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A Glossary Of Words Used In Sheffield 1888

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I don't know if any members have been on the website Internet Archive but its very good, I typed Sheffield in the search and I was amazed with the books and pamphlets that lay in Universities in America and Canada. This is just a snippet which I found very interesting, take note of the name COLD ASTON and not COAL ASTON as used today, I don't think there were any coal mines near there, perhaps someone can enlighten me: I've left the original spellings and dialect in.

It is considered good luck to meet two magpies, but bad luck to meet one.

Of the magpie people say ' One for bad luck, two for good luck, three for a weddin', and four for a berrin

If one robs a swallow's nest or a robin's nest it is said that the cows will give blood in their milk.

If one finds a horse-shoe he should take it home and nail it to the stable door.

It is said that When the gorse is out of blossom, Then is kissing out of fashion.

The gorse, it is said, never is out of blossom. I am told that these lines are quoted by the country people in Cornwall.

When a lover was forsaken by his mistress, oval-shaped garlands, made of leaves, flowers, and ribbons, were found hung early in the morning in a tree near the house of the forsaken one. This was done in Cold-Aston fifty years ago.

Morris dancers, who generally came from Whittington, used to dance and sing on 'the Cross' at Cold-Aston thirty or forty years ago. They were a very numerous body, and were gaily dressed in many-coloured clothes.

I have seen ' Robin Hood's men ' dressed in green coats.

It is said that if you hold a poppy to your eyes it will blind you.

In Mid- Yorkshire the wild poppy is called blindybuff.


If a bee-master, or person who keeps bees, dies, cake and wine must be given to them on the day of his burial, or the bees will die too. Some bees at Hazelbarrow in Norton languished and died, the reason being, as was said, that they did not partake of the funeral feast of their late master.

It is said that the feathers of pigeons should not be used for stuffing pillows or beds, because a man 'cannot die' on a bed which contains such feathers ; by which is meant that he cannot die easily and without pain upon such a bed. Fynes Moryson, in his Itinerary -, printed in 1617, part iii., book i., says: 'The Italian Sansovinus grossely erreth in this kinde, being otherwise a man of great wit and iudgement, who affirmes that parents in England take the pillowes

from the heads of their children ready to die, out of tender pitty and charity to put them out of their paine.' It is commonly said in this neighbourhood that people cannot die easily on feather beds, and that if a dying person is lying upon a feather bed it should be changed to a flock bed. Old nurses in this district used to take the pillows, if stuffed with feathers, from the heads of people who were about to die.







Edited by tozzin

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I had been told Coal Aston was originally called Cold Aston. Looking up Dronfield history I find that the Coal Aston mine was opened in 1785. An old ordnance survey attached shows an old mine in the green area. An older map shows some woods on the Sheffield side of Coal Aston as Coal pit woods. The history site claims Stubley on the other side of Dronfield was mined from the 16th century and Car Lane mine opened in 1795. What is now Dronfield Sports & Social club on Carr Lane is known to be originally a Miners Welfare club, and opposite is the Miners Arms pub. I was told the mine there was a drift mine. There was also a mine at the top of Mickley Lane where some new houses have just been built. When this site was Standall Tools the upper car park was actually on top of the old mine spoil tip, and a square brick structure in a service yard was said to protect the old mine shaft.


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