappointed. I was surprised just how many people turned out, though the fine and sunny weather may have contributed.

Many local history groups and societies were represented including the Hillsborough & Owlerton Local History Group. This stand had numerous photographs of Owlerton Green and Hillsborough. I was born at Hawksley Road on the edge of Owlerton Green and though I moved to Stannington in the mid 1950's, my maternal grandparents continued to live there until the early 1980's. I have witnessed the many changes that have taken place over the years and so seeing these photographs brought back a lot of memories.

While discussing with one of the ladies from this stand some of the photographs of Owlerton Green, she happened to mentioned she lived on one of the nearby streets. I in turn mentioned I was born at Hawksley Road whereupon she remarked that her colleague lived on a street whose houses backed on to where I was born. As soon as she mentioned her colleagues name I immediately realised this was a member of a family whom I had not seen for probably 30 or 40 years.

Needless to say I had a long chat with this lady and since she has lived on this same street all her life she is a mind of information regarding local families and people I had not seen since my childhood. For reasons of privacy I will withhold names, but it is sufficient to say meeting this lady made the day very worthwhile indeed.

I ordered some copies of the photographs of Owlerton Green which a couple of weeks later duly arrived. I am not sure who may own the copyright of these photographs but I may try and obtain permission to publish them on this website.

I chatted with the people from the Friends of Wardsend Cemetery stand and purchased the CD:

Wardsend Cemetery, Monumental Inscriptions

The The Friends of Bradfield Archives were very welcoming and I spent some considerable time working my way through the Bradfield Parish Register indices, searching for ASHFORTH and RIDAL. They also had a plan of the graveyard at the Church of Saint Nicholas at nearby High Bradfield. Several years ago I located this headstone:

John Ashforth died 1768 and William Ashforth died 1825 - Headstone

though according to the plans there are several others to be found. I made a rough sketch of their locations and will search for these others at a later date.

From the Sheffield & District Family History Society I purchased the following CDs:

Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Sheffield Cathedral, Baptism Records 1813-1875
Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Sheffield Cathedral, Baptism Index 1752-1812
Sheffield Marriage Indexes

Time passed very quickly and after some 4 hours we finally departed, but not before taking a few photographs of Low Bradfield. All in all a very worthwhile day and one I can thoroughly recommend.

I now need to make some time in order to sort through all this research material.

Wardsend Cemetery: The guiding spirit of George Waller

Published: October 30, 2010    Last modified: January 21, 2017

Wardsend Cemetery, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Headstone left - Albert Ashforth, Harry Renwick, Frank Renwick
Headstone right - Harry, Emily and George Waller

Last Sunday, during my visit to the Family and Local History Day at Bradfield, I chatted with a couple of representatives from Friends of Wardsend Cemetery. I was already aware of their forthcoming tour of Wardsend Cemetery and confirming this would probably be the final tour of the year, I promised myself to try and make time to attend.

After a few days of rather poor weather I woke early Saturday to find a gloriously sunny morning. Grabbing my camera and walking boots I set off to Sheffield, travelling via Bradfield in order to admire the outstanding autumnal colours of Langsett, Midhope and Broomhead moors.

I arrived in Sheffield a little early so with time to spare I decided to take a walk through Hillsborough Park, something I have not done for well over 20 years.

The Friends of Wardsend Cemetery website advises to travel by way of Livesey Street. Not being sure which was Livesey Street I cast my mind back nearly 50 years and took the only route I know of from Owlerton to the cemetery, this is the route we took when we would cycle down to what we called 'the meadows'. Here we would play at 'dirt tracking' i.e. cycling at high speed over waste land near the river, then jamming on the brakes, including our feet, and sliding to a halt. This created huge clouds of dust and of course a great loss of rubber tread and leather sole, not that we cared! Of course the one with the longest skid trail went off with a greatly inflated ego and more often that not, a few cuts and bruises.

This was in fact Livesey Street. The old stone arched bridge that had been washed away in the floods of 2007 has been replaced with a much inferior modern bridge, totally out of keeping with the character of the Victorian cemetery. Still at least now we can cross the river.

I could see a group of people standing the other side of the river, a couple of whom I recognised from the Friends of Wardsend Cemetery stand at the Family and Local History Day the previous week. So along with about 15 others, I set off through the mud to a place I had not visited in over 50 years.

The guides were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and considering the state of the cemetery fairly essential. Since the lower cemetery is now woodland, with ivy, rhododendron and Japanese knotweed attempting to cover everything in sight, it is not easy to find one's way around the various sections.

Eventually we made our way over the railway to the newer section of the cemetery. Here bracken replaces trees, and the gloom of the lower cemetery lifts a little.

One of our guides drew our attention to a couple of graves with history attached. One of these graves is that of George Waller, a local gentleman killed in the Balby railway disaster of 1947. Below is a British Pathé newsreel showing the aftermath of the disaster:

18 Die, 70 Hurt In Doncaster Train Crash

Since we were about to return to our starting point I decided to take a few photographs of George Waller's headstone. As I did so, I scanned some of the surrounding headstones. Imagine my surprise when my eyes settled on a headstone just a couple of metres away and I saw the name 'RENWICK'. Closer inspection also revealed the name of 'ALBERT ASHFORTH'. Both these are family names, indeed I have mentioned them several times on this website.

Wardsend Cemetery, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Albert Ashforth, Harry Renwick, Frank Renwick

Well to say I was staggered by my good fortune is very much an understatement. Early in our tour I had come to the conclusion that trying to find a family grave in these conditions and in the time available was going to be nigh on impossible, but here was one of them.

The full inscription reads:

In Loving Memory Of
Albert Ashforth,
Died March 13th 1912, Aged 34 Years.
Also Harry Renwick,
Died March 25th 1934, Aged 24 Years.
Also Frank Renwick,
Died Jan. 15th 1949, Aged 33 Years.

Not wanting to lose the group I took some photographs, memorised the location and moved on. Later as the tour came to an end and the group dispersed, I re-traced my steps, back up the hill and over the railway in order to get a GPS fix on the location of the grave.

Being on my own now, I really thought it too dangerous to explore very far off the paths. I heeded the warnings of the guides about suddenly plunging into collapsed graves and decided it would be better to wait and explore at a later date, possibly in mid winter when all the vegetation has died back.

So this day turned out to be very profitable indeed.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Friends of Wardsend Cemetery for organising these tours and express my appreciation of their determination in keeping the years of neglect at Wardsend Cemetery in the public spotlight.

Strolling back under the beautiful autumnal sun I could not resist walking along Owlerton Green, then past my place of birth on Hawksley Road before once again entering Hillsborough Park. How the park has changed, except perhaps for the horse chestnut trees. These magnificent specimens are still standing and still producing fine 'conkers', long may they do so.

I am not sure if re-visiting places from one's childhood is good for the soul. Most of the changes are terribly depressing, a total lack of purpose other than financial in planning decisions together with the destruction of community makes one wonder what all this will be like after another 50 years. Witness the complete obliteration of Owlerton Green by Swann-Morton Ltd.

I took numerous photographs at Wardsend Cemetery though I have not had the time to sort through and process them. Over the next couple of weeks I will endeavour to accomplish this task and add them to my Gallery.

2012-02-27 After many months I finally found the time to upload the photographs of Wardsend Cemetery to the Gallery. To view the photographs please click here.

2015-03-04 I came across a link to the Railways Archive and this Accident at Doncaster on 9th August 1947 article about the train crash mentioned above.