Irene King's Diary



Like myself, my mother, Irene King, kept a diary, but only one has survived.  It is the diary for 1929.  During this year, Irene was living at The Surrey Hotel, West Bar, Sheffield having previously lived at The Carter's Rest in Rotherham.  The Surrey was said to be a rough pub at the time, and home to the Mooney gang.  It was so rough that my grandfather, Thomas King, told me he kept a string of teeth behind the bar with a notice saying that others who caused trouble might find their teeth added to the string.

In her diary, Irene mentions that a friend she asked to stay couldn't come because of the rough area and laments that she wants a life away from pubs.  She also mentions someone being glassed.

She told me that she was in the kitchen at the time, and her mother came in, swept her arm across the table, knocking all the books onto the floor, and brought in this chap and laid him on the table.  In her diary, Irene only briefly mentions this episode.

Irene talks a lot in her diary about going to the pictures and mentions the pictures she went to in the most part.  As an only child, it is probable that her parents paid for her to go so that she wasn't on her own whilst they were working in the pub below.  Irene also mentions the advent of The Talkies, and the whole diary is a snapshot of a bygone era.

During this year, Irene had scarlet fever and was sent to Lodgemoor Isolation Hospital, and then on to Redmires to convalesce.  She also had a thyroid operation as a result of a lump appearing on her neck - all pre NHS days.

At the end of the year, Irene and her family moved from Yorkshire to keep The Globe Hotel in Irongate, Derby, thus leaving behind all Irene's friends and her time at Abbeydale Grange school in Sheffield.


More about the Mooney Gang

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                      Further notes to help understand the diary

Aunt Nellie was in a wheelchair all her life.  Aunt Bill was really Aunt Lily and was sister to Aunt Nellie and also to Mother.  Aunt Bill had one child – Joan.  Uncle Ernest was their brother, Ernest Bagnall who was married to Aunt Gladys.  Geoffrey was Geoffrey Wilkinson, son of Hilda, sister to Nellie, Lilly, Ernest and Mother.  Mick was their Jack Russell terrier.  Grandma referred to was Grandma Bagnall.  Rhoda worked for the family as part of the hotel staff.


                                                The Carters Rest

The Carters Rest at Masbrough, Rotherham taken around 1900

The lady standing in the doorway is Irene's grandmother Elizabeth Bagnall

Irene's grandparents, Alfred & Elizabeth Bagnall were licensee's at the Carters Rest from 1898 until 1920.


At the retirement of Gertrude’s mother from the Carter’s Rest in 1920,  the couple took over and became licencees.

During the following years, Gertrude and Thomas kept several public houses, moving from the Carter’s Rest in 1926 to The Surrey in West Bar, Sheffield, a notoriously rough pub, home at the time to The Mooney gang, then onto The Globe in Irongate in Derby at the end of 1929, on to The Weddington in Nuneaton, Warwickshire in 1935, to the Black Boy at 79 St Saviour's Road in Leicester until 1938 and finally to The Boot, Watling Street, Grendon for the whole of the war years and a few after.

Most of these public houses belonged to the Bass chain.


                                      Alfred and Elizabeth Bagnall

Alfred and Elizabeth Bagnall with their daughter Gertrude and their grandaughter Irene King. Dated April 1918


There is more family information in the Main Bagnall Website


Notes from Irene's diary


Irene was (at this stage) 12 years old and became 13 on her birthday on 6th April. 


Bus fare to and from school was ½d each way

Glove size 6½

Boot size 4½

Birthday 6th April

Address:  Surrey Hotel, West Bar, Sheffield

School:  Abbeydale Grange, Sheffield



Friday  is craft day

Must fetch my coat on Saturday 23rd March

Have given a promise to mother never to go out with boys and I mean to try to keep it.

Must meet Zona by the side of Central Pier on August 20 (morning)


August 19th Spent 1s 6d

August 20  Spent 3s 6d

August 21  spent 1s 6d

August 22  Spent 4s

August 23  Spent 3s

August 24 Spent 4s 6d

August 25 Spent 2s  Got 9/6d left.



Miss Zona Wills, 40 Sandford Grove Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield


Miss V Hadfield,  43 Meersbrook Avenue,  Meersbrook, Sheffield


Miss Mabel Boyle,  33 Wake Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield


Miss Kath Walsham, 121 West Bar, Sheffield


Miss Margaret Hawksley, 12 Wilkinson Street, Sheffield



  Kathleen’s August 7

  Mabel’s October 24th

  Zona’s April 2nd

  Margaret’s June 20th

  Grandma’s July 15th

  Nancy’s March 29th

  Mum’s August 2nd

  Dad’s February 18th

  Winnie’s August 9th


Books read during the year:

The Time of Roses, L T  Meade – very good

Number 6, Edgar Wallace – very good

The Face In the Night – Edgar Wallace – Very good

The Lady of Mystery House – G C Shedd – Good

Four Square Jane – Edgar Wallace – very good

The Thief In the Night – Edgar Wallace – very good

The Clue of the Twisted candle – Edgar Wallace – very very good

The Avenger – Edgar Wallace – very good


Pocket money received:

1st Jan from mother 1s

27th January from grandma 6d

14th April from Bruce 6s

24 May Dad, Mum and Wilson 10d

30 May Mum 2s

1st October Grandma 3d

24 October Grandma 6d

24 October Dad 6d

7 Dec Mum and Auntie Bill 2s 6d


Must try to be good




Hilda Bagnall, Tom King, and Gertrude

Taken 1915 at the Carters Rest



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