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Anyone come from Grimesthorpe? (Part 2)

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Sheila I think an apology is needed, I was born in 1950, so that makes me 60 next year:hihi: you are probably thinking because I have retired that I am 60 well I took early retirement, :thumbsup:xxxxxx

grovel,grovel.xx

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grovel,grovel.xx

are we having a party then.:hihi:x

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PASS MY REGUARDS TO tERRY FROM TOMMYS LAD?:hihi:

hi pigeon,will see joan in the next half hour,whats tommys surname in case she doesnt remember and i can tell her next week.sheila

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are we having a party then.:hihi:x

 

going on holiday, I think, but Terry just bought me a new car, so darnt ask for much, :hihi::love:

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Episode 3 of Bonfire Night 1961

The boys left the road and strode along the winding track, past their fire-wood, up the grassy hillock known as the ‘back hollows’ that separated by some two-hundred yards their site from Curly’s wood-pile. As he reached the brow of the summit that separated the rival camps, Tom round to face his friends.

“Shh! We don’t want them to ‘ear a sound.”

They crept forward in single file to the pile of assorted planks, old furniture and brushwood that made such a threatening outline against the red industrial sky. Each of them felt that someone might be hidden amongst the wood, lurking in ambush but, as they got closer, it became obvious that the site was deserted. Tom stopped and the others closed up.

“Wi’ll ‘ave to find them doors,” he instructed and the group fanned out, taking care not to trip up or to make any noise.

“’Ere’s one,” said ‘Anity (Bantambuddy). They gathered round.

“Yeh. I reckonize that ‘un.”

This was a bit of an overstatement since it was nearly pitch dark and impossible to see the colour or any detail beyond the fact that it was a door of sorts. Keith was sceptical:

“But where’s t’other one, there should be two on ‘em,” he inquired.

A further search produced no more doors.

“W’ill just have ter take this an’ what wood wi can carry,” said Tom, not for a moment acknowledging what was becoming ever more obvious: their two missing doors were nowhere to be seen and, if this was so, they were raiding the wrong woodpile.

“A reckon them planks were ours an’ all,” said Mal, and the boys seemed fairly sure of this, more sure than they were about the doors anyway. It was certainly quite possible, given the amount of stuff that changed hands during the season, that some of the wood had in fact originated from their own pile. In the daylight they would have been able to tell, since they could recognise the sofas, armchairs and so on that they had laboriously dragged home and at least some of the larger lumps of wood too. In this light, however, there was no chance and finger-like shapes against the sky turned out to be hefty planks when you tried to lift them. But they knew that indecision might be risky and so settled for more manageable items. Four carried the door with a few trophies piled on top and the rest straggled behind along the twisting path which also went up and down and which they called the “Humpty-dumpty”.When the had been younger they had raced down this path and felt a sensation not unlike the big dipper at the fair, where the earth rushes towards your face and then suddenly falls away from under you. They reached their pile and dumped the loot in a heap. Then, perhaps mindful of the questionable ownership of some items, took time to bury them under the starlit pile. With some relief they split up with the usual, “See yer,,,so long…see you temorrer,” and went their different ways ready for a hot drink and that sleep of oblivion that bommie-wood collecting guaranteed.

 

And so the busy days hastened by, October handing over the reins to a frosty November and the children of the district celebrated the march of time which brought them closer to Christmas, winter snows, the rich food, the dazzling shop-windows and for the younger element, notes up the chimney and Santa’s grotto. That was all they could recall for Chrismas had been an age ago, way back in time, months even before the six-weeks holiday and so a phantom which might or might not visit them again. Now it was Halloween, time of witches and black cats. The boys had their own views on witches: didn’t they know at least half a dozen? One lived in the same yard as Keith and was always ready to rush out and lecture or, worse, to try and grab the football they liked to kick against the wall. This scrawny enchantress was affectionately known as “the Nag of the Crag” after the witch in a Playhouse pantomime (I think Walt will remember this). All they remembered was a character who like the Duchesses baby in “Alice in Wonderland” kept threatening to turn into a rabbit every few minutes unless the audience shouted “lettuce!” loud enough. They had responded by shouting “Rhubarb!” and even the actors seemed to enjoy the joke and had started to miss their cues. Apart from the name for his local nemesis all Keith could now recall was the name “Patch and Mr Simpkins”, the rest had fallen into memory’s bottomless pit to join the eyeless fish in the Speedwell Cavern.

 

Down to Crookes’ greengrocer went Tom and ‘Anity to see if they had any decent-sized turnips left. Mal and Gurner (Newslad) were already busy hollowing out two fine specimens in Mick’s shed.

“Thi’ve got plenty o’ big uns, “ Mal had reported, “’ Course we got ‘ biggest two but there’s plenty left. Tom and ‘Anity quietly resolved to go further afield if needs be, down to the bottom of Birdwell Road to Belks’ or even up to Fir Vale if Crookes had only medium-sized specimens. These fears were to prove groundless. Crookes’ was a green shop in every sense: on the left were mounds of late cauliflower and cabbage and a mountain of sprouts. The shelves which extended on two sides, were filled with all varieties of tinned fruit, vegetables, soup and condiments, the red tins standing out against the jungle of vegetables and the olive-green shelves. And, more to the point, in a compartment next to the red and white potato stacks was a good assortment of Swedes of mighty proportions suggesting some monstrous plant from a Grimm’s Fairy Tale. They might of course have been giant radishes swollen by a witch’s potion and, like such articles, might shrink back again at any moment

-or so you might have imagined as you watched the two lads attempt to squeeze ahead of the queue, their eager fingers itching to start gouging.

“Now Melvyn, what do you want love?” asked the gypsy-ish Mrs Crookes.

“A want a big turnip please.”

She laughed not particularly surprised at the eagerness shown by a lad of eleven in purchasing a tasteless vegetable so often left by the sides of plates at school dinner. No it was no coincidence that there were plenty of large Swedes to be had on October 31st, Mrs Crookes was jovial but also shrewd and well aware of seasonal customs. A strong wiry lady, her daily routine began at 5.30 with a trip to the wholesale market and the boys had a lot of respect for a lady hardier than they were.

 

Pillaging knives from Tom’s Mum’s kitchen on the way, they returned to Gurner’s hut where two sinister heads, two beardless Rasputins with triangular mouths and square noses now grinned at one another on the shelf, diabolically plotting some clandestine deed. Mal and Mick sat back contentedly in the two garden chairs, Mal leaning one bony elbow on the heap of turnip chippings and turnings that lay on the newspaper Mick’s mother had wisely spread over the table.

“Yer managed ter get some then?”

“No thi’d sold out,” said Tom sarcastically, “she said could we come back a week on Tuesday…does it look like we gorrem?”

“’Sun’s in me eyes,” said Mal squinting, though what had become of the sun was nobody’s business: it had certainly failed to put in an appearance so far this bitter day: presumably it had more sense of occasion than to intrude upon Hallowe’en. The boys laughed and Tom and ‘Anity, who was silent as usual happily in his own world, moved up to the table and began to scoop and plane at the monster Swedes with such ferocity that one might have wondered if the boys had substituted in their minds eyes sworn enemies such as parkies (park-keepers) or loathed teachers for the innocent vegetables.

 

Night fell at last. For once it was not the curtain on the day’s adventures, nor even the beginning of the end. October 31st was no special day but the night was a different kettle of fish. Carrying the inane heads, some on poles and all lit from inside with candles the group made their way down Hawkshead Road where they collected Keith. It was cold and everyone wore overcoats and gloves. ‘Anity wore his brown balaclava, Tom a woollen bobcap, Foxy’s bare head peering over the red and white United scarf which was coiled round and round his neck. The smell of singed turnip and gusts of warm air from the candles created a cocoon which enveloped the boys as they carried life into the preternatural blackness full, no doubt, of hovering bats, sailing witches and demons ready to pounce. From the end of the gaslit street, all that could be seen of the gaberdined crew was a cluster of heads of varying heights, suggesting a range of creatures from leprechauns to pole giants all sharing the same malevolent and strangely triangular grin.

“Less go inter’ churchyard,” suggested ‘Anity, “I aren’t scared o’ no graves.

“I’m not goin’ there. ‘S’ too far.”

“Yer scared yer mean.”

“All right Malcolm Hobson, I’ll show you who’s scared. Come on, lets go to ‘ graveyard an’ wi’ll soon see ‘oo chickens out.”

The glowing heads sailed along majestically as their bearers watched cautiously in case one of them threatened to topple of the poles or in case a candle gave up the ghost in the breezy air. By slow stages (since minor adjustments were constantly required to the now-singeing skulls), the moved into Rothay Road and then across the usually-busy street to where the church stood with its black spire and garden of stones. Nervously, they unlatched the iron gate and crept into the churchyard. In louder voices, voices defying and at the same time betraying their fear, the boys chattered along the path.

“I dare go in,” said Keith and walked along an offshoot path amongst the graves. The candle of his lantern shed huge circles of light on the curved stones. He felt quite at home in this churchyard having passed through it many times to and from Sunday school shepherded in his younger years by the tall, elegant and smooth-fingered Lonslow twins. Finding no-one following, his courage faltered and a shiver passed down his spine; after all it was Hallowe’en.

“Aren’t you lot comin’,” he said, trying to sound casual and then rapidly retreated as if recognising the pointlessness of a solo journey. Tom was quick to cover.

“A was juss comin’ but there’s no point now..”

“No there’s no point goin’ further. We may as well go an’ ‘aunt a few people on t’way back,” The group agreed this was a better plan and with some relief and not a few backward glances, they cheerfully and noisily made their way up Holywell Road. The moment had passed. Another Halloween was slipping away and the demons and witches losing yet another opportunity to prove their existence.

 

Wrapped up in his school scarf, Malcolm watched the eyes of the mad monk in his hand grow fiercer as the candle flared in a sudden gust of air and inhaled the delicious odour of roasting turnip. He took off the thick woollen gloves his mum had insisted upon and began to warm his hands. Taking leave of his friends at the street corner he hurried like some latter-day Wise Man bearing a shining gift towards a warmer fire and a more hospitable place of rest.

 

Still to come: non-setting treacle toffee and the world’s most deformed Guy Fawkes!

Does life get any better than this? Don’t miss episode 4 of Bonfire Night 1961

 

I have really enjoyed reading this story, I recognise all the names although cant put faces to a few of them, but oh what good times we had when we were young. Its a pity the youngsters these days cant enjoy themselves like we did. We used to be in the choir at St Thomas's but always got scared going down there in the dark in case the ghost of "Fanny Bamforth" came to get us. She must have had the most remembered name in the grave yard Cant wait fot the next installment.

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hi pigeon,will see joan in the next half hour,whats tommys surname in case she doesnt remember and i can tell her next week.sheila

his name is tommy clarke im his brother inlaw

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CAT631- The Ball, Sheffield Arms, Bowling Green, Alexandre Hotel, Firth Park Hotel, The Who Can Tell? and the Victoria Hotel. Please let me know if I've missed any. Was there an Albion somewhere?

 

 

Earlier in the thread someone mentioned that Ann Grocock and family lived on the ground floor of premises (with Christine Hicks and family living above) in former public house. This was the 'Dolphin' which became 34 Adsetts Street. (My cousin-Ray Marshall - and family moved in there after the Grococks and confirmed this earlier).

 

The 'Albion' you mentioned was a pub between 1860-1914 (read these dates somewhere) and was apparently where 23 Adsetts Street was later. I lived almost opposite at 28 for 15 years and never knew - and thinking back there didn't seem any obvious evidence that it had been a pub all those years ago. Although for anyone who lived in that block of houses, it may have explained the shape of the communal yard at the back of these houses and the large open access to it? Hope this helps.

 

My, G Grandad Tom Coulson & G Grandma Mary Coulson (nee Terry ) lived at 19 Adsetts Street all their married life, in that block of houses.

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going on holiday, I think, but Terry just bought me a new car, so darnt ask for much, :hihi::love:

ya spoilt.x

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ya spoilt.x

 

wen minnie foned me she said she were deffo going on holiday cum wot may ..... nah thats warra call a proper grimey lass tell the fellas wot to do lol xxxx

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My Dad, Arthur Darwin. Did the Sheffield star walk every year in the 50s/60s. Weve still got his medals. Proud of him.

 

My Great Uncle Cyril Coulson, 19 Addsetts Street ( Ginney ( Jane Terry ) & Herbert Hensman's ( who can tell ) nephew ).............. The very first Star walk race in 1922, was his very first walking race, he was 20 years old at the time. He didn't do very well in that race, but carried on power walking and ended up holding every British record at the time from 1 mile to 10 miles and in 1924 was selected for the Olympic games but didn't get past the final selection. In 1982 when the star walk was 60 years old, he was invited to set the Star Walk off, which he did ......

Edited by DORIS1963

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Hi Lakerman

have been talking to my father in law about this mystery name he lived on botham st 40s to 60s he says no one he knows,knows the true origins of the name but the old landlord Herbert Hemsman who had the pub through the war to late 50s 60s ? used to say when the pub was being built someone asked the builders the name, and he shouted down "who can tell" .apparently it stuck.could be an old folk legend who can tell ha ha. My father in laws name is Hanwell if anybody knows him.:help::huh::loopy:

 

I have been doing my family tree and Herbert Hensman was married to my g g Aunt Ginney ( Jayne Terry ) Herbert Hensman's parents used to run the pub before him.

1891 census .....Joseph Hensman & Harriett Hensman lived at 14 Botham Street.

1901 census...... Joseph Hensman age 42 , Inn Keeper, Who Can Tell, 33 Botham Street ...living with wife Harriett Hensman age 38.

1911 census.......Harriett Hensman, ( widow ) Licence Holder, living with son Herbert Hensman age 19, son Lawrence Hensman age 18, daughter Doris Hensman age 15 ........

I have got a newspaper cutting from the Sheffield STAR ,dated Tuesday, 12 January 1971, it mentions and has a picture of the who can tell, but it does not tell you how it got its name, I have asked my dad but he has no idea. he said if Herbert had said that about when the pub was been built, someone asked the builders the name, and he shouted down "who can tell" and apparently it stuck... he said he should know, he had lived on Bothem Street all his life till then...

Edited by DORIS1963

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hi im sherryl hutchinson my dad is alan hutchinson my mum is eileen we lived at 52 botham street,along with the rest of our hutchy clan annie henry mary margaret kath jean joan.we left there in 1977 to move to firth park...

i can remember grimesthorpe quite well and it was a fantastic place to live...

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