Famous "Old Nortonians"

The people featured below have all contributed to the life and reputation of Norton in their own distinctive ways

Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey R.A. was born in Norton in 1781 and attended Norton Free School.  He became the leading portrait sculptor in Regency-era Britain, producing busts and statues of many notable figures..

His most celebrated works include statues of King George IV (Trafalgar Square); King George III (Guildhall), and George Washington (Massachusetts State House, Boston) along with 4 monuments to military heroes for St Paul's Cathedral in London,. 

He died in 1841 and is buried in the St James churchyard at Norton. Lady Chantrey, remembered on his grave, died in 1875 is buried at Twickenham.

Rolf Gledhill was born in 1905 at Haverfordwest. He was educated at Oxford and  was Vicar of Norton between 1945 and 1974,  He was an accomplished published author,  including the book, "A Thousand years of Norton History."

He is pictured at the induction of the "Boy Bishop" (Keith Bentley) in 1949 in an ancient ceremony re-enacted during the late 1940s/1950s.

His efforts were instrumental in the building of the Church and Youth Halls, which stood until recently on Norton Lane..

He died in 1984 at Winchester.

Derek Dooley MBE  was born in Pitsmoor in 1929 and played football for Sheffield Wednesday, scoring 62 goals in 61 league games and 2 goals in 1 FA Cup game for the club. 

His career was ended when an infected leg was amputated following a serious fracture.

He later became manager ot the Owls and later Chief Executive. and then Chairman of Sheffield United. 

He lived in Norton for many years and died in 2008. His life was celebrated in a Service at Sheffield Cathedral.  

Helen Sharman was born Sheffield in 1963 and attended Jordanthorpe Comprehensive  School.  She gained a BSc degree in Chemistry from Sheffield University in 1984 and a PhD from Birkbeck, University of London in 1987.

She worked as an engineer for GEC  and later as a chemist for Mars Confectionery which later led the UK press to label her "The Girl from Mars".

She became the first British Astronaut in May 1991, aged 27,  launching on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, spending 8 days orbiting the Earth, living and working on the Mir Space Station.

Helen was awarded the OBE in 1993 and made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for services to Science and Technology Educational Outreach.

She received the CMG from Her Majesty The Queen at Windsor Castle in 2018.

Sir Nathaniel Creswick (1831 – 1917) was born in Sheffield, educated at Collegiate School and became a solicitor of a silver-plate company.  He lived at Norton Green in Maugerhay for several years.

He was a keen sportsman and,

along with William Prest, formed  Sheffield Football Cub on 24 October 1857. The club, is officially accepted by FIFA as being the oldest football club in the world.

They established a set of playing rules - the "Sheffield Rules", used by the club and spreading to many others in Northern England, 

Creswick and Prest were also involved in founding the 2nd West Yorkshire Rifles in 1858, Creswick, rising to the rank of Colonel.

He was knighted (KCB)  for services to the volunteer movement in 1909.

Annie Bindon-Carter (1883-1969) was born in Nottingham. A talented artist and designer, she won a scholarship to study at Sheffield Technical School of Art.

Annie, together with 3 other art school students, volunteered at Wharncliffe War Hospital, during WW1, assisting the rehabilitation of injured servicemen through informal art classes.

The women went on to found Painted Fabrics in 1917. The company took a lease on a former RFC camp at Norton, The wooden huts became print and design workshops and accommodation was supplied to the men and their families.[3]


They enabled amputees and sufferers from shell shock to hand-print designs onto various fabrics, which were made up into ‘Painted Fabrics products’, including dresses, ecclesiastical garments, table cloths and curtains. The company were conferred with several Royal Warrants Products were sold in Liberty's of London. 

Annie was awarded an MBE in 1926, in recognition of her work ‘for disabled soldiers and sailors'.

John Edward (Teddy) Davison (1887-1971), played for Gateshead Town, before debuting for Sheffield Wednesday on 10 October 1908.

From 1909/10 he became the regular keeper, a position he held for 12 seasons, interrupted by WWI,

He volunteered with the Royal Field Artillery as a bombardier and served in France from  1916. After the war he returned to Wednesday until retirement at the age of 38.. In 1922 he played for England v Wales at Anfield, where England won 1-0. He is known to be the shortest goalie ever to appear for England.

He was Secretary/Manager at Mansfield Town and moved to Chesterfield in 1928, leading them ito the Championship of Third Division North n 1930–31.  He joined Sheffield United in June 1932. and uuner his stewardship, the Blades finished top of Football League North in 1945–46. In 1948-49 they were relegated from Division One. Sheffield Wednesday beat United to promotion the next season, on goal average.

In 1952 he resigned as manager of Sheffield United, and joined the Owls, progressing a strong youth policy – including the signing of the future legend, Gordon Banks. He retired from this position in May 1958, at age 70.

Teddy lived out his retirement in Little Norton, where he would tackle and run rings around local children out playing football. He passed away 1 February 1971

Gordon Nornable MC CdG (1915-2002) was born in Sheffield and educated at King Edward VII school. He worked in the Public Works Department in Sheffield before joining the London Scottish, and, in 1942 the 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders. He volunteered for the SOE and was  commissioned in March 1944.

Nornable was fluent in French, athletic and very brave. He fought with the French resistance in 1944, joining the Maquisards who operated in the German occupied Ain district, He trained them in the use of small arms and explosives.

They fought in the forests where surrender was not an option as prisoners on both sides faced torture and execution. He spent time in hiding with wounds to his chin and arm.

When the area was clear of Germans he organised the return of agents to Britain. 

He was awardedthe Military Cross by the  King in Edinburgh and also received the Croix de Guerre.

After the war he returned to his previous job at the Public Works in Sheffield, retiring in 1975. He never married and lived alone at Norton.  He rarely spoke of his wartime experiences but was often seen in Norton - at the cafe and Norton Hotel where he often took lunch. He died in 2002.

Michael Joseph Gleeson came to England to work as a bricklayer.  He married the daughter of his boss and took control of the business in 1903, The name of the business was changed to M J Gleeson in 1915.   He lived at lower Meadowhead. opposite the Church with offices on the main road in the old brickyard (now Morrison’s Supermarket Petrol Station).


He bought the Norton House estate in 1927 from Bernard Alexander Firth who also owned Norton Hall, including the Mansion House known as Norton House plus coal and mineral rights.  It cost £7,000.

The firm of MJ Gleeson started to build on Cloonmore Drive (named after Cloonmore in Galway, where “MJ” was born) in the early 1930s and over the next 30 years further houses were built on The Meads, Henley Avenue and Brocklehurst Avenue to the South and East of Norton House.


The House was used by the Home Guard in WW2. After the war, George Eastwood, an ex-lieutenant of the Home Guard, and company secretary to MJ Gleeson, arranged to purchase of the house through a Trust Fund and continue as a Social Club.


The M.J.Gleeson company grew and built many housing developments including social housing schemes, the large British Aluminium smelter at Lynemouth in Northumberland, a number of the earliest motorway projects, Crystal Palace National Recreation Centre and the Crucible Theatre which opened in Sheffield (1971).

Charles Cammell (1810-1879) was born in Hull and moved to Sheffield in 1830 to work as a commercial traveller for Ibbotson's Globe Works, 

In 1837 he commenced business on his own account, in partnership as steel and file manufacturers and merchants, Johnson, Cammell and Co  in Furnival Street.

The business prospered, and in 1845 the firm established the Cyclops Works, on a site of 2 acres expanding to nearly 11 acres.

He purchased Norton Hall in 1852, following the collapse of the Parker -Shore Bank during the financial crisis of 1843.

In 1861 Charles Cammell and Co. commenced the manufacture of rails and railway material, and, two years later, of armour plates.  In 1864 the business was converted into a limited company with Mr. Cammell as chairman..

He died in London -  12th of January, 1879..