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Does Anyone Know What This Used To Be?


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hilldweller

Vox !
I take my hat off to you, (but not in the style of a certain Sheffield made film).

Looking at the photo's of the interior I had a certain feeling of dega vu until I realised that I have been in a great number of similar small rooms.
Electrical Sub Stations !
The Woodseats tram route ran only as far as Woodbank Crescent from November 1902 although it was extended to Chantrey road in April 1903.
If it was a tramways substation providing the 650 volts DC for the tramways overhead then it would be big enough for a transformer, mercury-arc rectifier and switchgear.
If it was a tramways sub-station then all the evidence would be on the concrete floor with holes where the cables came up and the equipment was bolted down.
The bricked up hole at the back, which at the time might not have had the banking piled against it, would be the ideal place to put a ventilator grill to let the heat out
It's perhaps only a coincidence that the structure appeared at the same time as the villas above it.
I wonder why the villas had a Chesterfield Road address when the main access seems to have been from Woodbank Crescent ?

HD

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hilldweller

Looks like you've sussed it HD.

Good work. Take a bow that man.

attachicon.gifBow.jpg :)

Thank-you for that but I would point out that HD has got a lot more hair than that. :rolleyes:

In fact he's still got about the same amount as appears in my avatar.

It's the rest of me that's dropping to bits ! :(

HD

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You just can't get reliable "stunt doubles" these days can you ?

I told him to do his research before taking the photo :)

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tdh-syorks

Great work, thank you very much.

That's most probably what it was, it has a plausible explanation now after all.

Thanks for getting stuck in vox With the photos, beat me to it.

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hilldweller

Back to square one :wacko:

Having nothing better to do I emailed the Crich Tramways people in an attempt to confirm my hypothesis.

They very kindly contacted a chap who lives in Sheffield and is a member of the Tramway Museum Society.

He contacted me this morning with his phone number and I have just been speaking to him.

He tells me that as far as he knows it was never a sub-station but he is sure that it formed part of the structure of Mulligan's Mansions up above.

He thinks that it gave access to the cellars of the villas above it.

He pointed me in the direction of a number of posts on Sheffield Forum. On there several people seem to think that it formed part of the super-structure of the villas above. Google Mulligan's Mansions Sheffield.

Apparently the small doorway and the top of the arch was bricked-up using bricks from the demolished villas.

So that's the sub-station theory down the drain. :( The presence of two internal cast iron water fall pipes makes that unlikely anyway. :o

HD

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Nice find Steve.

It looks as though it was taken over the roofs of the short terrace of houses on Aukley Road, but where or what would give a high enough vantage point to get that view. Any buildings behind them must surely be much lower, owing to the steepness of the bank.

I know that photos can sometimes be deceiving, as far as angles and distances are concerned, but the photographer appears to have been standing almost on a level with Chesterfield Road.

Google Streetview

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SteveHB

Back to square one :wacko:

Having nothing better to do I emailed the Crich Tramways people in an attempt to confirm my hypothesis.

They very kindly contacted a chap who lives in Sheffield and is a member of the Tramway Museum Society.

He contacted me this morning with his phone number and I have just been speaking to him.

He tells me that as far as he knows it was never a sub-station but he is sure that it formed part of the structure of Mulligan's Mansions up above.

He thinks that it gave access to the cellars of the villas above it.

He pointed me in the direction of a number of posts on Sheffield Forum. On there several people seem to think that it formed part of the super-structure of the villas above. Google Mulligan's Mansions Sheffield.

Apparently the small doorway and the top of the arch was bricked-up using bricks from the demolished villas.

So that's the sub-station theory down the drain. :( The presence of two internal cast iron water fall pipes makes that unlikely anyway. :o

HD

Just had a re-think, it could have been a boiler room/coal house?

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hilldweller

Just had a re-think, it could have been a boiler room/coal house?

Apparently it was connected through to the cellars/basements of Mulligan's Mansions but the only possible connection was the small bricked up opening high up on the back wall. From counting the brick courses this would be about two feet wide and four feet high.

It would have been a hell of a job to throw coal that high through the hole but what about the possibility that it was for rubbish from the house moving the other way.

This could then be collected via Chesterfield Road.

Just another thought !

HD

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SteveHB

Apparently it was connected through to the cellars/basements of Mulligan's Mansions but the only possible connection was the small bricked up opening high up on the back wall. From counting the brick courses this would be about two feet wide and four feet high.

It would have been a hell of a job to throw coal that high through the hole but what about the possibility that it was for rubbish from the house moving the other way.

This could then be collected via Chesterfield Road.

Just another thought !

HD

But it could have housed a boiler for heating the house, and fuel could have been deliverd via Chesterfield Road?

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Waterside Echo

But it could have housed a boiler for heating the house, and fuel could have been deliverd via Chesterfield Road?

The YEB were always working in and around there in the 60s and early 70s. Incidentally the bit of land at the side of 329 Chesterfield Road was used by a car repair business around the same time. Over the years that land has been up for sale on a number of occasions but nothing ever came of it, W/E.

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You would need a substantial structure like that to climb such a steep banking in so short a space from the road. I guess the stairs would wind around inside it. A straight forward flight of steps would be like the north face of the Eiger.

If you look at the 1904 map you can see a series of outlines in front of the villas that seem to have pathways leading out of the top of the structures and splitting to the corner of each villa.

My guess is that the "thing" being located against such a steep banking became unsafe due to subsidence at some time and was taken out of service.

It certainly seems to be something to do with the villas as it appeared at the same time as them.

What happened to the previous thread about this structure ?

I'm sure it was on this forum.

HD

Having relaid the sewage system on Woodbank Crescent it was like working on the Eiger, freezing cold, steep and solid rock.

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Waterside Echo

Nice find Steve.

It looks as though it was taken over the roofs of the short terrace of houses on Aukley Road, but where or what would give a high enough vantage point to get that view. Any buildings behind them must surely be much lower, owing to the steepness of the bank.

I know that photos can sometimes be deceiving, as far as angles and distances are concerned, but the photographer appears to have been standing almost on a level with Chesterfield Road.

attachicon.gifAukley Rd.jpg

Google Streetview

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Waterside Echo

Woodbank Crescent en route to Woodseats circa 1910. Courtesy C C Hall. Whats the house behind?

Vox !
I take my hat off to you, (but not in the style of a certain Sheffield made film).

Looking at the photo's of the interior I had a certain feeling of dega vu until I realised that I have been in a great number of similar small rooms.
Electrical Sub Stations !
The Woodseats tram route ran only as far as Woodbank Crescent from November 1902 although it was extended to Chantrey road in April 1903.
If it was a tramways substation providing the 650 volts DC for the tramways overhead then it would be big enough for a transformer, mercury-arc rectifier and switchgear.
If it was a tramways sub-station then all the evidence would be on the concrete floor with holes where the cables came up and the equipment was bolted down.
The bricked up hole at the back, which at the time might not have had the banking piled against it, would be the ideal place to put a ventilator grill to let the heat out
It's perhaps only a coincidence that the structure appeared at the same time as the villas above it.
I wonder why the villas had a Chesterfield Road address when the main access seems to have been from Woodbank Crescent ?

HD

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Ann Marie

My Grandad lived in Mulligans Mansions.  He was called James Connell otherwise known as Jock Connell as he was Scottish.  If you look further into the records he and his child Charlie were in the house when the house was on fire.  I don't know why it was given that name as nobody in the family knew anyone called Mulligan.  He liked a drink and was a gambler too and was so poor he used to take wooden stuff down to make a fire - bannisters or floorboards etc.  This is what my Dad wrote in a letter referring to Mulligans Mansions.  He said the place was terrible - very very cold and the children slept on beds with no blankets just coats on the beds.  I have seen a newspaper article with a passage about the fire and young Charlie still in the house.  My Mum used to say your Grandad lives up them steps when I was little and we used to walk on Chesterfield Road so I do remember steep steps.  So now you can put a character to the house.  I only met him twice once when I was little and my Mum had to tell him that I was his Granddaughter and he gave me a shilling!  Then when my Dad came on leave from the army because his Dad was dying in the Royal Infirmary.  He was quite a character and liked his women!  He did befriend a married woman called Mrs Mangles which sounds a bit like mulligan?

My Dad wrote in his letter " I know that I spent a few days leave at Mulligan's Mansion and I spent all I had on food for you all.  I know there wasn't very much but I was only on seven shillings a week.  You were all living there with another family.  Ethel Rock had finished with Father and had got married and he was going out with Mrs Leach then.  You had all been living with Fachars, his Sister in Swinton and had somehow got back to Sheffield.  I don't remember him ever having a job and he certainly wasn't working then.  I was in uniform on leave and had to sleep on rags on the floor."  He mentioned that the next time he was on leave the family had all moved to Meersbrook Road and life wasn't any better there but worse conditions with damp walls and floor.

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Ann Marie

This is an article in the paper about the fire.  This was in 1938

IMG_0844.thumb.jpg.8220ea070815977348cac0325045ecc4.jpg

IMG_0843.jpg

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