Burrell’s Row, off Westgate, in Rotherham, is an important location in regard to my family history.
My second great grandparents lived and died on Burrell’s Row; Joseph Burton (son of Thomas Burton and Ann Pickersgill) died there in 1922 and his wife, Alice (nee Walker), in 1935. My nan was taken to see her grandmother after she’d passed away on this row and described her as looking like wax.
In addition to the above Joseph and Alice, other members of my family also lived on Burrell’s Row as well as being born there.
My nan told me a story once, of how on a Sunday afternoon, in the 1920s, after her dad had gone to Clifton Park Museum, the sky went dark, as though the end of the world was nigh. There was then much commotion on Burrell’s Row as somebody had said that they’d seen a ghost at the bottom. It transpired to be a swan, but the incident was even reported in the Rotherham Advertiser.
My nan also recalled how the bottom of the row once flooded when water levels were high and household debris could be seen sailing past in the river.
I wasn’t born when Burrell’s Row was demolished, but I did visit the location prior to it being tarmacked over in the late 2000s.
Below is a letter sent to the Rotherham Advertiser regarding the origins of this little row; the tablet mentioned was lost when Newspaper House (31 Westgate) was demolished in 2012.
THE ADVERTISER, SATURDAY, JULY 20th, 1935.
To the Editor. – In reply to your correspondent “Don,” in your last issue, I may say that Burrell’s Row was named after the late owner, Mr. Geo. Burrell, of Sheffield, and was built in 1857.
A tablet is still fixed over 31, Westgate. Mr. Burrell also owned the property in Leopard’s Terrace, which was demolished in 1907. He was a boot factor, and his daughter married the late Mr. Edward Langton, of High Street, Rotherham. We were tenants of his over 50 years ago, being established at 21, Westgate, on February 13th, 1876, and removing to 31, Westgate, on February 1st, 1907.
I remember the old nail shops in Oil Mill Fold, also Sheffield Road, and have a list of the old shops in Rotherham from 1880. –
July 18th, 1935.