Johann Mölleken

John Gilbert Mollekin, Annie & John Mollekin

John Gilbert Mollekin, Annie & John Mollekin

One of my great grandfathers is called Johann Mölleken (known as John Mollekin). He was born in 1866 in Hull, approximately four years after his parents, Johann Mölleken and Henrietta Muehlenweg, had arrived in England after emigrating from Prussia. John was married twice, issuing six children with his first wife (who died in 1905) and marrying his second wife, Annie, in 1907 in Sheffield. Two of John’s children (John and Hilda) are featured on this site.

John established his own construction company in Hull some time in the 1890s. In the 1895 Kelly’s Directory for Hull, John is trading as a Joiner under the name of, ‘Mollekin & Smith’. I’m not sure who the ‘Smith’ is, but I know that the family were friends with a Schmidt family. John’s first marriage was in fact witnessed by a Elise Schmidt and his niece married a George Andrew Schmidt.

John built a number of streets in Hull and named a couple after his children. Two of these were called, Dorothy Grove and Gilbert Avenue. Dorothy Grove and Gilbert Avenue were demolished circa 2011.

According to his daughter, Dorothy, John ‘fell to pieces’ upon the death of his wife, Jennie, in 1905. This event combined with the burden of looking after four children seemed to contribute to the demise of John’s business. Within one month of Jennie’s death in February 1905, John appears on the payroll of his brother in law’s firm, Slingsby Machinery Merchants.

John & Annie Mollekin

John & Annie Mollekin

By 1907, John had left Hull and was residing in Laughton en le Morthen near to Rotherham. Around this time, John’s brother, Hermann (known as Herbert) had been contracted to build houses in Laughton en le Morthen so it is probably safe to assume that it was around this time that John began working with/for his brother. It is not known when John stopped working with Herbert, but in the 1940s my father remembered him working for a joinery company in Rotherham.

John like my father took a keen interest in cricket and would play the game with my father even when he was in his 70s. John was also a keen a supporter of Rotherham United.

When my father was twelve, John gave to him a Belgian pin fire pistol and steel sword that had belonged to John’s parents, presumably to protect them on their voyage to England and potential threats in a foreign land.

It is stated in John’s obituary that he was the first President of Kingston Hull Rovers Football Club. There are numerous newspaper articles published in the late 19th century and early 20th century that make mention of a President called ‘Mr’ Mollekin, but usually no Christian names were given. A couple do state ‘H’ Mollekin and one published in 1898 (published below) states that Herbert was elected President whilst John was elected Vice-President. Herbert moved to Pontefract circa 1896 and became President of their football club. But it is not clear when and which brother held which responsibilities at Hull Kingston Rovers other than in the aforementioned 1898 article. It is worth noting that Herbert Mollekin wasn’t the first President either, so it may be that John was.

John (top right hand corner)

John (top right hand corner)

Between the 1910s and 1940s, John and his family resided at ‘Rossmoyne’, 81 Rotherham Road, Maltby. After the death of his second wife, John lived with his children and their families. John died at 13 St. John’s Road, Rotherham in 1948, five years after his second wife, Annie, had died. He’d just completed a game of dominoes with his son in law, climbed the stairs to his bedroom, sat on his bed and died.

Below is a selection of newspaper articles that pertain to John.

THE DAILY MAIL, FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, 1897
ACCOUNTS, RECEIPTS & LITIGATION.

At the Hull County-court this morning, before Judge Bedwell, John Mollekin, joiner, Walliker-street, brought an action against William Neman for £2 12s 6d for goods supplied. Mr Fieldman was for the plaintiff, and Mr Locking for the defendant. The plaintiff supplied the defendant with timber, worked up into doors, &c., amounting to £20 12s 6d. The defendant paid £13 on account, and there was a dispute as to the balance, the plaintiff making admissions as to the payment of the £13, while the defendant contended that he had paid the plaintiff £15. A number of informal receipts were produced. Mr Holdich suggested that the plaintiff, on one visit to the defendant, said there had been a mistake, and he gave a receipt for £10 instead of £5. He suggested the plaintiff stole this receipt and destroyed it, and that the books had been altered to agree with the new account. His Honour gave judgment for the defendant, beyond the sum paid into Court (£2 12s 6d and costs). Costs to defendant.

THE DAILY MAIL, TUESDAY, MAY 9, 1899
“ROVERS’ LIMITED?”
SUGGESTIONS AT THE ANNUAL MEETING.

Walliker Street, Hull

Walliker Street, Hull

A “breeze” was threatened at the onset of last night’s annual meeting of the Kingston Rovers F. C., which was well attended at the Forester’s Hall, by the ex-president, Mr Ward, suggesting that certain matters mentioned in the secretary’s report were a reflection upon the late officials. It was impossible for a former treasurer to make out a detailed report, because at that time they were simply professional footballers working under the amateur cloak. He also desired to know why he and his partner had not received copies of the report. Perhaps it was that they were not wanted.

President H. Mollekin denied that there was truth in Mr Ward’s views, and mentioned that the report under notice was the secretary’s, not that of the treasurer.

The secretary’s report was unanimously adopted, and the treasurer, Mr G. Whitaker, reported that the income had been £1,845 18s 0½d, and the expenditure £1,861 19s 5d being a balance of £16 1s 4½d on the wrong side. The income from gates etc., was £1,743 8s 6½d. Two years ago the subscriptions were £24 11s 6d; now they stood at £102 9s 6d (applaise). As to the expenditure, the players’ wages were £602 4s, and other expenses including guarantees, £719 2s 9½d. It was the first time, said the Treasurer, they had been able to publish a true sheet.

On the motion of Mr R. T. Hudson, seconded by Mr H. Walker, it was decided that in future the annual subscriptions to the club be 10s 6d, 7s 6d, and 5s, to admit to the North Stand, the South Stand, and the field only, respectively.

Rossmoyne, Maltby

Rossmoyne, Maltby

The meeting agreed, on the proposal of Mr H. Walker, seconded by Mr S. Hill, that the club be managed by the president, four vice-presidents, hon. secretary , hon. assistant secretary, hon. treasurer, and a committee of seven members, the captain and vice-captain to be members of the same.

Mr C. H. Savage moved that a second team be run by the club. He believed they could get good men in the city, and would find such a team beneficial to the club.

The President thought it would be advisable to leave the matter to the committee, as the ground would not last for double the number of matches. The ground was not fit.

Chorus of Voices: Let’s have a new ground (hear, hear).

A Voice: Turn the club into a limited liability company.

The President: The committee are alive to your interests.

Mr Cotes seconded the Secretary’s proposal, which was adopted.

The officers appointed were: – President, Mr H. Mollekin; vice-presidents. Messrs R. T. Hudson, W. Roadhouse, J. Mollekin, and J. Newton; hon. secretary, Mr. E. Brinham; hon. treasurer, Mr. G. Whitaker; captain, Mr. A. Kemp; vice-captain, Mr A. Starks; and committee, Messrs B. R. Wilson, H. Walker, G. Gibbs, G. Batty, J. Lovell, C. Bell, and C. T. Savage.

Belgian pin fire pistol that belonged to John

Belgian pin fire pistol that belonged to John

THE DAILY MAIL, FRIDAY, MAY 3, 1901
HULL NEW STREET WORKS.
AND BUILDING OPERATIONS.

A meeting of the Hull Corporation Works Committee was held this afternoon, Alderman Lararard presiding.

It was stated that a Local Government Board inquiry would be held shortly into an application for power to borrow £17,000 for Hedon-road paving, £900 for lavatories in the Market-place, and £6,094 for land at Stepney-lane.

The Medical Officer and City Architect were instructed to report as to whether the City Land Syndicate, Limited, could build on the football field adjoining the Cottingham drain, which it was now proposed to law out as a street.

The following plans were passed: – J. Mollekin (Amended), eight houses, Haltemprice-street and Hawthorn-avenue.

13 St. John's Road, Rotherham (demolished)

13 St. John’s Road, Rotherham (demolished)

Other plans were also passed for other builders but this article was abridged by Craig Mollekin.

THE DAILY MAIL, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 1902
PLANS PASSED: BUILDING TRADE.

The following list of plans approved by the Hull Works’ Committee gives an indication of the position of affairs in the building trade of Hull: –

J. Mollekin, six houses, Liverpool-street.

Other plans were also passed for other builders but this article was abridged by Craig Mollekin.

OBITUARY

The death occurred suddenly yesterday week of Mr. John Mollekin, aged 81, late of Maltby, at 13, St. John’s Road, Rotherham, the home of his daughter, Mrs. J. Webster.

Maltby Cemetery

Maltby Cemetery

In his younger days Mr. Mollekin was a builder at Hull. He was the first president of Hull Kingston Rovers Rugby Football Club, and was also a keen cricketer. He came to reside at Maltby 36 years ago and his wife died there in 1943.

The interment took place on Tuesday in Maltby Cemetery following a service at Wickersley Parish Church conducted by the Rev. W. Sorby Briggs.

The family thank Mrs. P. Grounds for her kindness and generous help; also relatives, friends and neighbours for kindness, sympathy and floral tributes.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Elmore, Doncaster Road, Rotherham.

 

The Cat’s Paw & Hilda Annie Mollekin

John & Hilda Mollekin

John & Hilda Mollekin

Hilda Annie Mollekin, the daughter of John Mollekin and Jennie Slingsby, is my great aunt and sister of my grandfather, John Gilbert Mollekin. She was a Nurse but later specialised in Chiropody which she practised from her home. Hilda was born in Hull in 1894 and with her family moved to South Yorkshire where they were residing when the 1911 Census was conducted. However, she returned to Hull, to live and work. Why she chose to return to Hull when the rest of her family were living in South Yorkshire, I am unsure, but I do know that some of her extended family were residing in Hull at the time.

My father used to visit his aunt, Hilda, at her home in 15 Holderness Road (Hull), when he was a child and his father maintained links, occasionally holidaying with her. My father remembered that Hilda, who never married, had a lodger, who would lay in a bed in the front room, looking out of the window all day. My father recalled that this ‘lodger’ who was called Mr Altman was disabled and couldn’t walk. Mr Altman was German and would tell my father all kinds of stories which he enjoyably listened to. One was of how he was living in England but was forced to return to Germany to fight in the First World War. A couple of people have contacted me in recent years stating that they remembered Mr Altman looking out the window every day and that he was a well known man in Hull.

Hilda

Hilda

Hilda’s aunt was called Henrietta Elise Mölleken who was born in 1857 in Prussia. Henrietta’s family had settled in Hull and she married a butcher called Charles Harry Köhler in 1884. Henrietta, Charles and their family had moved to Birkenhead by the time the 1901 Census was conducted where Charles had set up a butchery business. By 1911, the family were living in Belfast where Charles was continuing with his business. Charles and one of his daughters died in Belfast and the rest of the family seemed to return to Birkenhead. The newspaper article states below that Hilda had an Irish friend. I know that my grandfather, John Mollekin, used to often visit Ireland with my grandmother and my aunt, Beryl and when he became a widower, continued with these visits. John was a friend of the Irish Prime Minister, Éamon de Valera, with whom he enjoyed playing golf. Which friend/s or even family that were living there after 1911 or even now, I have no clue.

Hilda died at 15 Holderness Road in 1974.

Below are a couple of newspaper articles that pertain to Hilda and they made the front page in Hull. Hilda was a very a ‘prim and proper’ person and I can only assume that she was very naive in her actions.

DAILY MAIL
HULL., THURSDAY, JULY 15, 1937.

Hull Court Sequel to Seizure of Irish Sweepstake Receipts

GARAGE RAID RECALLED

Two Men and Woman Fined for Sales of Tickets

Hilda (middle)

Hilda (middle)

A SEQUEL to a police raid on a Liverpool garage was heard at Hull Police Court to-day when three persons – a certified midwife, a Corporation employee, and an insurance agent – appeared before the Stipendiary Magistrate (Mr J. R. Macdonald) and were fined for selling Irish Hospitals Sweepstake tickets.

During the hearing of one case Mr MacDonald declared: “It is up to your friends who put you up to this thing to pay your fine. You have been the catspaw and the monkey ought to pay.”

(Note. – The Stipendiary was alluding to the origin of the word catspaw, which comes from the fable of the monkey using the cat’s paw to take chestnuts out of the fire.)

WOMAN’S THREE BOOKS

First to appear was the certified midwife, Hilda Mollekin, of Queensgate street, and she pleaded guilty.

Mr A. G. Harrison, prosecuting, said when the Liverpool police carried out a raid on a garage some of the receipts found were addressed to “various people in Hull.”

Mollekin, said Mr Harrison, was one of these people. Thirty receipts were found in the envelope addressed to her.

When seen by Detective-Constable Robinson, continued Mr Harrison, Mollekin said she received three books of tickets for the Derby from a friend in Ireland without asking for them, and went on to explain how they had been disposed of.

The detective said Mollekin had a previous good character.

“FOR POETIC JUSTICE”

Helena E. Köhler, Dorothy Mollekin, John Mollekin & Hilda Mollekin in Jersey - October 1957

Helena E. Köhler, Dorothy Mollekin, John Mollekin & Hilda Mollekin in Jersey – October 1957

Mollekin to-day told the court: “I just received the tickets from Ireland – I did not apply for them. I am very sorry it has happened – I know what will happen to the next lot of tickets that comes along.”

Mr Macdonald asked Mr Harrison how much Mollekin had “made” out of the sales, and was told “about £3.”

Mr Macdonald commented that for “poetic justice” the fines imposed on people for such offences should go to the support of our own hospitals.

Mollekin denied that she had made anything out of the sale. She explained that one book was “a family syndicate,” so she could make nothing out of that; and that half of a book went into the fire.

“SOLD THREE TICKETS”

”I actually sold three tickets,” she said. “There were 30 tickets. Six went into the fire. I kept the other book.”

Mr Macdonald said he felt that perhaps Mollekin had made nothing out of the sale, and imposed a fine of £2, and ordered her to pay the costs, which included 1½gns. solicitor’s fee.

He then made the remarks with regard to the catspaw and monkey.

Hilda's Business Card

Hilda’s Business Card

THE YORKSHIRE EVENING POST, THURSDAY, JULY 15, 1937

Three summonses relating to the sale of Irish Hospital Sweepstake tickets were dealt with by the Hull Stipendiary Magistrate, Mr. J. R. MacDonald, to-day.

Opening the case against Hilda Mollekin, certified midwife, of Queensgate Street, Mr. A. G. Garrison (Town Clerk’s Department) said in May the Liverpool police raided a garage and found sweepstake receipts, several being in envelopes and addressed to Hull. Thirty receipts were addressed to Mollekin, who, when interviewed by Detective Robinson, said she received three books on the Derby from a friend in Ireland without having asked for them.

Asked how much profit Mollekin had made, Mr. Harrison replied that it would be about £3.

The magistrate said that poetic justice would be done if the fine could go to a Hull hospital.

Mollekin said she did not make anything out of the books. She sold only three tickets.

15 Holderness Road (demolished)

15 Holderness Road (demolished)

She was fined £2 and costs.

William Thurlow, Corporation labourer, of Regent Street, summoned in respect of the 24 receipts said he kept most of the tickets himself and sold the balance to friends. He was fined 20s. and costs.

George Cyril Canty, insurance agent, of Linton Avenue, was summoned in respect of 48 tickets.

Mr. T. L. Widdy, defending said Canty got 20 books altogether, but only sold 48 tickets. There was no complete book sold. He made nothing out of it. He was fined £2 and costs.

Frederick Ambrose Early

Rotherham Road

Rotherham Road

Frederick Ambrose Early is my first cousin, thrice removed. His grandfather, Luke Berry, is my third great grandfather. Frederick’s father, Jesse, was a Rotherham butcher in the late 19th century. Frederick’s brother, Walter, was a confectioner in Rotherham and Sheffield, his sister, Blanche, died in a tragic sleep walking incident in 1901 and his brother, Bernard, died during the 1918/1919 influenza pandemic.

Below is Frederick’s obituary. Like his father, Frederick was a butcher and in 1925, his business is recorded as being located at 31 Rotherham Road, Parkgate.

Doncaster Road Congregational Church

Doncaster Road Congregational Church

THE ADVERTISER
SATURDAY 13th DECEMBER, 1952

MR. F. A. EARLY

The interment took place in the Moorgate Cemetery on Monday, following a service at his home conducted by the Rev. T. J. Williams, of Mr. Frederick Ambrose Early, who died at his home, “Kyngeston,” 96, Broom Lane, Rotherham, on Thursday week, after a short illness.

Mr. Early, who was 77, was born in Rotherham. He was in business on his own account as a butcher and grocer at Parkgate for over 50 years, retiring about six years ago.

Frederick's Headstone

Frederick’s Headstone

He was a lifelong member of the Rotherham Congregational Church. In his younger days he was a keen cricketer, and was also interested in local football.

He leaves a widow, four sons, a daughter and 12 grandchildren.

Walter Early

25 High Street

25 High Street

Walter is my first cousin, thrice removed. His grandfather, Luke Berry, is my third great grandfather. Walter’s father, Jesse, was a Rotherham butcher in the late 19th century. Walter’s brother, Frederick, was a butcher in Parkgate, his sister, Blanche, died in a tragic sleep walking incident in 1901 and his brother, Bernard, died during the 1918/1919 influenza pandemic.

Walter was a confectioner and had won awards for how well he had decorated his shop on Clifton Lane, Rotherham. In 1925, he is recorded as having seven shops, six of these being in Sheffield. His Rotherham shop at 25 High Street was originally the Three Cranes public house which has recently been restored to it’s former condition.

Doncaster Road Congregational Church

Doncaster Road Congregational Church

Below is the obituary for Walter.

THE ADVERTISER
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28th, 1941

The death occurred on Sunday morning of Mr. Walter Early, of “Lynwood,” 42, Haugh Lane, Sheffield.

Mr. Early, who was a native of Rotherham, had been ill for a considerable time. He was 69 years of age. About 32 years ago he left Rotherham for Sheffield to control the business of Messrs. Dainties Ltd., confectioners. He retired about 13 years ago.

Walter Early

Walter Early

A long life Congregationalist, Mr. Early while in Rotherham was a member of the Doncaster Road Congregational Church choir. During his residence in Sheffield he attended the Endcliffe Congregational Church.

He leaves a widow and four daughters.

Prior to interment in the Moorgate Cemetery on Thursday, a service in the Doncaster Road Congregational Church was conducted by the Rev. V. E. Watson (minister).

Irene & Joseph William Wright

All Saints' Church (Minster), Rotherham - 10.03.14 (2)

All Saints’ Church

On Christmas Day, 1910, my second cousin, thrice removed who was called Ada Surtees, married John James Wright in All Saints’ Church, Rotherham.  Ada is the aunt of Irene Surtees who died in tragic circumstances in 1942. Together, Ada and John issued eight children. Below are the obituaries of two of those children.

THE ADVERTISER
FRIDAY, MAY 24th, 1974

Brother and sister die three days apart

Mr. William Joseph Wright, died at his home, 13, Rother View Road, Rotherham, aged 54, just three days after the death of his sister, Mrs. Irene Millard, aged 53, of 8, Remount Way, Kimberworth Park.

Rother View Road, Canklow (demolished section) - 13.07.09 (2)

Rother View Road

Born in Rotherham, Mr. Wright worked at Steel, Peech and Tozer for a number of years, but later moved to Silverwood Colliery where he was employed nearly 30 years.

He was a life member of the Rotherham Trades Club and numbered fishing among his hobbies.

Cremation took place at Rotherham after a service at the crematorium.

Mrs. Millard was born at Rotherham, and she worked in Rotherham and in recent years was involved in hospital work.

Rotherham Crematorium

She leaves a widower, five daughters, a son and several grandchildren. Cremation took place yesterday week at Rotherham following a service at the crematorium.

MILLARD. – Irene, of 8, Remount Way, Kimberworth Park, died May 12th; dear wife of John and loving mother and grandma.

MILLARD. – Mr. J. Millard and family thank relatives, friends and neighbours for the sympathy and floral tributes during their sad loss; also thanks to Rothwel Grange for kindness and floral tributes.

87 - Moorgate Cemetery, Rotherham (Wright) - 21.09.11 (33)

Wright Headstone

WRIGHT. – William Joseph, aged 54 years, and Irene Millard, sister to the above, aged 53 years.

Their families thank relatives and friends for sympathy during their sad loss.

WRIGHT. William Joseph, aged 54 years, suddenly, May 15th, at home, 13, Rother View Road, Canklow, Rotherham.

Alfred Henry Pinder

Masbrough Street

Masbrough Street

Below is the obituary for my 2 x great uncle, Alfred Henry Pinder, who died in Rotherham in 1887. Alfred’s brother, Francis, is my 2 x great grandfather and I always knew that Francis was a remarkable man but it seems that his brother was also.

THE ROTHERHAM ADVERTISER, SATURDAY, JULY 9, 1887.

Masbrough Independent Chapel

A sad duty remains to be done – to pay a tribute of respect to the memory of Bro. Alfred Henry Pinder, the news of whose sudden death startled all those who heard it yesterday. During a considerable portion of last year, he did not enjoy the best of health, but latterly he seemed to have regained strength. He was one of three sons of the late Mr Thomas Pinder, and they, like their father, have all been members of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows. Bro. A. H. Pinder was connected with the Phoenix Lodge, and on the formation of the George’s Lodge, at Masbro’, a few years ago, he was appointed secretary, a position which he has held since. When Bro. G. J. Jackson removed to New Zealand, in the autumn of 1885, Bro. A. H. Pinder was appointed corresponding secretary of the district, but at the close of last year he found it necessary to resign the office in consequence of ill-health. He was a Past Provincial Grand Master of the Rotherham District. Almost his last public act in connection with the Oddfellowship was to discharge the duty of one of the marshals of the Manchester Unity portion of the Jubilee procession; and on Monday evening he was in his usual position as secretary of the George’s Lodge, when he was apparently in his ordinary health and strength. He was a member of the choir of the Masbro’ Independent Chapel, and was always willing to lend a hand in musical circles.

Saint Thomas's Church, Kimberworth - 15.11.13 (4)

Saint Thomas’s Church

For many years he had been time-keeper at the Masbro’ Stove Grate works of Messrs. Corbitt and Co., Limited, and he leaves a widow and three young children to mourn his loss. He was 38 years of age. On Wednesday night he had what was apparently a return of the affection of the bowels from which he had suffered previously, and Dr. Walker was hastily summoned. He was unremitting in his attentions, but his death ensued yesterday morning from biliary colic. Bro. Pinder will be missed throughout a wide circle, and much sympathy will be felt for his wife and children. During last year the writer enjoyed Bro. Pinder’s counsel and support in the performance of many arduous duties, and it is with him a melancholy duty to pen this tribute to one who was in every respect a thoroughly good-hearted and genial Oddfellow. The funeral will take place on Sunday afternoon, at Kimberworth Church.

PINDER. – July 8th, at Masbro’ street, Masbro’. Mr Alfred Henry Pinder, aged 38.

John Gilbert Mollekin

Jack circa 1900

Walliker Street

18th August 2015 marks the 118th anniversary of the birth of John Gilbert Mollekin (known as Jack) who is my paternal grandfather. Jack was born in Walliker Street, Newington, Hull. His father was a Master Joiner who built several streets in Hull including Dorothy Grove and Gilbert Avenue (named after his children and demolished circa 2011).

Jack’s sister, Gwendoline, died on his 7th Birthday and he lost his mother, Jennie (nee Slingsby), five months later to Pulmonary Phthisis. Jack’s father had five children to bring up alone and consequently his construction business suffered, so he began working for his brother-in-law’s company before moving to the Rotherham area circa 1906 in order to help with his brother’s building activities.

Upon leaving School, Jack worked for the Mollekin building company based in Maltby as a bricklayer until circa 1915 when he trained to become a Signalman on the Railways, a job that occupied him until he retired, working in Wincobank and Rawmarsh.

Home Guard

Jack avoided serving in World War One because when he attempted to enlist, it was deemed that he was underweight, the Enlistment Officer joking that he could only be used as a bore brush for the guns.

Jack at Wincobank West Junction in 1929

Jack married Edith Mary Pinder in 1925 and together issued three children. They originally lived in Bramley, Rotherham before moving to a modern house on the newly erected Listerdale Estate in Wickersley, circa 1930.

Jack’s daughter, Beryl, married an American Serviceman in 1945, moved to Tennessee and died the following year. Jack’s wife died in 1952 following a series of strokes.

During World War Two Jack served in the Home Guard. My father recalls this era in Wickersley in this entry.

Jack’s daughter, Beryl, gave birth to a daughter (Linda) shortly before she died and although Jack communicated with Linda’s family on a regular basis via letters, Jack didn’t actually get to meet her until 1963 in America. Jack met and married a lady whilst in Tennessee although this marriage was short-lived.

Norwich City F.C. Official Matchday Magazine – 15.09.79

Jack’s father was a Rotherham United supporter, as was Jack, my father and myself also. My family has been supporting Rotherham United since before Rotherham United’s old ground, Millmoor, was erected and I recently discovered that the meaning of the German/Prussian name ‘Mölleken’ roughly translates to ‘Little Miller’. Rotherham United is known as ‘The Millers’. In the 1970s, Jack went to live with his sister-in-law, Evelyn Pinder (nee Wakefield), in Cromer, Norfolk. This meant that Jack could no longer easily support Rotherham United in attendance so began supporting his local team which was Norwich City.

Jack’s grave

On Saturday 15th September 1979, Jack, with a friend, went to watch Norwich City at home in Carrow Lane play Nottingham Forest. Norwich City won the game, 3 goals to 1. Scorers for Norwich were Kevin Reeves (39 minutes), Justin Fashanu (42 minutes) and Keith Robson (57 minutes). John Robertson scored the goal for Nottingham Forest in the 84th minute. John Bond was the manager of Norwich City and I actually met him in 1990 when he was the Manager of Shrewsbury Town. Some time between the 84th minute of the game and the final whistle, Jack passed away, just after saying to his friend, “No more goals will be scored”.

Jack in 1925

I only have a couple of cameo memories of my grandfather as I was just 3 years old when he died. One memory is of when my father was knocking a chimney breast out of a bedroom at home in Swinton and I was jumping up and down on a bed. I remember repeatedly and excitedly asking my father when ‘Grandpa’ was arriving as I knew he was on his way to visit us. When he came through the bedroom door, I bounced off the bed into his arms. Another memory is of when we were both waiting for dinner to be served. We were in the front room at home and on a silver tiered cake stand, on a table between us, were an assortment of tarts etc. I tried to reach for one but my Grandpa stopped me. Both of these memories may even have been from the same day.

On the 2nd September 1989, almost 10 years after my grandfather had passed away, my father took me to Millmoor for the first time to watch Rotherham United draw with Walsall Football Club.  A twist of fate also took me to Rotherham United’s new ground (New York) on the 33rd anniversary of my grandfather’s death on Saturday 15th September 2012, with my brother and sister-in-law, to watch Rotherham United beat Torquay United 1 goal to 0.

John Gilbert Mollekin – 18th August 1897 to 15th September 1979.

Thanks are owed to Ali Morse for sourcing a newspaper report of the Norwich City versus Nottingham Forest game and to Peter Davies for reproducing the photo of Jack as a child.

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