Memories of Stocksbridge from Edith Lily Schofield (Mrs. John A. Hogeland) ©


For our Grandchildren:

As my 80th birthday approaches it is time to tell you about the world when I was growing up.  Different to my father’s life and so different from yours.

England between the wars was a wonderful place for children.  We had modern comforts without the gadgetry that is a curse as well as a blessing.  We were well fed, well clothed and well educated. Each child was taught according to his ability and channeled into high school, trade school or job training this wasn’t ideal but it worked.  The people were honest, hard-working and they enjoyed life.

            World War II changed everything and we lived through six years with fear, heartbreak and sorrow, yet as Churchill said, “This was our finest hour”.  But we had fun too.  Danced to those wonderful tunes.  Met people from all over the world.  Everyone’s life was altered.  Just think if John and I hadn’t met there would be no Trevor, Geoffrey, Grantham, Bryan, Zachary, Christopher, Lilian, Scott, Simon, Chelsea, Gillian, Hennessey or Grace!!!  

Pennine Range  

The Pennine Range is the backbone of England; it divides the northern part of the country and at its southern end Yorkshire lies at the east, Lancashire to the west. The peaks are barren and rocky and then the moors stretch for many miles. They are open country, treeless, covered with heather and some gorse and bilberries.  The bushy heather blooms in the late summer and the hills are purple and the scattered gorse has bright yellow blooms. When the bilberries ripened we would take a picnic lunch and spend the afternoon picking one small basket, enough for one pie. They are similar to blue berries, but smaller and sweeter and we ate as many as we put in the baskets. The only inhabitants of the moors are sheep which are allowed to roam and the grouse, game birds that are hunted in the fall. The water in the streams is brown and brackish but soft, useful for washing the wool that was the chief industry in Yorkshire. Then during the Industrial Revolution in the early 1800’s many woolen mills were started in the towns in the foothills. The flowing streams also provided the power for water wheels to run the early factories.  Lancashire had the cotton industry. The cotton was imported from America and was unloaded at Liverpool. By the middle of the 1800’s cotton mills had been built in many of the towns. The Manchester Ship Canal aided the transport of the cotton and different companies made canals that branched out through the region. The railroads were the same. Different investors would build between two towns and hook up to other railroads. It was inefficient but soon all the towns were connected. “ The World from Rough Stones” by Malcolm McDonald tells a fictionalized story of this era. 

Women and children of all ages worked in the wool and cotton mills, long hours under poor conditions. They lived in small row houses that were usually over-crowded with large families. 

Later on the Union leaders led the fight for better conditions and pay. The mill owners, on the other hand, became very rich and lived like kings. 

This leads into my un-edited, non-embellished, story of the Schofield family at Stocksbridge.

The Lilies of the Valley

The Valley was the valley of the Little Don in Yorkshire, known locally as the Fox Valley. The first Lily was Lillian, born to Albert Ernest and Eliza Schofield in 1900. After Eliza died in 1912 Ernest married Lilian Elizabeth Cawthorne Moody in 1914. Eight years later Edith Lily was born, their only child. By that time, Lillian had married Fred Davis, Brenda and Neville were born, Russell was born later. 

Ernest and Eliza had two other children, Albert III who married Lizzie and had a son Albert IV.  He was a chemist in Lancashire and he died at 27 from pneumonia during the flu epidemic following WW I.  Lizzie moved back to Stocksbridge and later married Harry Hemsley and they lived on Brownhill Row across the valley from us.  Strangely enough young Albert IV died in 1938 from pneumonia and he was buried on his 21st birthday.  So Dad was the only remaining Albert Ernest.  Their daughter, Elsie, died of a childhood illness and is buried with Eliza and Ernest at Bolsterstone. 

Lillian’s husband Fred was the foreman at the bottling company and they lived in one of the houses there.  When they retired they lived in the Welsh hills above Wrexham, where Brenda and Derek lived then.  Lillian died in 1970 when she was 70 years old.  Neville and his wife Bessie lived at Deepcar and they had two children.  Neville died of cancer.  Russell and Joan lived at Oughtibridge and they had no children.  Russell had heart trouble and that caused his death.  Brenda celebrated her 70th birthday with us in Alma and died a few years later.

So, I am the one and only family member left.


The town was Stocksbridge, a quiet village when Samuel Fox arrived from Derbyshire in 1842. He started wire-drawing in an old cotton mill. In 1851 he developed the Paragon umbrella frame which became world-famous. Taking advantage of the fashion of crinoline-style dresses he had a profitable business in crinoline wire until the styles changed. In the 1860’s he installed the Bessemer furnaces to make his own steel. 

Now he needed fuel, so he used the easily available coal supply close to the surface, the area across from my home was known as “Hollow Fields” as there were shafts dug into the hillside there. In the 1860’s he needed more coal so the “pit” was started. The coal miners must have had the worst job in the world. They went down hundreds of feet into darkness and worked in dust-filled air with the constant threat of gas explosions and falling rock. Young boys started working at 10 years of age and generations of families knew no other way of life. My parents had both gone down the mine once, but never again. Some of the coal was burned in the Coke Ovens to extract the gas, which was used for heating and lighting. It was a thrill to watch the red-hot coke being pushed out of the ovens, cascading down the sloped apron. Workers sprayed it with water to cool it. The coke was then used for heating. 

Fox’s made railway springs and axles starting in 1878 and also started employing women. After Samuel Fox died in 1887 the development of the works continued with open hearth furnaces in 1889 and Siemans furnaces in 1915. By the time war broke out in 1939 Fox’s also had several electric furnaces and a large plant for rolling the famous “Silver Fox” stainless steel. The company had a capacity of over 500,000 tons of ingots a year and employed over 6,500 people who came from the surrounding areas as well as Stocksbridge. Samuel Fox had built row houses for his employees near to the works and in 1915 the company started the Garden City development on the hilltop. Each home stood in its own garden, a very pleasant life for the lucky tenants. 

Fox had been on apprentice at Samuel Cocker and Son who were wire-drawers at Hathersage, near his home village of Bradwell in Derbyshire. 

John Schofield worked as a millstone maker in Hathersage and he and his wife Hannah had nine children. Fox employed many men from this area in his expanding business and John’s youngest son Albert set off to join his uncle in Stocksbridge He traveled to Sheffield by coach and horses, was met by his uncle then they took the train to Deepcar. Albert was probably about 10 years old as the “lads,” and “lasses” started to work young. He became an apprentice tool maker at 16. Albert married Elizabeth Brooke and they had three children, Harry, Edith, and Albert Ernest. Elizabeth was buried on June 15, 1868 and on October 24,1868 he married Sarah Shaw. With three children to take care of, he didn’t waste much time. They lived in a Fox row house until moving into a nice home across from the Coke Ovens at Hawthorne Brook. They had several children, Annie, Frank, Kate, Thornton, Beattie, and Percy, and also raised Kate’s son Stanley.

Ernest told of taking a small wagon to Midhope to bring flour from the mill. Sarah was a stingy cook, she set a fruit cake on the table but didn’t cut it and everyone refused her offer except for her children and she took no notice of them. So a fruit cake lasted them a long time.

 Ernest started working at Fox’s six hours a day when he was ten and still went to school half a day. At twelve he worked full-time, twelve hours a day, six days a week. Like his father he was apprenticed from 16 to 21 years of age. He was always strong and healthy, the heavy starchy foods were suitable for the climate and the hard-working people. They enjoyed offal, tripe and onions, baked beef heart, sweet –breads and so on.

 There was a bottling company near his home and he started working there. Somehow he raised the money and built his own plant in Victoria St. making pop and bottling beer. The pop was made from fruit juice and sugar and his dandelion and burdock pop was very popular. Ernest bought stone bottles with his name on them and people brought them in for refills of vinegar. He built two stone houses by the brewery, and his family lived in one and his foreman in the other. Attached to the brewery he built the Public Hall and it was rented out for concerts and dances. The Salvation Army had their meetings in the basement until in 1934 when they built a new Hall on land in Victoria St that Ernest donated to them. In the early 1900’s he built two more houses, Westbourne Villas, higher up Victoria St. and his family lived in the north one.

 Lilian Moody was born in London in 1888 to George Paddon Moody and his wife Annie. The family moved to Groby near Leicester and George worked in the family business, the Victoria Stone Company.  Her mother died and George married 21-year-old Emily, who did not like housework so Lilian took care of her sister Dolly and brothers George and Leonard. Her half-brother was born, Everard.

  Emily insisted on moving back to London and George took any work he could find and the family knew real poverty. The children ‘s best meal was often the farthing breakfast provided by the Salvation Army. They lived near the Congress Hall and attended the meetings. On leaving school Lilian went into service but decided to become a Salvation Army officer. She entered the Training College at Clapton in 1909 and she was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1910 and her first Corps was Horbury in Yorkshire, then on to Featherstone for a year before going to Stocksbridge.

Ernest and Lilian met then. It would be hard to find two people so completely different in character. Ernest was boisterous; he loved to tell his tales. I imagine Lilian hoped to “save” the old reprobate.  However, they both loved to read, Ernest never tired of learning about the world he lived in. He had a series of books. “The People of All Nations” which he studied all through the war. How he would have appreciated all the travel programs on T.V. Ernest enjoyed the radio in the 20’s and 30’s. He would stay up till the early morning to listen to the boxing matches from the U.S.A. 

Brothers and Sisters 

            All of Dad’s family left Stocksbridge except for his younger half-brother, Percy.  The oldest, Harry, lived in Manchester with his wife Charlotte and their children, Albert, Ernest and Edith.  Obviously family names.  We visited each other occasionally and the boys rode their motorbikes over to see us.  Aunt Edith went to Canada.  Annie had a small haberdashery store in Bradford she had twin daughters Victoria and Alberta and a younger girl Irene.  By the way, I didn’t make up the names; they must have been born when Queen Victoria was still on the throne.  I saw my first talking movie in Bradford; I have no idea what it was.  Irene was a career girl and when they moved to Ealing, London, I visited them and I was allowed to wander around on my own when Irene was at work.  Joyce told me that Frank lived in Bristol and Brenda said Kate was in Huddersfield but I don’t remember them.  I do know that Thorton showed up like a bad penny when he needed money – he was the black sheep of the family.  Beattie had four good-looking sons and wore a lovely wig.  The cousins were all so much older so we were never friends. 

            Percy and Dad were in several business ventures together.  They had the first charabancs (motor buses) in Stocksbridge and they were hired out for many day trips to the seaside.  The Sunday Schools and the other organizations had yearly outings to Blackpool, Cleethorpes and Skegness, etc.  The two of them invested in a quarry in Wales that mined the rare green slate but it was never profitable.  They were amongst a small group who build the Palace Cinema on the main road.  That should have made money but it certainly didn’t make us rich.  Joyce, Daisie and I benefited as we could go to the movies without paying.  Percy owned a lot of working class houses in Sheffield and I think they were moneymakers. 

            Both Percy and Dad were on the Stocksbridge Urban District Council and every few years Mom and I went out canvassing votes for them.  Dad resigned when the Council built the new Shay House estate as he said the houses were “jerry-built”.  We were told later that a piano fell through a living room floor so we felt he was justified.   Before moving to the Flouch, Uncle Percy was the Chairman of the Council and wore the official chain of the office proudly. 

            The bottling company became a “limited company” and the name was changed from Schofield’s to “Stocksbridge Mineral Water and Bottling Company”.  Dad’s slogan was “Like the British fleet, first in all the waters”.  Wasn’t that neat! 

            I haven’t talked much about Mom’s family as she wrote her own story, which we all enjoyed.  Nanna lived here in Alma until she was almost 90 years of age, but she was always home sick for England.  Personally, I’ve always kept so busy and my memories are happy ones, so I settled better.  Of course, Nanna was 61 years old when she moved here, that makes a difference.

 School Days 

Ernest was 56, Lilian was 34 when the third “Lily” was born August 24, 1922. What a shock that must have been!

   I was a spoilt and protected child, anemic and often sick. I was always wrapped up in a cap, scarf, mittens, and a heavy coat when I went out. Mom and I went for long walks and the winters seemed long waiting for the Annual Spring Expedition to Wortley to see the carpet of snowdrops in the Churchyard. Then the wild daffodils would be blooming on the banks of the Fox Glen. Our favorite outing was up the hill to  Bolsterstone and walking down Morehall Lane searching for the first purple violets and celandines. This valley to our south with the lovely stretch of the Ewden Reservoir was always a beautiful view. Then every year I would tell Mom the buttercups were out in the fields across the valley from our home. So we would walk down to the bridge and up Hunshelf Bank to find the yellow flowers that were only dandelions. Before the bungalows were built on the bottom road at Hawthorne Brooke, the land was marshy and lovely milk-maids grew there. The best place to find yellow lady fingers was the triangle above the Clough and blue harebells grew in the ditches along Hollin Busk.

   As soon as I was four, I insisted on starting school. The old Fox school was on Manchester Road across from the bottom of Victoria St. and the outside toilets were awful. I would stand behind the protecting wall and pretend that I’d used the toilet. Then after school I’d run up Victoria St, through the gate up to the back door, up the stairs and to the bathroom. Whew!

The boys pulled my long curls and Mom told me they wouldn’t tease me if they didn’t like me. But I decided I’d had enough and quit! When I was five I grudgingly attended the old school until the move to the modern new school up on the hill. It was wonderful, one wall of the schoolrooms was windows and we had big playgrounds and playing fields. I can remember drawing and painting lovely red and green apples when I was still in the Infants. One year I attended school very little as I had the measles, the chicken pox and scarlet fever. Being the only child I didn’t have to go in the Fever Hospital, but I was isolated in my bedroom for six weeks. We had a round kerosine heater, which threw fascinating patterns of light on the ceiling. Mom even carried coal up the stairs so I could have a fire in the fireplace on really cold days.

I remember moving around the corner of the schoolhouse to the Middle School at 8 years old. We were taught knitting in that class and we had a large storage box in the corner to store our knitting bags too. One of the girls snitched and told the teacher that David Beechill and Jack Saxon had passed notes to me. I was so embarrassed I hid the notes in my knitting bags and denied the whole thing.

The children were given free milk each day and dosed with cod liver oil. Mom gave me halibut liver oil capsules, so I had to help distribute the oil to the other kids. The small permeated the whole school!

The next year my teacher kept me after school to help me sound my “L’s” and my “R’s” but I never conquered them. The following year was the big one. We sat for the County examination to obtain places at Penistone Grammar School. The Saturday morning came – it was raining and blowing. I had been at home with a bad cold but I insisted on taking the exam and I passed. Mom and I made the trip to Hinchcliffe’s in Penistone to buy the PGS uniform. The colors were red and black, so the tie was striped, the belt twisted with the two colors and I got a Dutch boy type cap. I think we bought the wool gymslip in Sheffield and a leather satchel and a new raincoat. Mom sewed my white blouses. So now I was ready.

The week after my eleventh birthday I started the five years of high school. We caught the 8:20 bus from the bottom of Victoria St and rode about a mile to Deepcar. We added the numbers on our penny ticket, divided by eight and the remaining number determined the rest of our day.

One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a letter, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told.

We watched out for crows, if you saw one alone it was bad luck. We walked a mile to Deepcar Station and if the weather was good we skipped across the stepping- stones by the bridge. We often got wet feet, but they dried out on the five-mile train ride and the long walk to PGS from Penistone Station. We had spare stockings and house shoes that were required to wear in school. We always had home- work, two subjects on weeknights and three subjects on the weekends. So we had heavy books to carry. During hockey season I carried my own stick back and forth and I also had a tennis racquet at that time. We stood in awe of the teachers, especially Mr. Bowman the Head Master. Our Math teacher had us all scared to death. They were good educators and had control of the classes. The Head Master’s wife was in charge of the dining room and I would say the food was filling but not first-class.  The last two years I took my own lunch.

One winter the lake below the school froze over and some of us tried to skate. I was hanging on to the back of a straight chair and doing pretty well till someone knocked me down. My arm hurt so I went back into the school and saw Mrs. Evans (the Girls Mistress), she flexed my arm and said it was all right but I should ride the bus home. This was much easier than going to long way round but it must have been more expensive.

Mom took me to the surgery and the doctor put my arm in a sling and I sat up all night. The next morning we went to the specialist in Sheffield who put a contraption on me. There were two bars around my body, a long piece of steel to hold my arm in place with a pulley on the end to tighten up the straps. It was an uncomfortable contraption but the fracture was healed in 4 weeks. During that time Mom and I went to the PGS Speech Day in the Penistone Town Hall when the awards for the previous year were presented. The year after I left school I went back to the Speech Day where I received a complete works of Shakespeare “for good results in the School Certificate.” This takes the place of the American High School Graduation ceremony.

All the exercise and fresh air evidently suited me as I gained weight and was healthier during my high school years. When I was 13 I weighed over 10 stones (140 lbs.) then at 14 I’d grown taller and I was 9 stones 6lbs. (126 lbs.) The students were divided into 4 Houses Armitage (yellow), Boswell (blue), Clarel, (red), and Dransfield (green). We had inter-house games and contests. The teams representing the school played matches against other schools on Saturday with few spectators. All schools had regular P.E. and sports periods and I was happy when they started P.E. in Alma.

We worked very hard in high school and after five years I decided not to stay on the extra two years taking pre-college courses. My friend Dorothy Hance was going to Barnsley Technical and Commercial College so I went there on the same scholarship. I disliked shorthand and typing but I enjoyed the accounting. At lunchtime we walked to another building, stopping on the way to pick up cream puffs or chocolate éclairs to go with our sandwiches. I left home about 8 and rode the Barnsley bus, so it was easier traveling.

During the time I dated my first boyfriend Gordon Stainrod, his main attraction was that he was a good dancer. Eileen Newton dated his friend Laurie Sykes and they joined the Congregational Church choir. Gordon was boisterous and caused some concern among the older members but they had good voices so they put up with them. When we broke up that summer of ’39 Gordon joined the Grenadier Guards and was in the fighting that fall. He was captured but escaped to Switzerland, a neutral country and spent the remaining years of the war there. 

  Career Days

Rumors of war were strong that summer. I spent a week in the Isle of Man with my friend. I met a Scotch boy; Jamie Ingles and we corresponded after we went home. Dad asked me to stay home and help Mom but by that time I had my 17th birthday and was seemed inevitable so I applied at Fox’s. War broke out Sunday September 3rd, 1939 and I started work the next day. After a few days they started me as assistant to Leonard Herbert, the Financial Accountant. We did the final books for Fox’s, the Stocksbridge Gas Co and the Stocksbridge Railroad Co. Our desks were in one corner of the Cost Office, which was a busy place. John Spooner was the assistant to the Cost accountant at that time and took over the position when Mr. McGregor was transferred. About 2 years later Joe Mason was called up into the RAF and I took his job on the Statistical Cost desk. When the United Steel Companies decided to start their first Hollerith Dept at Fox’s I was chosen as Supervisor. The British Tabulating Co. training school was at Letchworth, north of London. My two machine operators and I took one month training there then I stayed an extra week to learn to be Supervisor! Then we started teaching young 15 and 16-year-old girls to be punch operators and verifiers. Mr. Watson and Mr. Waters were the British Tab representatives who helped me to set up the jobs. We did some work for the Cost Office first, then put the payroll on.  

An explanation of the system for the users of the modern digital computers, Dr. Hollerith copied the idea from the patterns used by French lace makers. The punch cards had 100 columns; information punched into any corresponding column was picked up by the brush on the computer as the card passed through. This information was channeled by the three control boards on the front of the computer, which are reset for each job. The figures are totaled and listed according to these instructions. For example, the punch card for each employee was pre-punched and pre-printed with rates, department name, number, wage, deductions and etc. Then after the punch operator punched in the hours and the verifiers had checked each card the cards were fed into the computer which calculated the total wage, the deduction, the net wage and the number of notes and coins required to make up the pay packets Considering that there were 12 pence to the shilling and twenty shillings to the pound and other coins, the half-crown which was 2/6 and the ten pence and the three pence this was a complicated set-up. (We also used the “long ton” 112 lbs. to the hundredweight, 20 hundredweights to the ton.)

One of the machine operators didn’t pan out, so Vera Handley took her training.  Controlling a dozen teenagers was my most difficult task, but they proved to be efficient workers and were proud of their good work. The first two weeks we ran the payroll, Mr. Watson, Mr. Waters and I worked from 8 am Monday until 6pm Tuesday, but we had it in hand then. The Hollerith principle was simple but it remained a complete mystery to most people. Groups came from other companies to observe so I had to be a showman too demonstrating the machines. John Spooner always encouraged me and backed me up. The office manager, David Brown, blew his top when I told him I was getting married and they trained a middle-aged spinster to take my place. The British Tab people had promised me a job as demonstrator after the war but I’d had enough.

            Churchill said that the six long dark years of World War II were Britain’s “Finest Hour.” Everyone gave of their best and helped each other. Our age group was the hardest hit. They were the first to volunteer and be drafted. Two boys from Victoria St. Albert Sellers and Eddie Challis were missing in action from air raids over Europe during that first autumn and were never found. They were at P.G.S. with me. The Scotch boy, Jamie Ingles went to France and was killed. John was in the U.S. Army Air Corps for almost 4 years (1942-1945.) He was stationed at Alconbury Air Base for most of the time. B-52 bombers off the 8th Air Force raided strategic places in Germany in daylight raids. It took several hours for the planes to gather over-head before they all left on the mission. The R.A.F. bombers usually raided at night. Many of the planes were badly damaged and crash landed on their return. As you can see by the map there were many U.S. air bases in England. The English Lancaster bombers flew 156,000 missions. The R.A.F. fighters beat the Nazi’s back in 1940 and prevented an invasion. Churchill said that never had so many owed so much to so few. Brenda’s husband Derek, and his brother Phillip both survived several tours as bomber pilots, which was amazing.

Dad retired from the Bottling Co. when he was 75 and they hired a bookkeeper. Dad was strong and healthy but had suffered for years with open varicose ulcers on his ankles. Mom treated them twice a day with scalding hot pink lint; they would heal but always broke out again. I remember he had the flu one time and every time Mom left him upstairs he would yell, “Lily, I’m dying.” Another time he had a blood clot but he wouldn’t stay in bed as ordered and recovered anyway. His only regular outing was to Church at 6 p.m. on Sunday. When they reached the bottom of Victoria St he walked straight across the busy Manchester Road. Mom would say, “Ernest, watch for the traffic” and he’d reply, “ They daren’t run o’er me.” Unfortunately Uncle Percy had this same attitude and was run down by a truck and killed at the busy Flouch crossroads. He was in his 80’s. Stubborn old Yorkshiremen!

Coal was in short supply for homes, so we broke up the old washstands and other furniture from our attic. We were left with the useless marble tops. We were asked to use only a few inches of water in our baths. Electric heaters were forbidden, but Dad said he deserved to use one in the cold bathroom.  

The War 

What shall I say about World War II?  

It is all recorded in the history books, but who reads them?  When Hitler and the Nazis invaded Poland after taking Austria and Czechoslovakia the British and the French declared War on September 3rd 1939.  That autumn was dubbed “The Phony War” as the expected bombardment and invasion didn’t happen.  We covered all of our windows with blackout drapes, the street lights were fixed so that only a little light shone downward and the car headlights the same.  Volunteer groups spring into action.  Air raid shelters were quickly built, they were small-corrugated steel structures sunk into the back yards.  In the cities large basements were reinforced and in London thousands of people spent their nights in the Underground station.  The Air Raid Wardens patrolled to make sure no light showed and the people manned the warning centers.  Dorothy Fish and I spent many nights in the Public Hall basement, knitting and reading and watching for the alerts that never came.  However the Nazis started bombing Liverpool and Manchester and the bombers flew over Stocksbridge every evening about 6 o’ clock, returning before long.  This went on for months and we got used to it and went on our way to the show or dances.  “Lord  Haw Haw”, a British traitor who talked German Propaganda on the German radio, threatened “The Fox in the Valley” but we only took two stray bombs, which caused little damage.  They bombed Sheffield twice in December of 1941 and caused much damage to the center of town as well as the steel works. Hundreds of people were killed; a dance hall full of people was hit.  It sounded like hell from 10 miles away, at Stocksbridge. 

  I was in London for the weekend from Letchworth in 1943 and I went to the Covent Garden Opera House.  It was used during the war as a dance hall with an all girl orchestra.  That same evening the Hammersmith ballroom received a direct hit and hundreds were killed. 

  Thousands of people lost all their possessions, they were left with the clothes on their backs.  Relatives and friends took them in so long as their houses still stood.  As far as I know there was no compensation.  I discovered early that “stuff” isn’t that important.  Many children were evacuated to homes in the country, some stayed for the duration of the war but some couldn’t take the peace and quiet and returned home.  A U-boat sank one of the ships evacuating children to Canada and many lives were lost.

              We worked almost every Sunday as the staff was diminished but we always had Saturday afternoons off.  Sometimes we had to ride the #57 buses up to the end of the line in Hawthorn Brook in order to ride it back to Sheffield.  They ran the double-deckers every 10 minutes on Saturdays.  There were always some of my friends waiting at Cole’s corner for our Saturday jaunt.  Dorothy, (till she went in the Army) Barbara, Catherine, Margaret, Pat, Jean, and Vera. We went to the movies, glorious musicals and war adventures with the Pathe Gazette News, some shorter movies and cartoons, it lasted 3 to 4 hours. There were tea dances where we met many service men. The R.A.F. and the Canadian A.F. had an R & R for weary airmen. They were there to have a good time but we had enough sense not to date them. Then to the Victory Club dance. There were usually plenty of partners, soldiers from the barrage balloon outfits and the anti-aircraft units around the reservoirs and men from the tank practice range at Langsett. 

One rare, glorious Saturday afternoon Cath, Barbara and I took the “Green and White” bus to the Flouch, heading for the Dog and Partridge for tea.  On the way, we stopped to talk to some people making hay.  There was a strange young man, brother of the owner who was a Duke, and the caretaker couple.  Later on, as we waited for the bus, the man rode up on a little motorbike, gave us each an egg and invited us to tea the next day.  We stopped at Billy Green’s at Langsett for a shandy before going to the dance in the school house.  Cath dropped her egg on the paved stone floor of the bar and she was heart-broken.  Barbara and I arrived home with our eggs intact after walking the four miles home after the dance.  And we had an elegant tea the next afternoon. 

One year we had a Fox’s hockey team, Barbara and I played in the mud and the rain with no facilities to clean up except old cricket huts.  Didn’t last long! During this time there was a group of young people who liked to get together at the Midhope pub. The men were in jobs at Fox’s, Tom & Bryce in the Siemens, Les Sanderson was a bricklayer, Colin, Roy & Reg in Research. Reg played the piano and we’d sing all the popular songs and after a couple of shandies we could really sing!                  

More about the War

  When war was declared every-one was issued with a gas mask and we were required to carry them everywhere. Soon some smart operators were selling cases to carry them, so we bought them to match our outfits. They had a place for our money, make-up, dance shoes and etc. The Fox employees had to show our identity cards to get in the gate, even though the gate keeper had known of us all of our lives.

              Fox’s had a few rifles and when the Home Guard were formed from the older men and reserved employees they had to practice with brooms. Some of us girls were taught to shoot at the rifle range on the top floor of our office building. To make the Germans think that we were ready to protect the plant to the last man we had steel strips across the bottom of the office windows, with holes for the rifles to fit. They looked good! 

            Fooling the Nazis was a major stratagem. When France fell in 1941 the British troops were evacuated from Dunkirk. Every sea-worthy craft, large and small, crossed the English Channel to rescue them. All of their weapons were left behind so we had to start all over again. The Army built a tank corps camp out of plywood and cardboard in East Anglia to convince the enemy that we were still prepared.

              Incidentally, to find out how the British broke the Nazi’s code, search Enigma Code. It was the best kept secret of W.W. II and it was claimed it shortened the war by years.

  We will never know why Hitler did not invade at that time. America supplied us with “Lend Lease.” Weapons then after December 6th, 1941 their troops came too. All of our factories worked at night and day to make munitions, uniforms, and etc. All of the scrap metal was commandeered, they took the railings and gates from the front of our house.

  At Easter time in 1944 I went to see Marjorie at Poole. Thousands of men were training for the invasion and the country was over-flowing with troops from all the Allies. A convoy came into Poole and that night there was an air raid, fooling the Germans again, they lit fires on Brownsea Island in the middle of the harbor and most of the bombs fell there. We all sheltered in the cupboard under the stairs then made a dash for the communal shelter, the movie theatre down the street was hit, but there was remarkably little damage for such a heavy raid. When we got home I discovered I’d dressed in such a rush I was wearing odd shoes!

  How John and I met  

I haven’t told you how John and I met. John volunteered and went into the Army Air Corps in January ’42 in Omaha. He went to Cheyenne, where the wind blew and blew. Then to Spokane, WA where the 647th company was established with men from all over the country. They would stay together through the war. Larry Kerns had been in the National Guard in WA, so he was already a Sgt.   Larry Reagan was also from WA and also Milo Gorton and the four of them became friends.    Then to White Sands, Alamogordo, N.M. where the wind blew the sand. They went across the country to Norfolk, V.A. where it was so hot and humid in July that their clothes were soaking as soon as they dressed. They moved to Fort Dix, N.J. to ready for overseas. John and another fellow took off and had an unauthorized evening in New York and got away with it. Once on the ship, they joined a convoy, which zigzagged across the Atlantic to try to avoid the menacing U-boats. They arrived safely in Cardiff, Wales and went by train to Wortley, the little village close to my home where a black company was already established. These men had been coming to the Victory Club dances and we didn’t know how to re-act to them, as we’d never seen black people. I went to all the dances but this one Wednesday I stayed home to wash my hair. Dorothy danced with Milo Gorton and promised to bring some friends to meet Milo, John and Larry Reagan at Deepcar the next evening. We had always walked for the pleasure of it, but these guys thought the English mile was very long and the 2 miles from Wortley was a long, long way. Anyway, we met them, Dot, Pat Goodlad and I- but Larry Kerns was there too. We went by height; Pat sat with John, I with Larry Reagan. The next time we saw them it was Dot, Barbara, and I and we took Vera along for Larry. They hit it off immediately! Barbara sat with Larry Reagan and I was with John. That was August 1942. They were at Wortley a few weeks then moved near to Upper Dean where they made friends with Doris and Frank who had a grocery store and a bakery in the village. The oven was outside at that time and they carried water from the village pump.  I didn’t realize there were places like that still in England. On Sundays, Frank didn’t bake but he kept the oven going so the housewives brought their roasts to cook in it. Later, they’d bring their Yorkshire puddings to cook. I was amazed. Many of the row houses in Stocksbridge still had outside toilets but they had gas laid on in their homes. I remember Dad installing electric power at the brewery and in our house about 1927- probably when the gas strike was in progress.

  When we decided to get married, he applied for permission from the Army.  Then it started.  Interviews at the base with his C.O. and the padre, then the lawyers, all to see if I was qualified mentally and physically to come to the U.S.A.  They really didn’t want us.  The Yanks had been in England so long that most of them had regular girlfriends and many wanted to marry.  They didn’t find any reason to turn us down, so we could go ahead and plan our wedding.

  When John and I were married, Edith’s daughter Christine was a flower girl along with Leslie’s daughter Carole. Barbara and Dorothy were my bridesmaids. Edith helped me make the dresses. I’d shopped all over before I found some pink lace for my dress and the flower girls, in Barnsley. I bought the deeper pink crepe for the bridesmaids’ dresses in the Sheffield market without coupons (black market!) John and I found my engagement ring in a pawnshop in Sheffield, but I had to go to Leeds to find my wedding ring and the traditional signet ring for John. We didn’t have enough clothing coupons for Dad to have a new suit but we located a bowler hat in his large size, at the Huddersfield Co-op. His shoes were hand-made leather and they lasted for years. Mom bought a new hat and had a dress made.

              The fashionable time for a wedding was Saturday at 3 p.m. but that time was booked so we settled for 11 a.m. John and Bob Jones came to Barnsley on the Friday but Larry Reagan, who was John’s best man, showed up at our house on Saturday morning carrying a bouquet of flowers from John. He was surprised to see Mom and I still working on the wedding feast. The 3 p.m. wedding had been postponed so Mr. Sackett married us at 3 p.m. at the Congregational Church, Our flowers were beautiful in shades of pink, the war couldn’t stop the flowers from growing! My bouquet was roses and the other bouquets were sweet peas. John and I took my bouquet to Mrs. Spooner who was bed-ridden for years with crippling arthritis.

              The number of guests was limited to 24 at Billy Green’s at Langsett so we had a party at home that evening for family, and friends. People had donated dabs of butter and Mom saved sugar and dried fruit so we had a lovely traditional fruitcake with white icing. We made sandwiches with Mom’s homemade bread and any kind of fillings we could muster up. John brought two gallon cans of pears from the P.X. Luckily he could buy film there to record the big event. We had a great time except for Bryce Henderson who proceeded to get drunk sitting on the cellar steps.

              I changed into an aqua dress and Colin Marshall took us to an inn in Bradwell for a short honeymoon. The Blue John mines are situated in near-by Castleton so we took the tour, buying a little bowl in the rare Blue John Spar, this is the only place in the world that is has been found.

              John went back to his base near Huntington and I stayed in a B & B there for a few weeks. I traveled around by bus and saw country that was new to me. The plum harvest was good so I took a basketful home for Mom to make jam. We had big strawberry beds at home and through the years we picked hundreds of pounds and Mom made jam for everyone and always took some to the church bazaar and the S.A. Christmas Fayre.

              Some weekends I met John at Doris and Frank’s home in Upper Dean. Doris traded groceries to the gypsies for pretty jewelry, I’m sure most of it was stolen. Doris had charm bracelets with solid gold charms. She gave John a brooch made from a crown coin to send to his mother and Anna later gave it to Pam. 


Mom and Dad always welcomed company. Our friends Jessie and Jim Helliwell visited and Jessie came to tea on Thursdays. She had come to Stocksbridge as a S.A. officer too, before Mom. Jessie originated in Dundee and she was proud to be Scottish. Their only daughter, Edith, married Harold Fieldsend and I was a bridesmaid. Mrs. Hayward and Bessie came and played cards with Mom and Dad on Saturday evenings. They lived on Victoria Road, above us. It was a treat to eat her stew; it was the best, spicy and tasty. Bessie belonged to Dr. Robertshaw’s St. Cecilia Choir. I was in the Junior Choir and we went to competition at the Huddersfield Town Hall. The girls wore white dresses and I remember mine was corduroy with long sleeves to keep me warm.

  We had an extra bedroom and Mom hosted the S.A. officers who came to hold special services. At the beginning of the war, we billeted two officers from the K.O.S.B. regiment. I think they were installing the anti-aircraft balloons that were placed around the dams, to prevent the Nazis from flying low to bomb the dam. One was called Alistair Donaldson Grant and he was like a big brother to me, taking me to the show. One time he took me to the Victory Club and I was so proud to be escorted by a tall, handsome officer.

  Mom invited service men to eat with us and that was how we met Audrey. Her brother Len was stationed at Ewden and he came to a service at the Congs. We started dating in the summer of ’42, and then he was transferred. He came on leave one weekend and John and Larry Kerns showed up too, so we finangled around and John stayed at Vera’s till the next day when Len left. Anyway, Audrey came to see Len during her summer vacation from college and after she met Tom she continued her visits.  We are all the same age; Tom and I went through grade school together. When Audrey had her 21st birthday I had been to London and set off by train for her home in Durhamshire. A group of us in the carriage were all going to Newcastle and had to change at York. A porter pointed out the Newcastle train, you have to remember the blackout and there were no names on the stations. Anyway we finished up on the coast at Scarborough in the late evening and had to re-trace the route. Mr. Atkinson was going to meet me at Newcastle. When we finally arrived at Newcastle, a young soldier took me home to spend the rest of the night and I phoned Mr. Atkinson the next morning. Audrey took us to a fine restaurant for her party and that was when I started smoking. Everyone I knew smoked except for Tom, Bryce and I and I’d held out a long time.

  Len went to North Africa early in 1943 and was captured when the Germans over-ran the British and American lines. He spent 2 years in a prisoner of war camp in Germany.

  During the war all the road signs were taken down and I don’t know how the Americans found their way around the country. The British use “left” and “right” for directions, never “North” and “South.” John’s outfit went to Liverpool to pick up trucks and some of them would be lost for days. One time John and Larry Reagan had to deliver a staff car to Lytham St Anne’s, close to Blackpool. They had a jeep for the return trip and they loaded it with cans of extra gas and headed for Stocksbridge. Barbara and I went out with them on the Saturday evening to Sheffield and the guys stayed there, as the vehicles would have been very noticeable in Stocksbridge. Barbara had to work on the Sunday but John picked me up in the staff car and we took off. There were many American bases in Lancashire so I had to duck down going through the towns. It was worse coming back as we were all in the Jeep and it was hard to hide. But we avoided the M. Ps. And we weren’t thrown in the brig.  John and Jack Ruddesill bought a motorbike and fixed it up with a big plexiglass windshield. They could travel to Barnsley in a fourth the time it took by train and bus, and after John dropped Jack off at his wife’s home he’d come to see me. 

  Our House and Garden  

            Westbourne Villas set on 1 1/2 acres of land until Dad sold off one piece after I came here.  He had 27 apple trees, some pear and plum trees, rhododendrons, hollies, laurels and other bushes.  There was a rose arbour where the climbing roses kept going forever.  The white Dutch iris was lovely, almost as large as Pam’s iris and he had a large bed of them.  Dad loved dahlias and grew all kinds especially pom-poms.  Every Friday Mom picked flowers and I had a route of regular customers who bought the mixed bunches for 6 pence and the pinks (small, white carnations) for 4 pence.  That was my holiday money to spend at Scarborough or Blackpool where we’d spend one week at a boarding house.  Dad had a L-shaped greenhouse, the first section held grape vines and ferns with mushrooms growing under the benches.  The second part was for tomatoes, he liked the yellow ones best, tomatoes didn’t grow outside.  In the last part he grew lilies, chrysanthemums and fuchsias.  It was well built and lasted until the day he was buried in 1949 when a terrible storm broke most of the windows out. Dad raised strawberries, raspberries, and logan berries but he didn’t waste his time on vegetables! He hired a man to do the heavy digging.

              I haven’t mentioned our dog, Pat. He was a dark chocolate brown colour, with a white star on his chest. Pat liked to chase motorbikes in Victoria St. and the farmers’ chickens when we were out for a walk. The kids in the neighbourhood would climb over our back wall to steal apples and Pat would be there helping them! He was one of our family, always waiting by the gate for me to come home. He developed a rash and we had to put him to sleep after Johnny was born.

   The floors in the house were made of cement, nine inches thick, covered with terraza marble.  An Italian family in Sheffield did this.  Marble chips were set in a layer of cement, and then when it hardened it was polished and polished and polished, all with hand tools.  It was sparkly and needed only to be mopped clean.  We had area carpets in the dining room and living room, rag rugs in the kitchen and runner carpet in the hall way.  The front door and the vestibule door had stained glass windows that were also used at the top of the front windows.  The houses faced the west, hence the name.  Uncle Percy and Aunt Beattie lived next door until they moved to the Flouch Inn.  Aunt Beattie spoiled me; her children were older, Leslie 15, Joyce 10, and Daisie 5 years older than me.  When they moved they let me pick a piece of her souvenir China ornaments and I still have the Durham chair.

   It was a highlight of my young life visiting them at the Flouch for a few days each summer.  Aunt Beattie made wonderful beef sandwiches and her homemade mayonnaise was delicious on a simple salad.  They had a freezer in the cottage and I could choose my Wall’s ice cream bar everyday.  I thought Joyce and Daisie were the cat’s pajamas and I wanted to grow up to be just like them.  I followed them to P.G.S. when Uncle Percy was one of the Governors.

   Joyce married a local farmer’s son, Toby Milnes.  Unfortunately, Daisie couldn’t be a bridesmaid as she was badly injured when her boyfriend’s sports car was driven under the back of a parked transport lorry at the bottom of Langsett hill.  Toby came to Cleveland, Ohio, during the war to represent his firm coordinating their products.  Joyce and Pam joined him crossing the Atlantic when the U-boats were at their worst.  After the war they came to Cleveland permanently, they also had Valerie by then.  They retired to Palm Coast, Florida, then back to Cleveland.

              Daisie married Tommy Howie who worked in Central Research at Fox’s.  After the war they moved to Scotland so he could take over the family brickworks and they had Stuart and Barbara.

              After the new Flouch was built Lesle and Freda lived in the old Flouch with their children Carole and Jeffrey.  When Leslie was 35 he was called up into the Navy.  That must have been a shock, he had been waited on all his life and the Spartan life would be hard on him. After the war he came back to his job as a surveyor at the Stocksbridge Town Hall.

  Dad sold the house next door to the Wesleyan- Methodist Church for their minister. When Mom came to live with us she sold our house to Desmond and Margaret Helliwell who still live there. They were very gracious to Ron’s family and showed them the house and garden.

Then there are the holidays.

  Six weeks after Easter is Pentecost-White Sunday-Whitsuntide. Whit Monday was the children’s favourite Christian holiday. The Stocksbridge Brass Band started out from the “Top End” picking up groups from each church, children, teachers, and some parents. The Mission, the Methodist, the Congs, then the S.A. band joined with their Sunday School. Then the Church of England, up New Road to the Catholics, down Back Lane to meet the Deepcar and Bolsterstone groups. We still had a long walk back up the Main Road, up Hoyle House Lane and along Victoria Road to “the Field.” There we sang hymns and had a service. The route was packed with on-lookers, who then proceeded to the Field-the most people ever seen in Stocksbridge. Back to our Church for lunch, run home and change clothes, back to the Field for races and fun-coconut shies and the boys chasing the girls with a bamboo cane that made a wonderful swishing sound and left welts. Such fun!

On Halloween we had “Caking Night” when the children went door to door in their neighbourhood singing-

“Cake Cake Cake

Hole in my stocking. Hole in my shoe,

Please can you spare a copper or two?

If you haven’t got a penny a ha’penny will do

If you haven’t got a ha’ penny

God Bless You”


We wore masks or blackened our faces with soot from the fireplace. They let us get warm by their fire and gave us a scone and a small coin, then we were on our way again. On Nov.5th we celebrated Guy Fawke’s downfall when he was prevented from burning down the Houses of Parliament. We burned the “guy” on a bonfire and shot off fireworks, and then baked potatoes in the ashes.

  Christmas was long anticipated. Mom made the Christmas Plum Pudding and fruit cakes weeks ahead so they could age. The Pudding was served with hard sauce custard flavoured with rum. Mom wrapped six-penny pieces up and slid in there and wonders. Dad always found a half-crown! The tree was decorated on Christmas Eve with our old glass ornaments and tin candle holders and I’d saved chicken wish –bones and covered them with tin foil-they were good luck. Christmas Eve “we hung out stockings on our bedsteads with care” and also I hung a pillowslip for the toys and books I knew I’d receive.

  Lilian and her family came for our Christmas Day dinner, turkey, goose, or roast beef and all the trimmings. Then we’d set off on the mile walk to Bolsterstone with holly wreaths for the family graves. We children always ran miles back and forth and ran our dinners off so we were ready for our tea of cold meats, pickles, trifle and our little mince pies. Trifles are so called because they are a trifle of this and a trifle of that. Mincemeat is made by mincing the beef in the grinder and adding dried fruit, apples and a little rum or sherry. We roasted chestnuts, ate oranges, throwing the peel in the fire to make a lovely scent, and cracked nuts.

  So the Twelve Days of Christmas had started. 

We always looked forward to the carolers coming.  The Salvation Army spent the month of December singing around the whole district.  The only time Dad played the piano was when they came.  (He had played the violin too, when he was younger)   We made a party out of it, Mom having mince pies and hot drinks ready for them.  The Spooner family were always our good friends and faithful Salvationists.  They had a neighbourhood grocery shop in Victoria St. and Harry had a horse and cart.  In the summertime he made the most delicious ice cream and I would take my cup and spoon and eat it on the way home.  It has always tasted the best to me that way. 

The next day was Boxing Day, a legal holiday, when traditionally the Master and the Mistress gave their servants their Christmas Boxes on their day off. I always had a Christmas party for my little girl friends and I was invited to theirs. As I got older “ the gang” came and we played “Murder” and “Sardines.” About 1 a.m. Dad would appear at the top of the stairs and holler “It’s time for you lot to go home.” One of our tricks was trying to raise a chair with some one on it, one person each side lifting with one finger. It takes faith. I’ve seen my Dad lifted up at the S.A. socials. My favourite trick was when Tom put on my Dad’s bowler hat, stood back against the wall and raised it up. Doesn’t sound so funny, but Dad’s big hat came down over Tom’s ears. It had to be dark for some games so they put Mom’s fire screen in front of the fire-the varnish melted, the wood cracked – a disaster. Another time some one dropped a cigarette on the “new” couch and burned a huge hole. Oh my! As I grew up I had talked my folks into junking the lovely, old furniture for a modern 3-piece suite. We put the glass cabinets of stuffed birds and the old china vases in the attic. We went to the “Co-op” top floor Christmas shop and I picked out a garrish green and orange sunset pottery pattern to replace the lovely pink rose china dinner set, which Mom gave to Lillian. What price antiques?

  On New Year’s Eve a tall, dark-haired man knocked at your door and a piece of coal was exchanged for luck. On Twelfth Night we burned the holly from the cupboard and put in a new piece so our cupboard would not be bare during the next year.

  I’m sure these old customs have died out but I like to observe them and hand down the traditions.

Looking Back 

The Women’s Lib movement left me cold. I always did what I wanted. Fortunately! I liked to work and keep busy and I was raised on the maxim that “if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” Another of Dad’s sayings was “A day’s work for a day’s pay.” He had many of these- the Yorkshire one was “If tha ever does owt for nowt, do it for thisen.” Translation- “If you ever do anything for nothing, do it for yourself.” The old local dialect was difficult to understand but you could always place people by their accent. Dad called the chemist, the druggist –hence the American drug-store from the old English. When I came to Alma I stopped at the drug store to get Johnny weighed as the chemist shops over home had baby scales where you paid your penny and weighed the baby. Maxine Tieperman has never forgotten this.

  Dad did not know a stranger. He carried a chair to the front of our house and he talked to everyone. “ I knew your grand-father, he were a Briggs and his wife were a Hoyle” was the kind of conversation he liked. I wish I had a record of the stories he told of his early life.

              I have a few souvenirs from my school days- Books and the little French and German dictionaries with a matching bookmark. Somewhere I had a grade school autograph book with silly jokes, sentimental ditties and sayings like “ Never make love in a cornfield, remember the corn has ears.” More sophisticated than we knew. We bought the dictionaries at Hinchcliffe’s gift shop below the Palace” picture palace.” One of my earliest memories is buying the little golfer, in plus four, for Dad’s birthday. The golf bag held his spills which he used to light his pipe from the fire and the golfer sat on the little shelf in the marble surround. I saw it in an antique book recently; it’s worth $300 now!

              I enjoyed looking at the old pictures and going down Memory Lane has been so rewarding, one thing leads to another and there is no end to the events that came to my mind.

  Our voyage of discovery

  It is now June 6th, 2002 and Johnny and I arrived in Alma 56 years ago on Grandpa Hogeland’s birthday. It had been grueling three-week venture, as we spent one week in a hotel in Bournemouth where the lawyers tackled us again. Mom stayed at Uncle Evy’s at Poole so she could visit us. We were taken to Southampton on Mom’s birthday, May 26th and we set sail in an old hospital ship. We had a cabin with 46 double bunks for 46 women and their children, with a Spartan bathroom, very poor facilities. All of the babies were put on the same formula, some took sick. As we arrived at the dining room there were bushel baskets of oranges sitting there and the girls went crazy, as we hadn’t seen any for 6 years. As we got out in the Atlantic most of them were sick, either from the excess of oranges or seasickness. Then they served wieners and sauerkraut and the smell permeated the shop- horrible! So that finished off the rest. Luckily I’d watched what I ate as I was nursing Johnny and he wasn’t affected either. But our cabin was a miserable place for a few days, and the bathroom!! We chugged along for a week, we sat out on deck most of the day. Arriving in New York that next Saturday we handed the epistles we’d written to our parents, along with postage, to the Red Cross representative. A week later Mom cabled to Alma, they never received it neither did the parents of the other women! The S.A. was always “ Johnny on the spot” during the air raids; the S.A. has always had my support. We stayed on the ship till Monday then we were shipped across country by train. The “War Brides” were on one end, the servicemen on the other and we were fed one good meal a day. It was even difficult to obtain water for the babies and Elsie Koelmel, who came to Bloomington, had to take her little daughter to the hospital at Holdrege as she was so dehydrated. We changed trains at Kansas City and we arrived at Table Rock where John and Roy and Martha were waiting for us. I was wearing a tweed suit with a clean white blouse that I’d saved back. When we got to Beatrice I was so hot we sat under a shade tree. We saw a thermometer that registered 118F. I’ve always doubted that but checking back it was broke records that day in Nebraska. So we arrived in Alma on the Thursday evening. John’s sisters were at Clink’s – a ballroom at the east end of Main St. and they kept checking to see if we were home. We spent that night upstairs at Grandma’s with an 8” fan for ventilation. When my luggage finally arrived we were shocked to see that customs had slashed the wrapping on the perambulator and cut through the apron and hood and broken the handle. I’d been lucky to find it at Redgraves on the Moor at Sheffield, it was one of the first post-war prams.

  And so we came to Alma. I have lived “ the Good Life” for these 56 years and I have no regrets. Doreen Sebelius and I said we had the best of two worlds, England before the war and America after.  I’ll end with an old favourite song-


Just a song at twilight when the lights are low

And the flickering shadows softly come and go

Though the heart be weary, sad the day, and long

           Still to us at twilight comes love’s sweet song,

Comes love’s old, sweet song.      

                             God Bless

And how can I forget- 

            The woodlands in the Spring with the fresh, green leaves of the beeches and the carpet of bluebells.

             The long walks when we hunted for the holly bushes with the best berries for our Christmas decorations.

             The Christmas pantomimes at the Sheffield Empire when “Jack” was always a beautiful long-legged girl and the “Dame” was a male comic in a crazy outfit.

             The kittens named Billy who never lasted long and the Angora rabbits which always borrowed out of their hutches and nibbled on Dad’s plants.

             The Remembrance Day services at the Clock Tower for the people killed in W.W.I. There it was dedicated in 1923. There was always a minute of silence at 11 a.m. on November 11th in honor of the war dead.

             The sewing classes I went to with Mom when I was little that sparked an interest to make my own clothes. They were held at the British Hall.

             The seasonal games the children played; marbles, hopscotch, skipping rope, ball against the wall, kick the can down the alley, and hide and go seek.

             The local characters like Archie, who sold the “Green Un” sports newspaper and peddled bundles of kindling, He always said “Me, no change.”

             The lamplighter climbing his ladder to light each gas streetlight in the late afternoon.

             The Music Hall songs like “My Old Man said follow the van” and Gracie Fields singing “Sally” and Stan Holloway reciting “Sam, Sam pick up tha musket.”

             The balls of silver foil we built up from candy wrappers to donate to the Barnado’s Children’s Homes.

             The B.B.C dance orchestra with Henry Hall on the wireless at 5p.m. every day after school playing “The Gypsy” and “Chapel in the Moonlight.”

            The fun Dad made of our songs like “BooHoo,” he sang his favourite “My Grandfather’s Clock.”

 The Prince of Wales slowing down as his cavalcade drove by P.G.S. in 1935. He was Edward VIII who became King but was never crowned as he abdicated to marry Wallace Simpson “the woman I love.”                                                                          

           The cup and saucer all the children received to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of George V.

           The first zipper I sewed in a dress.

The day I had my plaits cut off when I was 16 1/2 years old. I thought my Mom and Dad were going to cry.

The sheer terror I felt when they talked me into playing the Wicked Queen to Elaine’s Snow White in a Congs Production at the British             Hall.

 The concerts there when Ted Hodgkinson sang about the deep, blue sea.

 The long hikes on Easter Monday with the friends from the Congs.

  The twice a day mail delivery.

 The two farmers, Harrison and Webster, who delivered 3 gills of milk, one in the morning and one in the evening. They measured it out in ladles from the large milk can they carried. They also kept us supplied with potatoes through the years and made sure we had them in the war years.

 The scraps of fat Mom saved so she could render them down and have some usable fat. John was upset when she lived with us and he opened our frig and saw all these little containers containing bacon fat and so on. Old habits are hard to break!

 The eggs Mom pickled in brine when they were cheap in the summer, to use for cooking in the winter. During the war, I think we were allowed one egg per week.

 The good Yorkshire puds Dorothy made with dried eggs.

             The Pork and beans on toast, which was the only item on the café menus during most of the war years.

             The morning after the Sheffield raid when Dad woke up after spending the night in the cellar!

             The only buzz bomb I saw, it was on Christmas morning and it disappeared over the hills.

             The times Cath and I tangoed to “Green Eyes.”

             The times when Margaret had to dance one more dance and we missed the last train and had to phone Colin Marshall or walk 10 miles.

             The race down Snig Hill in high heels to watch the last bus at 9p.m. so we could go to the Victory Club Dance.

             The Harvest Festivals when our Church was decorated with flowers, fruits and vegetables. The next evening they had a supper and auctioned off the produce. We sometimes visited other congregations to admire their displays and join in thanks-giving for a good harvest. Let’s sing “Bringing in the Sheaves.”

             The lovely songs of WWII such as “Stardust”, “Deep Purple” and “The White Cliffs of Dover” and Vera Lynn singing “We’ll Meet         Again.”

           The pre-war silk stockings that Dorcas Marsden sold to me along with my dress when I was bridesmaid for Daisie. We often painted our legs with brown goop because we couldn’t buy hose-how ugly!

            The trip Nanna and I made to Lizzie’s with Johnny’s Pram. During the war a household could raise a pig strictly for their own consumption. The neighbours saved potato peelings, etc. to put in the mash and were rewarded with a piece of pork and Harry always sent us some. Although the war was over in 1945 the restrictions still applied but he wanted us to have more. So Nanna and I set off down Victoria St, on Manchester Road, down Smithy Hill, up Underbank to Brownhill row. Going home was the worst part as we were scared we’d be caught and thrown in jail.

              The celebrations on V.E. Day in June of 1945 and V-I Day in August when Ernie, John and I joined the crowds outside of Fox’s gates then joined the gang at the New Inn where Barbara lived. Who smoked the cigar and who took care of him when he turned green?

              The books I’ve read through the years. Delderfield’s stories of 19th Century England which I have read again and again. Rosamand Picher’s “ Coming Home” about an 18 year old girl in WW II; Ken Follett whose excellent novels cover so many subjects from the building of an English cathedral (The Pillars of the Earth) to modern day thrillers. We learn something everyday. In Robert Ludlum’s latest book “ The Sigma Protocol” he writes “ The Hollerith machines that enabled Hitler to round up undesirables with such incredible efficiency? All manufactured and serviced by Big Blue – good ol’ I.B.M.- hats off to Tom Watson.”

             The wonderful friendships that have lasted through the years.


“For Auld Lang Syne

John and Hannah Schofield


Ann    Ann    John    William    Elizabeth    Hannah    Emma    Albert


m. (1) Elizabeth Brooke                          m. (2) Sarah Maria Shaw


Harry     Edith    Albert  E.                   Annie    Frank    Kate   Thornton    Beattie    Percy


                           m. (1) Eliza Smith                                  m. (2) Lilian E.C. Moody


Albert E.    Lillian    Eliza (Elsie)                                          Edith Lily


m. Elizabeth            m. Fred Davis                                     m. John Hogeland


Albert E.        Brenda    Neville    Russell    

                                                                    John    Jim    Pam    Ron    Dave    Bill    Becky


                                                            12 natural grand-children

                                              Trevor, Geoffrey, Bryan, Grantham, Zachary,

                                             Christopher, Lilian, Scott, Simon, Chelsea, Gillian, Grace

                                             1 adopted grand-child Hennessey

                                             1 great-grandson Jackson

                                             3 adopted step-grand daughters

                                             Lisa, Lynnette, Lonna and 10 great grand-children

                                             2 step-grand children, Tammy and Casey and 

                                             1 great grandchild

From Derbyshire I.G.I 

John Schofield m. Hannah

F Ann Baptised 25 Oct. ’17 Hathersage
F Ann “              4 March ’19 
M John            15 Oct. ’20    
M William “       1 Oct. ’21     
F Elizabeth         27 June ’24  
F Hannah             18 Feb. ’27 
F Harriet      “ 12 Feb. ’29   
F Emma          29 Apr. ’32  
M Albert          10 Nov. ’35