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Sheffield History

Christmas In Sheffield !

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In the early fifties i lived with my gran and grandad because my parents were in lodgings, but around my way that was pretty much the norm. My way by the way was the top Wybourn near the Windsor where the landlord used to let us pick a chocolate from his tree.

My Christmas gifts consisted of one main toy,meccano or the like,some chocolate coins,a selection box and of course an apple and an orange,but added to that was my special surprise lovingly crafted by my Uncle Tommy,a garage or a bagatelle or a fort and everyone painted in Sheffield Corporation Transport colours on account of him being a fitter there and having access to the paint stores.One year he made me a brilliant sledge and even painted on coachlines to make it more striking,hey presto ,i awoke to a blanket of snow,threw on my clothes and wellies and off out into toboggan heaven,alas the sledge weighed a little more than an elephant and sank whilst refusing to budge one inch,Uncle Tom,to his eternal credit took me down to Wilson and Gumperts in the square and bought me a super sleek lightweight one,chilblane heaven here i came.The sledge did come in handy as sticks to get the fire going.

Another year i asked for and got a casey (leather football),my cup was truly full,i picked it up to go out to play only to be stopped by these words from grandfather "weer tha guin wi that" me "to call for lads an have a game o togger" g/f "not wi that that not,duz tha know how much they are,get some dubbin on and put it away till better weather then tha can tek it in park. I treasured that ball and dubbined it religiously whilst praying for milder weather to play on grass and not ruin it on the ruad and corsey.

Spring sprang and i was allowed to take out my precious cargo to the park with my mates,i resisted all temptation to kick it there knowing there would be a minute inspection immediately on my return home.we chose sides on the way there and finally the moment arrived,we could hardly move the flipping thing,we were used to playing with cheap thin plasticy things or even tennis balls but this was ten times the weight,mainly through the copious amount of dubbibing it had received,that put paid to my dreams of being the next Jimmy Hagan

Ah well....C'Est La Vie as they say in Barnsley...............A happy Christmas.

.

Lovely memories Rossy thanks for sharing those - its like listening to my dad! lol

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My Mum worked at Middlewood hospital and sometimes worked on Christmas Day, so Dad and myself would go to a pub at Thorpe Hesley (Travellers) I think where all the miners and what not were in playing dominoes darts or what ever the first drink being on the house, at 1 o'clock (13-00 hours) the games were put away and everyone would sing carols, a true moving experience which has brought a tear to my eye now, Dad and I would then go and collect Mum from work and on one occassion she came out with her hat on back to front and staggering over to the car at a funny angle, I cant remember who cooked the diner but we all had agood time.

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My Uncle Harold appeared in a amateur production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens in 1944. This was held in the Co-operative Society rooms above the grocery-store at the end of Napier Street where we bought our groceries. (I still remember our Co-op number.) In the play he took the part of Bob Crachitt. As a young 6-year-old I was terrified by the four ghosts – Jacob Marley, Christmas-past, Christmas- present, and Christmas-future.

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December 20th 1960 and my youngest sister was born in the front bedroom. The older one's of us got sent off to school with the news that we had a new baby at our house. Unfortunately, none of us knew whether it was a boy or a girl so we had to wait till we got home to find out. That night Dore and Totley Union Church carol singers visited our house and sang Silent Night and Away in a Manger. There wasn't a dry eye in the house and I never hear those carols without thinking of that night.

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Hi Syl

When was your dad a manager with the S&E co-op, I was a trainee manager in late 1976, getting my own store in 1978 ot 79?

Sando He was a manager at B&C C0-Op but the Christmas meal was held in the S&E because it had a restaurant I think. Sadly Dad died in 1970 so long before your time anyway.

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Christmas in Brightside was magical. Mum always did her very best for us kids, collecting presents in the run up to the event. She kept them in the tall cupboard in the corner of the living room. Unfortunately, me and my little brother knew she did - and I used to rummage around to try and find them and see what she had got us!

Christmas morning saw me and Colin get up early and dash downstairs. We both had pillowcases stuffed with toys and chocolates. I always went for the Bunty book and chocolates first and settled down to a long read and guzzle. Usually while watching Leslie Crowther doing his rounds of the children in hospital. I loved that for some reason! The living room was festooned with lots of shiny foil decs hanging from the tiles on the ceiling (death trap foam tiles). Plus there were fold out concertina paper Father Xmas Mum put above the fireplace. We had a fake Xmas tree (very very spindly looking thing I remember at the time I was little) which was set on a table in the corner of the room. Mum getting the lunch ready (chicken usually) was followed by a stupor afterwards. We never really had folk around, we just had our little family unit most of the time at Xmas when I was about 10. My sister had emigrated to Canada and I do rememer she used to send a parcel each year which arrived just before Xmas. That was always exciting. I know Mum would have preferred her to be in this country though. Happy happy days though, even though we did not really have loads.

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My first memory of Christmas in Sheffield is amongst my earliest ever memories. It was December 1950 when I was about 3 1/2. We were living in Holme Lane. My sister had been born on 21 December and over the next few days we had lots of visitors. They all seemed to bring me things too! I remember getting two sets of a tinplate tractor with trailer, grass rake etc and farm animals.

I presume it must have been the folliwing year when I went with my mum to see a pantomime, which I think was Aladin. We drove through streets lined with Christmas lights and the show was awash with colour. Magical for a four year old!

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One Christmas I remember as a kid was when my cousin came up to see us. We were playing a new board game called What Am I Bid. Which as it's name suggest was an auction game. There was a wooden Mallet with it and the person who was the auctioneer (in this case it was my cousin) had to move it up and down saying going, going...gone! and bang it down! Well we were playing it and my cousin had his back the Christmas Tree. So he started saying the phrase, but before he could put the mallet down and say gone, as he raised the mallet, it hit one of the large glass balls on the tree and smashed it to pieces :o My mum went nuts! :angry:

That was that game put away with lol

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Christmas in Brightside was magical. Mum always did her very best for us kids, collecting presents in the run up to the event. She kept them in the tall cupboard in the corner of the living room. Unfortunately, me and my little brother knew she did - and I used to rummage around to try and find them and see what she had got us!

Christmas morning saw me and Colin get up early and dash downstairs. We both had pillowcases stuffed with toys and chocolates. I always went for the Bunty book and chocolates first and settled down to a long read and guzzle. Usually while watching Leslie Crowther doing his rounds of the children in hospital. I loved that for some reason! The living room was festooned with lots of shiny foil decs hanging from the tiles on the ceiling (death trap foam tiles). Plus there were fold out concertina paper Father Xmas Mum put above the fireplace. We had a fake Xmas tree (very very spindly looking thing I remember at the time I was little) which was set on a table in the corner of the room. Mum getting the lunch ready (chicken usually) was followed by a stupor afterwards. We never really had folk around, we just had our little family unit most of the time at Xmas when I was about 10. My sister had emigrated to Canada and I do rememer she used to send a parcel each year which arrived just before Xmas. That was always exciting. I know Mum would have preferred her to be in this country though. Happy happy days though, even though we did not really have loads.

Thanks for those Ally - sounds like you had a lovely childhood in Brightside. You don't need riches to have a warm and secure memory of a loving family. Your parents sound like they made everything special for you - they sound a fantastic family! ;-)

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The thing I remember best about my childhood Christmas's were the Christmas parties at the J. J. Dysons plant where my father worked in the clay mine.

It wasn't the food served in the large works canteen that I remember, or Santa Claus arriving on his sleigh atop the office block; or even the present out of his sack.

It was the magical coach journey there and back that I remember.

We would board the almost empty coach waiting at Malin Bridge and set off in the darkness up to Stannington Village, then down the winding steep descent of Spout Lane to Loxley, all the while stopping here and there to pick up more children of Dysons workers. Then up to High Bradfield, and down the steep Wood Fall Lane to Low Bradfield, around Dam Flask and with gears crashing into first, up to Dungworth. Pick a few more children up and feel sorry for their short ride for we were almost there.

After we had poured out of the coach all I wanted to do was wait for the return journey with headlights blazing through the sometimes snowy landscape.

Thinking about nowadays it must have been a nightmare for the poor coach driver who had to get his young passengers there and back driving around hair-pin bends no matter how bad the road conditions were.

HD

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Christmas at my grandma and grandads for lunch.With their little decorated tree,sugary glazed lemon and orange pieces and grandad eating dates.I was always ridiculously spoilt by themThen to my other grandparents with their little terraced house full of relatives.Later they would come to ours and grandad-now sozzled on Guinness would laugh constantly during Morecambe & Wise.

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Redgates was a magical place, I used to go most Saturdays to look at the toys , Couldnt afford to buy toys most of the time but it was great to look at them . My auntie was the shop manager there so I used to meet her as well. I dont think I could compare them as there was a different atmosphere between them . I was a child when I used to go to Redgates but an adult now and just go to get presents for grand kids which is a different thing altogether.

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In 1968 our daughter was two years old and we lived in South Bucks. We travelled all the way to Sheffield to visit family and to take our daughter to the grotto at the bottom of the Moor. There were no motorways then and the journey took at least eight hours - but it was worth it to see her face when she saw the magic of the Moor. Those were the days when the centre of town really 'dressed for Christmas'.

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Christmas at my grandma and grandads for lunch.With their little decorated tree,sugary glazed lemon and orange pieces and grandad eating dates.I was always ridiculously spoilt by themThen to my other grandparents with their little terraced house full of relatives.Later they would come to ours and grandad-now sozzled on Guinness would laugh constantly during Morecambe & Wise.

Great, I love it , it all brings back memories. If only we could turn the clock back.

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Dad worked at Tinsley Wire industries. Each year, they gave a Christmas party for the kids of the workers. There would be an act of some kind, usually a magician, and then Santa would appear with a gift, and an apple and orange for each kid. Never figured out how Santa knew the name of each and every child he called out. The party I remember the most, would have been my last, that would have been 1952 (ish ). for some reason, I arrived really early for the concert, and for an hour or two, was shown around the factory by my dad. Sure made me feel special.

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Like many other people here I remember the sleigh and grotto at the bottom of the Moor, and my family used to travel a fair old way to see it.

My family was from the Dearne Valley, but we moved to the East Riding in the early 1970s. My mum and dad were quite homesick for a long time I think, and for a few Christmases my dad would drive us all the 70 miles or so to Sheffield to see the lights, and Father Christmas and the sleigh and the trees. My mum and dad were so proud of the lights that they persuaded some friends from our new village to come with them. I remember after seeing Father Christmas and the lights we'd get some chips, then fall asleep in the car on the way back to the Wolds.

So my memory is really of Sheffield as this magical, enormous, fairyland place that you had to travel what seemed like hours and hours to get to. I still a feel a bit like that now when I think back, and it's great reading other people's memories here.

Richard

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Everyone always seemed to come to our house for Christmas, so we used to sit down for Christmas dinner in sittings as mum used to cook for various of my aunts and uncles and the dining table wasn't that big. We always had a piece of beef or pork with yorkshire pudding. You had to be rich to have turkey or chicken!!! Mum sometimes made a trifle for christmas tea but we had to have a slice of bread and butter with it, or sometimes we'd have a tin of peaches, and we always had salmon sandwiches (pink, not red) and a pork pie.

I remember as a child, over the years, getting film annuals with all the film stars and I always had a tin of toffees. I used to get knitting sets and sewing sets at times but always an apple and an orange.

The house used to be decorated with crepe paper twists and fold out bells. My aunt and uncle used to live at the front of the house and their room used to be festooned in paper chains and hanging bells, so much so, that it was really dark in there and we used to have the lights on all the time.

On the christmas tree we used to have candle holders that held real candles you could light, talk about a fire hazard.

When I was older I used to work in the Midland Bank building at the top of Angel Street, so I was used to seeing the council putting up the lights - they always looked lovely.

When my children were born I took them to see Santa in Redgates Toy Shop, they used to love it there, along with Wilson Gumpets where they'd spend all day if I let them, just looking.

Happy memories

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We always had a piece of beef or pork with yorkshire pudding. You had to be rich to have turkey or chicken!!! Mum sometimes made a trifle for christmas tea but we had to have a slice of bread and butter with it.

I was always told to have a slice of bread and butter with jelly and custard, yuk I hated it.

I know our parents were doing their best to " fill a hole " as they say but I would have enjoyed

my jelly and custard better without the bread and butter. :P

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I was always told to have a slice of bread and butter with jelly and custard, yuk I hated it.

I know our parents were doing their best to " fill a hole " as they say but I would have enjoyed

my jelly and custard better without the bread and butter. :P

When we went to my gran's on Saturday I always got tinned pears and an ice cream for afters, but I had to have bread and butter with that. As you say UKL, Yuk!

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I was always told to have a slice of bread and butter with jelly and custard, yuk I hated it.

I know our parents were doing their best to " fill a hole " as they say but I would have enjoyed

my jelly and custard better without the bread and butter. :P

My Mother made the Best Bread and Butter Pudding. Not sure how it got its name as it seemed to be cake and raisens, cheries and stuff like orange peel and ???

Found one, So she might have used Bread.

http://grahamettridge.blogspot.com/2008/03/traditional-english-recipe-grahams.html

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Christmas in Sheffield has changed over the years.

Gone is Redgates and the chance to play with and buy a million and one different toys (I guess ToysRUs has replaced this magical store)

The lights seem to get more and more sparse in the city centre

But we also have the addition of food fayres and a peace gardens that is lit up like a 'christmas tree' !

In years past Sheffielders would engage with their neighbours and there would be a community spirit around Christmas too - is that still there ?

And what's the best shop you can remember (apart from Redgates !) for Christmas shopping in years gone by?

What's your memories of Santa's grotto's in the department stores ?

Where did you used to buy your Christmas turkey ?

Has what you eat changed over the years ?

Press reply and tell us your memories of Sheffield's Christmases....

Hi...two things spring to mind, the first being my dad getting a little worse for wear shall we say, and then going to the castle market on my mothers instructions to purchase a christmas turkey...well to cut a long story short, he came back chuffed to bits with a canvas sack slung over his shoulder, in which he had birdzilla...the biggest turkey you have ever seen...so big infact that they had to saw it in two and cook it in two sittings...we had turkey for chuffin weeks. The second was taking my daughter to see santa at the co-op in town in the 80's....she sat on his knee and he promptly burst in to tears before telling her about his cat that had been run over and killed that morning....i kid you not...Merry christmas...Al.

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I remember the forest at the bottom of the Moor too. Wasn't Downtown by Petula Clark rather than Dusty Springfield? Not dissimilar sound!

In the mid-60's a group of the school choir and orchestra from Firth Park School used to sing and play carols in the middle bit of the traffic island at Firth Park, in the bit where the trams used to run though the middle . (After the trams stopped running that is!)

My first year in Sheffield was 1974, I was 13 and had come to live with my aunty @ Beighton after my parents split up. Her and my uncle took us to Sheffield to see the lights. God, I was amazed. Coming from a tiny village in Cornwall I had never been to a city, let alone seen anything like the City's lights at that time. I was totally transfixed by the beauty of the dancing fountains, it totally blew my mind. That night in town made what was a very sad time for me into an absolutely amazing experience that I will never forget. It's such a shame that Sheffield no longer has the money or I feel the inclination to put such effort into making the City such a wonderful place to be in, especially at Christmas.....it used to be magical!

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Oh being a child of the 60's/70's I used to love the annual trip to Redgates, where I would be able to write my Christmas wish list, it usually included a dressing up set which always came in a yellow box with a clear lid, The Santa's and Reindeers that went around the hole in the road on road level, when Christmas decorations in town WERE decorations but most of all the Santa's grotto in the Co-op on Haymarket, where you would sit on a sledge or rocket and the sides would move, to pretend you were actually travelling somewhere haha oh happy days!! lol

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My Grandparents lived on Shoreham Street so it was no trouble to go and see the Xmas lights every year, no matter what the weather! I do remember the Santa Grotto in Atkinsons in the seventies. For some reason I was given an iron <_<

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Not my memory but the missus', in the 50's Christmas shopping with her Mum, went into Boots and it was packed. They had a one-way system round the shop, and her Mum got whizzed by the crush past the shelf she wanted. She tried to go back but was stopped by the staff and had to go all the way round again!

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