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John Russell

Sheffield History Member
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Everything posted by John Russell

  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.
  15. Where was it exactly? I left Sheffield in 1970 and I can't place it. Maybe because I never saw it from that angle.
  16. 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.
  17. 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 :-)
  18. Anywhere up a hill was affluent. The further down the hills you lived the poorer you were—as a rule of thumb.
  19. 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?
  20. 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.
  21. Were they the interchangeable parts of moulds used in the glass blowing process when they made milk bottles for various companies? Specifically, was this the base mould?
  22. Hi Tozzin [I didn't hit 'reply' as it would have repeated your long list of executions.] To avoid any confusion; I did not use the word 'spoof' myself. The hanging referred to in the poster/leaflet was indeed a real event. The point I was making is that it was not an official announcement, rather it was a satirical notice produced by the abolitionist movement about a real event. It highlighted the inhumanity and hypocrisy of hanging the 17-year-old girl. Cheers.