Tag Archives: Hawksley Road

Edwin Bellamy 1919-Deceased

Published: April 14, 2012    Last modified: January 12, 2017

 Edwin Bellamy 1919-Deceased
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Edwin Bellamy 1919-Deceased

Edwin BELLAMY 1919-Deceased was the 7th child of George Albert BELLAMY 1880-Deceased and Emily BELLAMY (née Emily ELLIS) 1883-1978, my grandmother Emily ASHFORTH (née Emily BELLAMY) 1903-1992 being the eldest.

I have fond memories of visiting Edwin and Peggy (Margaret) BELLAMY (née Margaret KETTLEWELL) 1924-Deceased at their home on a cul-de-sac at Shalesmoor, Sheffield, just around the corner from the old Roscoe Picture Palace (formerly the Peoples' Electric Picture Palace and latterly the Roscoe Casino). Eventually the area was cleared to make way for the Sheffield Ring Road and new tramway system.

Edwin and Peggy had just the one child, Philip BELLAMY 1949-Deceased. I was born a few months earlier, hence we often played together. Sadly Philip was to die in his mid-twenties.

I remember attending a 5th of November bonfire party, the bonfire being in the middle of the street, and the local community providing hot potatoes, hot chestnuts, bonfire toffee (sticky black toffee) and toffee apples. The Health and Safety zealots at Sheffield City Council had yet to make their mark, otherwise I'm sure the wonderful time we all had would soon have been curtailed. As it was, the street which was surfaced with ubiquitous and beautiful cobbles was eventually metalled, but my did the tar burn well the following year! I assume eventually the council came to realise why areas of cobbles were showing through scorched tarmacadam, since soon afterwards the event would pass into history.

At this time I lived just off Owlerton Green at Hawksley Road. Occasionally we would walk to Peggy and Edwin's house taking a route which lead along Owlerton Green, across Penistone Road, along Livesey Street towards Wardsend Cemetery. Here we would take a footbridge cross the River Don and turn right along a track by Neepsend Power Station. The track, Club Mill Road, headed south following the east bank of the River Don eventually re-joining the main road at Hillfoot Bridge, Neepsend.

I'm not certain where, but somewhere along this route closer to Neepsend, Edwin maintained an allotment. I never forget the sight of Edwin in amongst his pigs, while trying to hold a conversation with my parents.

After Peggy died Edwin moved to Thirsk, the town in north Yorkshire where Peggy was born. I understand from my mother that Peggy and Edwin met during the time Edwin was stationed near Thirsk, during World War II.

Mother and Edwin kept in touch and I recall sometime after his move to Thirsk he contacted my mother, regarding creating a family tree. I think he was hoping I might help, but at this time in my life, although I had always taken an interest in our family history I had never carried out any serious research. I was too busy renovating houses, and pursuing a career in IT. I didn't become involved in family history until 2000.

I have always regretted not contacting Edwin, I'm sure he would have been a mind of information, but that is family history, wait too long and the source will pass on.

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.

Notes:
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.

Updates:
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.

Hawksley Road, Sheffield 6

Published: April 3, 2007    Last modified: February 12, 2017

Florence Ashforth (née Florence Flowers 1876-1973)
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Florence Ashforth (née Florence Flowers 1876-1973)
Hawksley Road, Sheffield 6

Owlerton, Burton Street, Bamforth Street, Capel Street, Cuthbert Bank Road, Roscoe Bank, Shalesmoor, Jericho and Saint Philip's Road are districts and streets in the north-west of Sheffield where ancestors from my ASHFORTH line were born; most lived and died there too.

As a very young child I remember being dragged off to what seemed like far away places in order to visit the 'rellies', and how one felt like an explorer, cautiously examining an alien environment. During these visits we children would be quickly ushered out to play, usually into the backyard or street, which of course were quite safe, being devoid of motor vehicles.

I was born at Hawksley Road, just off Owlerton Green, though I don't recall there being a great deal of 'green' other than that of Hillsborough Park. I was christened at the Church of Saint John the Baptist, Owlerton, which remarkably, is still in service as a church, despite the dire developments which have taken place all around.

I remember there were three cul-de-sac: Hawksley Road (at the end of which were gates leading into the southern section of Hillsborough Park), Cheadle Street and Cannock Street. What I do remember quite clearly is that for some considerable time only one family owned a motor vehicle. I think this family, a retired man and wife, were named Mr and Mrs Thurlin. I recall they hated us using the gable end of their house for football, tennis and cricket practice, and the risks we took when the inevitable happened and we had to recover the ball from their backyard.

In the midst of row after row of terraced houses, Hillsborough Park was our saviour. We would spend most of our days playing football or cricket, until just before dusk when the toll of the bell would signify that the huge iron gates would soon be locked. Not that this mattered much, since as soon as the 'parky' had carried out his duties and was out of sight, we merely scrambled over the park gates and carried on playing until hunger finally drove us home.

Four generations lived in a rented 3 bedroom terraced house with the ubiquitous outside toilet, which was without an electric light, and of course, freezing cold in winter. But unlike many of the houses it had the luxury of a bathroom, admittedly very small but enormous when compared to a tin bath. The bedrooms were so cold in winter that I would sleep with a hot brick wrapped in a blanket to my feet. The brick was placed in the coal fire just before I went to bed. At least unlike an hot water bottle it couldn't burst, though third degree burns were always a distinct possibility.

My great grandmother Florence ASHFORTH (née Florence FLOWERS 1876-1973), her son and daughter-in-law (my grandfather and grandmother) Ernest ASHFORTH 1905-1990 and Emily ASHFORTH (née Emily BELLAMY 1903-1992), my mother and father and me. When some six years later my younger sister was born I guess we were probably officially classed as 'overcrowded'. So at the age of 7 years I and my family left the ASHFORTH household and moved approximately 3 miles to a newly built semi-detached house at School Lane, Stannington near Sheffield.

In the mid 1950's Stannington was still just a village, with a handful of shops, little new development and lots of wide open spaces. A totally alien environment to a young lad from the inner city.