Author Archives: Christine Handley

Project Group Visits

During the next few months I am organising a short series of visits to local archives and groups. The first of these is on Thursday 25th February to Stocksbridge Local History Group’s and their archive – contact Christine via email for more details.

Other visits are being arranged to the libraries at Kelham Island Museum, the National Coal Mining Museum and Eden Camp. More details of these will appear shortly.

An Introduction to Oral History

Saturday 27th February:

Oral History Training: a 1-day workshop from 10am to 4.30pm for volunteers who would like to be involved in talking to and recording people’s memories. This is being organised as part of the archiving project and is free with lunch included. No prior knowledge is needed, just an interest in people and local history. Places are limited to 12 so pre-booking is essential. Venue to be confirmed. For more details or to book your place, please contact Christine via email or through the Parish Council office.


Down Memory Lane – history sessions at Ecclesfield Community Library

We are organising a series of monthly sessions at the Library on wednesday afternoons from 3pm to approx. 4.30pm. These are to gather more information for the project and to put together a new display about the local history of the area. All are welcome to join. Please contact Christine at the Parish Council Offices for more details.

Dates as follows:

24th February

23rd March

28th April

25th May

More to follow ….

Down Memory Lane: Then & Now

The first Ecclesfield Library local history session of the year will take place on Wednesday 27th Jan. from 3pm to 4.30pm at the Library on High Street. The theme for this meeting will be ‘then and now’ photos and all are welcome to bring along examples. We will be looking at doing more recording of the present day so that we can develop a new archive of photos for the future. We’ll also be talking about what we will be doing in later sessions this year to put together a programme.


Yuletide & Christmas Traditions

This event is taking place at Newton Hall, Chapeltown on Wednesday 2nd December 2015 between 2pm – 8pm. It is free to drop in. There will be a programme of activities through the afternoon and evening. An outline of these is set out below, times will be added later when confirmed.

Share your memories of past Christmases and Winters

Bring along a photograph, postcard, picture, recipe, old decoration, memory for the Archiving Project Yuletide memory wall. Contribute to the timeline – a 100yrs of Xmas:  Who has the oldest tree ornament ; nativity set ….. What was your first toy? Favourite book? Film, TV show, song, carols. Scan and upload your photo. to the digital archive and website

WW1 Traditional Christmas

Find out what Christmas was like 100yrs ago during WW1 with Jenny Bland (the History Van) – listen to a short talk about Christmas traditions and have an opportunity to make a decoration to take away. From 2pm to 4.30pm

Traditional Carols & Music

Listen and join in with local songs and carols led by John & Vic. Bowden. through the afternoon.

The Natural History of Christmas & how Victorians re- invented Christmas

Hear about how the Victorians invented Christmas traditions with an illustrated talk by Ian Rotherham. at 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Window shopping

Look at the displays of past shops & shopping – what can you remember?

Test your knowledge

Take part in our Christmas quiz.


Refreshments available – teas and coffee; sausage rolls, mince pies, almond slices, fruit cake, jam tarts …. from 2.30 to 6pm.

Coffee Morning – 27th November

The Parish Council are holding a Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Palliative Care Unit at the Northern General Hospital. The event is at the Parish Council Offices and Community Room between 10am and 1pm. I am working with Heritage High Green to put together displays on shops & shopping as well as progress on the archiving project. The displays will be set out in the Council’s meeting room with refreshments and fundraising stalls in the Community Room. It  will be an opportunity to see the new project website and find out more about the archiving project.

Please come along and join us for a coffee and a chat and help us raise funds for a worthy cause.

28th October – connections at Ecclesfield library

The third afternoon session at the library took place on Wednesday 28th October. The theme was exploring connections between families but we soon began taking the subject wider across all the different parts of Ecclesfield village. Jim Percival showed us a painting of a ‘Lovers’ Bridge at Ecclesfield. There were few other identifying features and so there was quite a bit of discussion of where it may be and a few suggestions were put forward. A few days after the meeting Mr & Mrs Cooper emailed to say they had identified the bridge from an old photograph. It was along Hartley Brook.

Our next session is on 25th November from 3pm to about 4.30pm. I’ve asked people to bring along a photograph they definitely know and can talk about as well as a couple of ‘mystery’ ones that they would like help in identifying either the location or the people in the photo.  All are welcome to the meetings, if you are interested just come along.

High Green Miners’ Welfare Group meeting in October

On 19th October I was invited to go along to the older persons’ group at the Miners’ Welfare Hall in High Green. I went along with Judith, one of the project volunteers, to talk about the archiving project and how the members of the group could become involved. We had a very pleasant afternoon swapping stories not just about old High Green but about other parts of the parish such as Warren as well as further afield e.g.Walkley. I’ve been invited back again in November to carry on with some of the stories and to see if people are willing to take part in passing on reminiscences.

Walk Down Memory Lane, 30th Sept.

Another of the ‘Walk down memory lane’ events took place this afternoon (30th Sept.) at Ecclesfield Library. There were about 12 of us looking at old photographs and maps, talking about the changes in the village  and memories of schooldays and Whit Sings. Harry Ridge, now 93, recounted memories of the Hospital Parades which took place annually up to 1936. They were big events happening on Feast Saturday a couple of weeks after Whitsuntide. More to follow …

Talk at Ecclesfield Library, 23rd Sept.

I gave a talk at Ecclesfield Library on Wednesday evening, 23rd Sept., updating people on the progress with the Archiving Project and showing people some of the images that we’ll be adding to the on-line archive. I found it particularly interesting as a ‘newcomer’ to the area to listen to some of the stories and anecdotes that the pictures triggered. In particular a view of Stocks Hill with a white cottage in the middle of the picture – the first Ecclesfield laundry; and a wedding party which was of the grandparents of one of the members of the audience. He helpfully filled in the names of some of the other people in the photograph. Almost as important is the discussion which takes place afterwards and I came away from the talk with another list of potential leads to follow through. Thanks to the Library for hosting the event.

I’m also back there next Wednesday (30th) afternoon for another Walk Down Memory Lane from 2pm -4pm. This is another informal session of anecdotes and reminiscences and a chance for people to bring along a photo. or two to share. Several of the people at the talk said they would come along.