ANN HAYKIN (1819 - 1924) - SHEFFIELD

Photo of Nidd Road, Darnall, Sheffield taken circa 1950

In the burial records of Sheffield's City Road Cemetery there is the following entry

HAYKIN, Ann (Widow, age 104).
Died at 214 Nidd Road; Buried on July 9, 1924 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 23589, Section II of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.

Robinson, Elizabeth (widow, age 72).
Died at 50 Albany Road; Buried on November 21, 1928 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 23589, Section II of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.

Robinson, Thomas (Labourer, age 69).
Died at 214 Nidd Road; Buried on March 22, 1923 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 23589, Section II of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.

Whilst relatively commonplace now to reach a hundred years of age, in the 1920's it was practically unheard of. Coupled with the fact that Ann was working class in the truest sense of the word, her feat is even more remarkable.

The first article I came across is from The Manchester Guardian dated 24th August 1922. Under the marvellous title

SHEFFIELD CENTENARIAN

WOMAN SMOKER FOR 70 YEARS

Mrs Ann Haykin, who resides with her daughter at 214 Nidd Road, Darnall, Sheffield celebrates her 103rd birthday today.

The old lady stated in an interview that she still read her daily papers regularly, has a hearty supper with beer and has been a pipe smoker for over seventy years, consuming over two ounces of tobacco a week. Recently she saw a picture of Charlie Chaplin at the local kinema without the aid of glasses and thoroughly enjoyed it.

She recollects Charlie Peace who she said used to go up Crookesmoor Road, Sheffield dressed in a top hat, frock coat and a white waistcoat. She hopes to celebrate her birthday tomorrow with a ride in a motor car

Sadly that was to be her penultimate birthday.  A brief article in The Manchester Guardian dated 7th July 1924, announced Ann's death.

The article indicates that  Ann would have been born in August 1820!(She was actually born on 24th August 1819)  


 

Sounds like a woman after my own heart!

But there was a fuller tribute to Ann in the local press. The Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 7th July 1924 had the following obituary

MRS HAKIN

DEATH OF OLDEST CITIZEN OF SHEFFIELD

NEARLY 105

Mrs Ann Haykin Sheffield's oldest citizen who would have celebrated her 105th birthday on August 24th died at her home 214 Nidd Road Darnall in the early hours of yesterday morning. The end was peaceful. About 1.40a.m. she asked to be lifted from her bed and immediately after her wish had been carried out, she passed away.

Mrs Haykin was not only the oldest but the most remarkable citizen of Sheffield. Until a short time ago she maintained practically all her faculties, read the newspapers, indulged in hearty suppers with a "gill of beer" and smoked a pipe regularly consuming two ounces of tobacco a week. But even her wonderful constitution could not withstand the weight of the years, and gradually she became weaker. Her hearty appetite decreased but she clung faithfully to the old briar pipe and as recently as Friday last she enjoyed its soothing influence. A week ago she became worse and although she rallied on Saturday afternoon, the end was not unexpected.

Sheffield was proud of its oldest citizen but those that knew Mrs Haykin and had conversed with her, will deeply regret the passing of a "grand old lady" (writes a representative of the The Sheffield Daily Telegraph) It has been my privilege to be a visitor to Nidd Road on numerous occasions  - sometimes with a message of congratulation as another milestone was passed; sometimes to pass the time of day and to listen to the old lady tell of bygone days. It is difficult to believe that Mrs Haykin was born in 1819. She was so bright and alert and ready to pass a quip or a jest. Often have I seen her sitting on the sofa near the front window puffing at her favourite pipe and exchanging random remarks on today and yesterday.

A STRENUOUS LIFE

Mrs Haykin did not live in the past, she preferred to discuss the present and occasionally the future. At times it was most difficult to get her to talk of the time when the Park district was open countryside. - she lived the New Inn Duke Street - but during the visits I made to the house I learned something of Mrs Haykin's life, although it was but a fragment.

She had been married twice, her first husband dying within a year of the wedding. Mrs Haykin being a wife, mother and widow within ten months. A year or two later she married again and although she had a family of five, only one daughter survives - Mrs Robinson with whom she lived. Mrs Haykin was a remarkable example of the saying that hard work never kills for she spent a strenuous life and even when she was 103 she was still taking her share of the housework....

PLEASANT MEMORIES

Since that day the old lady had several motor rides. In September 1922 she delighted the inmates of the woman's ward No 7 at the Royal Infirmary by a surprise visit. She came in a sidecar of a motor-cycle and stayed sometime. Just to illustrate her buoyant spirit and her love of a joke, she remarked to a patient with a broken leg "I've come to give you a race".

When Sheffield really came to know Mrs Haykin through the medium of the The Sheffield Daily Telegraph it showed its appreciation by means of gifts, offers of motor rides and visits to the cinemas. During the last two years the old lady has had many pleasant memories of her friends and the latter have many pleasant recollections of her. Her indomitable spirit kept her going to the end, and only a week ago she told a friend that she would live to be 106.

I called at her home to offer my condolences to her daughter and grandson and it seemed hard to believe that the kindly, genial and shrewd old Yorkshire lady had passed away. There should be many mourners at her funeral which will take place on Wednesday or Thursday at Sheffield's City Road Cemetery

Notes


Death Ann Haykin
Year of Registration 1924
Quarter of Registration Jul-Aug-Sep
Registration District Sheffield Registration County Yorkshire
Age at Death: 104
Volume Number 9C Volume Page 522

The 1911 census has the following information on ANN

Name Ann Haykin
Relationship to Head of Household Mother In Law
Condition Widow Gender Female
Age 87 Estimated Year of Birth 1824
Employed No Working at Home No
Place of Birth Yorks Sheffield Park
Enumerator Information
Address 383 Staniforth Road Darnall Sheffield Parish Sheffield Town Darnall Sheffield
Type of Building Private House Number of Rooms 5 Rooms Inhabited Yes
Reference RG14PN28022 RG78PN1600 RD510 SD7 ED34 SN218 Administrative County Yorkshire (West Riding)
Registration District Sheffield Registration Sub District Attercliffe Enumeration District 34 

Sources

The Manchester Guardian dated 24th August 1922

The Manchester Guardian dated 7th July 1924

The Sheffield Daily Telegraph 7th July 1924

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This page was last updated on 30/01/13 09:07