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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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  • Location
    West Devon

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  • Website URL
    http://www.johnrussell.tv/

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  1. This picture is of my father, Cyril Russell (later an arts and crafts teacher at Myers Grove), and his youngest sister, my aunt Alice Russell (later Linley), probably around 1946 when my father was on leave from the army. I have assumed it is at Forge Dam, though in those days municipal rowing lakes were a plenty. He'd have been about 25 at the time and had survived North Africa and the Italian landings. He went back to Italy and Yugoslavia and spent the next three years taking up mine fields in his role as a Royal Engineers Sapper.
  2. Phew; very exhaustive. The thing that hits me most about today's Sheffield scene is just how clean everything is. In the late sixties when, as a student, I used to venture down there driving a Pinder's van delivering drawing office requisites to the manufacturing companies, I remember how filthy black everything was. What a turnaround! I must make another visit to eat, drink and take in the new atmosphere.
  3. This is my class at Crookesmore School,1960. I'm second from the left at the top (with the lapel badges). The teacher was Miss Sant, who afterwards became Mrs Copley. It's a funny thing, but I don't remember ever being in a 'boys only' class. However, pictures don't lie, so I must have been. The other thing to notice is the huge stone columns which held the school up above the playground and made it quite dark in places.
  4. If that's an Anderson shelter, rather than a curved sheet of corrugated sheeting, then it was never installed. A proper Anderson shelter is buried in the ground and covered over with soil, so it's just a mound. It's the soil that protects the occupants from flying debris and shrapnel, rather than the sheeting—which is there to stop the soil from caving in.
  5. My word that brought back some memories. As a treat, my family used to eat fruit salad (usually the sort bought in tins, chopped up into small identical-sized squares in a watery syrup) with those exact fruit spoons back in the '50s and '60s. Often with a small helping of evaporated milk.
  6. Today's Guardian... https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/20/country-diary-lost-village-derwent-rises-from-mud-ladybower-derbyshire
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Yes, we used to play football on the tip—though I remember large patches of it seemed to be gravel rather than grass.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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