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andy1702

Sheffield History Member
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Everything posted by andy1702

  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.
  16. We now know (thanks to Ian's research) that you WERE on Park exchange in the early 1960's, although because it was part of the LNS your actual telephone would have said 'Sheffield 37605' on the label in the middle of the dial. In theory any current Sheffield number ending 37xxx was most likely at one time or another on Park. However that doesn't necessarily always hold true as some numbers may have now been re-issued. It's a reasonable guide though.
  17. I dropped a line to Ian Jolly, well known telephone enthusiast, about Park exchange and received the following back from him. 'Park' opened as a Non-Director satellite automatic exchange between the 31st March and 30th September 1936 when it had 201 lines with 240 phones connected. These were the exchanges then in the Sheffield LNS which used their own names in 1937 – there were four other exchanges in the LNS which used ‘Sheffield’ as their exchange name – ‘Firth Park’, ‘Holymoorside’, Park’ and ‘Ranmoor’ It was in City Road, Sheffield 2 and it was set back behind where there is now a flat topped building in the centre which houses four shops – that is certainly the location of it from old large scale OS ,maps in the 1950’s. It was where the rear of the red/white building now is plus its ‘car park’ to the rear. Numbers of ‘Park’ were in the 37XXX range as this 1937 entry for the Park & Arboretum Labour Club a couple of hundred yards along City Road towatds the city centre shows. At the end of March 1951, ‘Park’ had 650 lines plus there was a relief ‘Park’ exchange shown as a UAX12 with 42 lines on it – very likely a Mobile UAX12 as they didn’t list them as ‘mobiles’ until the mid 1960’s. There was also a UAX12 relief to ‘Firth Park’ , another exchange in the Sheffield LNS which used the ‘Sheffield’ exchange name. Both UAX12s had gone by March 1952. Numbers on ‘Park’ (which had grown to 804 by 31st March 1964) were move onto ‘Intake’ exchange – still as ’Sheffield’ numbers by 31st March 1965. The above (which I have just copied and pasted from Ian) tells us that Park was part of the Sheffield linked numbering scheme (LNS), which means all the linked exchanges would have collectively been known as Sheffield. Exchanges that were NOT in the LNS and so used their own names are shown in the left column of the table. Although when dialling a number in Park's area you would have officially been dialling the Sheffield code then a 5 digit number, anyone in the know could have known the number was off the Park exchange because all numbers at Park began 37xxx. this means any calls beginning with the Sheffield code or originating within the 'Shefield' area of the LNS would have been routed to Park if the next two digits were 37, which is effectively the exchange's own code within the LNS. With 804 numbers in use on Park exchange in 1965 and only three digits to play with, it looks like it was incorporated into the Intake exchange because it was getting quite full. At intake they would have been able to assign another batch of numbers to the area once all the 37xxx ones were used up. So... to sum it all up... (and if I've understood it right)... if your current phone number including STD code is now 01142 ?37xxxit probably originally went through Park exchange. It's a bit complicated to get your hear around. But once you understand that telephone numbers don't start at 00001 and run to 99999 then it gets a bit easier.
  18. Was 37605 your actual number, or is there a local code in front of that? What area were you in? It may be that although your area was called Sheffield, 37 could have been a code for your local exchange (say Park for example) under a thing called a linked numbering scheme. Then within that exchange your actual number was 605. This means anyone else connected to the same exchange would be able to reach you by dialling 605, but anyone in other parts of Sheffield would have needed to dial 37605. Finally other parts of the UK (assumiong STD was operational back then would have dialled the code for Sheffield (0742 I think?), then 37 to get to your local exchange, then 605. Unfortunately there aren't any hard and fast rules though, so this logic doesn't always work.
  19. If Park exchange was taken into a linked numbering scheme, then numbers in the area would likely have changed at that time with a couple of digits added to the front. If it was a Strowger exchange, the locals would most likely have had 3 or 4 digit numbers, with a two digit code off Sheffield to get to Park eg. XXXX (Sheffield code) YY (whatever code for Park was) then a 3 or four digit number. When it went linked the YY code for Park would have been added onto each subscribers number, so local people would have needed to start dialling the five or six digit number rather than a three or four digit number. If anyone has a yellow pages or phone book from the era look at the numbers for local businesses and see what they are. If they are five or six digit, then it's likely under the linked numbering scheme. However if it's three or fpour then it's probably through Park and may show Park's two digit code. There are all kinds of reasons we have the phone numbers we have today. For anyone in the know, they can often be traced back and you can work out the history of telephone exchanges in the area through old codes now embedded as part of your main number.
  20. Here's another view, taken during research for the 'Drainspotting' book down the alleyway in the first photo.
  21. I remember this. My Gran and Aunt used to do it. They had a teracotta bulb bowl (without holes in the bottom), put a few lumps of coal in it, then waited for these red 'buds' to appear on the coal. This was when I was at school, either in the 1970s or very early 80s.
  22. Q: Why is the 52 bus like a trip to a council meeting? A: They both involve a vist to Crookes!
  23. Sheffield council dererves all the flack it gets, plus some more besides! It's all very well listing a building (or anything else for that matter) but as soon as somebody from the university comes along with a brown envelope full of money listing doesn't seem to matter any more. Evidence 1. Hessops Hospital (knocked down) Evidence 2. Sewer gas destructor lamps (systematically vandalised by Amey (on behalf of the council) as part of their Streets Behind programme! It's time the Labour council was demolished and consigned to the anals of history!
  24. The story from the city centre that I've always liked (although I'm still 50/50 as to weather it's right or not) is the one about the little crosses you'll sometimes see carved into the stone kerb stones all over the place. The story goes that they mark the places where people were killed during the blitz of WW2. It seems reasonable until you think of people running around in a blitzed city full of verturned trams and half demolished buildings. Do you think anyone would have really had the time to carve neat little crosses into granite? The other thing that springs to mind if the one o'clock hooter. If you don't know what it it, stand at the top of Fargate outside Orchard Square at about a minute to one and you soon will! Apparently it's all to do with a very old jewellers who had a time signal directly connected via telegraph to Grenwich so people could set their expensive watches.
  25. Well if nobody knows what happened to it and someone can find a few more detailed photos or has a good memory, I'd have a go at building a replica one. It looks like it was a marketing thing for those city guide maps, which I think you can still get today.
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