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About Geoffrey

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  1. A somewhat belated contribution, this, prompted by having to visit Woodland Road yesterday. Frederick Thos Walker was married (1896) to Ada Catherine Thompson, daughter of Arthur Gill Thompson, ecclesiastical silversmith, who was the son of Joseph Curr Thompson, eldest son of George Thompson, engineer, schoolmaster & my gggg grandfather, who married Ann Curr, niece of John Curr, the great colliery & railway engineer. Geoffrey
  2. Geoffrey


    My grandparents, that is my grandmothers as far as my conscious years were concerned, lived at 12 & 14 Barmouth Road, opposite the old house: Ivy White (nee Green) and Eleanor ('Nellie') Wynne (nee Dodworth). The main laundry buildings must have been added between the wars, but I remember the modern front onto Abbeydale Road being put up, probably in the '60s. The houses were built about 1890, so Abbeydale House didn't sit long in solitary splendour. They had neat little gardens at the back with a small lawn at the bottom of each yard, and beyond the gardens a wall, beyond which was the (much lower) gennel to Carterknowle Road and the corrugated roof of Bee's garage; from it blared every weekday 'Workers' Playtime' and the like on the 'Light Programme'. The laundry gave a sense of bustle to an otherwise quiet street, and its siren marked the end of the working day. Geoffrey White.
  3. There's less than a fortnight to go now to the Study Day which I've got together on GEORGIAN SHEFFIELD and Norton. It arose partly out of academic work I've done on 18th century church history, and partly from a fascination with my own relatives' part in the huge changes which Sheffield underwent in the long reign of George III (who, encountering the Shore family of Norton on holiday famously muttered 'Damned bad place, Sheffield'). After coffee from 9.30am, our programme begins at 10am with a welcome, and then a talk by Robin Fielder on Sheffield's progress in industry and transport. Robin is well known for his work with the WEA, and his booklet on Kelham Island; he is stepping in at short notice to take the place of Dr David Hey, who, sadly, has had to withdraw because of ill health. Sheffield's narrow valleys gave her a head start in the Industrial Revolution, thanks to water power, but they also cut her off from potential markets; the rise of steam power and improved transport links from the later 18th century changed all that. Our next speaker is Professor Clyde Binfield, who will tell us about religious life in the Georgian period. Sheffield's influence in the development of the churches has been largely overlooked, but in the early part of the 18th century the (basically Presbyterian) Attercliffe Academy produced many leaders, including an Archbishop of Canterbury! Sheffield (along with Norton) had a key place in the rise of Unitarianism, had thriving Congregationalist chapels, and also produced the first Methodist Sunday Schools. Yet Methodism also provoked riots, as did Vicar Wilkinson's profiting from enclosures, while the small Roman Catholic Community was generally tolerated and unmolested. After a light lunch, we shall take a look at the Georgian buildings around the centre of Norton (weather permitting), and finally David Price, the author of 'Sheffield Troublemakers' will examine the forces and personalities which engendered the city's radical tradition: the rise of printing, circulating libraries and various societies, which began to challenge the absent aristocracy, the Burgesses and magistracy, and even the Cutlers' Company. We shall (in good Sheffield tradition) end with tea, and proceedings will end about 3.30pm. If you would like to come, please book a place with me by email (by the 19th, please): geoffreywhite_333@hotmail.com . The cost will be £9, payable in advance or at the door -but please remember to book, as we need firm numbers for catering. We hope for a very enjoyable day, and though our church renovations are not quite finished, we at St James' would also like to show you the renovations we have made to our lovely medieval church. Best wishes, Geoffrey.
  4. Geoffrey

    John Curr (c.1756 - 1823)

    I'm very pleased to find someone recognises the significance of John Curr & his family: my gggg-grandmother was his niece. John seems to have come to Sheffield, along with his brothers George (my ancestor & a merchant) and William, of whom very little is known. Their father, also John (ca1712-77) was a coal viewer at Ryton & then Kyo, and is buried at Lanchester, Co Durham. John Jr was responsible for buying land adjacent to the Catholic Chapel (from the Duke of Norfolk), eventually enabling St Marie's to be built. Regards, Geoffrey White, Rector of Norton.