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andy1702

Sheffield History Member
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andy1702 last won the day on August 12

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About andy1702

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  1. I agree with what Madannie said. The horses never got this far through the town centre.
  2. I'm not sure what the item is, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't relate to the trams. The trolley pole of a tram is insulated all the way to the end, with only the small wheel on the tip being live. The 550V DC was then carried down a heavy cable inside the hollow metal pole, first to a circuit breaker, then to the lighting circuit and controllers and then on to the motors. The pole was turned either by the conductor pulling on a rope from ground level, which was permanently attached to the trolley head, or by using a seperate bamboo pole when no rope was fitted. What it may be (although I've never seen one anything like this) is a device for recovering a "grounded" tram. Grounding occurs when the wheels become electically isolated from the track, which forms the negative return for the electrical circuit. Besides stopping the tram, grounding can be quite dangerous as the high voltage DV tries to find the shortest route it can from the overhead wire to the tracks. If it can't pass through the motors etc and out through the wheels there is a very good chance it will pass into the body of the tramcar. If this happens, anyone standing on or near the tracks (particularly on a damp day) who touches the tram will likely complete the circuit and experience a 550V DC shock. If they were to grap a handrail the shock would likely make theior muscles contract, meaning they are unable to let go, so prolonging the peroid of shock. The official way the Tramway Museum at Crich deal with a grounding is for everyone aboard the tram to be kept aboard. One of the platform staff (usually the conductor) then JUMPS off, making sure their body entirely leaves the tram before any part of them touches the ground. Next, using either the iulated rope attached to the trolley or a bamboo pole which can be found at staategic points along the route, the trolley is hooked down off the wire to cut off the electrical supply to the vehicle. The tram is then pushed or pulled ontpo a cleaner bit of track, where hopefully it's no longer grounded when the power is restored. This can be checled easily by turning the saloon lights on. There are other simpler 'dirty' methods for dealing with a grounding. One involves jumping from the tram and then throwing a bucket of water under the wheels. The water is a pretty good conductor at these voltages and will also swill away some of the dirt from the rails. This trick usually works and was common in the days when fire buckets full of water were common place. The other method, and also the most risky, is to jump from the tram with the point iron in your hand. The point iron is a thing a bit like a crowbar that all trams carry for changing the points. Just infront of the tram you have to wedge the end of the point iron into the groove of the track, making sure it is in contact with good metal. Then, with a swift and positive motion, ram the other end of the point iron down across the fender of the tram, scraping off as much paint as you can as you do so. The theory is because you made the connection with the track first, when the point iron touches the tram the current travels down the metal bar to the track without harming the person holding it. However if you get it the wrong way around and touch it on the tram first, then you'll likely get a 550V DC whack! I knew a chap who made this mistake while on a special tram tour in Sheffield in the late 50s or early 60s, which ran over some disused and hence dirty tracks. He didn't remember much about the shock, but woke up on the opposite side of the Moor to where he started! Luckily he lived to tell the tale! The thing on the pole could be something for wedging in the track and then attaching to the tram. Or it may be something for holding down the trolley if no rope is fitted and it can't be tied to the rear fender, which is the normal practice.
  3. Very cool! I'd be interested to know if there is anything left of the bell system behind them.
  4. I've long been on the hunt for an Anderson shelter, without much luck in finding one I could install in the garden. Most have eitehr rotted away to nothing, have been encased in concrete so they are inpossible to move, or were taken away years ago. Apparently, after the war most anderson shelters that had just been covered with earth were dug up and re-purposed as ground-level sheds, often with bricke end walls added. The one in the photo could well be a real one that has been moved. It looks to be in far better condition than most I've seen.
  5. Legend has it that the tiny people painted as part of the pictures on 510 & 513 were originally pretty good characatures of members of the Transport Department at the time. Unfortunately i don't think this ammount of detail was replicated when 510 was repainted and those on 513 are now also lost. I was told by a founder member of the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway that the original controllers from 513 were stolen. They were quite unusual in that the air brake was controlled by the same handle as the power, making the Roberts cars one of the very few first generation trams that could be driven one handed. This fact was not lost on one particularly miserable driver at Crich some years ago, who preferred to drive 510 because he always liked to keep one hand in his pocket! Lemmy may well know who I mean
  6. Maybe they think if they put more crap stuff in the streets we'll forget about the nice stuff that Amey and their partners in crime at the council have destroyed?
  7. The one in Dr Who is supposed to be a concrete one too. It's (supposedly) exactly the same model as the one at Crich. I say supposedly because the Tardis actually changes on a fairly regular basis. It really winds me up when they get banging on about the Doctor's "funny wooden box". Just because the BBC made a wooden prop years ago, now all the brain-dead writers think a real box of this type is wood, which it definitely IS NOT. Wooden police boxes, like the one in Sheffield, are different.
  8. I think it's before 1990 as there's no bridge in the last photo to carry the tramway and the bridge was in years before the trams started running.
  9. No part of the council has any respect for anything to do with history or heritage. Anyone can do anything provided they provide a big brown envelope with enough £50 notes in it! That's the impression I get anyway.
  10. I think the photo dates from sometime around the mid 1980's. I'm working this out mainly from the buses in the photo. the single decker nearest the camera appears to be an experimental 'kneeling' Leyland National, which replaced the first generaltion of bendy buses on the City Clipper service. I don't know how many kneeling Nationals they had, but I do remember the front bumpre being painted red so intending passengers knew the bus could kneel for them when it stopped. It seemed a bit pointless really as a Leyland National has a step entrance. There was a big fanfare about this bus being modified (they added some dump valves to the air suspension or something) to make it kneel and they claimed the whole operation took less than 3 seconds. What they didn't tell you was it took it about half an hour to get up again! There is also what looks like an Ailsa and a Mk1 Metrobus in the background. I'd guess at about 1983?
  11. When the supertram first started running in the early 90's, who remembers the ticket machines at all the stops and the 'validators'? The idea was you bought a ticket for £1 which the first machine spat out. You then validated it by putting it into the other machine before you got on a tram. This stamped a time on your ticket and you could travel any distance as long as your journeyw as completed within a certain time. Was it two hours? This caused an interesting note in history the very first morning the trams ran in service. The first tram, full of dignitaries and the press was supposed to leave Meadowhall at 6:30am, followed a few minutes later by the first car in normal service. However at about 6:20 the validators on the platform broke down so nobody could 'punch' their ticket to make it valid for travel. For this reason the first service car came in and went out almost empty! By the time the next one came the validators had been fixed and most people got on that one! So if anyone ever tells you they've got a ticket from the first tram, they haven't... it was the second! The youth of Sheffield soom realised the ticket machines were full of pound coins, so they started physically stealing the machines from the platforms, aided by things such as fork lift trucks and JCB diggers! As supertram had to employ inspectors on the trams anyway to make sure nobody was riding after their time limit, they eventually saw sence and converted the ticket inspectors into conductors, doing away with the machines on the platforms in the process.
  12. I think you're right about YouTube. I have a channel on there, which you can find via the website at www.andysshed.callpress.net I'm planning to do more historical content after a couple of videos on lost railways went down quite well.
  13. They could have done a lot better Thorntons Girl. A year before they launched loads of people potched programmes to them (including yours truely) but nobody heard anything back for many months. Then we found out (weren't told but found out) that they had commissioned a few pilots. Eventually I went to an event where they screened the pilots and wished I hadn't! I'll never forget something called 'Peak Signal To Noise', which was nothing more than flashes of random images and ear-bleeding white noise. This piece of 'art' went on for over an hour! In the end I made sure I cut all ties with Sheffield Live (I used to front a lunch time radio show) a few weeks before the TV channel went on air, mainly because I could see the car-crash coming! It's interesting that nobody ever mentions SLTV now, even in Sheffield! My guess is their audience is a big fat zero! Meanwhile I switched to being a youtube content creator, which commands a much bigger global audience.
  14. I'll just add my bit about Crystal Peaks. yes, teh railway was LGB size. It was in a glass case about 12ft infront of where that pork pie stand is now on the lower level, meaning you walked right by it (with it on your left) as you came down the escalator and headed for the doors or McDonalds. What a lot of people don't remember is a big chunk of Crystal peaks got demolished when Sainsburys moved. The old layout was as follows... When you went in the doors on the lower level (where Sainsbury's is now) the entrance to the Indian restaurant was immedialtely on your right. Turn right and walk past it and you found yourself in a big concourse with a long row of doors across the far end. This was the entrance to the UCI 10 cinema. The box office was a self contained unit right in the middle of the row of doors and you could buy your tickets from the mall side or go through the doors and buy from the cinema side, although i think they stopped using the cinema side eventually. I went to see Blair Witch Project there and on visiting the gents found it full of leaves and twiggs with blood-spattered cubicles and 'help me' scrawled in blood on the mirrors! The food court was exactly where the small food court is now, but it was much deeper and therefore bigger, with outlets on two sides. It closed about the time Sainsburys opened and I seem to remember all the tenants had been kicked out because sainsburys didn't want any competition for their very mediocre cafe. I thought "**** Sainsburys!" and went to eat in the market hall after that. McDonalds was always where it is now. There was also a Blockbuster Video outside at the far end of McDonalds. The Time Cafe was (I think) a Pizza restaurant back then. What I've never known is why the cinema closed? It was a really good cinema and plenty of people went there. I also gave the place a lot of night time business. Cleverly all the night services pixxa restaurant, indian restaurant, cinema, mcDonalds etc were on that lower level, so they used to close the rest of the center but leave that bit open, placing a fence across the bottom of the turned off escalators. It was a great place to go for a night out and I wonder how their takings fell once the cinema was gone and they stopped opening late? And by late I mean LATE! You could often go to see a film at a midnight showing, which was great because kids were banned after midnight. I remember seeing Disney's Beauty & The Beast there in a kid-free environment, which was a great selling point. The theming of the whole place was quite good originally, very much like an American mall with a distinct theme, in this case alpine peaks. We all just accepted it, but looking back the name and theme does seem strange for a place in Yorkshire, so I wasn't surprised when i read above about it just being the best name the council could come up with. The only problem with Crystal Peaks in the early days were the shops upstairs. I remember every second store seemed to be a shoe shop! Great if you wanted a pair of shoes, but useless if you wanted anything else. The whole centre was also much smaller back then. It's encroached onto the car parks bit by bit over the years. The cimema and Indian restaurant was derelict for a while then that whole section got demolished and a new wing in almost the same footprint built to accomodate the moved Sainsburys. Personally I'd rather it was still a cinema!
  15. I've not read the book, but here's the guy who published it https://www.1889books.co.uk/ It looks like it's self-published, so it's proabbly not widely avilable.
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