Dora Burkinshaw – An Appreciation by Andy Rickards

Following the passing of my dear friend and neighbour Dora Burkinshaw donations totalling £358 were made to Grenoside Reading Room, a cause close to Dora's heart.

I have known Dora since the 1960s when, as a small boy, I visited my Great Aunts, the formidable “Misses Ashton” next door on Woodside Lane. She was always kind and interested in us all. Our friendship continued until my own children, nieces, and nephews christened her “Dora the Explorer” after the popular television character.

My family and other Grenoside residents have had the privilege of being Dora's neighbours and friends, often sitting in her garden as she rested from her frequent weeding expeditions, drinking ginger beer or strong tea, whilst the children availed themselves of her never-ending supply of chocolate.

Dora's life story is an interesting one. She was born in 1918 as a blacksmith's daughter and she worked at Grenoside Hospital as Matron's Maid, for Lady Mabel Smith at Barnes Hall during WWII and for Arnold Scholey's dental practice in Firvale. She experienced happy times camping in the Lake District as well as sadness at the loss of her husband Stan, far too early in their lives. Her ability to live with so little and still be happy always impressed me.

As she became less mobile over the last few years she relied on visitors to let her know how things were going in Grenoside. She was always interested in the building work at the Reading Room and, once completed, she would ask me about the activities and the Monday Cafe (she particularly enjoyed the left-over lemon cake).

Thanks to Dora, her family and friends the funds raised will pay for new blinds to enable films and slides to be shown and to keep the sun at bay during the summer, which will be much appreciated by all our users for many years to come.
Andy Rickards
Grenoside Reading Room

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Ecclesfield Library seeks new trustees

Trustee Opportunity with Friends of Ecclesfield Library CIO

About the Opportunity
Friends of Ecclesfield Library CIO (FoEL) are keen to recruit one or more new dedicated Trustees to join the management committee of a registered charity. The Trustees ensure that the Library is serving the needs of the local community and library users in the best way possible.

We need trustees to guide the organisation and make decisions that ensure that our vision, aims and mission are achieved. Now that the Library is up and running, it is vital to look to the future both in terms of funding and also how the building can be used more widely for the benefit of the community.

About FoEL
Ecclesfield library is an Associate Library staffed entirely by volunteers. FoEL are dedicated to improving the quality of life for people in the local community.
Ecclesfield Library provides community lending library and associated services to the public four days a week as well as running regular activities and events to provide income.

What are we Looking For?
We are looking for people who want to become a regular part of our trustee committee to make the necessary decisions that prioritise where money is spent and what activities are provided. Board meetings are held monthly at the Library, time and date by mutual agreement. We would like trustees who are interested in helping the library volunteers during events and activities.

We would particularly welcome those with the following skills and experience:

Book-keeping or accounts (e.g. Quick Books).

  • Marketing, publicity or organising events.
  • Fundraising whether small scale events, or writing funding bids.
  • Office administration or management experience.
  • Experience in a customer-service environment.
  • Previous experience on trustee or management boards.
  • Involvement with local community groups.

Practical Considerations
We aim to provide any training that is identified, but no training or specific skills are required to join us. See here for the main duties of a trustee:Essential Trustee Jigsaw.pdf

If any volunteer wishes to work directly with young or vulnerable people, a DBS check will be required.

For more details visit the Ecclesfield Library website.
Contact the library during opening hours on 0114 246 3615 or

Friends of Ecclesfield Library CIO is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation Registered in England, No. 1158802.

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Best wishes from everyone at the Reading Room


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War Memorial Fund

Thanks to all who made donations, to the War Memorial Fund, at the Reading Room on Remembrance Day. £100 was raised, further donations to the fund can be made by cheque made payable to Ecclesfield Parish Council (war memorial fund)

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International Coffee Day 1st October

To celebrate International Coffee Day a special coffee tasting event was held at the Reading Room with coffee supplied by Smith Street Coffee, a local Company.
All the proceeds (£250) are going to the Macmillan cancer charity.



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Grenoside Art Group Annual Exhibition at the Reading Room

The Grenoside Art Group Annual Exhibition will be held at the Reading Room on:

Saturday 15th October 11.00am- 5.00pm
and Sunday 16th October 10.00am- 4.00pm

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A ‘bouquet’ from a Reading Room visitor.

In the last few days we received this lovely tribute from a recent visitor. Much credit must go to Jean, our neighbour, who provides and looks after the flowers and pots around the building:

Dear Sirs.
On Sunday 28th August 2016 I attended a workshop run by Alex Hyde. Quite apart from the fabulous time I had photographing lots of lovely and interesting insects, I was struck by the lovely building and facilities. I thought it was a simply beautiful. The building and gardens are so well kept and looked after. It was exceptionally pleasing for a visitor to arrive to be greeted by a profusion of colourful flowers in borders and pots. The lawn and building add to the whole experience. It does not stop there because when I entered the building it was clean, fresh and tidy. The kitchen was spotless and very well equipped. Both toilets were perfectly presented.

The Grenoside Reading Room is a fantastic asset to the community. It must be wonderful to have such a setting and facility for functions for people to enjoy. It looks like a much loved enterprise. Everyone involved in its upkeep should be very proud.
I just could not come home and not let you know how much I enjoyed my visit. I look forward to visiting again when Alex runs another work shop.
Best Regards
Mary (name supplied)

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Heritage Open Days September 2016

Heritage Open Days 8th to 11th September 2016.

Heritage Open Days is England's biggest festival of history and culture involving over 40,000 volunteers. Every year over four days in September, thousands of events across the country invite you in to explore local treasures of every age, style and function. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – and it’s all FREE.

Events are organised country wide to celebrate history, architecture and culture and to provide an opportunity to see hidden places.
For more information go to

There are 85 events in Sheffield, one of which is at the Reading Room in Grenoside.
We will be providing a cafe, heritage activities, an opportunity to look at our archive material and to talk to the trustees. There will also be organised visits to the cupola furnace hosted by Helen Jackson (see forthcoming events).

Alan and Andy

Reading Room trustees, Alan and Andy, at the official launch event for Heritage Open Days in Sheffield.

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