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John Russell

Sheffield History Member
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About John Russell

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    Sheffield History Pro

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    West Devon

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  1. John Russell

    What year do you think this is?

    As a student, I drove a van in Sheffield for Pinders in 1970. I remember having to avoid people crossing the road on the 'dual carriageway' as we called it.
  2. John Russell


    Yes, they are available: https://www.ibstockbrick.co.uk/kevington/specialshapes/ Any brickworks will be probably prepared to make you a 'special'—provided you order in sufficiently high quantities. But I guess nowadays the labour costs of complicated brickwork mean that architects will tend to avoid designing it into a building.
  3. Be careful when you chip away at it, it might be a capping for a shaft or well. Try looking at old maps for the word 'shaft' or similar. I'd be tempted to drill a 10mm hole though it in the centre and send through a borescope. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Plumbing-Tools-Plumbing-Job-Lot-Plumber-Inspection-Camera-Mechanic-Hand-Tools-/263461220159 Old shafts are very common. I know someone who dug through something like this in the yard of a house in Nottingham and uncovered a 40 foot well shaft. The garden of my mother-in-law's house in Devon also has an old shaft for a silver mine in it, which has a concrete cap. Lastly, there's a house I once visited in Leicestershire where they have a thick glass panel in the floor of their kitchen. During alterations their builder had uncovered a well with water about 10 feet down, so they decided to illuminate it to turn it into a feature.
  4. John Russell

    Do you recognise this Netherthorpe scene from 1965?

    Yes, we used to play football on the tip—though I remember large patches of it seemed to be gravel rather than grass.
  5. John Russell

    Do you recognise this Netherthorpe scene from 1965?

    I'm pretty sure that's Crookesmoor School in the background. Looking at the van I might well have been attending there at the time this picture was taken.
  6. John Russell

    Anyone Remember Gloops?

    I, too was a member in the early '50s. I had forgotten what the badge looked like but when I saw the image 'up thread', it all came back to me.
  7. John Russell

    What do we know about this part of town?

    The reason the roof and top story are a very different colour ('incongruous') is because the planners require the later addition to be visually separate from the original listed façade. The idea is there should be no confusion about the building's history, which could occur if the architect tried to 'blend in' the new addition.
  8. John Russell

    Crookesmoor Road Shops.

    I went to Cubs in that Unitarian Church for three or for years. I can still remember the smell of dust and damp in the building.
  9. John Russell

    When was this built and when did it close?

    Where was it exactly? I left Sheffield in 1970 and I can't place it. Maybe because I never saw it from that angle.
  10. John Russell

    Old Sheffield dishes

    I think you mean 'hash'—but then my schoolmates always told me I spoke posh. I always used to like plum duff, but I haven't had it since about 1968 when I left home.
  11. John Russell

    Sheffield Made

    I was a Boy Scout in Sheffield (Crookes) between 1961 and 1965 and bought a myself a knife around 1963 which was identical to that one in every way. I used to wear it in a sheath on my belt as I walked around dressed in my scout uniform. It disappeared around the time I left home, so seeing that image brings back strong memories. I doubt scouts would get away with wearing that today :-)
  12. John Russell

    Swimming Baths - Can you guess where this is?

    I learnt to swim in Upperthorpe Baths in the '50s.
  13. John Russell

    Sheffield 1939

    Anywhere up a hill was affluent. The further down the hills you lived the poorer you were—as a rule of thumb.
  14. John Russell

    Where was this?

    I remember that entrance to the market at the bottom of Commercial Street really well. I have an image in my head of an old chap, clearly an old soldier damaged by the First World War, who used to lie on the pavement under the window of that tobacconists in the early '50s. I must have been four or five at the time but it clearly left an imprint on my mind. Does anyone know more?
  15. John Russell

    Pedestrians and Traffic 1950

    Sound was recorded separate from the camera in those days, by a second person armed with a tape recorder. The footage looks un-edited (the frame jumps in a characteristic way at cuts), so I'm guessing it was recorded by a single cameraman armed with just a mute 16mm Bolex or similar, on a tripod.