Philip Edward Schofield (1912-1990)
Philip Edward Schofield
Philip was born Feb. 2nd, 1912 and is the paternal grandfather of Turner, Sarah, Rufus, Rowena, Hannah, Paul, Mark and Heidi.
Philip was a complex character, brought up in a Methodist household, living in a small village, and attending West Leeds High School.
As a child he had a very disruptive episode. His mother, Marie, died shortly after giving birth to him and his twin, Frank, from 'milk-fever' (probably a form of septicemia or blood poisoning that nowadays would be avoided with antibiotics). His father, GT, was probably overwhelmed by her sudden death and asked his sister, Ann, who lived down the street with their mother to look after Frank while he looked after Philip. This apparently went well for three years until GT got remarried to Florence. They wanted the boys back and this caused a family rift between Anne and GT that lasted for fifty years or more.
Philip and Frank fondly remember their dog whose kennel provided them a temporary home when they were in major troubles with their parents. I think it's called being in the dog-house.
Growing up in a small village in Yorkshire, the boys' lives revolved around the church. Philip was always very committed throughout his life to serving God although he was always very practical and had a 'wicked' sense of humor.
Philip's life at church led to his becoming a local preacher. This is a lay position that is accredited by the Church and allows him to lead the service in place of the Minister including preaching the sermon. Since he was a great storyteller and had a wonderful sense of humor, he became quite in demand later in life for services such as the Harvest Festival and especially Children's Services.
When he was 25 years old he married Maud, the daughter of the church organist. By this time he was becoming established as an insurance agent performing much the same function as a State Farm Agent in the US. He moved to Sprotborough near Doncaster which was about 30 miles to the south with his bride when the second major disruption in his life occured-the Second World War. He was conscripted and his wife and new son, Peter, moved back to Farnley with his mother-in-law, Nora Scott.
The war lasted six years and as far as is known he never was able to visit home during that period.
Since he was totally inept with tools and instruments all his life, the Air Force immediately put him into the repair business, first on vehicles and then on radios. Early in the war Philip was sent for an extended period to Malta (a small island in the Mediterranean just south of Italy which acted as a bridge from North Africa when Italy was being invaded) He was there during the siege of Malta and when he returned home, he had lost so much weight, he looked like he had been in a concentration camp. He felt his life had been saved by the fact that he didn't smoke cigarettes-the men there were given rations of two cigarettes and two pieces of chocolate a week. He traded the cigarettes for the chocolate and was able to keep up his strength. Later in the war, he was billeted in Weston Colville near Cambridge and then near Mold, in a rural area of North Wales.
Weston Colville had an airfield where the airmen lived but it was very close to the village and quite a few of the service people had a home away from home at the Wimpress's. These were a widow, Mrs. Wimpress, and her spinster sister, Miss Swann, who lived in an old, small cottage in the village and were devout Methodists. They were invariably called Mrs. Wimpress and Auntie. Auntie was about four feet and three inches tall.
While he was there, a significant camraderie developed with several of the men that lasted for many years after the war. His friends there were all Methodists who wanted the friendship of other Christians versus the alternative of spending their spare time in the pubs! He also got to know Madge Raynor who was in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (the WAAFs) and she remained a family friend for the rest of her life. (Madge worked in the photography field, developing pictures of Germany that the 'recon' flights brought back before and after the British air force bombing raids)
Maud visited Weston Colville fairly often-especially because she was a great cook! She would take little Peter with her and also spent a couple of months in North Wales when Philip was stationed there. She and Philip conceived another child during this time-another boy-whom unfortunately she miscarried.
The war altered people immensely. Many women at home got used to working which changed their outlook on life. Many of the men, such as Philip, who were drafted had lived their whole life in a sheltered village and were suddenly thrust into a rough and tumble world with mind-expanding travel and had to grow up very quickly.
When the war ended, Philip went back to his insurance career in Doncaster, living in rented rooms at 99 Bentley Road and soon had a second son, John. He worked extremely long hours to build the business and was sufficiently successful that, after a couple of years, the company invited him to open a new office in Sheffield.
He bought a small semi-detached (i.e. 2-storey duplex) house at 103 Green Oak Road in Totley, near Sheffield, and worked out of an office in Paradise Square where John Wesley had preached in 1779. His business was fairly successful and he embedded himself thoroughly in the Methodist Church at Totley Rise where he formed, and became the youth leader of, the local church youth group through the MAYC (Methodist Association of Youth Clubs). He also played cricket for the village team.
In 1954 he bought a house at 44 The Quadrant in Totley. This was a move upward to a much larger, detached house that backed on to a steep wooded hillside leading to a stream and the railway line to Manchester, close to the 'Totley Tunnel' which was famed for its length under the moors. The house was bought at auction for the staggering sum of 2,600 pounds sterling (about 10,000 US dollars at the time). It is worth about 25 times that in 2008. Philip and Maud lived in this house until their deaths in 1990 and 1991, respectively.
He continued his church work and the youth group, arranging sunrise services at the top of local hills, cricket leagues and a 5-a-side soccer team that became champions in the North of England and played the champions of the South in the Royal Albert Hall (similar to playing in Madison Square Gardens).
He was especially a charmer with women and was always joking about and having fun. He was quite a charismatic personality and throughout his life was always busy in social clubs, like the Round Table, the 41-club, which was for older Round Tablers, and latterly the Masons, as well as all the leadership positions he took on in the Sunday School and Youth groups at the church.
He turned down many promotions at work because he didn't want his life to be concentrated on 'just work.' He wanted to have time for all his other activities which brought him more fulfillment.
In his mid-fifties Philip was made redundant after the insurance industry had a shake-out and the company he worked for was bought out by the Royal Exchange company. He then took a job until he retired as Office Manager and Safety Inspector for a large local building firm whose owners were insurance clients and friends, but he also continued to run his own one-man agency selling insurance to friends and a loyal following of business men until he died. He made one decision that was unfortunate, which was to buy 'life assurance with profits' for himself. This deal was like an annuity where, after some number of years paying premiums to the company, the company started paying him out of the profits. This did not work out too well because there was a lot of inflation and the pay-outs did not keep up so, in effect, the amount he got kept dwindling.
We have a recording of him from 1981 here . HOLD DOWN the control key as you click the link. Hint-you also need a player plug-in such as Quick-Time and may have to tell the security system that it is OK to use it.
This recording was made at the same time as Mary's recording (see the Olive Mary chapter) and Maud's, below and was being recorded to send to Frank (brother) and Nellie who were living in Australia.
Here is a transcript of the recording: Hi Frank (his brother). As usual I can hardly get a word in edgewise but I'm.... rude comments in the background made me stop then. But I'm just trying to say a quick 'Hello', nice to hear your voice. But first the bad news-Frank Duckworth (the minister at the local Unitarian church and a good friend) died last Friday. Now the good news-you will be very pleased to know, even you amateur gardners, that the Amalanche is blooming beautifully in Mary's garden. Bye bye and all the very best 'til next time.
When Philip passed away (suddenly, from a massive stroke), the church was filled to overflowing, showing how well loved he was in the community. The family received literally hundreds of letters expressing how influential Philip had been in helping people throughout his life, including keeping quite a number of the local teddy boys (youths who dressed in Edwardian clothing and tended to be violent and anti-social) out of jail after scrapes with the law. The letters all expressed what a positive impact he had been on their lives and what a fun person he was.
Philip was a caring and somewhat unconventional man who did a lot of good for others in his life. He was particularly thoughtful and fun as a father and grandfather and will be remembered as someone who always had a story, a joke, or a magic trick up his sleeve to entertain the youngsters around him.
Maud Schofield (1913-1991, nee Scott)
Maud was born June 6th, 1913. During her childhood, she lived in a circular house that used to house one of the gatekeepers at the South Gate Lodge for Farnley Hall. The building is now destroyed but the foundations were still visible in 2000.
She was rather collicky as a baby as expressed in a poem by "Sister Lily".
She was an only child and had loving but quite strict parents. Jim, her father, was the choirmaster and organist at Farnley Hill Church which she faithfully attended. Her mother, Nora, had been a tailor of soldier's uniforms in World War I and was an excellent seamstress all her life, with skills including 'tatting' ( a form of lace making), embroidery, knitting and crochet. Maud learned all these skills from her mother and used them throughout her life.
The family moved to a rented house at 27 Lawns Lane-a charming small three-bedroom coachman's house on an old cobbled courtyard next to the stables where a wealthy family's coach and four had been originally kept. It had a large back yard adjoining the doctor's apple orchard.The family kept hens and rabbits, and had a greenhouse and vegetable garden which allowed them ample food during wartime. They added a bathtub and sink in a tiny room upstairs when they lived there, but the only toilet was outside across the courtyard, fifty yards away. The family all had chamber pots under the beds to avoid that trek across the yard in the middle of the night. There was no central heating, or course, and the floor downstairs was made of large, cold stone slabs (flag-stones) although there was always a warm coal fire in the old black cast iron stove and a fireplace which boasted a hob for the kettle and a little oven where the grandchildren remember warming their pajamas.
As a teenager Maud was very interested in nature, learning the names of birds, flowers, and so on, and this interest persisted for her whole life. She was an avid Girl Guide and became Assistant Guide Mistress of the local troop (these are the Girl Scouts). As a teenager she was mentored by the daughter of Lord Armitage of Farnley Hall, Lady Margaret, who was the Girl Scout leader and encouraged Maud's love of nature and recognized her ability to learn even the Latin biological terms quickly. However, coming of age in this small village in the 1930's within a quiet, religious family, Maud had few ambitions for herself beyond marrying a good man and raising a family.
Like most other girls of that time, she left school at age 13 but did continue her education for two years at the Leeds College of Commerce where she learned secretarial skills, i.e. Gregg shorthand and typing - on the old, unforgiving manual typewriters! She never talked about the jobs she had between age 15 and when she married at age 24, which presumably shows that part of her life was not too important to her.
She married Philip on June 12th, 1937 at the church they both attended, Farnley Hill Methodist Church. They had their honeymoon on Sark in the French-speaking Channel Islands off the south coast of England - quite an exotic location for that time.
Shortly thereafter, they set off to live life near Doncaster (about 20 miles away) where Peter was born in 1939. Then the war intervened and she immediately came back to live with her parents. They were strict and loving grandparents for Peter who spent the six war years there. This mode of life must have been difficult for a newly-wed who was just learning to spread her wings and she no doubt missed her new husband a lot. It probably also stifled her growth toward independence to a certain degree. During this time she took a job as a secretary at a tobacco company downtown in Leeds to help make ends meet.
When Philip came back from the war, she moved with him again to Doncaster and then to Sheffield (a further 15 miles south) and was a dutiful wife. Their second son, John, was born in October 1946, in Doncaster, and their only daughter, Margaret, arrived in February 1949, just after they relocated to Sheffield. As a young couple, they were both active with their young family, enjoying weekend picnics in the lovely surrounding countryside of Yorkshire and Derbyshire, visiting the relatives 30 miles away in Leeds (an afternoon's drive in those days), and fully involved with the local Methodist chapel.
As the children grew up, Maud gradually became more independent and able to do things other than looking after the family. She and Philip had many separate interests. She was very active in the Ladies' Circle at church and helped a lot with Meals on Wheels, a charitable service for shut-ins. She was a keen gardener, gradually became a very artful flower arranger after taking Ikebana classes-Japanese flower arranging - and eventually became a floral art teacher herself at local community adult education classes. She also learned how to do upholstery and make fancy silk eiderdowns (the original duvets) for herself and then became an 'evening class' teacher of these skills.
She was an extremely kind, Christian lady, truly involved in helping others (not in a competitive way like some 'charitable' ladies are, but because she liked to do what she could to help people in her practical way). For many years, she visited people shut away from society in a local mental hospital because they had no family or friends and therefore, no visitors. Up until the day she herself died, she continued 'visiting' the elderly at church who were shut-ins or who had no family or few friends, taking them meals, her famous scones, or helping them with errands. Her kindness to others truly was a ministry of sorts, however, she would never have thought of it in such grand terms. She was a very kind, hardworking person who rarely complained and put her religious beliefs into practice her entire life.
She was always there for her children and grandchildren, even when they were a world apart. After Peter emigrated to the US in 1967, she started taking 8-week summer vacations to the US. This meant she could be there for the grandchildren in Seattle, California and then Texas during the summer vacations, teaching some of them how to swim, making clothes for their dolls, teddies and even cats(!), teaching them how to knit and crochet, and how to play Canasta. She would gamely take part in all the family activities: camping at North Padre Island, swimming in the Pedernales, hiking the mountain trails into her seventies, and always -always-cooking and baking for everyone, sewing or mending something, gardening, ironing. Always helping out! She would spend Easters and late summers with the family in Scotland, mucking in with feeding the goats, chickens and sheep with her son, John, his wife Ishy, and their four children. And then she was always there to listen when the young families had their problems and probably had to bite her lip more than once or twice.
We have a recording of her from 1981 here . The transcript is: Hello Nellie and Frank, We're here at Mary's, it's Easter Monday. We've been listening to the tapes you sent. When you hear your voices you don't sound half as far away. We've just been up at John's (son in Scotland) for two weeks and came back on Good Friday. I called at Mary's (on the way back, in Leeds) and had a cup of tea with her. But we're looking forward now to going to Peter's (other son, in America) . Only two weeks next Saturday and we should be on our way. We're going to call in Florida, at Miami for two nights, we have to change planes there and the ..er..exchange is so tight that we've got to spend the night so we are going to have a look round. Margaret (daughter) is excited now wanting us to see baby Katie again, she's sitting up nearly and sleeping through the night. I shall see a big difference ..er.. in the four and a half months. We're just been watching the World Snooker Championship that's held at the Crucible in Sheffield. It's been on most of this week and we just watched the final frame where we won the cup. It's been really exciting. I'll write to you when I get to Peter's and Philip's come home and have a bit more spare time so Cheerio to then and all the best, Bye bye.
When she was in her early fifties, she got her very own car-a Mini-which gave her a lot more freedom. (Before that Philip had the car and she had walked, bicycled or used public transport everywhere). When Philip was talking about her car he would sniff, toss his head back and roll his eyes in disapproval of her driving. After all she was a woman!!!! She did have a couple of small incidents, one was a collision with a fire-engine and another where she collided with a lorry (truck) and ended up wedged underneath its chassis. She also managed to try climbing a lamppost with Peter's 1965 white Mustang convertible, but at least none of the grandchildren were hurt!
She died suddenly at age 78 of a stroke, with no warning and no preceding illness, just 15 months after Philip had died the same way. Peter and his second wife, Roberta, were visiting that week from America and the family had just had a lovely trip out in Lincolnshire that day. Margaret had returned to England three years earlier to marry her college boyfriend and now lived only five minutes away from her in Sheffield, so she had her family nearby when she died, which was fitting.
MEDICAL NOTE: It is a very strange fact that both Maud and Philip died of strokes after not having pre-existing conditions (like high blood pressure) that normally precede strokes. Both Maud and Philip were being treated for arthritis with high doses of ibuprofen and were taking low dose aspirin (to guard against heart attacks) when they suffered their strokes. There is a recent study out from the University of Buffalo (March 2008) that shows that ibuprofen negates the antiplatelet effect of aspirin and may in fact have an opposite effect, causing more platelets to build up. Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1992 found that a surprisingly high percentage of a group of 653 patients, around 17 percent, were taking aspirin plus Motrin (a brand of Ibuprofen) when they had a stroke.