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Old rider

Sheffield History Member
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  1. Old rider

    The old abandoned Dyson factory in Sheffield

    When our companies Malaysia agent visited us the other place in Sheffield he visited was Dyson's. His main business was sale of foundry equipment and supplies. He told me that he could get cheaper supplies from India but the quality was dubious so he would not supply it to his customers.
  2. Old rider

    Westall Richardson Knife

    I used to go to Westall Richardson to service equipment used to put handles onto their cheap range of knives. They had 3 machines with induction coils at about 12 work stations with a girl at each coil heating the tang of the knife and pushing it into plastic handles so it would melt its way in and the plastic would set around the tang. These knives were very cheap with a blade just pressed out of steel strip, and you would find them hung up for sale in a sealed plastic sheath in every supermarket. Now for the naughty bit. When I became Service Manager I sent a fairly new guy down to Westall's to do a service who was greeted by a girl on the end of the line nudging the girl next to her and declaring loudly "I could f**** him. Our engineer left rapidly and would not go there again. This process ended when Westall's bought a plastic moulding company who had moulded onto a competitors blades automatically. This action closed down their competitor! I was able to purchase from them a set of their professional range cooking knives pictured below.
  3. Old rider

    Grocers shops in the 1950s

    Mother got our broken biscuits from the Norfolk Market hall on Fridays when she got the Sunday roast from the Castle Market. The corner shop, Mr Gibson, used to deliver the rest of the groceries to our house in a cardboard box carried on his shoulder. We had to return the cardboard box later with the order for the next weeks groceries.
  4. Old rider

    Sheffield Car Makers

    In the reception at Laycock Engineering, Archer Road in the early 1970's there was an old car. If my memory is correct it was said to be a Charron Laycock car.
  5. Old rider

    Hyde Park Flats

    I did a bit of work wiring The Samuel Plimsoll after the shell of it had been passed to the Brewery to fit out. Later on I was repairing TV's when a colleague came back from the flats declaring "I'm never going to these flats again". He said that someone had peed in the lift on the way up, then as he walked to the customers door a girl with greasy matted hair stood on the walkway had lifted here skirt and pulled her knickers up. Then when he knelt down behind the customer's TV he found he was kneeling in dog dirt because the customer's dog did his business there! Some years later I was repairing high frequency plastic welding machines when the council bought some of the machines from a factory that was closing down and set them up in the basement as an ethnic minorities employment scheme.
  6. Old rider

    Dronfield Isolation Hospital

    As you probably know the cemetery at Dronfield is away from the church on Cemetery Road. A few years ago my son's employer was asked to dig some new graves in the cemetery. Unfortunately the place he was asked to dig one of the graves turned out to be already occupied! He had to fill it in rather rapidly. From this I would suggest that the operator of the cemetery does not have the full details of the burials there.
  7. Old rider

    Mechanical World Year Book 1939

    The hollow steel bars of round and hexagonal shape are used in the rock drilling and mining tool industry. Rock drills, sometimes 12 feet long have the hole in the so that coolant can be passed through them. Padley & Venables in Dronfield use hexagonal hollow bar to make their rock drills. The end is forged with a slot that has a tungsten carbide tip brazed into it then 2 small holes each side of the carbide tip allow the coolant out, otherwise the tip would get so hot the carbide tip would un-braze. P&V's owners at the time bought Bedford steels on Effingham road to ensure continuity of supply after the only other rolling mill in Sheffield rolling hollow bar closed down.
  8. Old rider

    Mechanical World Year Book 1939

    I was an apprentice at Sanderson Bros & Newbould 1959 to 1965. I am sure they didn't produce Celfor soft centre steel at that time. In later life I worked setting up machines used for surface hardening, I am glad nobody found out about this steel as I would not have got to the countries I got to. Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Italy Sweden to name a few.
  9. Went to Granville College with a lad who said his family worked at the abattoir. He regaled us with stories about what went on. He said his father cleaned the brown stuff (S**t) out of "Chitlings and bag". He said that after pigs were stunned they were hoisted up by the back legs and their throats cut, and as the blood ran out they urinated. This mixture went off to create black pudding!. Puts you off a bit doesn't it!
  10. I understand that the local P.O.W. was at Redmires. However I was told by an older member of my cycling club that the farm we used to go to for teas in the Buxton area had an Italian P.O.W. assigned to them to help with the farm during the war. So it is quite likely that there could be Italian P.O.W's working on local farms.
  11. Old rider

    James Neil - Summerfield St.

    I am not sure if they make anything there now after the changes in ownership to French and then Chinese. I used to go there repairing induction heating equipment. The handsaw department were producing the cheap unsetable, unsharpenable handsaws and even then the machines were sent to Taiwan. They also owned "Britool" spanner factory at Cannock. That turned into a warehouse for Facom French spanners after the company was bought by a French outfit. They started buying in components from China. I remember the factory manager telling me that they had to throw away about half the components that they bought in from China, and that when they contacted the Chinese about it they were told to throw away the bad ones and they would send more! I met one of the operators in a supermarket who used to produce the bi-metal strip for the hacksaw blades who told me that the company had been bought by a Chinese man who had then come to visit. At the end of his visit he told them "I can get 10 workers in China for the cost of one of you. I want all the machines packed and sent to China by September" The operator who told me this had been to China to show them how to do it and was now unemployed. End of another UK manufacturer.
  12. Old rider

    Woodseats Tram Terminus.

    I wonder when the loop from Millhouses was built to join up with the tracks at Woodseats?
  13. Old rider

    Cambridge Arcade

    We used to have to go to a different school one afternoon a week to do woodwork. We were given plastic bus tokens and expected to travel there after eating our school dinner. One day 2 naughty boys (myself and another) decided to play truant using the bus tokens to get to town then spending the afternoon drinking cappuccino and listening to the jukebox in the El Mambo. We panicked a bit when we saw a policeman talking to the barman but in the darkness of Hell he didn't see us trying to hide. Our school seemed never to have found out about our afternoon of truancy.
  14. Old rider

    WFC 1920-1 Unknown Football Club Help needed .

    Original, 1887 till about 1900, Sharrow CC colours were "chocolate and blue". Later on they became Claret and Blue. Claret body with light blue sleeves
  15. The freight traffic was mainly coal from the Wath on Dearn marshalling yard going to power stations etc. on the other side of the Pennines. One of the features of the D.C. system was that when the Locos of freight trains were on the long descent out of the tunnel and past the reservoirs towards Manchester the D.C. motors generated power back into the system. Thereby helping power the trains climbing the slope. Why did the locos need replacing when they ran on the Dutch railways after closure of the Woodhead route?
  16. I watched the programme and then remembered what a friend who worked for the rail research place in Derby told me. He said the Woodhead line had closed to raise money for other electrification schemes. The Woodhead electrification was proposed pre war in L.N.E.R. days, in fact the first engine was built in 1939 and ran on Dutch Railways after the invasion of Europe. I seem to remember the line was electrified at 700 volt DC rather that the 25KV system in use today. As a result of the lower voltage and the use of DC all the overhead lines, the feeders from the substations and the transformers contained much more copper. Closing the line raised a lot of money in the scrap value of the copper. Money was also raised by the sale of the electric locomotives to the Dutch railways where they continued to run for many years.
  17. My Auntie who was headmistress at Woodseats School used to take me with her to Chesterfield when she visited a supplier of school equipment. This would probably be around 1954 and there were certainly no trolleybuses in Chesterfield at this time. What was remarkable to me was the seating on the buses on the Chesterfield route. On the upper floor the seats were in a continuous row of 4 or 5 from the left hand window with access to the seats via a lower aisle down the right hand side of the upper floor. I believe that this enabled to height of the bus to be lower so that it could pass under the railway bridge at Dronfield.
  18. Old rider

    Rowlinson Technical School

    I know Mr Marshall who I understand was a woodwork teacher at Rowlinson. He told me that that one of the pupils had stabbed his predecessor with a wood chisel! For me the remarkable thing was the netball courts near the road where groups of older men used to stand on the pavement watching the girls playing netball. Then suddenly one day they stopped being there as I passed by. I wonder who got rid of them
  19. Another theory is that Robin Hood was actually Robert Hode of Wakefield who is a known character. In a Lay Bye on the A1 just north of the Doncaster motorway By pass there is a structure claimed to be "Robin Hoods Well". This location is Barnsdale and I am told there was a road from here to Wakefield.
  20. Old rider

    Sheffield Buses 1980's

    the problem of the 2p fare for children and 10p for adults was the rates we had to pay to subsidise this redistribution of wealth scheme. I lived at Bradway with 2 children and was also keeping my aged mother. I had to move to a similar house just over the border in Derbyshire as the rates there were a third of what we had to pay in Sheffield.
  21. Old rider

    Sheffield Rambling Groups

    Get a copy of Saturday's Star. In the "what's on" section they give details of organised rambles for the week. Included are meeting places as well as the bus times the ramblers intend to use.
  22. Old rider

    Beer and steelworks

    I was an apprentice at Sanderson Keyser Newhall Road 1959 to 1965. I have no knowledge of a beer break in the hot metal departments, i.e. Melting shop, Rolling Mills, and Heat Treatment. What I do remember was the ambulance room dispensing a drink they called "Salime" in hot weather. It tasted of Lime and was supposed to replace the salt lost by sweating. However quite a few went to the pub across the road in meal breaks. Lysander I also remember the slot machines in German engineering factories. I also was served wine in company canteens at lunch time in Italy and Stanley tools France. Then there was the strong coffee afterwards that I suppose was expected to counteract the effect of alcohol
  23. Old rider

    Moorfoot in Sheffield City Centre

    For many years we used to have our Cycling Club Dinner dances and prize presentation in the S&E Co op restaurant on the top floor. The 1968 picture shows the Lord Mayor as chief guest admiring the club's trophies.
  24. Sheffield had its own Police force therefore if he was in the Yorkshire constabulary as claimed he would not have lived in Sheffield at that time.
  25. Old rider


    I got caught out with the "long stand" after I had been persuaded that there was such a thing. Fred the works storeman said "You've stood long enough" after 5 minutes. I was told that some other apprentices had been a bit more clever. One took back a hand full of grease that he claimed contained the "Bubble for the spirit level". Another apprentice told to "Get a rubber hammer for soft nails" went to a tool shop and bought a rubber mallet that the man sending him had to pay for.