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Unitedite Returns

Sheffield History Member
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Unitedite Returns last won the day on October 15

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About Unitedite Returns

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    Sheffield History Pro

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    The most fair and noble city of Sheffield situate in the delightful county of Yorkshire [WEST Riding]
  • Interests
    Railway History in particular Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast, Midland and North Eastern; Coal Mining History; Steel Making and Associated Industries and Pubs; Restaurants and Football. Although I find all history topics to be fascinating, in particular, those about Sheffield, Rotherham and surrounding areas.

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  1. The Great Central Railway Disaster at Woodhouse Sheffield

    During the period of time that we are talking about, those comments could equally apply to any other aspect of life. Whether it be railways, coal mining, quarrying, steel production, textile manufacturing, chemical processing, etc., etc., etc. It would be unfair to assume that the rail industry, at that time was in any way, worse than any other industry.
  2. Blacksmiths at Meadowhead?

    According to street view, the house in the background is no.3 Bromwich Road. I would imagine that the road junction shown in the above image might well have led into Abbey Lane, once upon a time, and that it has since been realigned, possibly sometime after the Abbey Hotel was built. Excellent photograph though. I've not seen it before. Image no.s06950 on the Picture Sheffield site shows both, the newly built addition to the Abbey Hotel and the blacksmith's shop alongside.
  3. The Great Central Railway Disaster at Woodhouse Sheffield

    SPAD incidents (signal passed at danger) surprisingly, are not as uncommon as you might think, even today, although improved technology has, of course, played a major part in bringing about a reduction in such incidents. The following is a summary from the most recent RSSB report. In the last 15 years, the rail industry has made tremendous progress in reducing the risk from SPADs, coming down by over 90%. The average number of SPADs in the 1990s was 774 a year, peaking at 881 in 1998/99. This compares with the annual average of 292 between 2006 and 2016, and the current level of 272 for 2016/17. The level of underlying SPAD risk has fallen from 8.2 FWI/year in 2001 to 0.7 FWI/ year in 2016/17, a 90% reduction in risk. The risk reduction over this period is so substantial that we now use 2006 as a benchmark, to remove the effect of a train protection system fitted earlier that decade and ensure short term changes in the risk are more visible and can be analysed. Since 2006, there have been short term minor increases and decreases in risk but the trend has generally continued to be downward, reaching an almost all time low risk level in February 2017 at 32% of the 2006 benchmark.
  4. The Great Central Railway Disaster at Woodhouse Sheffield

    The location would appear to be in the cutting that is sandwiched between Woodhouse Junction and Signal Box and the road over-bridge that separates Woodhouse Central Station from that self-same cutting. The photograph seems to have been taken from the side bank of the cutting that borders Soap House Lane. The Birley Colliery wagons at the back are standing on the colliery exchange sidings that existed on the opposite side of the cutting. The Birley Colliery branch line approached the exchange sidings from the east (LHS) side of the photograph, from behind Woodhouse Junction Signal Box. A well visited 'train-spotting' location in my younger days, though, following the quadrupling of this track section, which I think occurred after this photograph was taken, the embankment on which the photograph was taken became much steeper and deeper. I have some record of this accident somewhere, although it as not the first at this location. An earlier collision between two trains occurring on 05/11/1849.
  5. Bakeries

    For those that are interested, there is an excellent illustrated publication about the Fletchers' Bakery Group, details as follows:- Titled: Secret Ingredient: Story of Fletcher's Seven Bakeries Hardcover: 112 pages Publisher: EP Publishing Ltd; 1st edition (January 1979) Language: English ISBN-10: 0715812637 ISBN-13: 978-0715812631 Still available on Amazon, and generally, moderately priced, although most seem to originate from overseas. I suspect though that I am one of the very few sad beggars to actually own one.
  6. Help required in identifying another Sheffield location

    Thanks for your help, and I think you are correct. There is a picture of the white building on the Picture Sheffield website, (s35464). It's amazing really as to how, one prompt, offered by another can bring back your own memories. The reason as to why the flat-roofed building was so familiar to me, is now very clear indeed. The single story section of the white building, (the bit at this end) used to house Millhouses Fisheries. I must have stared at that flat-roofed building umpteen times, from the car window, as a youngster, whilst my father went into the chip-shop for our treat for tea, after a trip to Millhouses Park. All of course now swept away, as you rightly point out.
  7. I wonder as to whether anyone can help me once again, in identifying yet another Sheffield location? The annoying thing is that I am sure that I know the new, flat roofed building (marked with arrow), from somewhere, but as much as I rack my memory, I cannot place it at all.
  8. The Crimea Monument

    I must admit that I have occasionally wondered, from time to time, when looking at old photographs of Moorhead, as to what happened to this monument. A little research on the web, provided this quite comprehensive, but rather scandalous story from The Victoria Society's website, which I reproduce in full (I am sure that they won't mind, given this site's own interest in all matters historical and Sheffield related. THE CRIMEAN WAR MEMORIAL We were slightly surprised to learn that Sheffield’s Crimean War Monument was to feature last year as one of the Victorian Society’s list of ten most endangered buildings across the country. The surprise was not that it merited inclusion in the list, but because this had not been one of your Committee’s nominations this year. Rather, the nomination came from a member of the public, and we’re very pleased they were interested enough to do this. The Monument’s history can be briefly told. It was erected by public subscription to commemorate ‘the natives of Sheffield’ who died in the Crimean War (1853-6). Fundraising began in 1857 and the monument was in place by 1861; Florence Nightingale (who had family connections with Sheffield) declined to unveil it but sent a donation. The designer was the architect George Goldie, a partner in Matthew Hadfield’s practice here. The Monument dignified Moorhead for almost a century until, around 1960, it was dismantled; like almost every statue in the city centre it fell foul of the Council’s traffic engineers. It was broken up, with the statue of Victory from the top, and the base, re-erected in the Botanical Gardens. The column which had joined them was half-buried, in sections, in a public open space in Addy Street, Upperthorpe, where they remain, complete with a plaque recording the event. What happened to the elaborate capital that graced the column, who knows? Then in 2004 the Monument had to be removed; it was a condition of the grant which restored the Botanical Gardens that they were restored to their original, 1830s, appearance. So the Monument was taken in to the Council’s store, where it remains, a decade on. They assure us that it is in good condition. We hope so. This is a Grade 2 listed structure paid for by the public and it should be available for them to view and appreciate. The Council, understandably, is concerned about the cost of moving the Monument back into view. Then there is the question where it might go. This is going to take time, but we will do our best to see it through. Sheffield has lost too much of its public art from the city centre, and it’s time to get it back. Following the inclusion of the Memorial in the Society’s 2104 list of the most endangered Victorian and Edwardian buildings in the country, the City Council offered a meeting, and this finally took place in March. We have established that when it left the Botanical Gardens the Memorial went to specialists for conservation and was subsequently returned, wrapped in plastic and on 11 palettes, to a Council store. There it remains, not even the plastic sheeting having been removed (though it seems that Victory’s sword has somehow come adrift and been shelved separately). No-one could tell us whether the capital is in the store but we suspect not, as it did not end up in the Gardens in 1960, nor is it with the remains of the pillar in Addy Street, and it has not been seen since. The Council’s officers confirmed that the original plans for the ill-fated Sevenstone scheme – the new retail quarter – assumed that a home back in the city centre would be found for the Memorial but we were very concerned to be told that the idea had ‘gone off beyond the margins’ of Council thinking and planning for the successor scheme, which is due to go out to tender later this year. And we saw no sign of serious thinking about ways of raising funding for its restoration, let alone identifying potential sites for its re-erection. It is clearly seen as at most a ‘nice to have’ which is getting no priority at all within the Council. We appreciate the huge financial and staffing pressures on the Council, but it makes little sense to neglect the possibility of attracting grant funding into the city for a worthwhile project like this. After the meeting the Chair of VS, Hilary Grainger, wrote to the Council Leader, Cllr Julie Dore, asking her to commit the Council to restoration within a reasonable timeframe, and setting out the good reasons for doing this (did you know our memorial was one of the very first to commemorate ordinary soldiers who fought for their country, rather than generals and admirals?). We look forward to her reply and hope it will be a positive one, not least as the Council has ignored the terms of the planning permission it granted itself for the Memorial’s removal, and that breach has gone on for long enough. UPDATE July 2015: CRIMEAN WAR MEMORIAL: DEVELOPMENTS – OR RATHER, NOT. In our last newsletter we reported at length on the Society’s attempts to get the City Council to take seriously its responsibilities for the Crimean War Memorial, in storage for over ten years now and thus leaving the Council in long-term breach of its own planning conditions. After the meeting between Chris Costelloe, VS Director, and me and Council officials, the Society’s Chairman Prof Hilary Grainger wrote on 3 March to the leader of the Council, Cllr Julie Dore, to set out the reasons for reinstating the Memorial, preferably in the city centre, and offering VS help in achieving this. Three months later our Chairman has not had the courtesy of a reply, and Chris Costelloe has reminded Julie Dore’s office that a response is outstanding. In the meantime the Council has published its proposals for what it is now calling the Sheffield Retail Quarter. It is clear that the issue of reinstatement has not been considered in these proposals (though it was said to have featured in the defunct Hammersons’ scheme). A mere 4 weeks were allowed for comment on this MASSIVE retail development. The Council will however find in the comments received a number of demands that it puts the Memorial back where it belongs. UPDATE OCTOBER 2015 THE SAGA DRAGS ON…. We reported last time on the delay in getting a response from Sheffield Council to proposals, and offers of help, from our Chairman Hilary Grainger. Just afterwards a letter arrived from Julie Dore, Council Leader. After rejecting any suggestion the Memorial might go into Barker’s Pool (because there is a civic war memorial there already and its policy to see that as commemorating all wars) or the top of Fargate (because it would get in the way of the roundabouts – and the Council’s income from them) it had nothing positive to suggest other than a vague suggestion that there might be space on the old Castle Markets site once the demolition is complete and the archaeology work on the castle remains has finished and maybe that ‘could be considered’. Very much a kick into the long grass, since there is no date for the excavation yet (no budget yet secured), no-one knows what will be found and no-one, thus, knows what sort of space might be available. Since then the Sheffield Star has carried a fair amount of correspondence, on both sides of the argument. There is certainly interest in the city on what happens, and we’ll keep up the pressure. This really ought to be an issue for the Retail Quarter plans, and the public art budget included in them. We have decent public art that just needs a place in the sun rather than a dark corner of the Council’s store. The Society is understandably not happy, and has launched an on-line petition on Change.org to press for city centre relocation in time for the 160th anniversary, in 2017, of the end of the Crimean War. Moreover, the recently- released plans for the Sheffield Retail Quarter call for money to be spent on new public art for this area. Why not spend some of the cash on restoring the public art we already have to where it belongs? If you have internet computer access please add your name to the online petition. Just go to Change.org and search for ‘Sheffield Council’. Think that we should all sign this petition. Does anyone know anything more current regarding this?
  9. First pair of jeans

    Would have been 1970, or 1971. I couldn't tell you who made them, designer labels weren't considered back then. But as to where they were bought? I'll give you a 'starter-for-ten'. I tried them on for size in the stockroom, upstairs, above the shop.
  10. Great photo of Sheffield tram passing the markets

    The two, upper stories of the building on the extreme right-hand-side of the photograph have already been demolished, but Kellys' 1958 directory lists the occupiers as having been Harold Coates (Florist) Limited, at 1 to 2, Castle Hill, Castle Hill Market (on the nearest corner of Castle Hill); then, just this side of the corner, J. W. Thornton Limited, confectioners, at 17, Waingate, and then, nearest to the camera, Rusby, Retail Opticians, at 19, Waingate. Certainly, a lot more pedestrian traffic, but these old images show just how few cars there were back then.
  11. This is how Leopold Street used to look

    A great photograph, so little motor traffic, so I thought that it would be nice to add another, roughly contemporary image (30/09/1960), showing the opposite side of the road. The Grand Hotel is now sadly, long gone. The destination board of the tram-car, No.100, reads Millhouses. This particular tram-car was built by Sheffield Corporation in 1942, in order to replace an earlier vehicle, carrying the same number, and which had been destroyed in the blitz of 1940. Incidentally, should it be Leopold Street, not Leopald Street? Or, do we have a choice?
  12. Here's what was there before the Hole In The Road was built

    As a student in Sheffield, I banked at the Midland Bank, High Street, which of course, as many of you will recall, had subterranean pedestrian access directly out of The Hole in the Road, like a number of other surrounding business premises. Rackham's had such similar access, I am sure, and possibly also, C. & A. Like many students at that time, much of my financial outlay was expended in beverages of an alcoholic nature, and when overdrawn, the Midland Bank used to write to me on many an occasion, asking me, not always too politely, to bring my account back into credit. I have therefore, always thought it poetic justice of the most eloquent kind, that the said Midland Bank is now an hostelry itself. What existed before The Hole in the Road was built was in part, this. The single story flat roofed building adjoining the Walsh's - Rackham's building contained the gent's outfitters Willerbys at the end nearest to Walshs (of which it may have been a franchise) and next-door to that Marsdens, (what today might be called a 'fast food restaurant'. Both depicted by arrows. The occasion, for those that are interested, is 02/10/1960, the penultimate weekend of tram working in Sheffield, and the tram-car depicted, No.513, was one of the two Robert's tram-cars specially repainted as part of the 'last week celebrations', and it is seen here, taking part in an enthusiasts special event.
  13. The Old Pond Street Bus Station

    Thought I would add my two pennies worth, by sharing this 1965 close-up view of the world famous 'thrupney bit' kiosk. Bought many a Mars Bar, and magazine from there.
  14. What do you remember about this Sheffield place?

    Just spent a good fifteen minutes looking at this brilliant image and indulging in a little, almost tearful nostalgia. Thanks for posting.
  15. Help needed with this old Sheffield shop

    If the shop was indeed at Moorhead, then my first thoughts are that it might have been one of the corner end shops on the rows of shops that used to make up Button Lane / Furnival Street, but I can't find a likely match on the Picture Sheffield site.