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Hopman last won the day on August 28

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About Hopman

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  1. Hopman


    There was a slot machine on the wall of the ABC Cinema close to the outsidetimings board. It held Nestle chocolate bars costing 10p in the early 1980s. I've seen machines abroad selling beer bottles in Germany and umbrellas in Bergen, Norway.
  2. Hopman

    Amazing photograph of Sheffield

    I don't know the name, but I heard of one war casuality who after being missing, turned up and sent a telegram to a neighbour of his parents rather than have the telegram boy knock on his parents door as they would assume the telegraph boy was bringing bad news.
  3. Hopman

    Amazing photograph of Sheffield

    At one time the GPO controlled the telephones. When it first opened, the BT Tower was known as the Post Office Tower.
  4. Hopman

    Another photo of Redgates unearthed!

    Similar view today
  5. There's been a recent posting on another thread showing 1957 cinema adverts. The major cinemas were advertising films starting from Sunday (Odeon & Gaumont). There looks to be a lack of information regarding Sunday opening at neighbourhood cinemas. It could be that only city centre cinemas opened on a Sunday; out in the sticks Sundays were a day off. I seem to remember going past the Greystones and seeing their posters advertising "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday" and "Thursday, Friday, Saturday". In quite a few places Sunday hours were quite different with opening mid afternoon and an earlier close.
  6. Failure to restore animation at Morecambe. If the title sounds like something from the likes of Pixar or Aardman Animations, the truth is far from amusing. It refers to a tragedy which took place 150 years ago at Morecambe. It was a reference to a futile attempt to escape from a sandbank at Morecambe which alerted me to this tale. There is, in the Zion Churchyard at Attercliffe, a memorial to Frank Giles and his brother- in-law William Coldwell who both drowned on August 17th 1868. Having researched this via contemporary newspapers, I can tell the story in greater detail. We begin in Attercliffe, at the Giles home on Shortridge Street (by the side of the John Banner building). John Giles, the head of the family worked as a foreman at the nearby Sheffield Smelting Works. Also employed there were his son Frank, aged 17 and his son-in-law William Coldwell. William had only been part of the family for just over a year, having married Ellen Austin Giles the previous year. According to one source, William at 26 was a clerk in the factory and Frank was a Trade Mark Maker. Frank had a brother, Henry, and on Saturday 15 th August 1868 the three set off from Attercliffe to travel to Morecambe on the Lancashire coast, arriving in the evening. Here they met up with 40 year old Richard Wilkinson, a dyer’s labourer from Tumbling Hill Street, Bradford who was there with his brother in law Isaac Ackroyd, a blacksmith, and Wilkinson’s two nephews, John William White and John Henry Ackroyd. According to what Isaac Ackroyd told Lawrence Holden Esq., the Coroner, on the Monday evening, they had left their lodgings at around half past five, and had made their way to a sandbank known locally as Skeer Bank or Old Scar Bank where they undressed and began to bathe. (Skeer is a local dialect word, derived from old Norse meaning a ridge of rocks, a bed of rough gravel or stones or a spit of sand.) The sandbank was easily reached at low tide, but is surrounded by channels. Their danger was spotted by a shooting party who fired their guns in an attempt to warn the bathers but to no avail. Around seven o’clock they noticed the tide was rushing in and surrounding them with water. They returned to the bank and began to dress. They tried to reach the shore but the combination of the fast incoming tide and the channel they attempted to cross proved too much. White, Frank Giles and Coldwell immediately disappeared under the water. Wilkinson tried to reach the shore, but it proved too much for him. Although he was in an exhausted condition and insensible state when he was dragged ashore and taken to the Queen’s Hotel, where attempts were made to revive him, in the words of the report, “means were adopted to restore animation”, but without success and he died half an hour later. Of the seven, it was only Isaac Ackroyd who had been able to swim. A local boatmen, by the name of William Woodhouse made a gallant effort to reach the party in the water and rescued Henry Giles and the Ackroyds. All this was witnessed by the people on the pier who were powerless to act. The body of Coldwell was recovered close to the rescued, but the body of Frank Giles was found in the afternoon closer to Heysham. The inquest, which took place before Lawrence Holden, Coroner, on the Monday evening in the Queen’s Hotel, complimented Woodhouse for his speed at attempting a rescue. The inquest was told that the bodies had all been recovered on the Monday afternoon a little distance from where they had gone down. The bodies had been nibbled by crabs and the faces were scarcely recognisable. One’s eyes had gone and another had his nose eaten away. The bodies were identified by relatives. The local boatman, William Woodhouse told the inquest that his attention was drawn to a party of bathers on the Old Skeer Bank, but he believed this to be a mistake. Again he was told about them, in the words of the person who had alerted him, “I’m sure they must be bathers, as I have seen one naked go into the water.”. Woodhouse responded with an “Oh dear, they’ll all be drowned!”. He ran down to the beach and obtaining a boat from a pleasure party, proceeded as quickly as possible to the aid of the unfortunate bathers. At this time the bank was not covered, but there was about ten feet of water in the channel. When he arrived, the bathers were all struggling in the water. He was successful in picking up four people but one, presumably Wilkinson, “never moved again”. Three had disappeared and were not seen alive again. Woodhouse believed the party would have been saved had they all stayed on the sandbank. At this time there was only two feet of water covering it. One of the jurymen stated to the Coroner that Woodhouse had been instrumental in saving these lives. The Coroner, for his part, said that he was minded to forward an account to the Royal Humane Society as he believed Woodhouse to have been a suitable candidate to receive the society’s medal. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death. The paper reported that Mrs Coldwell was in a most distressed condition and that Mr Giles who had endeavoured to save his brother was also in a very weak and dejected state. Following the inquest, the bodies of the deceased were released and those returning to Sheffield were taken on the Midland train where they were met by an undertaker. It is highly probable that just over a year after conducting the marriage ceremony of William and Ellen, John Calvert was called on to conduct his funeral. On August 30th in the morning service, the preacher’s text was Ephesians Chapter 5 verse 17: Understanding the will of the Lord. That evening an eloquent and impressive discourse was delivered from the words, “When Thy judgements are in the earth then will the nations learn righteousness. ' (Isaiah ...) They were not the only deaths on the sands of Morecambe Bay that year, A matter of a few weeks later saw two more deaths and in the years since then, more have died. Today the RNLI have a hovercraft to save lives here. This September, the Zion Churchyard is one of the locations for the popular Heritage Open Day scheme.
  7. Has anyone suggested the British Newspaper Archive? It's possible to get some information for free from this, e.g. Pygmalion starring Leslie Howard playing at the Heeley Coliseum at the start of May 1939.
  8. Hopman

    Bus Driver fined

    December 1895. Was it a horse drawn vehicle?
  9. I didn't know he'd been ill.
  10. According to gov.uk HWJ700J is not currently taxed and the tax ran out 1995.
  11. There were several methods of conversion, some more successful than others. The ABC in Chesterfield was reduced to just the circle being used for films, with the stalls area becoming a pub and run by a different company. Another split stalls and circle and used the stage area as screen 3. If you recall the Sheffield ABC which was a stadium design (one long sweep) this was never converted after they saw the disaster done at the smaller, though similar design in Doncaster. The front stalls became screen 1 and a new projection box was needed at the back. The rear stalls, the elevated section, were split down the middle. New screens were installed, for screen 2 the old projection box could be used and the exit was along the back of the new screen 3. It was screen 3 which was the disaster. A new projection box was needed which ate into the seating, but the real disaster was that the entrance was right in the line of sight of the old seats. There was a new screen, but the rows were not aimed at it.
  12. Firth Park this afternoon. The grass is a bit brown, but the flower beds are still tended with care.
  13. Hopman

    Spies from our area.

    I've found this on Gerald Brooke https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2011/jul/25/russia-communism which reports on his homecoming. [Gerald Brooke, a British lecturer, was held in a Soviet prison for four years for distributing "subversive" literature. He was freed in exchange for the release of two Soviet spies, Peter and Helen Kroger, members of the Portland spy ring imprisoned for passing on secrets about the Royal Navy's underwater warfare programme.] There's also this mentioning the Pragers http://osaarchivum.org/files/holdings/300/8/3/text/67-3-156.shtml
  14. That old style road sign! They don't make them like that any more!
  15. Hopman

    What shops do you remember on London Road?

    At one time Wilson Peck were on London Road (late 1960s). There were also little shops on the eastern side between John Street and Bennett Street. \there was McTaggart the vet. Some said he was a bit brutal, but I remember his gentleness towards a litter of new born puppies. There was a papershop, but I can't recall the name. I remember Bob Webb, the butcher, who retired to Hathersage. Further up there was Wenningers, pork butcher where if you bought a pork sandwich, you were always asked "Mit dip?" i.e. with the top of the breadcake dipped into the juices. I recall further along, past Seaman, the photographer, was the Curry Centre and I had many a meal in there. Lucky no-one told my grandmother who would have been horrified at the thought of anyone eating "that foreign muck".