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Birley Spa

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boginspro

We played round this place as kids and actually called it the Roman baths, though later we knew different. The main point of interest as kids was the dam/pond behind the spa where we would fish or just jump in and get dirty. We would follow the stream down the valley, there was a well about halfway down to the Carr Forge Dam where we would swim or float about in tin baths.

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boginspro

It has just been brought to my attention that Sheffield council are about to sell Birley Spa with a guide price of £75,000 to £100,000. Personally I think this is wrong and have signed the petition to that effect. A couple of links below --------  https://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/showthread.php?p=11908770#post11908770   ----------   https://www.change.org/p/sheffield-city-council-sheffield-city-council-don-t-sell-off-birley-spa-bath-house  ------------  https://www.briefreport.co.uk/news/calls-to-protect-victorian-bath-house-as-it-is-put-up-for-sale-5798603.html ------------ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-45059591  --------------

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RLongden

Absolutely disgraceful and setting the morality of this aside for a minute, who at the council set that guide price? Do they not know the current value of land and real estate and despite the location, it has to be worth 5x that?! Another example of ratepayers assets being sold off for buttons and the council patting each other on the back, congratulating one another on the successful liquidation of our heritage.

You wait and see. In 12 months time, they will be ‘luxury character apartments, with immense charm and retaining many original features”. Carved up into 5 or more units, yours for offers in excess of £200K each...... you do the maths.

These council wallah’s need their bumps felt!..... 

........ where do I sign?!

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lysander

At a time when local authorities are having to make difficult decisions on account of  Central budget cuts, the sale of properties are helping stave off cuts to vital, statutory services .This is becoming an all too familiar occurrence ...throughout the country...and is NOT just a Sheffield problem... even Conservative controlled Councils are feeling the pinch as witness the virtual bankruptcy of Northamptonshire CC.which has dipped into its reserves to such an extent they are almost exhausted.

The baths were in a state of semi ruin and neglect until  fairly recently after receiving a grant for renovation... but on my few visits I have never seen them open., in fact, I was told they were closed and needed money spending on maintaining the old building.

The valuation is based on the severe development restrictions a grade11 listed building incurs... Were we to live in a nation with a Government which allowed Local authorities to sensitively develop such assets than we might all benefit but, alas, that is no longer permissible.

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boginspro
9 hours ago, RLongden said:

where do I sign?!

Sign here      ---------   https://www.change.org/p/sheffield-city-council-sheffield-city-council-don-t-sell-off-birley-spa-bath-house    ------------- as for the valuation, If what I have read is correct, half a million was spent on this place in 2002, what kind of thinking is it that after what must have been a major renovation, no provision was made for (cheap) maintenance.

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RLongden

That date seems right, as I clearly remember holding our son’s 5th birthday party there in 2003 and found I still, had the video, so spent a few happy minutes reminiscing over that.

Anyway, as I recall, the place had just been refurbished top to bottom, inside and out, so was in good condition then. I was lucky enough to have a tour of the bath house around that time, as my mum was involved with the people who had something to do with the place..... Frank Coupe, I think was the name of the chap. Local historian, passionate about the local heritage and I think he was a town crier or something too?

So even with Grade II listed status (with or without the ‘*’), with an little bit of ingenuity and a talented architect, I doubt they would have much trouble getting through planning / English Heritage or whoever and be able to make a handsome profit on that investment?

Whether the developments would deter the local idiots and graffiti artists from ransacking the building and grounds is another matter, but surely that in itself would be a good thing? It would only need some lunatic pyromaniac to set the place alight and then all this would be academic. It would be ruined, bulldozed and be a small housing estate in less than 5 years!?!

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boginspro

For anyone who hasn't received the emails or news there is an update on the sale at this link and it is not good news, please can anyone who has not signed now think about doing so.      -------------           https://www.change.org/p/13408180/u/23147710?utm_medium=email&utm_source=petition_update&utm_campaign=402846&sfmc_tk=8%2bK7I8FzmP8%2fYMlrlJtyWXPWQtmEM6%2bEn0vtNpRMP6e2iICmD5TG14apyQGatse4&j=402846&sfmc_sub=281019368&l=32_HTML&u=65027631&mid=7259882&jb=1

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boginspro
flogrylls

Good evening all! Just to update you that the battle for Birley Spa is far from lost. Indeed we are close to reaching an agreement with the council through our group Friends of Birley Spa. I can update on here when we have more news. We also have a new website that you may find interesting. Thank you. https://www.friendsofbirleyspa.org/

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boginspro

Oak tree destroyed by lightening at Birley Spa, 9th June 1907.

birley_spa_lightening_tree_9th_june_1907.jpg

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SteveHB
21 hours ago, boginspro said:

Oak tree destroyed by lightening at Birley Spa, 9th June 1907.

birley_spa_lightening_tree_9th_june_1907.jpg

The tree looks to have been a big attraction at that time, I can remember a lightening tree on the banks of Dam Flask, it facinated me as a kid.

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boginspro

I am sure I have a picture somewhere of the "Wonder Tree" mentioned in the post by Stuart0742  , but I can't find it. Anyone got that one please?

Here is one of the wooden dragons near the sand pit from the book "Shire Brook, The Forgotten Valley" published for The Shire Brook Valley Heritage Group  , This is a book I read over and over again, it is so well thumbed I will soon need another copy.

dragon_birley_spa.png

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RLongden
On 10/08/2014 at 22:20, boginspro said:

We played round this place as kids and actually called it the Roman baths, though later we knew different. The main point of interest as kids was the dam/pond behind the spa where we would fish or just jump in and get dirty. We would follow the stream down the valley, there was a well about halfway down to the Carr Forge Dam where we would swim or float about in tin baths.

It looks like they were known as the ‘Roman Baths’ in these photos from the late 60’s?

https://www.picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?searchterms=Roman_baths&action=search&keywords=all%3BCONTAINS%3B%Roman_baths%%3B

Wonder what the caravans we’re doing there? Maybe accommodation for builders on the Vic Hallam estate below, on and around Dyke Vale and Scowerdons?

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boginspro

I asked about those photo's in this post, and the general consensus was  that they are not at Birley Spa but could possibly be near Hackenthorpe Hall. Have you any ideas about that RLongden  please?

 

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flogrylls

The 'Roman' label was applied to the Bath in advertisements when the Spa was repurposed as the Pleasure Grounds around 1913 and appears to have stuck ever since.Despite being its most popular era it's a time we seem to have little information about.The attached photo is from Whitsuntide 1944 and shows the residents of the Spa, note the building to the right of the picture. I was told there was at one time a workshop, does anyone know if that is it?

Birley Spa -Whit 1944cs.jpg

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tweagle

I was poking around the area in 2006 and a volunteer let me in for a look round, so this is what the bath looked like then. Not sure about the fox.image.thumb.jpeg.94ba3c604cb7353edf73d12c1a647e01.jpeg

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flogrylls

It doesn't look much like that now. The fox is still there though! 😀

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