of Stocksbridge WRY

1886 - 1963

Thomas Marsh Crossley was born on the 14th December 1886 in a Sheffield slum at 7 Court, Chapel Street, Wicker.  He was the fourth illegitimate son of Elizabeth Crossley.  On his birth certificate Elizabeth's address is given as Old Haywoods, Deepcar, so I don't know why she was in Sheffield.  She signed the certificate with a cross.  Thomas was baptised St. Philip’s Church, Sheffield, on the 14 January 1887: Thomas Marsh son of Elizbeth Crossley of Stocksbridge.  He was brought up by the Marsh family; he was given the middle name Marsh at birth, which could signify that his father was a Marsh. 


Elizabeth was not with her son when the 1891 or 1901 censuses were taken.  In 1891, when he was 4 years old, he was living with Robert and Esther Marsh at 3 Haywoods Park, also called New Haywoods.  He is described as a “nurse child”, which implies they were bringing him up.  The 1901 census shows Thomas Marsh Crossley, now aged 14, living with a Charley Marsh (son of Robert & Esther Marsh) and his family at Don Square, Horner Houses, as a “boarder."


Thomas Marsh Crossley left school at 14, and started work as a trammer in the coal pit that supplied Fox’s works.   His ‘adoptive’ father and brother were both miners, so perhaps they had a hand in finding him employment in the pit.  A trammer conveyed the coal in corves (oblong wagons, usually on wheels) from the coalface to the main horse-drawn tramways – this was a job usually done by children, who would progress to other jobs as they got older.  This was also called hurrying.  It was done by placing both hands on the top rail at the back of the corve and pushing it forward as fast as possible up the slope.  Trammers also had to fill the corve.


Thomas married Clara Crawshaw at Bolsterstone on the 10th October 1910.  He was back living at Haywoods Park and on the marriage certificate his occupation was ‘roller’, which I would assume was in the steel works.  However, on the 1911 census it was again a coal miner (‘coal miner, hewer’).  They were living at Railway View, Horner Houses.


Tom and Clara had a daughter, my grandmother Connie, born on the 6th February 1913.  Tom’s occupation was once again ‘miner’.  Connie married a local butcher, Brook Donkersley, in 1936. 


War broke out when Connie was only a year old.  Britain declared was on Germany on the 4th August 1914.  Tom was not called up because he was in a “vital” occupation.  He received his 50 years’ long service award from Fox’s in 1957.


The family lived at 208 Railway Terrace, Pearson Street, [Horner Houses] Stocksbridge.  They later moved to 40 Pot House Lane and then to 79 Glebelands Road.


Tom died on the 11th February 1963 aged 76 and Clara on the 15th May 1964 aged 75; the day before I was born.  They are buried at Stocksbridge. 

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