Updated 24 February 2010
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Following my retirement from Dearne Valley College I have been
able to spend more time pursuing other interests, and also I had time to finish
and keep this web site more or less up to date.
My Interests - Football and Family and Local History
Football - my daughter Wendy and I together with her friend Claire are season ticket holders at Sheffield Wednesday FC. Wendy decided to start going to matches again after watching the home playoff game with Brentford and going to Cardiff in 2005. (Pictures below).
The link to Sheffield Wednesday's web site is - http://www.swfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/Home/ and the link to Wednesdayite - http://www.wednesdayite.com/ - I have been a member for a few years now having first joined the Owls Trust at its inaugural meeting at the City Hall. I did however not renew my membership for a couple of years because I thought it expensive and as I was a member of the Shareholders group which was only £5, I decided to let it lapse. I joined again after the group reformed as 'Wednesdayite' and have been to a few meetings, the latest have been the volunteer meetings and election management meetings. The Chairman of Sheffield Wednesday, Lee Strafford is encouraging supporters to join the group - an invitation being included on 2009/2010 Season Ticket renewal forms. Lee also wants Wednesdayite members to be involved in all aspects of the club, I've shown an interest in the publicity and marketing side, but I'm not involved there as yet. I helped in the ticket office which was quite busy as people renewed their tickets, some changing their seats and new people taking up the option of buying whilst it was cheaper to do so. I also helped in the main office with a mailshot and had one spell washing the seats.
2009-10 Season: We started the season reasonably well, I was able to go to the first home match against Barnsley which we drew 2-2; Claire's wedding was arranged before the fixtures were out and we missed the 4-0 win versus Scunthorpe. We drew 1-1 against Notts Forest; a game spoilt for the home supporters due to the delibertate time-wasteing tactics of the Forest players. I missed the home loss against Middlesborough and the Cardiff win was when I was on holiday. I saw the good win against Coventry and we were unlucky against Preston at home. After that though we had a terrible time which finished with the mutual parting of the waves with Brian Laws just before Christmas. Sean McAuley was placed in as Caretaker Manager but didnt do as well as his last spell when Paul Sturrock departed.
Alan Irvine was appointed in January - quite suprisingly he was sacked as Preston Manager who had appointed Darren Ferguson. Preston's loss was our gain as we won our away matches at Barnsley, Alan's first match in charge, and at Blackpool. These wins lifted us out of the bottom three in the Championship. We managed to win at home to Peterborough; lost away to Scunthorpe; and won Plymouth at home by 2 goals to 1. Alan won the Manager of the Month award but we lost at Nottingham Forest although we played very well, the referee gave Forest a penalty which he said was hand ball by Darren Purse, this actually came off his shoulder at the back! But Forest are riding high and getting the lucky breaks. The Blackpool home game on 9th February was special as my daughter Wendy had bought VIP tickets as a gift for my 70th birthday. She arranged for a photograph to be placed in the programme and we had an excellent meal in the Dooley Suite - Claire came too as it was her birthday during the same week. We met David Hirst and I met Roger Wylde who used to play for Wednesday when I watched them years ago. They both signed my programme and we had photographs taken with them. We also won the match 2-0 - a well-deserved double over Blackpool. The only downside was the seats in the stadium, n the South side. Although the seats were cushioned, there is less leg room than on the kop! I had to sit sort of side-ways and Wendy who is taller than me was really uncomfortable.
The home games against Doncaster and Ipswich brought us back to earth with a bang. Doncaster Rovers were excellent and deserved to win; we let them play - a totally different match to the excellent Blackpool game. Ipswich came here with the same game plan as Doncaster and we were awful. Alan has a week to prepare for the Reading game as we don't have a mid-week match, hopefully we'll be better organised and Eddie Nolan, a defender, on loan from Preston, will probably play.
2008-9 Season: The opening game of the season was at home against Burnley. I was not looking forward to the first home match as this usually is a terrible disappointing affair which invariably leads to a loss - but we scored in the first minute! and then there was another - unbelievable!! We won 4-1!! Everyone went home with the joy a good win provides and expectations that this just might be the turning point. Then we lost to Rotherham - they came to S6 though to frustrate! They played most of the time with 9 men behind the ball and our team doesn't seem to know how to handle that. Etienne Esajas scored two excellent goals but Rotherham came out of their blocks straight away and scored back after both goals. That led to penalties and of course, Etienne, bless him, missed his. Well, as they say, we can now concentrate on the league! Our next match was away to Wolverhampton and we have been known to do OK there, but unfortunately not this time as we lost 4-1. Our bad luck with injuries strikes again - we lose Sodje very early in the first match and then at Wolves, Richard Hines fractured his leg; and Frannie Jeffers has had another setback which happens when players have had a long lay-off.
Another highlight though was that we beat Sheffield United again at Hillsborough with a goal from one of my favourites, Steve Watson, scoring the only goal.
Well it did look as if something was going to change at Hillsborough (I had my fingers crossed!) - an unknown consortium brought together by Geoff Sheard was poised to take over control of Sheffield Wednesday. But like everything else associated with the club it wasn't straight-forward. I attended the Wednesdayite meeting and voted along with the majority of other members, to enable the executive to sell our shares. Geoff Sheard didn't come to the meeting and we didn't learn very much about the people interested in buying the shares of Wednesdayite, Dave Allen, Geoff Hulley and Keith Addy; but we still produced a massive majority of votes to pass the resolution to sell the shares. Geoff Sheard had been seen with his family at quite a few of the Sheffield Wednesday matches, so I thought that there was hope that this time we would witness a change of fortune for our Club.
Well that scheme fizzled out, leading to absolutely nothing! However, something even better has happened, something which looks more like what we need at Hillsborough. A new chairman at last! One who is a proper fan who has already invested in the club when he was the owner of PLUSNET our club sponsor. Lee Strafford our new Chairman is a breath of fresh air, it seems in only a few weeks hebegan to change our club to something which we can feel an affinity with. He's even a long standing contributor to the Owls List.
Lee is a local Sheffield lad from Parsons Cross, a Sheffield Wednesday fan who has made a successful business and sold it to British Telecom for an unbelievable sum of money. So he can more or less please himself what he does from now on, probably no need to work. He is not taking any money for being Chairman of our club. He appointed a new Chief Executive, Nick Parker, not a football person, but someone who has experience in running successful companies, and Lee has persuaded Harold Wilkinson to work with the new board to advise them on footballing matters - Harold is also working voluntarily; Alan Smith, ex England physio, who used to be the Owls physio is back and working part time with the present team physio - this is a shrewd move given the amount of injuries and the time taken to recuperate has been something which fans have been concerned about for some time.
And the new chairman is working with Wednesdayite - that's good news as the organisation has had a traumatic time over the years and is now much more successful since the new people took over. I always thought it a disgrace that Sheffield Wednesday should turn down offers of money to fund the academy and such.
Well, back to the football - Wendy and I were at Hillsborough for the beam-back of the Sheffield Derby. I am pasting my impressions on this game which I sent to the Owls list - with some photos:
to share my thoughts, I've never done so before, but here goes:
I was never one who joined in the "stand up those who hate the Blades". But I really hated them as I stood outside Hillsborough queuing in the freezing cold almost 2 hours for my Beam-back tickets - when I got almost to the door, I asked the steward why we weren't allowed to queue in the Superstore, like we did for our Season tickets in the heat of the summer!
It was apparently because things get stolen! I did see our new Chief Executive arrive but by then it was our turn to go inside - he then gave the order for everyone to queue inside - how I wished he had come earlier.
I had said that I'd never go to Bramall Lane again after getting wet from the shower that certainly wasn't rain! And on another occasion there that terrible flare that just passed our nose-ends and landed on a young girl on our row! So the beam-back tickets were a great idea.
Well, Wendy and I arrived at the stadium on Saturday and we were a little late due to the traffic, so we queued for drinks and some food. I was really looking forward to my Balti pie - "sorry none left". Wendy was having a cheeseburger, so I said I'd have one too - "sorry she'd had the last one!" So I had one of those dry chip butties. It wasn't nice!
We stood in the bar areas drinking our drinks and eating our food when the lads watching the TV erupted - I said to Wendy, "Daft things they're cheering last Sheffield Derby match's goal!" Stupidly we didn't realise how late we were - we missed Tommy Spur's superb goal! So we quickly finished our drinks and took the food with us to find our seats.
We had quite a decent view of the screen, the only down-side was the sun on the screen but we could see ok, it seemed quite surreal to be shouting and singing at the screen, but we did! My heart was in my mouth, I felt like I did when Di Canio shoved down the ref!
I always feel we are going to lose to them and of course with that awful long throw of theirs they scored! I kept screaming at the screen don't kick it out to touch, kick it up field, I hated those long throws of theirs. Luckily only the one worked!
I think our team were superb! Much more composed than theirs. The ref though seemed to penalise us and not them as Beever's tackle in particular was a good one - he shouldn't have had a yellow card nor them get a free kick. Why don't we seem ever to get the benefit of the doubt on the 50/50 balls!
Michael Gray was magnificent, what a signing! I thought he was good against Birmingham and Darren Potter too, although he didn't stand out quite as much as Gray on Saturday, it might have been those green boots!
Marcus Tudgay, he worked his socks off and what a wonderful goal - he seemed not to be on goal-scoring form of late, although he still worked hard up and down the pitch in recent matches.
But he was on fire on Saturday. Leon Clarke gets more confident and composed with every match, I've been willing him on since last season, everyone who sits round me on the kop used to grumble about him, but I used to defend him believing that we shouldn't grumble and boo our players, it just demoralises them. I really wished his strike which hit the post had gone in - that would have ensured him cult status.
It was getting really cold after half time, especially when the lads who were sat alongside us didn't come back to their seats - we had double layers on but I'm sure its colder in that stand than on the kop because its in the shade. But the game was so compelling I forgot about how cold I was, and the team were handling the pressure well. Grant's finger-tip save was momentous; he has been wonderful this season. It was getting scary towards the end though and when they said another 4 minutes that seemed an age.
Then the final whistle - tremendous joy! We'd won, done the double and we'd watched it at Hillsborough without having to run the gauntlet of baying Blades fans to get to Bramall Lane and back to the station! I'd do that again but please not by having to queue in the freezing cold!
We finished the season quite comfortably hanging on to that mid-table slot. Now the season's over Brian Laws has managed to sign two decent players in Darren Purse, from Cardiff and Tommy Miller from Ipswich with hints at perhaps two more players - probably on loan.
I predicted that Burnley would beat Sheffield United, Sheffield's only chance was if Reading had managed to beat Burnley. Sheffield United easily beat Preston but having watched all the play-off games, I thought Burnley were the more skilful team with the 'cannier' manager. I think Sheffield United though should do well next season and gain promotion automatically.
As usual I was not very confident setting off for the game against Sheffield United, just hoping that we might manage a draw. Football Heaven had been full of United supporters promising us a thrashing. What happened? United were terrible, except for about 20 minutes in the second half. Our team were superb! And we won!! Two Nil!! I took these two pictures on the left - the first photo is just after kick-off and the second picture is Paddy Kenny's goal in the second half when we were winning 1-0 and there's a shot going towards him, not the clincher though, that was five minutes or so later, from an excellent Leon Clarke pass to Marcus Tudgay to give us a 2 goal lead. Since that game we have had mixed fortunes; our last home game was Queens Park Rangers which I thought we'd be lucky to get a draw - the bulk of the first half was awful, they scored and we were terrible. Brian Laws then made a vital substitution which made the team pull together and we won 2-1.
The return match at Bramall Lane finished up as a draw, but we were winning 2 - nil! Unbelievable! We went to the match travelling on the train from Swinton with some Sheffield United friends, they walked with us to the ground and we went to our separate entrances. It was quite chaotic though for us, as some of the turnstiles weren't working and there were a massive amount of people trying to get in and the police on their horses quite near to us - it was quite scary and got worse when someone threw some fireworks.
We eventually got in with just enough time to get a drink before going through the packed ranks of Owls supporters to our seats. Everyone one was standing up, so we had to do the same - our team were great! Our supporters though were in the stand below the Sheffield United supporters and they were throwing objects and liquids down on us (said later to be urine). Their players did though eventually score, inevitably one of them was James Beattie! and the result was 2-2. I took the photo on the right at half time when we were winning 0-1.
Unless they give us the upper tier as well as the lower one, I certainly will not go back to Bramall Lane, the rocket missile on the previous occasion and the splashes of urine this season means its a no-go area for me in future.
I was really angry and disappointed that Dave Allen had again acted impulsively in sacking Paul Sturrock. What a Chairman to have - I really thought he would be the saviour of our team when he initially appeared at an AGM held at Ponds Forge some years ago. Subsequent AGMs though have made me realise that he is a volatile individual who bears grudges. He has, I admit, stabilized the club's finances and coupled with a few years of marvellous support through the turnstiles he has halted the losses although the club still has a serious debt to the bank and to some members of the board.
We don't seem to be able to attract a 'philanthropist', anyone with enough money to help the club. Dave Allen is apparently quite a rich man, but he did not risk large amounts of money for the club, he has along with other board members made loans to the club, received interests from those loans in the past. Last year they waived the interest for the loans but might well insist on receiving it again until they are repaid.
Dave Allen this season said there were three parties interested in taking over the club. He called a press conference on Friday, 20 July 2007 when we all thought they were going to announce a successful hand-over. What a farce! He didn't let us down, ranting and raving about Wednesdayite, the Fans Trust. He wouldn't talk to Wednesdayite but he expected them to sell him the shares that were gifted to them! He blames Wednesdayite for all these take-overs collapsing due to the possible buyers wanting more than 30% of the shares. The Chinese consortium went away and bought into Birmingham City for 29%! One of the other contenders was a personal friend of his, a Sheffield business man who used to be on the board at Everton. You can't tell me he didn't know about the shareholding situation at Sheffield Wednesday.
I am a member of Wednesdayite and a shareholder, and I strongly object to being called a 'cretin' and 'scum', Mr Allan. And the lady supporter who he abused must be mortified!
I do think that its appalling that people were disrespectful to Mr Allan at the stadium and there's no excuse for behaviour like that. But Mr Allan has dealt with this badly - where's the public relations network at Hillsborough? Is there no one to advise on how these situations should be handled?
Its never a dull moment supporting Sheffield Wednesday and November 2007 was no exception, David Allen took his bat away after a tiff with the board. Now what's next? I was uncertain as to whether I was going to the AGM the following week, but that made me make the effort to go. I'm glad I went - there were a lot of shareholders attending despite the fact that it was held in the morning rather than at night. I was really pleased when Mr Hulley and Mr Addy personally apologised to the lady supporter who had been the target for Dave Allen in that horrendous press conference. The board assured us that there was no fear of the club going bankrupt due to Dave Allen's resignation.
Latest news though is that the Board are talking to a potential buyer. I wondered if this might be anything to do with Denis Hobson? But it wasn't. Denis wanted to give the board a large sum of money to fund a new player in exchange for a seat on the board. However whilst this potential takeover is going on, that was not possible. One of the possibilities is being put together by a business man Geoff Sheard; he has spoken to Wendesdayite and Dave Allen has said he's willing to sell his shares if Wednesdayite sells their holding. The consortium connected to Geoff Sheard is rumoured to include people from Russia - apparently at the moment its in the hands of the lawyers; so that could take a while
When we received our season ticket renewal forms we also received a questionnaire - on this, one of the questions was "Are you a member of Wednesdayite". I just threw the questionnaire away - why do they want to know anyway? The Club knows who holds all the shares so why wasn't there an attempt to buy the shares off us.
Dave Allen last year was insisting that anyone taking over the club needs 28 million! Not what he paid when he became Chairman!
The Ground and buildings suffered badly during the 2008 summer, flooded during that terrible spell of torrential rain which South Yorkshire experienced. The ground staff had to work hard to get the pitch ready for the start of the season; the store and ticket office were also affected and had to remain closed. The photograph on the left, was sent to me by my friend Jane, who lives at Hillsborough.
WISE OLD OWLS - with my friends, Eileen and Elaine, Barry and I have joined the "Wise Old Owls" luncheon club. They meet on the 3rd Wednesday of every month and on Wednesday, November 2007), the speaker was former club captain, Lee Bullen - he was superb; he told us about his life in football from a youngster in Scotland, his footballing career in Australia; Hong Kong, where he met his English-born wife; about his time in Greece; and then back to Scotland at Dunfermline before he came on to play for us at Sheffield Wednesday. He was a star, he really got involved with the club and the fans. I saw him on several occasions at away matches sat with us in the stands - this of course was when he wasn't playing, he now plays for Falkirk, in Scotland and is their reserve team coach.
These photographs below, right, were taken at the Wise Old Owls lunches.
Picture 1-2 Lee Bullen with me; with Eileen;
Picture 3: Eileen with Alan Smith, Ex Sheffield Wednesday physio who was also at the lunch - Alan is now our Vice President - he replaces Geoff Hulley; Picture 4: Tommy Spurr came to lunch.
Picture 5: Harry Gration was a popular visitor. He likes coming to Hillsborough, his son is a Sheffield Wednesday fan. Left to right: Hilary Jackson, Harry Gration, Eileen Washington and Elaine Kent. Sadly Elaine died in December 2009.
PLAY OFF FINAL 2005
On Sunday, 29 May, we set off from Kilnhurst at 4.45 am to meet and board the Inter-City Owls Coach for Cardiff. We arrived at Owlerton with time to spare and joined a small crowd of people in the Owlerton Casino Car Park to await the arrival of the coaches. There were eight of us from Rawmarsh, Kilnhurst and Swinton and we managed to get on the first coach which set off as soon as enough supporters were on board.
We arrived at Cardiff quite early to find that the place was already buzzing with Owls and Hartlepool supporters walking around the town. Click on any of the thumbnails to view a larger image:
|1||The Play Off Final Ticket - Sheffield Wednesday v Hartlepool|
|2||Michael Birks and Wendy Jackson soaking up the atmosphere in a bar in Cardiff|
|3||This bar area was full of Wednesday supporters chanting and singing before the game|
|4||This was our first sight of the huge stadium|
|5||This years games will be the last to be held at the Millennium Stadium as Wembley will be hosting next year's games. These two photos are of me and Michael posing in front of the entrance.|
|7+||These last four pictures were taken inside from L21 area where we were seated; the final picture shows the Wednesday players warming up before the game.|
What a day - it was marvellous, walking round the town soaking up the atmohphere. We sat for a while in the bar shown in the above photographs and just before 1 pm started walking towards the stadium, I have some great short videos to help recall the visit to the bar, the walk through the town and several within the stadium showing the team going through their paces before the match, the beach ball sessions, the teams coming on the pitch and the scenes after the final whistle. I have tried to download the best one on to here, but it took too long to download, I'll have to study how best to download it. I have sent the video to Dale Hurman who runs the Anzowls website - follow the link - go to "Gallery 2004-5 Season" and in the pictures for the month of May, Dale has included my photographs and the video - although it takes time to download, its well worth it if you're an OWLS fan. This link is not working at the moment - all Dale's pages have been replaced by a forum showing owls not footballers, the feathered kind!
We went through ecstasy, turmoil and finally nailbiting, finger-crossing anxiety to jubilation at the end. I felt sick after Hartlepool scored their second goal; my daughter Wendy made me sit down as she thought I was really ill! However, I ought to have known they would recover thanks to Paul Sturrock's 3-man substitution! What a Manager! I hope nobody tempts him away from Hillsborough!
The above were my thoughts after going to Cardiff, but as everyone knows, Paul Sturrock left! - sacked by Dave Allan.
Our Manager now is Brian Laws and I have to admit he has succeeded because he inherited a team who were steadily improving as players were returning from injuries. The 2006-7 season was a comparative success. Our first match of the 2007-8 season is on 11 August, away to Ipswich. The team has changed, Steve MacLean has not agreed a new contract and gone to Cardiff City; we have 2 new goalkeepers, but no one as yet to replace Steve MacLean. Steve Watson has been signed from West Bromwich Albion - he played on loan for us until WBA recalled him when they realised we might make the play-offs. I'm pleased he's signed, as I've always liked Steve Watson.
Sheffield United are back in the Championship which should be interesting! Charlton are also back and I look forward to seeing Madjid Bougherra when they come to Hillsborough. These two paragraphs were written at the start of the season and it has been interesting in respect to United. Brian Robson became their manager, replacing Neil Warnock and the fans crucified him. He was in charge when we beat them at Hillsborough but left a few weeks later and Kevin Blackwell their former assistant manager replaced him. We lost to Charlton at their place early in the season although we were winning quite comfortably at 2-0 but lost 2-3. They came to Hillsborough recently when we drew 0-0 and Madjid Bougherra wasn't in the squad so may be he's out of favour or injured.
Go to Sheffield Wednesday's web site on http://www.swfc.co.uk for up to date information.
I retired from Dearne Valley College in June 2002 but was able to go back and work a few part time hours. This had turned out quite well for a while but in December 2005 I had an operation on my right foot and was off work for 2 months. I decided not to return to work and I'm really enjoying the freedom which retirement provides.
Please click on the college photo on the left to visit the DVC website.
Family History: Please visit my Genealogy page for how I got started researching the family's history. I followed up this interest by joining the Rotherham Family History Society in the Spring of 2004. They meet on the first Thursday of every month at Eastwood Mission, St Ann's Road, Rotherham. I became a member of the Rotherham FHS committee, as Member's Interests Coordinator. For more information please visit their website - http://www.rotherhamfhs.co.uk/
I have transcribed Kilnhurst C of E School Log Book - this dates from 1888 to 1921 and there's now a CD available from Rotherham FHS. This book is a wonderful historical record of those years, the Correspondent, Mr Kettle, recording the events of the period and how it affected the school, naming pupils, visitors and staff. I would be keen to hear from anyone with Parents, Grandparents or Great Grandparents who may have attended this school during the years 1888 to 1921. My husband, Barry has now finished a book based on the logbook, and it is now available to purchase, the proceeds going for the present school funds.
I am also a member of
the Doncaster and District FHS. Barry's family are from
Doncaster and part of my own family's research information is held by Doncaster
Archives. The Family History Society have a very well equipped research
room within the same building as Doncaster Archives and the membership are allowed access to the
substantial information which the FHS possess. Their website address is -
If you are particularly interested in the Rawmarsh and Parkgate area there is a Rawmarsh and Parkgate Local History Group which meets bi-monthly at Ryecroft Methodist Church (in the School Room, around the back) on Kilnhurst Road, Rawmarsh. They have a wonderful selection of photos which are displayed at the meetings. Swinton also has a local history group which meet every Thursday at 10 a.m. in Swinton Library.
Kilnhurst Resource Centre, Victoria Street, Kilnhurst - I started going to Line Dancing classes in Wath a few years ago and we started one in Kilnhurst at the Resource Centre on Monday mornings. There had been several resignations from the Action Group which ran the centre and I was asked to be a trustee and member of the action group. We have a lovely building here in Kilnhurst and it has to be self sufficient. We have a computer suite and a large hall with meeting rooms for hire. The Centre has just been internally decorated and we are so lucky to have it here in Kilnhurst.
Together with my friend Anne Thompson we run a Family History Research group every Tuesday afternoon, helping people to research their family history using the computers.
If anyone wants to get in touch with me regarding anything on this site please contact me at -
hilary.jcksn "followed by" @googlemail.com and if anyone objects to anything being included on any page, or if you spot any errors/assumptions made, please also let me know.
Updated 24 February 2010