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154 Wallace Road


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Calvin72

Where George Orwell stayed with the Searle family from 2nd to 4th of March 1936 whilst researching 'The Road to Wigan Pier'.

Where was this area that Orwell describes i wonder?

"One particular picture of Sheffield stays by me. A frightful piece of waste ground (somehow, up here a piece of waste ground attains a squalor that would be impossible even in London), trampled quite bare of grass and littered with newspaper, old saucepans etc. To the right an isolated row of gaunt four room houses, dark red, blackened by smoke. To the left an interminable vista of factory chimneys, chimney behind chimney, fading away into a dim blackish haze. Behind me a railway embankment made from the slag of furnaces. In front, across the piece of waste ground, a cubical building of dingy red and yellow brick, with the sign, 'John Grocock, Haulage Contractor'."

Orwell said some complimentary things about Sheffielders but was of course disparaging about the City!

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Sheffield Indexers,

John Grocock, Coal dealer & greengrocer Sorby Street & 15 Ellesmere Road Kelly's 1893

Grocock, John (, Fruiterer, Furniture Remover & Coal Merchant).
Residing at 15 Ellesmere Road; yard, Sorby Street, Sheffield in 1905.
Recorded in: Whites Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham.

Grocock, John (, Fruiterer & furniture remover).
Residing at 15 Ellesmere Road & Yard, Sorby Street, in 1911.
Recorded in: Whites Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham - 1911.

John Grocock, Fruiterer, carting contractor & furniture remover, 15 Ellesmere Road; yard, Sorby Street White's 1919

GROCOCK, John (~, Fruiterer).
Residing at 15 Ellesmere Road; Yard, Sorby Street, ~ in 1925.
Recorded in: Sheffield & Rotherham Kelly?s Directory.

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Assuming Grocock's yard was Sorby street, the works would likely have been the Cyclops Works. But I can't see any railway or embankment in the area. Maybe literary licence?

Sorby Street area in 1935:

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  • 9 months later...
Guest dunringill99

My mother was born on Wallace Road. Number 88 i think. Parents were violet and william lycett. I remember her saying something about george orwell staying there.

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Guest dunringill99

Wallace road was on the parkwood springs. Must have been near the railway as she said she used to go and stand on the bridge and wait for the steam trains

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  • 5 years later...
On 23/03/2014 at 16:01, Calvin72 said:

Where George Orwell stayed with the Searle family from 2nd to 4th of March 1936 whilst researching 'The Road to Wigan Pier'.

Where was this area that Orwell describes i wonder?

"One particular picture of Sheffield stays by me. A frightful piece of waste ground (somehow, up here a piece of waste ground attains a squalor that would be impossible even in London), trampled quite bare of grass and littered with newspaper, old saucepans etc. To the right an isolated row of gaunt four room houses, dark red, blackened by smoke. To the left an interminable vista of factory chimneys, chimney behind chimney, fading away into a dim blackish haze. Behind me a railway embankment made from the slag of furnaces. In front, across the piece of waste ground, a cubical building of dingy red and yellow brick, with the sign, 'John Grocock, Haulage Contractor'."

By the 1930s the haulage depot had moved to Worthing Road Attercliffe/Darnall

1934 Telephone Directory
GROCOCK 1934 Phone Book.JPG

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Adverts and directory entries do not give a clue as to where on this road, but I believe it is this location, on the 1954 map. (Top coner has Effingham Road between the canal and the Don)

 

GROCOCK 1954 OS Worthing Road.JPG

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"To the right an isolated row of gaunt four room houses, dark red, blackened by smoke. "

Looking to the right on the map: Lovetot Road. The pub is the Woodbourn Hotel. I think the pub and 1 or 2 of the houses (now part of the pub) are still there,

GROCOCK 1954 Lovetot.JPG

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This 1950 aerial photo, grainy because much enlarged, shows the pub and houses. The white line is 'marking-up' for editing by the firm that took the photo.

GROCOCK 1950 aerial Lovetot Road.JPG

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From the same 1950 photo, the depot itself with lorries in the yard, the canal in front and Worthing Road behind. The big factory beyond Worthing Road wasn't there in 1936. Note the dark building fronting onto Worthing Road

GROCOCK 1950 aerial photo.JPG

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That builing is still there...

"In front, across the piece of waste ground, a cubical building of dingy red and yellow brick, with the sign, 'John Grocock, Haulage Contractor'."

Red and yellow brick.

Looks as though it has just been renovated. (Google Street View)

GROCOCK worthing rd frontage google.JPG

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"Behind me a railway embankment made from the slag of furnaces. "

The building above is just to the right of the words 'Lynne's Cafe'. The depot yard is filled up with a factory

GROCOCK Worthing Rd satellite.JPG

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As an aside the earlier home/office of the Grocock family was 15 Ellesmere Rd. Here's what happened to it...

Number 15 to the left (not much left of it). In the middle under the rubble is Clun Road. The damaged house to the right is number 17. Date is 12 Dec 1940.

Picture Sheffield image

GROCOCK bomb damage 1940 s01338.jpg

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leksand
15 hours ago, HughW said:

"To the right an isolated row of gaunt four room houses, dark red, blackened by smoke. "

Looking to the right on the map: Lovetot Road. The pub is the Woodbourn Hotel. I think the pub and 1 or 2 of the houses (now part of the pub) are still there,

GROCOCK 1954 Lovetot.JPG

The map from the survey completed the year prior to Orwell's visit appears to correlate very well with the description.

worthingrd.jpg.cfdf9d6bc81906c92c7398421d6b865f.jpg

and this is what remains of the "gaunt four-room houses" - numbers 3&5 Lovetot Road (I think), since taken in to the Woodbourne.

201903041754-WoodbourneHotel-sh.JPG.ec554f4dd4df9da5682bb010f9e69712.JPG

201912011030-WoodbourneHotel-sh.JPG.ed0ebc878849a88a19761bd1e1ecd96f.JPG

The following questions are now raised in this topic:

(As a further aside, does anyone know how there came to be two Lovetots Road in such close proximity? They are, I beleive, similarly aligned but am pretty certain they can never have adjoined or even have been planned to be, unless a new bridge was once envisaged. Was the spur from Attercliffe Road formerly called something else? Or is there a route concealed by the long straight buildings evident on google maps?)

 

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