My grandfather correctly pointed out to me recently, that I haven’t gone into any detail about why some of the links on the right hand side of this website exist. They’re mentioned and have full detail in one of his books, but it seemed like a great idea to get the man himself to write a little bit about each of them to explain some more for the readers of this website.
In his own words…
“I had interests in most of the links on this web site though some were more hands on than others. For example, Abbeydale Hamlet came to my notice when I was told that there was a plan to refurbish the water wheels, and bring the site back to some semblance of working order and eventually open it to the public.
I immediately volunteered to assist and spent my spare time doing menial tasks under the guidance of the person in charge of the project. Work started in 1966 and the site was officially opened in 1970. From that time parties of people, from both this country and abroad, were taken round the site and the wheels were able to be run and the workings were demonstrated by a team of guides of which I was one.
I also became a guide to the Shepherd Wheel in Whitely Woods and ran the wheel there for visitors. My connection with these places terminated when I was transferred to work in Barrow in Furness by my employer, the Ministry of Defence (Navy Dept).
My connection with Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering began in 1975 when I was employed as Chief Naval Technical Officer on the Principal Naval Overseers staff until my retirement in 1985.
Urswick Church is located in the adjacent village to Stainton with Adgarley where I lived when I moved to Cumbria. Myself and my wife attended there. My retirement coincided with the church being in need of much maintenance work, which it was unable to afford, so I began to devote my spare time to doing many and various jobs around the church and churchyard. For one year I also took on the job of church warden. My connection with Urswick and the church came to a halt with my move back to the Sheffield area following Jackie being diagnosed with Alzheimers in 1995.
The Alzeimers Society. Though I never used the services of the society myself, I had heard about the society and knew from experience how much a carer could benefit from some of the services they provided. When Jackie died in 1996 I volunteered to work at the Sheffield branch of the society and was employed in the carers support unit for the next 12 years. At the same time I also became a trustee for The John Eaton Almshouses in the Norton area of Sheffield where I still serve.”
Something I’ve often wondered since my own school trips as a child took me to Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, is quite how my engineering and all round brilliant Grandfather can mend amazing things such as waterwheels, and yet I still to this day struggle with a slight phobia of them!