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John Russell

Sheffield History Member
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About John Russell

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    Sheffield Historian

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    http://www.johnrussell.tv/

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    West Devon

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  1. Do you recognise this Sheffield scene?

    Brook Hill next to the University around 1963. Only one building still remains—the white fronted one on the left. The trams for Walkley used to run up Leavygreave Road and right to left across Brook Hill and past the side of the cinema (?) there. Then they went directly through what is now the Arts Tower.
  2. Drainspotting!

    The middle grate of the three you posted, Calvin, looks higher capacity (flows more water) than the other two. Could it be that by hinging it, the weight is reduced for anyone wanting to open it? Certainly the hinged version was the 'deluxe edition': a bit more complicated to manufacture and probably a higher price. Today nearly all the heavy duty 'gully grates' (correct name) are hinged and typically cost £50-£150 a piece, depending on strength. They are usually graded by the weight they can carry. It's a lot more complicated today than it was in the C19th :-)
  3. Drainspotting!

    Further to my last comment; The middle of the three grates shown in Calvin's photos here, is hinged, The top and bottom ore 'lift-out'.
  4. Drainspotting!

    I've been right through this 'Drainspotting' thread and no one (I think) has mentioned the difference between drain covers that are 'lift out' and those that are hinged. This example is hinged at the bottom edge (of the photo that is), so the 'traffic' arrow is there to show the installer that the grate should be oriented so that wheeled traffic tends to push it down closed. If it was the other way round wheeled traffic could tend to lift the cover—or maybe vandals might lift them and leave them up—which would do a hell of a lot of damage to anything that hit them. There has been quite a display of both hinged covers and 'lift out' covers on this thread but they are clearly different if you know what to look for. The older hinged covers tend to have a rounded or chamfered edge on the pivoted side, so that the lid can clear the surround as it swings up. As well as being more difficult to steal, the hinged covers save a lot of effort—cast iron drain covers are bloody heavy! The cover above posted by Steve is of a modern Stanton heavy duty drain cover (probably '70s or '80s). The pin that the lid pivots on can be seen through the gap at the bottom left. The gap on the right is too narrow to see the pin on the other side.
  5. My parents used to have a copy of that booklet which I remember them buying in 1960. I can almost picture every page, I browsed through it so many times. I went to watch the last tram, standing on Coles Corner, and for a while had a ha'penny that I'd squashed under its wheels. Picture from: https://www.chrishobbs.com/sheffield/colescorner.htm
  6. Bower Road & Barber Crescent.

    Yes, it was quite a big steam laundry. Noisy, with always large wheeled containers of linen around and water all over the pavement outside. I lived half way up Bower Road—not quite the posh end—in the '50s and early '60s.
  7. Blake Street, Upperthorpe, Commonside

    Hi Robert. Was it you that lived next door to me on Bower Road?
  8. Perhaps you're thinking in terms of an accident in a modern car, with its crumple zones and seat belts. Imagine being thrown into a wall at 30mph or falling off a horse onto hard ground. Passengers in a train accident in those days would be flung about inside, hitting hard wooden surfaces with a force of up to 12 tons (like falling to the ground from a height of ~30 feet). You might find this interesting: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/carcr2.html .
  9. By the 1960s most of the Rivelin Valley dams were completely silted up through lack of maintenance. Being a keen fisherman at the time I joined a group to restore them and we started by chopping down a lot of the vegetation that was growing in the silt. I'm not sure of the detail (I was in my mid teens at the time) but a grant was secured and a couple of working traction (ploughing) engines were brought in with drums underneath their bellies and they dragged a big bucket backwards and forwards on cables all day to remove the silt. I then went off to college and left Sheffield for good. When I visited Sheffield two decades later I made a visit to Rivelin with my children and was impressed with how it had been transformed—though it had lost some of the magic and mystery it had when I was a kid, tickling trout in the river and threading my way through the undergrowth to marvel at the derelict machinery in the ruined mills. Rivelin Valley remains close to my heart as it provided a great playground for my childhood. I doubt I'll ever go back as I understand the lime trees on Rivelin Valley (New) Road are being chopped down. I'd rather not see this vandalism as it will break my heart.
  10. Anyone remember Sarsaparilla ?

    I would occasionally walk down there at lunch time with my school mates from Brincliffe Grammar, Nether Edge, for half a pint of Sarsaparilla. It would be mid '60s.
  11. Old House on Crookesmoor Road

    We used to play in there as kids in the early '60s, too, docmel. It was the only really 'wild' place for miles around. I remember there was an old overgrown vegetable garden in there and it had fantastic rhubarb still growing, which I used to take home for my mum to make pies with. I lived round the corner on Bower Road and went to cubs and then scouts in the Unitarian Church opposite this corner. Happy days!
  12. Crookesmoor School

    I went to Crookesmoor Junior School in the late 50's and start of the '60s. I remember many of the teachers already mentioned. Mrs Copley was my class teacher for one year. My mother, Mrs Russell, also taught there—which was the reason I went. I also recall the trip to Elsacar with the school choir, and the joy of winning. Mr Oakes was very proud of that choir! Mention of running around the underground playground strikes a chord—I ran headlong into one of the brick pillars and knocked myself out. I didn't remember anything for the rest of the day. My best friend there was John Willis. If anyone remembers me, you have my best wishes. I have some class and choir pictures somewhere. I'll try to find and post one.
  13. Black Jacks; Fruit Salads—all 4 a penny (1d that is). Sherbet Saucers, Jubblys [spelling?]; Sweet Cigarettes; Sherbet Dips (with a liquorice 'stick' in the centre). Bootlaces. Catherine Wheels with the liquorice coil round Basset coated jelly in the middle. Dolly Mixture. Lemon Drops. Penny Arrow Bars. Chiclets; Fizzers; Parma Violets. These are all imprinted on my memory, even the taste and smell. Having said that I didn't really eat that many in total. No more than a few pence worth a week.
  14. Orchard Place

    I remember in the late '50s, travelling on the 95 tram from Commonside down to West Street (cost 1d child's fare) to pick up cod liver oil and orange juice for my younger sisters from the Orchard Place clinic.
  15. Joseph Turner & Co

    Many thanks for the exhaustive info, RLongden. I hadn't realised the site of the Northern Tool Works still existed. I looked down John Street from the London Road end and everything seemed to be demolished. I must take a look next time I'm in Sheffield. I'll take this opportunity to post images of some of products that came out of this works; the photos being gleaned from my visit to Sheffield Library last November.
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