"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation" -  Henry Thoreau

"Since memory is frail, sayings and deeds have to be reinforced by the evidence of writing, so that neither length of time nor the cunning of posterity can obscure the knowledge of past events" (from a twelfth century notification by William de Braose of a grant of lands to Sele Priory - British Records Association) 

The Chris Hobbs Site

Photo - Sheffield Star Building Friday 30th March 2012

PLEASE NOTE THAT I HAVE A NEW EMAIL ADDRESS

  The site is divided into sections that are listed in the Table of Contents

The Genealogy Pages "Family History" are quite extensive. To  facilitate the additional information I have created a Family History Index that should assist in the navigation of that section. I have also included in the index, a general section that contains articles that are associated with the history of my family. Nearly all the people who appear in the Family History pages are no longer living and so this section of the site is in effect a Memorial as well as a Resource. I hope that you'll find the Family History Pages interesting and informative. I will of course be delighted to hear from anyone who can provide me with further insights and information with regard to my ancestors. 

In November 2010 I decided that I would create a "blog" to compliment this website. The site is now over twelve years old, and I wanted to expand the content of the site to include information that I have come across but was not detailed enough to warrant an article. It would also allow me to comment on more contemporary matters that effect the area I live in, and also keep people updated on the articles posted. With a nod to Crookes in particular, and Sheffield in general, the Blog is called 

View From A Hill .

Nearly 18 months after setting up the Blog "View From A Hill", I took the plunge and in collaboration with Mathew Bell I had my first printed book published by ACM Retro.

Copies of the book can be ordered by following the link to the publishers website ACM RETRO. The publisher states

"Thirteen years in the making, Sheffield's Shocking Past is the literary debut by Chris Hobbs. Ably assisted by fellow author Matthew Bell, this book contains some of the most bizarre, little known and tragic incidents of Victorian times. Multiple murders; child murderers; a burning boy running half a mile before his agonising death; strange deaths; untimely deaths; deaths by starvation; hideous accidents; a romantic double suicide and a factory explosion killing all in its wake".  

If you want further information about the book and its contents please follow the link to the pages

Sheffield's Shocking Past - Forgotten Tales of Murder, Mishap & Gruesome Misdemeanour by Chris Hobbs & Matthew Bell

The Sheffield Star newspaper printed an article featuring this website and the book on Monday 2nd April 2012

The Sheffield Telegraph newspaper printed an article featuring this website and the book on Thursday 10th May 2012

On November 16th 2012 the second book was published by the same publisher ACM RETRO. This covers the twentieth century up to 1960.

"History has a nasty habit of repeating itself. It was February 1934 and men were screaming for help as the Leppings Lane section of the bulging 72,860 Hillsborough crowd swayed forward and crushed them against iron railings. George Frederick Hill died from multiple fractures and shock. Tragedy had also struck twenty years earlier when a retaining wall collapsed at the same ground. The match was suspended as scores of injured were rushed to Sheffield Infirmary. Life-long Sheffielder and historian Chris Hobbs and local author Matthew Bell have once again delved into the archives - this time bringing you some of the most gruesome, grizzly and long-forgotten tragic episodes of 20th century Sheffield. Sheffield's Shocking Past - Part II leaves no coroner's report unchecked as it uncovers the killer cat of Millhouses; death by chimneystack; one of the city's earliest fatal motor accidents and the story behind the charred remains of a male midget and his mechanical teddy bear female companion. The events surrounding some incidents are hard to contemplate until you read the full facts: there's death by scalding at Heeley Baths; a Treeton man drowned looking for his chickens; a Low Edges resident who accidentally killed his wife, and the horrific aftermath of an American Air Force jet crashing into Lodge Moor Hospital in 1955. One of the most tragic cases must be that of 22-year-old nurse Ada Bradley. She thought she was helping rehabilitate a former mental patient by inviting her into her home to live. Instead, "She was found dead with her head battered and her throat cut in the street near the asylum." Sheffield's Shocking Past - Part II takes you from the time of the horse and carriage to the age of the jet plane, along the way unearthing some of the saddest and most remarkable incidents in the history of the city."

The Sheffield Star newspaper printed an article featuring this website and the new book on Monday 12th November 2012

In May 2013 ACM RETRO was incorporated into Neil Anderson Media Ltd 

The third book was published on 21st March 2014 but unlike the first two this is focused on the First World War 

Long Shadows Over Sheffield - Forgotten Voices of the Great War

"The Great War had a devastating effect on Sheffield. Hundreds of the city’s young men were slaughtered on the first day of the disastrous Somme offensive. A shocking German Zeppelin raid dropped death from the skies above Sheffield in September 1916. Church Rolls of Honour and War Memorials still bear their names but their stories are largely forgotten, until now.

Long Shadows over Sheffield unearths some of the most jaw-dropping tales of the men who willingly gave up their civilian jobs to make the ultimate sacrifice for King and Country.
From the 67-year-old Sheffield resident who became one of the oldest men to die in the war, to the 15-year-old from Nether Edge whose fascination with the sea led to his death in battle.
The suffering didn’t end with the cessation of hostilities. Survivors – including three of the city’s holders of the Victoria Cross – relived the unspeakable carnage for the rest of their lives, whilst the grief of wives and parents is laid bare in previously unpublished correspondence.

Graphic newspaper reports are mixed with rare photographs and a Sheffield soldier’s personal war diary to provide a memorable tapestry of hardship, heartbreak and horror that was the result of the Great War which began a century ago."

Long Shadows Over Sheffield - Forgotten Voices of the Great War can be bought direct from the publisher ACM RETRO 

November 16  is my date of birth and so that section of the site deals naturally enough with the births, deaths and events that have occurred on that date. I have also provided an account of a murder that occurred on that day in Leeds that ended in a judicial execution.

School Days - incidentally they were not "the happiest days of my life" gives a personal view of what it was like to attend a provincial Grammar School in the 1960's as well as providing a counterbalance to many of the wild and inaccurate claims surrounding post war education in the U.K. 

Britain and the World since 1953 is intended to put a perspective on the events that have occurred in my lifetime. It is in effect a chronology and almanac with links to other websites and areas of information. The content is continually being extended and it is hoped that it will become a useful reference tool when completed. There is also a page compares the Britain of 1953 with the Britain of 2003

The Location Map is a directional guide for those visiting the area where I live. This section has also been extended to include a brief history of the road I live on (Spring Hill) and the area of the city (Crookes-Walkley district ) I live in. I have posted to that section, details extracted from the various UK Census' for Spring Hill as well as excerpts from a number of Kelly's Directories  - a full index of photographs and articles has been also been posted to the section.

I have also added my acknowledgements to people who have spared me their time and effort in providing me with content and information. It is greatly appreciated. Two such resources that are particularly useful are the Sheffield History Forum and the newer Sheffield Soldiers of the Great War.  I would encourage readers of this site to visit both websites as they both contain a mine of information 

There is also a copyright notice which I hope will ensure that the information on this site is not sullied by crass commercialism. Any errors are of course mine and mine alone.

"To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain always a child"  - Cicero

CONTENTS OF THE SITE

1. The Hobbs Family History  13. Britain and the World since 1953
2. The Hobbs Family History Index  14. Britain 1953 - 2003  A comparison 
3. The Hobbs Family Tree - four generations    15. A Brief History of Crookes
4. The Ancestors of Thomas Eric Shutt 1926 - 1975   16. Articles - Crookes and Walkley, Sheffield
5. Family History News and Notes  17. The Location of Crookes, Sheffield
6. A Relationship Schedule for Genealogists  18. A History of Spring Hill, Crookes, Sheffield
7. A Calendar For Genealogical Research     19. Crookes Picture Palace 1912 - 1960
8. School Days in Sheffield (1965 - 1972)  20. Unity Church, Crookesmoor
9. November 16th 21. Friends of Walkley Cemetery - Events for 2013  
10.A Murder in Leeds on November 16th  22. Hallamshire Proprietary Bowling Club - Crookes
11.The Times dated 16 November 1953 23. The Crookes Forum  
12. Famous Last Words and All Back To My Place - Spring 1998. 24. U.K. Military Executions 1914 - 1918 

"One of the deepest impulses in man is the impulse to record, to scratch a drawing on the tusk or keep a diary, to collect sagas and heap cairns. This instinct as to the enduring value of the past is, one might say, the very basis of civilization" - John Jay Chapman

"To the living we owe our respect, to the dead we owe nothing but the truth."             Voltaire.

I should add that I update the "Sheffield" articles as and when relevant information becomes available. Most of them are based on information I came across whilst researching in the local archives and reading old newspapers. I have tried only to put material on the site that is not easily available elsewhere and so that is why there are no articles on The Sheffield Flood, Charlie Peace, The Hillsborough Disaster etc. I am also conscious of the need not to compromise the privacy of the living and so the articles are definitely historical in perspective. I try wherever possible to adhere to the "forty year rule."  

ARTICLES THAT HAVE A SHEFFIELD CONNECTION

1.  City of Sheffield - post war aerial views 
2 University of Sheffield - Twentieth Century views 
3 Dr John Blakely of Crookes and his Trial for Murder 1934.
4.  The Crookes Chinese Laundry Murder of 1922 "one of the most sensational crimes Sheffield police have ever investigated"
5.  The Sheffield Test Match of 1902
6 The Marples, Sheffield - December 12th 1940
7.  Charles Simpson (1895 - 1975)  - "faster than Walter Lindrum or Alex'Hurricane' Higgins"
8.  The Death of Henry Hughes 1918 - a Soldier from Sheffield
9.  The Execution of Soldiers from Sheffield 1914 - 1918 
10.Sheffield's Victoria Cross holders
11.Arnold Loosemore (1896 - 1921) - a Sheffield V.C. - How Pte. Loosemore won the VC August 11th 1917 
12.John C. Raynes (1887 - 1929) - a Victoria Cross holder from Sheffield
13.The 1936 Cup Final - The last time the Blades appeared in a F.A.Cup Final
14.Herbert Chapman (1878 - 1934) - the greatest football manager?   - the section also includes his brother Harry Chapman (1879 - 1916)
15.The first Soccer Broadcast on't wireless - Highbury, 22nd January 1927
16.Sheffield's only F.A.Cup Final  - 24th April 1912  Harry Tufnell scorer of the winning goal in the 1912 Final - Photos of the 1912 FA Cup Replay
17.Reverend Tiverton Preedy (1863 - 1928) Founder of Barnsley Football Club and the Ashdown Club - Tiverton's Family
18.The Cleggs of Sheffield - William Johnson Clegg (1827 - 1895) - Sheffield's first Official Receiver  
19.Sir Charles Clegg (1851 - 1937) - "Football's first knight"
20.The World's First Floodlit Football Match - Bramall Lane, Sheffield - 14th October 1878

21.Horatio Bright(1827 - 1906) - "a remarkable figure of his day in the second half of the last (nineteenth) century" - Also The Funeral of Horatio Bright 1906 - Horatio Bright-The Moscar Mausoleum - Horatio Harle Bright (1898-1917) - Horatio Brights Family - Sheffield and Liverpool

22.A Tragic Accident in Sheffield - August 1957
23.John Fowler (1817 - 1898) and the Forth Rail Bridge 1890
24.The Sheffield Gale of 1962
25.A Letter to Sheffield from Germany - May 1945
26.A Death in Longley, Sheffield - October 1953
27.George Orwell and Sheffield - March 1936 "Sheffield, I suppose, could justly claim to be called the ugliest town in the Old World..." 
28.The Execution of Frederick Nodder - December 1937 - "a filthy and repulsive creature"
29.A Daring Robbery at the Rodney Inn, Loxley, Sheffield - October 1856
30.The Smallpox Epidemic - Sheffield 1887 - "..one of the most devastating diseases known to humanity"
31.Sherlock Holmes and the Gestapo  
32.The Sheffield Workhouse Scandal - January 1882 - "Wood's body was ultimately found laid on a slab at the Medical School ready for the anatomical lecturer ..
33.The Nunnery Pit Accident - Sheffield December 1923
34."Apalling Disaster at Sheffield - Eight children killed" - Matthew Street, Sheffield 25th August 1886 
35.The Beighton Rail Disaster - February 1942
36.The Death of Samuel Wynne - Bramall Lane - May 1927 - "No-one could have imagined the probability of such a dramatic close to the life of Wynne"
37.Enid Blyton (1897 - 1968) and the Sheffield Connection
38.Death in the Don Brewery - June 1900 also includes - "A Man Smothered in Malt at Sheffield"  April 1853
39.Crushed to Death - Leppings Lane, Hillsborough, Sheffield "Mr Clegg stated that everything would be done to prevent a future occurrence"
40.The Beighton Doodlebug - Xmas Eve 1944 - "The Angel of Death is abroad in land only if you can't hear the flutter of his wings..."
41.A Christmas Execution - John Eastwood (Sheffield) - 28th December 1923 - "I never meant it"
42.Sheffield Wednesday FC - The Unusual Death of Walter Holbem 1884 - 1930
43.The Opening of Abbeydale Boys Grammar School - Sheffield 23rd July 1959
44.The Sheffield Skating Tragedy - Killamarsh November 1915   
45.The Appalling Crash at Moscar - Sheffield August 1907 - "Can there be a future in Sheffield for these vehicles" 
46.Murder at White Croft Sheffield - 11th July 1884 - “Oh my children, my children. Lord have mercy on my children”  The Aftermath of the White Croft Murders
47.Jet Crash on Hospital - Lodge Moor Sheffield 9th December 1955  
48.Sheffield's First Air Raid - 25th September 1916 - "There is no such thing as a non-combatant in this war".
49.Rab Howell (1869 - 1937) - "the only true Romany to play for England"
50.Queen Victoria's Visit to Sheffield - 21st May 1897 - and the Official Opening of Sheffield's Town Hall  - "Her Majesty was much touched by the loyal enthusiasm that was exhibited"

"We are ceasing to regard smoke and filth as necessary evils and are striving after remedies. Perhaps our children will once again see roses blooming in Attercliffe and trout on the rise near Lady's Bridge".     J.D. Leader  (1891)

THERE ARE FURTHER ARTICLES WITH A SHEFFIELD CONNECTION ON THE FOLLOWING PAGE

Some cities love their antiquities, Sheffield has few to boast of, and therefore treats them with scorn. Someday it will regret it - Sheffield Daily Independent (1906)

"Each Generation imagines itself more intelligent than the one that went before it and wiser than the one that comes after it" - George Orwell

"Any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats" - -- George Orwell, "Benefit of Clergy: Some Notes on Salvador Dali

"A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams"  John Barrymore

This website has been operative in its various guises since 8th November 1999. After six years I  decided to upgrade the Guestbook but unfortunately due to the activities of spammers I have had to remove this feature. And so if you have any comments, suggestions and information relating to the Site and its contents, please contact me directly by EMAIL and where necessary, I will reply to any requests etc.

PLEASE NOTE THAT I HAVE A NEW EMAIL ADDRESS

The old Guestbook has been relocated and is there for reference purposes only

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This page was last updated on 01/12/14 08:52