Nellie’s memories

Nellie Bennett & Donna Pierpoint

Nellie Bennett & Donna Pierpoint

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Nellie Bennett, 98, is the longest standing resident - 15 years - of Broomgrove Nursing Home.

She can remember 1918 Armistice celebrations when she was living in Petre Street, Pitsmoor. “We had an open yard and I could see lots of people hugging and kissing. I was wearing a white coat and frock. It was a sunny day and everybody was drinking tea”. She recalls the Sheffield Blitz in December 1940. “I can remember parents and their children coming into the shelter screaming. We lived opposite Ellesmere Road School in Pitsmoor and spent Blitz night in the boiler house of the school. The noise of the bombs got gradually worse and the ground would shake - I can still remember the ‘whooshing’ sound they made. I slept on a door that night and had to go to walk to work the next day. The devastation was terrible.”

dancing at City Hall 
and Cutlers Hall

I loved wearing my long dresses and attending the weekly dances in town in the 1930s. I remember the magnificent chandeliers, the dimmed lights and the proper bands in the City Hall Ballroom. The lads would stand one side of the hall and the girls the other. If you didn’t fancy someone you’d quietly disappear! I’d regularly be walking through the Wicker at 2am to get home. I can’t imagine doing that now! My husband and I started dancing again at the City Hall in our later life.

People of Attercliffe

I used to work for a Gregory’s estate agent that was in Fig Tree Lane. It was my job to collect rents from people in Attercliffe. I’ll never forgot how lovely and caring the people were. I loved the job. I remember one day I’d got a terrible cold and they clubbed together to get me a taxi home!

Serving the gentry

in Broomhill

I worked at Harts’ Fish & Game Shop when I was 18 or 19 – it was near where the Post Office is today at Broomhill. I looked after the books and customers’ monthly credit accounts, which was the norm in those days. I served the local gentry and I remember chauffeurs collecting the orders. They’d be ordering salmon and grouse for their mistress’s dinner parties. Harts’s van was green with a silver fish on it!

Blacked out wedding

reception

I got married in 1939 at All Saints in Pitsmoor and we had our wedding reception at Stephenson’s restaurant in Castle Street. The blackout was on so it was all a bit strange but we still enjoyed it! It was nothing extravagant but was the start of 53 years of happy family life.

Rambling

I met my husband through my love of rambling in the 1930s. I remember it was 10p on the train from Sheffield to Grindleford and the platform would be crowded with ramblers. I think it might have been a shilling to Hathersage. Sunday morning was my favourite time to go. There’d be a special ramblers train put on. We’d walk for miles.

Atkinsons

I’ve worked at a number of shopping institutions including Walsh’s and Redgates. The original Atkinsons shop that was destroyed in the Blitz was always one of my favourites. I remember the Christmas grotto where Santa would arrive by train. You could have a meal in the store and a member of staff would take you to your table. They’d also have an orchestra and Saturday afternoon tea dance.

Parson Cross

It wasn’t long after WW2 that we moved to Colley Road on the then new Parson Cross estate. It was fantastic. All our neighbours were of a similar age, we’d all got young children and it was one of the happiest times of my life. It was a lovely modern house with a big garden.