The Stafford Bowling Club Sensation

Ruth Swift – and her family moved from St Helen's to Halifax about 1901. Her parents died in the early 1930s and were buried in Sowerby Bridge.

In 1919, she married textile worker John Edward Scholefield, who had four children from a previous marriage, and the couple lived at West Mount Street, off Pellon Lane in Halifax. They had two children – Gordon and Irene.

On Friday, 11th March 1927, the stewardess of the Stafford Bowling Club in Halifax went into the boiler house to check that the gas fires were working properly, and she found the bodies of Ruth and Clement Taylor – who might have been her lover – lying dead on the floor.

Ruth was identified by her husband after the Halifax Courier & Guardian published a description of the woman's body. The case was known as the Stafford Bowling Club Sensation.

At the inquest, John Scholefield said that he had last seen his wife on the previous Wednesday night, when she said she was going to a concert at Gibbet Street Institution, and she never came home. Ruth and Clement Taylor had been seen together in Halifax. The couple were fully clothed and showed signs of having died from carbon-monoxide poisoning. The Coroner concluded that they were sitting in the boiler room for warmth.

When their father could not care for them, the two children were brought up in a succession of children's homes. Irene first went to the old workhouse on Gibbet Street, and then to the National Children's Home at Southport. She went to live in Ormskirk where she died in 1990 at the age of 71.

Gordon joined the army and served in World War Two. He married in Holland and brought his Dutch wife home to England after the war. He lived in Stroud

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 13:03 / 24th May 2021 / 3543

Page Ref: X341

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