Category Archives: Ecclesfield

Exhibition at Ecclesfield Library, 3rd to 24th Aug.

I’ve just set up a small exhibition at Ecclesfield Library, High Street, Ecclesfield as part of the Archiving Project. It will run through August and is available to view during Library opening hours. The exhibition is based on some of the topics: shops, pubs, chapels, the library and industry which have been discussed at the monthly reminiscence sessions that have been held in the Library since last August. It also features photographs donated by the members of the group and material from the Parish Council. A lot more material has been collected and is being collated as part of the project – some of which will be appearing on the Project website over the next few months. The monthly sessions are continuing with the next on Wednesday 24th August at 3pm – the topic will be summer holidays, day trips etc. All are welcome.

Walk to Toposcope – 9th July

: Ecclesfield Parish Council Archiving Project Walkers at the Toposcope on Jawbone Hill for the 65th anniversary of the Festival of Britain

: Ecclesfield Parish Council Archiving Project Walkers at the Toposcope on Jawbone Hill for the 65th anniversary of the Festival of Britain

On 9th July, a group of 12 walkers set off from Grenoside Reading Room to walk to the look-out point at Jawbone Hill to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the 1951 Festival of Britain. The toposcope was erected by Wortley Rural District Council as part of a series of local Festival of Britain celebrations which took place across the area during 1951. The idea for the walk came from having been given some material relating to the local celebrations, during the work on the Heritage Lottery Funded project which has led her to try to find out more.  I’ve been told that there was a ceremony at the toposcope when it was unveiled which a large crowd of people attending. These included school children and a band. I’d love to know if anyone has any more photographs or memories of that day, or if anyone took part in any of the other events which took place in Grenoside, High Green or connected to the Newton Chambers works.  If you have please contact me by email at or phone on 2845095.

Ecclesfield Library Reminiscence Sessions

I am running a group at Ecclesfield Community Library with ‘Reminiscence sessions’ from 3pm to 5pm on  29th June, 27th July, 31st August & 28th September (all are Wednesday afternoons)

jimHandley 4completeGroup

These are informal sessions where we meet to talk about ‘old times’ around Ecclesfield with some people bringing along a selection of photos to start us off. All are welcome, just come along.

The next session at the end of June will be looking at the churches and chapels in the area; their sunday schools, whit walks and other events.

Later in July we will be putting on an exhibition and open event in support of the library looking at the history of the library and the local area in support of Ecclesfield Community Library. It will be open to the public during Library opening hours. The exhibition is being developed at the monthly local history reminiscence sessions which take place in the Library. For more details please contact Christine via the parish council offices.

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.


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.

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.

Ecclesfield Library – Walk Down Memory Lane

Our Walk down Memory Lane at Ecclesfield Library was very successful and we are planning another afternoon session in September. It was not only a chance for people who have lived in the area for many years to meet up but we also had visitors from much further afield (London & North Germany) who were former residents.

Ecclesfield Library Event August 15

One of the main themes through the afternoon were the changes that have taken place in the area. This was prompted by a 1948 edition Ordnance Survey map which showed the expanse of fields and farmland that existed then. Several of the people who came remembered the ‘new’ estates being built and moving there as children. Further memories were prompted by a series of old adverts from local shops and businesses, and some photos that people had brought along. There were around 20 people in total, some of whom had not seen each other for years and others who realised that they used to live quite close by as children but went to different schools because of the Sheffield / Yorkshire West Riding boundary.

Thanks are also due to Ecclesfield Library for providing the facilities and to the helpers for keeping us supplied with refreshments!

I am hoping at the next meeting we will have more photos to look at and stories to tell.

Oral History training workshop

The first training workshop took place on 18th July at Grenoside Reading Room. We were fortunate to have Michelle Winslow from the Oral History Society’s network of trainers leading us through the day. After a few early technical glitches, participants were introduced to all the different aspects of carrying out an oral history project which led to a very full day. We all agreed at the end of it that more practice was needed with the equipment, it wasn’t as easy as it looked and that transcribing and putting the oral history interviews together for the archive is a big part of the work. In some ways the easier bit is the interviewing!

We’re starting a list of people to be interviewed and will decide on topics. However, what it also showed was that we needed to get old interviews from audio tapes to digital as it is often the voice and phrasing of the person being interviewed which is the most revealing thing.