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J R Wrigley

Sheffield History Member
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About J R Wrigley

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  • Birthday 09/01/1927

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  1. One artist who lived in Canada for a time was Juliana Ewing - Formerly Juliana Gatty - daughter of Alfred Gatty, vicar of Ecclesfield from 1839 to 1903. She was a gifted water-colourist. A Canadian University recently published a book of her Canadian Water colours. I had to send away to Canada to get a copy. The book is Illustrated News. Juliana Horatia Ewing's Canadian Pictures 1867-1869. by Donna McDonald. ISBN 1-55002-005-6. Published by New Brunswick Museum in 1985. 8 colour plates plus others in monochrome.
  2. Hillsborough Kinema was on Procter Place - not to be confused with Hillsboroough Park Cinema on Catch Bar Lane. ( Incidentally Procter Place was once called Crookes Place.) It opened in 1912 and closed on 23rd July 1966. The Hillsborough Shopping Centre now occupies the site. I know of only one photograph that shows the entrance at night. Its copyright belongs to Sheffield Newspapers but it can be seen on page 65 of Richard Ward's book "In Memory of Sheffield Cinemas". This book was published at £6.95 in 1988 and is now much sought after. I have seen copies offered for as much as £25.00. Living on the Wisewood Estate as a child the Kinema was our favourite place. Every month they would publish a card of forthcoming attractions which we eagerly scanned for our favourites - Tarzan or George Formby. The price of admission in the 1930s was four pence for children (less than 2p today) and so visits were not common as the money often had to come out of Dad's beer money. I talked once to a chap who was even older than I and he remembered the period of silent films at The Kinema. He said that children were sometimes cajoled to "come and sit next to me luv and read me the words - I've got a nice bag of sweeties". That was back in the 1920s before the "talkies" appeared. For myself I remember that when a film was classified "A" it meant that children had to be accompanied by an adult. So the plea went up "will you take us in please, mister". Many often obliged providing you had got the pennies and in that way we were able to see films like "King Kong". During the War I belonged to the Air Training Corps (ATC) and volunteers were sought to make a collection at The Kinema in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund. This seemed too good to be true - free admission! The film was "Gunga Din" but after I had seen the film over and over again I was utterly fed up with it.
  3. The Yo-yo craze date from 1932. I wonder if anyone else remembers the risque song sung by Norman Long (A smile, a song and a piano) The Yo Yo Song was the title and I can recall some of the words which were distinctly suggestive. I know I had it in my hand when I went out I had it in my hand all right I showed it to a policeman at the corner then It filled him with delight The wife will want to have a play when I get home But I can't find it Oh No! It's my unlucky day. Whatever will she say When she finds I've gone and lost my little yo-yo? Tame enough by today's standards but I believe it was banned by the BBC. I've got it on CD but not on the original 78.
  4. When I posted the piece about FP4 film I racked my brain to remember who the man was I met doing the same thing - that is taking photos of the rag and tag before it closed forever. After I had posted it - of course his name came back. He was Bernard Dore - a Sheffield cinema historian who was at one time manager of the Wicker cinema. I once attended one of his lectures at the old Firth Park Library. He showed a photo he had taken of part of the precenium arch at the old West Bar music hall - now demolished - that ended its life as a wedding accessories shop. Bernard is no longer with us but the other cinema historian still very much alive is Dr. Clifford Shaw - some of you may have his book on Sheffield cinemas. He has a remarkable knowledge of cinemas in general and Sheffield cinemas in particular. When I occasionally find a photograph of a cinema showing a particular film he can often tell me the date that that particular film was shown at that cinema. He was kind enough to let me have a photograph of the Tivoli cinema which was just below the Peace Gardens. I don't have the rights to show it to you but for those of you fortunate enough to have the book "In Memory of Sheffield Cinemas" by Richard Ward it is on page 29. But back to the rag and tag. Those interested in photography may be interested in the camera Bernard Dore was using - it was a Reid III, a British miniature camera based on the Leica. I wonder what happened to Bernard's photo collection. I hope it is in safe hands.
  5. On the 21st May 1984 a fire destroyed Wigfalls in Fitzalan Square. They were a well-known chain of electrical stores. Throughout most of the twentieth century they were the biggest retailer in their field. Every suburb had its Wigfalls (or Wiggies as it was commonly known). I was out walking my dog on Wadsley Common when I saw the smoke so I raced into the city to get a few shots. Here is one of them.
  6. I think I have misled you - I meant a film of FP4 which used to be the favourite black-and-white film for photographers and could be bought in 50 foot reels for bulk loading. In 1973 shortly before the market closed I went to the market to photograph some of the stalls. A number of these photographs are in D.J. Richardson's book "Remembering Sheffield in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies".
  7. How about Samuel Plimsoll (1824-1898) Although born in Bristol the family moved to Sheffield in 1838 and Samuel was from then on educated in Sheffield. He is remembered as the pioneer of the "PLIMSOLL LINE" - a line pained on ships to indicate whether they were overloaded and an idea that saved many lives.
  8. Here is a photo of those very steps taken from my book "A Sheffield Camera"
  9. Re: The Hole in the Road: There is a photograph in the book "A Sheffield Camera" taken with a panoramic camera. (page 31) The preferred name is Castle Square - we seem to becoming rather pretentious about our city and squares are the order of the day - Park Square, Sheaf Square, Charter Square, Furnival Square etc. Most of them are circular in shape but geometry was never a strong point with city planners.
  10. If I had a picture of Hillsborough Baths before it became "The Deep End" I would have used it. I swam there as a youngster and passed it many times without ever bothering to point a camera at it. Now that digital photography is so cheap I urge everyone to keep a record of anything that looks threatened.
  11. If you stand in Bradfield Road facing the Old Blue Ball the doorway was in the far left hand corner - it may be there still. I must check next time I'm down that way. My father worked at the Electricity substation at the corner of Hawksley Avenue - still there but abandoned. His afternoon shift lasted from 2pm to 10pm. 10pm happened to be closing time at all Sheffield pubs. He liked his pint and I was told that he had an standing arrangement with the landlord of the Blue Ball to pull him a pint at one minute to ten.