Gordon Clement Hobbs (1920-1999)

An early photograph of my father from the mid 1930's

There is another photograph that was taken in Blackpool on the same day circa 1940 - it looks as though it was a lad's day out

During the 1939 - 1945 War my dad worked on the railways as a fireman . He also married his first wife Sylvia who I believe came from the Carbrook area of Sheffield. They were married at St Clement's, Newhall, Sheffield in June 1944.  Sadly the marriage did not last and they were divorced. There is a photo further down the page that shows my dad and his first wife on their wedding day. From the papers my dad left when he died, he was living in that area of Sheffield during the 1940's. An envelope dated 23rd March 1949 gives his address as 268 Don Road, off Brightside Lane, Sheffield 9 whilst an application to join the AEU later in 1949 gives an address as 287 Alfred Road, off Brightside Lane, Sheffield 9.

The application to join the union also mentions something that rankled my dad for years. Working on the railways he was a member of ASLEF but he told me years later that he went to collect his wages one week and was told that he was "not to bother coming in the following week". The application gives the date of dismissal as 31st December 1948. However he managed to secure employment at Hadfield's as a Mechanic soon after and was paid the sum of 94s10d + bonus for his troubles.

There was a tragic postscript to his first marriage though. A report in the local paper dated 4th August 1957 stated 

KILLED WIFE WHILE REVERSING VAN by our Sheffield correspondent 

A 25 year old Sheffield Greengrocer knocked down and killed his 35 year old wife while reversing his van yesterday. Police believe the wife Mrs. Sylvia Hill of Poole Road, Sheffield slipped behind the van in the pouring rain. Her husband Donald spent last night at the home of relatives

The couple had just delivered some potatoes to a new shop in Low Edges Road Sheffield into which they intended to move shortly when the accident happened

A year later in 1958 the local press reported that

CITY ROAD VICTIM LEFT 6,302

Mrs. Sylvia Hill of Low Edges Road Sheffield who was knocked down and killed on August 3rd last year by her husbands one ton van while he was reversing it left 6,302 (2.397 net). She died intestate.

The tragic accident had long lasting effects. Ten years later on 3rd August 1967 in the "in Memorium" section of the Sheffield Star there were two captions inserted one from Sylvia's mother and the other from her brothers and sisters. The former mentioned that Sylvia's father had died just over two weeks prior to the accident. The latter gave the brothers and sisters names as Dennis, Muriel, May and Leonard. The family name was ENZER. Sylvia's father I later found out died on July 16th 1957

In October 2012 I received an e-mail from a person who had come across this article on my dad and added the following information. Needless to say I knew nothing at all about a double wedding involving my dad!

"I was astonished to come across your blog (sic) recently and I can fill you in on some of the details regarding your father's marriage to Sylvia. 

Sylvia Enzer and your father had a double wedding with my mother Marjorie and Leonard in June 1944 (I was born in October 1944!) you probably couldn't find any registration for the marriage as there was a typing error in the document - it was registered in the name Enger instead of Enzer. 

The church they were married in was the Parish Church of St Clement, Newhall, in the Attercliffe area. I attach a copy of my mother's wedding to Len - if you look at the background brickwork it is the same as in your father's and Sylvia's picture.  The two bridesmaids are Sylvia & Len's sisters Muriel and May (I wonder if they doubled up for Sylvia as well).  Looking through Sheffield archives I discovered that the church no longer exists, although it has an interesting history...."

Marjorie and Len's Wedding - Parish Church of St Clement, Newhall June 1944

A year after losing his job he met Jean at a dance at the City Hall Sheffield (1950) and a year later on 29th September 1951 they were married at Firth Park Methodist Church, Stubbin Lane, Sheffield. Just over two years later my parents gave birth to yours truly and moved from their first home in Thorpe House Rise Meersbrook, Sheffield to Old Park Avenue Greenhill Sheffield. (January 1955) Eighteen months afterwards my dad received this letter from the Chief Constable. I only found out that my dad had been apprehended by the police in May 2002 - he must have forgotten to tell me!

My dad spent most of his working life at Hadfields a steel makers in the east end of Sheffield where he was employed as a mechanic and lorry driver. 

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This page was last updated on 22/12/14 15:40

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