Thomas Lunney of Hillsborough (Sheffield)

In July 2015 I came across this article in the Sheffield Local Studies Library. Needless to say I was researching something completely different!

It is from The Sheffield Star dated Friday 4th January 1957 and describes the Golden Wedding of Thomas and Kaziah Lunney. Their Golden Wedding was actually on Christmas Day 1956. 

I checked the 1911 Census and found them living in Bamford Street with their two young sons Thomas and Joseph

I entered the name in a search engine and was astounded to find out that Thomas Lunney was a well-known character in Hillsborough for many years up until his death in November 1980. But the Thomas that was remembered by many was not the man who celebrated his Golden Wedding in December 1956 but his eldest son also called Thomas. The full thread can be found on The Sheffield Forum.

But here is just a sample

"13-09-2007, 15:18
His name was indeed Tommy. Thomas Lunney, that is, but he was "Tommy" to everyone. He lived at the top of Hallowmore Road, on the opposite corner to Wisewood School. He died, aged 73, in November 1980, having become well-known and well-loved by everyone in Hillsborough. Living near the bottom of Dykes Hall Road in the 1950s, my dad used to send me to "buy a Green 'Un off Tommy". I don't think Tommy ever had a regular job apart from selling Stars and Green 'Uns - he might possibly have had what would now be termed "mild learning difficulties" but another factor was that, due to childhood illness, he was unable to attend school regularly. He didn't have "St Vitus' Dance" but he always walked with a slight limp, and indeed he never stood still when selling papers. When on his regular pitch, his "party trick" was to balance a Woodbine on his lower lip while shouting "Final!" at the top of his voice. The last time I saw him (May 1977 according to my diary) I reminded him of his wartime shouts, as recounted by my parents. When Hitler invaded the Netherlands he would shout "Germans march in Amsterdam" and a bit later "Germans march in Paris". And if nothing special was happening "Germans march in Berlin". Otherwise it could be "England declares war on Great Britain" or "Deceased skeleton found dead at Malin Bridge". Good old Tommy - they don't make 'em like that any more. Thanks Hillsbro - for those lovely memories of my uncle Tommy Lunney. You must have known him very well. He had a very promising academic start in life, until in his early teens, when along with many others, he contracted sleeping sickness. Most did not survive the bite of the tsetse fly, which had arrived in foreign fruit, and caused brain and nerve damage. Tommy was an accomplished banjo player and took a keen interest in astronomy all his life, above all he was great fun. As I had no father around, he stepped in and always took care of me, particularly financially. I loved him to bits". 

A fine testament to say the least

Notes

Surname First name(s) District Vol Page 
Marriages Dec 1906 
Lunney Thomas Ecclesall B. 9c 625 
Whitehouse Keziah Ecclesall B 9c 625 

Sources

The Sheffield Star dated 4th January 1957

The Sheffield Forum

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This page was last updated on 14/08/15 17:30