Treeton Local History Group

We know our place

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January 2014 Meeting Report

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‘Sheffield A-Z’ by Mick Spick

Mick Spick gave another excellent talk at the January meeting of the group. It was entitled ‘Sheffield A-Z’ and contained 26 interesting and sometimes little known facts about Sheffield. It started with A for Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, now a museum, but once one of the largest water powered industrial sites on the River Sheaf and it ended with Z for Zeppelin, remembering Sheffield’s first air raid in September 1916 by a Zeppelin L22.

Facts in between varied from the sadness of the Great Flood of Sheffield in 1864 which claimed hundreds of lives and bizarrely under E was an elephant named Lizzie who worked for T W Ward’s during the 1st World War,  to do the work of horses which were in short supply as they were needed at the front. It was an enjoyable and informative evening, well presented by Mick who obviously knew his subject.


Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 20:43

December 2014 Meeting Report

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Christmas Party with Guest Speaker


December saw the group enjoy our Christmas Party. The group enjoyed a buffet meal and were then entertained by a guest speaker, in the person of popular returning guest Trevor Page, who talked about Christmas traditions and particularly his own personal memories of Christmases past.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 February 2014 13:20

October 2013 meeting report

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Henry Tompkin was the speaker at our October meeting. During his talk on the history of our neighbouring village of Whiston, he took us on a historical walk around the village by using old photographs and comparing them with the Whiston of today. Some of the landmarks are still visible but some had changed dramatically, such as Whiston crossroads which was shown on an old picture as a junction of two or dirt tracks, with the only traffic being a horse and cart!


November 2014 Meeting Report

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From Back-to-Backs to Penthouses

November's meeting of the group the speaker was Suzanne Bingham who gave an illustrated talk called ‘From Back to backs to Penthouses’. This looked the way we lived starting at the beginning of the twentieth century going up to today showing the radical changes that have occurred from the cramped cottages with outside toilet and tin baths through to the all mod-con homes that we all expect today.


September 2013 meeting report

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The speaker at our September meeting was Willie McGranaghan, the mine manager of the National Coal Mining Museum for England which is based at the former Caphouse Colliery near Wakefield. He gave a very interesting talk and slide presentation beginning with the history of mining at Caphouse (originally known as Overton Colliery) in the late 18th century through to its subsequent (and ongoing) transformation into its present-day format as a heritage, educational and corporate facility.

Caphouse Colliery was on the Denby Grange estate owned by the Lister-Kay family. The Flockton thick seam was mined in 1793. Working conditions underground for the men, women, children and ponies employed there in those days were horrendous. Many everyday phrases had their origins in those early days of mining. For instance, the phrase “not worth a light” is associated with the fact that it was not deemed necessary for the youngest children (most of whom were only five years old and worked as ‘trappers’, opening and shutting the wooden air doors) to have a candle for illumination so they had to work in total darkness. Slowly, over the years, working conditions and mining techniques improved but, during the latter part of the 20th century demand for coal decreased as it is production costs increased, making it cheaper to import from overseas.

Mining continued at Caphouse until 1985 and a decision was made to turn the mine into a working museum to keep alive the heritage of coal mining in the Yorkshire coalfield. With the help of funding and a lot of hard work put in by volunteers, the colliery reopened in 1988 as The Yorkshire Mining Museum and was given national status in 1995. One of the many attractions at the Museum is an opportunity for the visitor to descend 450 feet underground to discover the harsh realities of coal mining through the centuries. More details can be found online at

Several of our history group members who attended the September meeting were themselves former mineworkers at local pits before their closures and were able to add their own experiences at the end of Mr McGranaghan’s presentation.


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