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simon.r

Sheffield History Member
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About simon.r

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    Sheffield Historian
  1. I didn't have a car back then, had to haul them back on a bus! I suspect there are plenty of people out there who recall all this stuff; maybe the Forum should have an open day somewhere. I've got a nice Victorian Sheffield art school posing table somewhere so folk could step up and say a few words! Clothed of course. Simon
  2. This is what my KitKat machine looks like (this is not my photo). Maybe someone can remember when a KitKat cost 20p. It doesn't say if it's two or four fingers. London Underground used to have lots of vending machines on the platforms certainly into the late Seventies selling chocolate bars but they were very unreliable and often took your money and jammed.
  3. Or those strange stand alone bubble gum ball dispensers on a pole which would be placed outside sweet shops, but only when they were open! There was one outside a little sweet shop opposite Carterknowle Junior School in the 1960s. One lunchtime a couple of the bigger kids pushed it over for a dare; the plastic shattered and bubblegum balls went all over and rolled down the street. All the kids who hung about there grabbed pockets full and skidaddled back into school. Needless to say there were repercussions! As there were the day my brother went round the playground selling sacharine sweetner tablets to daft kids for 2d each. Goodness knows what they thought they were getting. I got hauled up before the head for not keeping better control of my younger brother, though I'd no idea what he was up to!
  4. And don't forget the Milk vending machines, which were quite something. There was one down Broadfield Road outside the bottling plant there, and you could get one of those wax cartons full of milk (they predated the Tetrapaks we have now, but could be recycled). It was a feature of our childhood as being a big family we often ran out of milk by Sunday, so would be driven down to grab a couple of cartons (note to youth, shops were closed on Sundays).
  5. These were certainly a feature of my early days in Sheffield. The bubble gum machines in particular! I have rescued a few over the years, one for bubble gum, one which gave out Kit Kats (best not used on a hot day), and a couple of old cigarette machines which I found in the Orchard Square when they were pulling it apart for redevelopment. Hard to imagine how a tin box full of fags could survive on a wall these days. I did take some snaps recently as they've been in my garage for years. See what you think!
  6. A friend gave me one of the Bennet course books recently, on COLOUR. I was surprised at how well put together it was, with 70+ plates many in (surprise!) colour. It is undated, but a couple of the sample illustrations of commercial adverts have 1931 in them, so that might give a rough publishing date. I assume the college must have had quite a lot of clients to sustain books like this. Probably the new technical colleges after the War killed Bennetts and similar places off. Fitting perhaps that the suggested site of Bennett College on Melbourne Avenue is now part of the Girl's High School campus. My Mum lived for a good few years on Melbourne Avenue in the Lifestyle sheltered housing complex next door, and we were always having run ins with some of the unspeakable parents who would park up and block the avenue regularly, putting residents lives at risk as ambulances needed full access. "I paid to send my child here so I'll park where I like" was the best reply I got when I asked one of them to move. There's never a house brick around when you need one! The city archives have a certificate, exam papers and course papers for a guy doing a Building Construction Course in 1948. Quite how the exam results etc. were recognised by the trade needs some more research. Another source on industrial history I found (https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Bennett_College) shows adverts for the college dating back to 1916 up to 1960, and from these we can see it was founded in 1900 by a Mr. J H Bennett but has no further details. A couple of adverts confirm the building, which looks substantially the same today.
  7. Bradleys actually had branches in other towns in Yorkshire. As far away as Hebden Bridge and Huddersfield.
  8. Was this the imaginatively named Hillsborough Records? If so they were still there in the 80s when we lived nearby. Used to get loads of promo copies in from record reps.
  9. Nice stuff! I thought I was the only one mad enough to save this sort of ephemera. I put the Moor exhibition together (and run the ST33 site at the top of this page), bit of a labour of love but great to listen to people's memories as they gave at the window.
  10. Just finished framing up a set of art nouveau tiles I rescued from the foyer after the fire - the soaking the building got had loosened them all! Can't believe they've been in the garage for nearly 30 years. There was an attempt to get the facade listed after the fire as this was Sheffield's only building in this style, but needless to say it was not successful. We were also told the Egyptian head on the front would be saved for Sheffield. It was removed but has never resurfaced... My mother took me here to see the French film The Red Balloon, my first ever trip to a cinema. I seem to remember them doing late evening showings of rock films in the 70s too, Zeppelin, ELP, Floyd at Pompeii and the like. And if you're into old cinemas, the Abbeydale is currently up for sale - yours for £150K.
  11. Probably way too late for you but... I did get a nose around this place just before the mindless nerks at the Uni trashed it (as they have so much of the city over the years - they can't even respect their own fine original 60s Union building judging by the way this is being messed about with!). It was weird, the demolition guys had really cleaned it all out nicely inside in some rooms and I was sure this was so it could be restored! Anyhow, I'm sure I took some pictures inside and out which I would have somewhere. I found the rooms the Cabs used to use too, and amazingly there were still a few old posters about so I rescued those. The slides would hopefully have the date on them and this was literally just a few days before the bulldozers went in. I do regret not being able to lift an amazing cutlers anvil, embedded in a MASSIVE tree trunk. Never met the band there, though I did photograph them once at a video shoot for one of their hit singles (!). Simon
  12. Wilson Peck was actually the longest running music and record store in the city. It opened around late 1890s and only closed in 2001 (when it had downsized to a tiny shop up Abbeydale Road with about three pianos in!). They sold records right from the word go, but their main business was pianos, then keyboards and other instruments - including the first Stratocasters to probably be seen in the city. They opened in the big store on the corner opposite the Town Hall - then just nipped across the road to the other corner - no idea why, the shops look about the same size. The name comes from the two partners who founded the business, though the Wilson was actually a pseudonym. I'd love to hear from anyone who worked there, or has any memorabilia - I have a shopping bag from the 70s, and some of the old 78 record sleeves (I'll try and post one here). I can remember me and my brother keeping watch while one of us lifted posters off the staircase wall! Plus the ticket counter had a big seat plan of the City Hall, so you could see which tickets were booked - they crossed them off in pen and had a different plan for each upcoming gig. Must have been a nightmare to co-ordinate - but at least you didn't have internet touts ripping you off like today... Sadly nobody seems to have thought to save the old shop sign when the interior was all ripped out - I did take a look when the scaffolding was up but decided against trying on my own. Interestingly in one of the later pictures posted here, it looks to me like the left hand window next to Wilson Pecks is already a jewellers - I wonder if Browns had a bit of the store even back then? It used to be a branch of Jaeger (fashions) before the war. Simon
  13. I'm researching Sheffield record shops for a possible book, so would love to hear any recollections you have of working there at this time! Simon
  14. I don't suppose you remember the name of the band? Only I'm researching Sheffield Record Shops and it would be good to add this in. Impulse was a great store - went back into sort of huts beyond the front room and the clothing dept, which was full of loads of used vinyl and even a smattering of Bootlegs. Simon On the subject of record shops does anyone remember "Impulse" which used to be on Cambridge Street, just up from Faulkner's Snooker Hall? You could also by posters, T Shirts, badges and patches etc. One guy who worked there, John Talbot, used to be in a band who me and my mate went to see at Rotherham library.
  15. Revolution was indeed the best place in Sheffield for Punk and New Wave in the late 70s. I still have a fabulous sliver card display for the second Talking Heads album which they saved for me, and a multi coloured vinyl Stranglers 7" US import EP I bought there. Does anyone know when this shop opened or finally closed? This side of the gallery is now sealed off as the Council get ready to trash the whole Market building. Still there is Their Price records on the market ground floor, which by my reckoning must now be Sheffield's oldest still open record shop. I used to buy singles there too in the 70s and 80s, but these days it's just a few budget CDs. Simon
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