Retro: Mr Waterfall and the Arctic

Norman Waterfall and friend at Kinder Scout

Picture belonged to Norman Waterfalll, who worked at British Steel Corporation, Stocksbridge Works.

Submitted by John Jukes

Norman Waterfall and friend at Kinder Scout Picture belonged to Norman Waterfalll, who worked at British Steel Corporation, Stocksbridge Works. Submitted by John Jukes

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A Sheffielder who rejoiced in the name of Nelson Waterfall enjoyed exploring the Peak District hills and also played a part in an Arctic expedition.

Nelson, who died about nine years ago, was the uncle of John Jukes, who brought these photographs in.

Kinder Downfall

Picture belonged to Norman Waterfalll, who worked at British Steel Corporation, Stocksbridge Works.

Submitted by John Jukes

Kinder Downfall Picture belonged to Norman Waterfalll, who worked at British Steel Corporation, Stocksbridge Works. Submitted by John Jukes

You may remember that photographs of John and his late wife Jean, who met while working at William Marples, featured in Retro on August 27.

Nelson worked as an instructor at Samuel Fox’s Stocksbridge steelworks that became part of British Steel.

His craftsmen apprentices manufactured stainless steel sledges used in the 1977 expedition led by famed explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Extreme weather conditions forced the expedition back but Sir Ranulph said: “The sledges took a heavy battering and gave us no trouble at all.”

British North Pole Expedition (Jebal Shams) Team - taken from an autograph album belonging to Norman Waterfalll.  Norman worked at British Steel Corporation, Stocksbridge Works, who made the sledges for the expedition.

Submitted by John Jukes

British North Pole Expedition (Jebal Shams) Team - taken from an autograph album belonging to Norman Waterfalll. Norman worked at British Steel Corporation, Stocksbridge Works, who made the sledges for the expedition. Submitted by John Jukes

They withstood the hardest Arctic winter for years and later the unseasonally early break-up of the ice.

The sledges, pulled by skidoos, easily withstood the battering they took moving over rough ice at high speeds.

At the time Steel News reported that experts were sceptical of Sir Ranulph’s move to coated austenitic stainless steel tube but wooden sledges had hindered other treks.

Four years ago, Matlock engineering firm William Twigg Ltd made steel sledges for Sir Ranulph’s attempt to become the first man to walk across Antarctica.

British North Pole Expedition (Jebal Shams) led by Sir Ranulph Fiennes.  

Norman Waterfall worked at British Steel Corporation, Stocksbridge Works, who made the sledges for the expedition.

Submitted by John Jukes

British North Pole Expedition (Jebal Shams) led by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Norman Waterfall worked at British Steel Corporation, Stocksbridge Works, who made the sledges for the expedition. Submitted by John Jukes

He may not have made it to the Arctic Circle but Nelson enjoyed the outdoor life, as these pictures show. John said: “He was always hiking and rambling.” He also enjoyed potholing.

The family were a sporty lot in earlier years too. In the photograph here of a 1910 cricket team at Crosspool, every member is a Waterfall.

Another ancestor, Henry Waterfall, was a published poet known as the Rivelin Rhymer, born in 1840.

Like his nephew, Nelson met his future wife May at work. Her maiden name was Godbehere, leading her teachers to remark that May Godbehere was the loveliest name they had ever heard.

Waterfall cricket team 1910
Hallam Cricket Ground, Crosspool, Sheffield

Norman Waterfall

Submitted by John Jukes

Waterfall cricket team 1910 Hallam Cricket Ground, Crosspool, Sheffield Norman Waterfall Submitted by John Jukes

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