Tideswell Tales

Voices and Pictures from Tideswell and Litton's recent past

World War Sideboard

Audrey Hopkins recalls hiding in the sideboard during a Second World War bombing raid on Sheffield.

Audrey what’s your first memory of Queen Street in Tideswell?

Well, my first memory of Queen Street is living in a cottage next to the Methodist Chapel which had been Mrs Sidney Goodwin’s general store and when we lived there the bins were still in the shop where she kept flour and all sorts of things and it’s quite funny really I sort of came full circle because the people who lived in the shoe shop and that time were the Bramwell family and I used to play with the great grandson of the Bramwell family and one particular memory is every time we meet Malcolm and I recall, he was younger than me. I would be about 6 and he would be about 4 years old, and it was the height of the bombing in Sheffield and my father worked on the railway so was at work during the night and was also on the Home Guard and if there were a lot of planes coming across and it was night time old Mrs Bramwell, Malcolm’s great grandmother used to come and get my mother and I, come into our house and she had a great big sideboard with a knee hole and they used to put Malcolm and I in the hole in the sideboard because they thought we’d be safe so it’s quite funny when we look back that we lived in that cottage which had been a shop and from there my family moved up to Town Head but then the connection with shops continues because I married Brian Hopkins, part of the Markovitz dynasty and we lived in a flat over Brian’s mother’s shop in High Street. From there we moved to the shop where I’d spent many happy hours as a very little girl, the shoe shop on Queens Street. Now this shop had been built on the site of three cottages which ran the opposite way, if you can imagine, to Queen Street, they ran up towards Sherwood Road and when we did alterations when we built on at the back we found evidence of these three cottages because there were fire places and chimneys and things and the cellar under the main room in the house is hewn out of the rock, it’s a very, very old cellar, much older than the present property which Mr Bramwell built in about 1911. And he built that, he moved there because he’d got a very big family and they had previously been in what is now Norman Gibbs’ Butchers Shop, not in the house part, they didn’t have the house part, they just had what is the shop and possibly the buildings that go up the yard. So I sort of came full circle from a tiny girl coming to Tideswell and living there and then back to where it all began.”


About Bill Bevan

Bill Bevan is an archaeologist, writer, photographer and heritage interpreter.

One comment on “World War Sideboard

  1. Barbro J White
    January 16, 2015

    About the bombing of Sheffied, I remember that my husband Tom told me that he went by bus with his mother Marion (born Slack, she had a little shop in Market Square) just to look at the fires in the city and that the bus was specifically intended for this purpose. I found it shocking to make an outing of a disaster, but as I have always lived in a country that has been spared from war for more than 200 years I’m not the one to voice an opinion. Anyhow I think hiding, even in a sideboard, sounds much more reasonble.
    With best regards,
    Barbro J White, Sweden

    PS. I very much like to read these memories.

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This entry was posted on January 15, 2015 by in Village Life.
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