Stories About Children on our Website Site
There are numerous stories about children from our area on the Website and we highlight some below
A New Version of an Old Nursery Rhyme
In October 1880 a young girl named Barker, aged 11, visited her grandparents at Conisborough. Walking home to Sheffield on Monday morning she found a score of sheep without anyone in charge. She drove them home to her parents in Sheffield, a distance of 13 miles. The appearance of the sheep and their youthful shepherdess in Chester Street created much astonishment and raised the whole neighbourhood.
The police were communicated with and the sheep impounded in the Yellow lion Yard, Haymarket
Young Men at the Pits
The two collieries, Denaby Main and Cadeby Main provided massive employment for the men and boys of our area. The employment however was life threatening and through the life of the pits over 400 people died, of these 69 were teenagers. Our web site is compiling all their stories.We feature a couple below.
13 Year Old Isaac Eldis had been a lamp cleaner at Denaby Main, for 3 months by September 1880.. In the course of his job his clothes were saturated with oil and through placing lamps on a bench his clothes caught fire and he was severely burned on the body and face.He died two days later.
In March 1905, 15 year old Thomas Rose from New Conisborough began his tenth ‘shift’ at Cadeby, having just moved into the area with his family. His lamp went out and he said he could mangage without it. His body was found ‘dashed to pieces’ after a fall of 400 feet into the air shaft.
The Fiery Flannelette Nightgowns
There have been quite a number of cases over the years where the commonly used flannelette nightgown proved a fatal article of clothing. In May 1895 four year old Margaret Phillips was reaching for a pair of new stockings over the fireplace when her nightdress caught fire. She died the same day. 16 year old Olive Richardson’s flannellete nightgown was practically burnt to nothing as she lit the fire and died in February 1906. As late as February 1935, four year old Mary Stevenson, in Fitzwillian Avenue Conanby, clad in only a flannelette nightgown, was extensively burnt and died from burns and shock
1909 Fire at the “Star Inn”
The landlord and his family at the Star Inn, were alerted by a fire in the early hours of Sunday morning in November.The terrible circumstances of the distressing affair was that the whole of the household did not escape and the fire claimed one victim, 14 year old Maggie Mountford, who acted with her sister Emly as domestic servants and slept in the attic above the hotel. In the panic and fear which gripped the hotel, on attempting to escape she took a wrong turning and was found next to the door, outside where the fire was raging, crouched and suffocated to death.
he miners found themselves locked in another conflict, less than a decade after the horrors of the Great War. This time with the Pit Owners and Government and in 1926 a General Strike, which began on May 4th and lasted 10 days became a National Coal Strike and the miners were out on strike until November 1926. With money and food either scarce or non existant, children’s food centres, as the above,were established in Conisbrough and Denaby and 800 children were fed there every week.
1913 Mania for stealing Chickens is rewarded with the Birch Rod
The Birch Rod was used for punishing juveniles and small boys until it was abolished in 1948. Amongst a number of stories we feature on the web site is this one;
George Foster was a very small boy, aged 9 years and in the court, in September 1913, his head just tipped the defendant’s rail. He had a mania for stealing chickens and then letting them loose. He was caught with four birds under his jesey. The chairman of the magistrates ordered three strokes withthe birch rod and warned him if he came again he would be sent to the reformatory.
Children and the River Don and Canal
The River Don and the Canal which run through both Conisbrough and Denaby have stories to tell and many are shown on the Web Site. There are a number of tragic ones to tell of the children who have walked and played there. And some gallant ones too;
Arthur Thomas, aged 8, went with his younger brothers to see the new Mexborough War Memorial on Sunday, November 12th 1922. As they went on the canal bank, the youngest boy lost his balance and fell into the water. Arthur shouted “I’ll save you!” and jumped in. He was soon in difficulties and his body was recovered later that day. A tablet was placed in Rossington Street school in his honour.
In June the following year the family suffered a further tragedy, by the loss of another son through drowning, when Frank Thomas, aged 12, was drowned in the Don near Levitt Hagg, on his way to Sprotborough.
Have I been drowned, Mam ?
In September 1939, 13 year old Matthew Noble, of Loversall Street , Denaby went for a walk with his chums. Rumours circulated that he had attempted to bathe in “The Cut” and had been drowned.
Despite friends and neighbours searching the area, Matthew could not be found.
To his family’s intense relief Matthew walked in at 9.30 p.m. with the enquiry; “I’ve not been drowned have I Mam? I met a lot of people and they said I had!”