(Picture Sheffield claims this image is from 1910 but there are no overhead wires. So the rails are for horse trams and the date must be before 1900)
Advertisements are designed to catch the eye and these are still catching my eye more than a century later. They are like the pages of a trade directory pasted up on the facade of an urban landscape. And when they are in places like this – the gateway to a suburban commercial centre – the majority were put up by local people and businesses. They want to tell you what delights, what bargains you will find if you enter…
Harry Green owned the Don Bakery on Crookes Place (now Proctor Place). The bakery survived up to at least the 1960s.
TO OBTAIN GOOD MEAT
FIT TO EAT
IS SUCH A TREAT
MORAL TRY PEAT
Leigh Peat, butcher, had shops in both Middlewood Road and Langsett Road, and a later generation (1966) were in Wadsley Lane…
The natural question (for an obsessive like me) is, can I link any of these advertisers to Wardsend?
Consider T (Thomas) FRANKLIN, top right, (pausing for a moment to consider also the difficulties for the sign writer, who could have been Mr Franklin himself, teetering over the river to paint the words). It is difficult to read at this resolution but it includes…
“YOU CANNOT BEAT
88 Langsett Rd
THE BEST BUILDING JOINERY
[SINCE?] 1885 IN THE DISTRICT
Thomas Franklin’s bold words were matched by a thriving business judging by the frequent newspaper advertisements seeking skilled workmen. Here are some examples, almost all giving the address in Langsett Road…
20 Oct 1894 good joiner SDT
11 May 1896 4 or 5 good brush hands and paperhangers, first-class grainer SDT
26 Aug 1896 6 good bricklayers SDT
21 Sep 1896 good bench hands and fixers SDT
21 Nov 1896 3 good joiners; first-class shop-front fixers SDT
30 Nov 1896 good joiners, bricklayer, slater SDT
9 Apr 1898 4 good wallers SDT
10 Jun 1898 joiner wanted SDT
28 Apr 1899 good joiners wanted SDT
12 May 1899 smart lad or improver to painting trade wanted SDT
15 Jun 1899 15 good brush hands SDT
31 Jul 1899 3 or 4 good decorators and 6 Plain Brush Hands SDT
[SDT=Sheffield Daily Telegraph, SRI=Sheffield and Rotherham Independent]
But misfortune can strike at any time:
(1 Apr 1899 SRI)
Fate can be cruel. Away from this public loss there was private tragedy. Within weeks of the financial loss inflicted by this fire, two children were buried at Wardsend…
Burial register, 1899
Thomas listed death, fire and sickness as factors in his bankruptcy two years later. In the meantime he had become landlord of a pub called the Grapes in Lock Street.
(16 Aug 1900, Sheffield Evening Telegraph and Star)
Another child was buried in the same grave in 1901.
A hint at a change in direction and perhaps fortune comes from the baptism of a child, in Dinnington. This is the only reference I can find to Thomas as a market gardener…
By the time of the 1911 census the family were back at 102 Langsett Road. Thomas wasn’t at home on census night (I can’t find him elsewhere) but the 1911 directory lists him as a painter. The census shows that Julia had had six children, of whom only two were living – Gladys Julia and Charles Edward (who was born c1902).
In 1917 Julia and her daughter are mentioned in a court case after a burglar stole a pair of gloves and a bangle from their house (then in Ash Street),
Gladys was listed as a health visitor and midwife in London in the 1939 register. She never married and died in 1980, her death registered in Hastings. Charles E married Dorothy Langley in 1930. They were still in Sheffield in 1939 and had two children. If there are descendants of Thomas and Julia today they must descend from this couple. (but note that Thomas had been married before and a daughter of that earlier marriage was also married with children in 1939)
The kerbstones for grave CA7 in Wardsend list only Thomas and Julia. The CA graves are in a favoured and prominent position – two rows of eight graves lining one side of the path that directly connects the drive to the sexton’s house. You can see the taller gravestones just peeping over the hedge on the right in this well-known picture of the chapel…
Thomas was buried in 1927 and Julia in 1939. I don’t know the date of this photograph but it must be earlier so even if we could see over the hedge there would be no memorial.
I think this counts as looking over the hedge. The CA graves seen just above the chapel in 1947…
(a murky image because it is much magnified from a much wider view)
In those two rows of graves of different shades of grey the very white kerbstones near the right end are not the Franklin grave, but the space behind them, as yet unfilled, is where the Franklin family are buried.
The Franklin grave kerbs, seen in the image at the head of this blog, are made of a fine but grainy granite which is very difficult to photograph. The words chosen for the foot of the grave, facing the path and therefore most easily read by passers-by, were chosen, perhaps, with those lost children in mind…