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fentonvillain

Sheffield History Member
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Everything posted by fentonvillain

  1. The 1958 floods were extensive all along the Sheaf valley. Millhouses Park was badly damaged and as someone has said, Broadfield Road was flooded to a depth of two feet. I recall the awful stink of sewage that lasted several weeks after the water levels subsided. I don't recall the River Don being that bad. After the 1958 floods the previously natural river course at Broadfield Road was deepened and widened with a concrete bed and walls and the same was done on the Porter near Shoreham St tram sheds. Looking at it from a bus the other day, that bit needs urgent attention again because all the concrete is broken but I hear that there is a plan to re-culvert both rivers - when the cash is available. I was 16 in 1958 and remember riding my bike down to Heeley, Little London and Millhouses to look at the damage. With global warming....and today's weather...it's only a matter of time before it happens again.
  2. Or NOT cope with hills, vales and bends. Why do you think the service only runs from the cathedral? Wheel profile can't cope with 90 degree turns such as Malin Bridge, University etc. Tram-train it is but only in a limited way. Until it is running to Stockbridge and Chesterfield it cannot be said to be a success by any measure. even though Parkgate/Cathedral services are busy, sometimes even full, it will be many years before the investment is re-couped. It should have been a third rail system using bi-modal trams, cutting out expensive overhead wiring and eliminating problems with AC overhead systems on main lines.....quicker to construct and a helluva lot cheaper. Better still, spend all that money on extending the existing system to Norton from Herdings, to Ecclesall from West St, to Ecclesfield from Penistone Road and from Meadowhall direct to Mosbrough via Beighton. And build more park and ride sites.
  3. That was my understanding too, when I made a one hour programme for BBC Radio Sheffield in 1980 called "Up The Pole, Down Memory Lane," in which I revisited Jimmy Jewel's childhood haunts with him, knocking on the door of his old home, going to see his name in the school register at Western Road Juniors and walking with him on The Bolehills where he showed me where he smoked his first cigarette, and then going on to the stage of the then-derelict Lyceum Theatre where he recalled his upbringing in a "showbiz" family on the Music Hall circuit. I don't recall him talking about Andover St. My interest in the pair was sparked by recalling the people of Crookes talking about them when I was visiting Western Road with my mate John whose grandparents lived there....and, of course, listening to them on The Light Programme at Sunday dinner time when they were as much a part of Sunday as Yorkshire Pudding. In his later years, when he was doing quite well as a straight actor, Jimmy had a very serious side to him which I would have liked to have seen developed by the BBC as a living history of a part of the nation's fabric that was called Music Hall. It would have sat well along Suzy Klein's recent programmes recalling people like George Formby. Sadly my career took me away from the City before it could be developed and then, suddenly, it was too late, Jimmy Jewel was no more. Sheffield should celebrate two of its sons who were as famous in their time as Morecambe and Wise...and in my view actually funnier, especially since they wrote all their own material. A statue on The Bolehills would be appropriate! Or slap in the Middle of the Lyceum/Crucible complex. But somebody's bound to find a political incorrectness about them. My favourite recollection of Jimmy is of him tenderly looking after his long-suffering wife in their luxury apartment in Kensington, surrounded by the memorabilia of a lifetime of comedy. He was a lovely man.
  4. At the end of September only eight people have responded positively to the Christmas Reunion notice. They have paid their deposits and are happy to continue with the event. The negative response comes in spite of a vigorous show of hands at the last get-together in favour of it. However in view of the negative response I will play no further part in it, nor anything in the future. Sorry. You cannot expect to have the use of the former School and, in particular, the cafe for free. I don't think the cost of the Christmas lunch was excessive considering the work involved and the disruption to normal day-to-day business. In saying this I do not include the three former pupils who contacted me to say they would like to be there but are currently receiving treatment or are experiencing serious health issues. They WOULD have liked to be there. If anyone reading this still wants to be a part of it they should visit the cafe and pay their £5 deposit as soon as possible. DF
  5. My sister Christine has this photograph of the Victoria Methodist Church (Stafford Road) Girl Guides and Brownies at camp, thought to be at the Guiding Centre at Whiteley Woods, in about 1958. Among the people in the photograph are Judith Reader, Marlene Ablett and Margaret Cowlishaw. Christine would welcome news of any of those in the picture.
  6. See the entry under SCHOOLS to find details of the latest Reunion event at Sharrow Lane School. Edit: Link ..
  7. Details of the much-requested next reunion of pupils from the years 1948-1958 are now available. It will take place at noon on Wednesday 27 November in the school hall cafe. Numbers will be strictly limited to 30 but if demand is sufficient then an additional date can be arranged. THIS WILL BE A CHRISTMAS LUNCH EVENT with turkey, pigs in blankets and all the trimmings, and an attractive seasonal vegetarian option. A hot drink, cracker and mints is included in the price. Dessert will be a choice of a mincemeat crumble or a chocolate pudding. One course £10.95, two courses £11.95. A decision is yet to be made on whether to make wine available or to accept corkage. A deposit of £5 will be required. Closing date for the deposit will be 12 November. I am happy to arrange for table reservations for groups who notify me of numbers in advance. I will also seek permission to have music to accompany carols etc if we get a good crowd. To participate in this event please respond to this notice as soon as possible. I will be monitoring responses. Or send me a personal message through this Forum. DO NOT SEND MONEY JUST YET! I will give details of how this will be done in the course of the next couple of weeks. But it is essential that, if this event is to happen and be successful, you tell all your peer group and get them to respond quickly. I shall also be posting this notice on the Sheffield Forum and will be contacting all those whose email addresses I already have. If you don't get an email from me it will be because I don't have your email address listed. David France (1946-53)
  8. This may have been my father's uncle, Joe (Joseph) France (not sure of that surname) who was one of a family of hawkers who mostly sold flowers they bought from Artindales in Sheaf Market. His sister (or at least I think that was the relationship) Martha, my grandmother, had her own pitch half way down Dixon Lane as related elsewhere on this topic. George France sold The Star at Moorhead outside The Grapes. If that picture IS Joe France, the last time I saw him he was somewhat older and living in a terraced house near the bottom of Foxhill Road, Wadsley Bridge. Martha was killed in 1960 by a hit and run driver whilst crossing East Bank Road and George died in poverty in Coleridge Ward at Fir Vale Infirmary. If, as The Star picture caption above suggests, the flower wholesalers gave flowers to the hawkers for free I would be vey surprised. But even if they were not free they would have charged very little for them, so enabling these people who had no other means to earn a sparse living. I doubt that would happen these days.
  9. It is very pleasing to report that because of this item in SHF my long lost cousin and I have been re-united after over 60 years. Thank you very much to all concerned in these postings.
  10. Finally I have a few minutes to report on the latest Sharrow Lane School Reunion held on Wednesday 26th June. Altogether 29 former pupils and Sharrow residents turned up, the youngest aged 71 and the eldest, I think, 85. We had a terrific two hour session of exchanging memories and revelling in the atmosphere of the old Junior School Hall. With their permission, here is a list of those present: (The ladies consented to using their maiden names) Valerie Shaw; Christine France; Brian Milner; Tony Ford; Denis Anson; Mick Glossop; Jack wade; Alan Barnett; Tony Faulds MBE; Dave Holmes; Dave Storf; Ian Brelsford; Malcolm Gladwin; Ralph Holmes; Frank Turner; keith Spooner; John Beatson; Tony Hardwick; Roger Walker; John Smith; Phil Smith; Roger Stevenson; Graham Whitham; Darrell Whitham; Pauline Mackreal; Diane Goodwin; Ronald Hibbert and myself, David France. It was soon agreed that there should be another reunion later this year and so it has been decided there will be a special Christmas Lunch event at 1pm on Wednesday 27th November 2019 but places MUST be pre-booked through me. A price for the lunch will be published nearer the date. Watch this space! The photographs here show what a cordial and relaxed event it was. Book your space for November now by sending me a personal message.
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