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Calvin72

Sheffield Local Board

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I am interested in the history beneath our feet and have taken to spotting interesting (and old) drain covers as i walk around. This may be a unique hobby! There are a few marked ' Sheffield Local Board ' which i believe date from prior to 1896 as that is the earliest date i have seen marked ' Sheffield Corporation ' . Any idea what this refers to? I wondered if it was an early form of local authority but cannot find any reference online, so i assume it to be the water board unless anyone knows different :)

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I must admit that I've never heard of this before but both this and your post about tram covers has me intrigued. Would you be able to post a picture or give me some more details re. these covers? I really am terribly interested now. I grew up living on South Road and can't for the life of me picture what you're talking about.

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From an October 1848 edition of the Sheffield Independent-

THE PUBLIC HEALTH ACT .... The objects of the act ... are -

1. To make more effectual provision for improving the sanatory condition of towns and populous places, and

2. To place the supply of water to such towns, and the sewerage, drainage, cleansing and paving thereof, as far as practicable, under one and the same local management and control....

WHO ARE TO CONSTITUTE THE LOCAL BOARD OF HEALTH.-- In the Borough of Sheffield, the Local Board will consist exclusively of the Town Council...

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I must admit that I've never heard of this before but both this and your post about tram covers has me intrigued. Would you be able to post a picture or give me some more details re. these covers? I really am terribly interested now. I grew up living on South Road and can't for the life of me picture what you're talking about.

Me too saw.

I thought it was only me who read manhole covers. I can't say I've ever gone out of my way to look at them, but if I find myself standing at the side of one I often have a look. I actually take more notice of who made them than for whom. Seems I'm not the only nutter out there. lol

The problem now is that I'm probably going to feel compelled to take photos of them. :wacko:

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A couple of quotes from the attached pdf

The authorities struggled to cope with the outbreak. Though they had some warning that a cholera outbreak was likely some chose to deny this, probably on economic grounds. They did not want any interruption to trade. Also, at this time, there was no tradition, or widely accepted view, that local authorities, such as they were, should interfere in matters of health or hygiene, or tax the local population to raise money in order to introduce services to deal with the epidemic. There was no national health service, nor was there a borough council. What there were were a number of smaller, more parochial, vestries and parishes, along with the Town Trustees. As the seriousness of the situation was felt a local Board of Health was established to try and coordinate a response.

14 July 1832
The Privy Council in London formally constituted the Sheffield Board of Health

Sources for the Study
of Cholera in Sheffield.

Cholera-Study-Guide--PDF--1-43-MB-.pdf

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If you're mad them I'm mad too! :wacko: If my memory serves me correct then the makers mark 'Needham, Stockport' is emblazoned all over the manhole and grates in Sheffield.

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I've noticed some Birmingham ones from time to time. Why did we need to "import" them I wonder.

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Now that we have established that several of us are mad i will continue :wacko:

Many of the older drain covers are marked 'Sheffield Corporation' with a date between 1896 and 1899. I have never seen one with a year either side of these dates. Presumably there was a major programme with drainage at this time.

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I must admit that I've never heard of this before but both this and your post about tram covers has me intrigued. Would you be able to post a picture or give me some more details re. these covers? I really am terribly interested now. I grew up living on South Road and can't for the life of me picture what you're talking about.

The 'Sheffield Local Board' ones that first caught my eye are on Palm Street. I will try to sort out pics when i can.

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Me too saw.

I thought it was only me who read manhole covers. I can't say I've ever gone out of my way to look at them, but if I find myself standing at the side of one I often have a look. I actually take more notice of who made them than for whom. Seems I'm not the only nutter out there. lol

The problem now is that I'm probably going to feel compelled to take photos of them. :wacko:

You are not alone :wacko:

Having spent a fair part of yesterday photographing road surfaces I now realise that I should be photographing manhole covers as well. Add it to th cobbles and street signs and datestones etc. Never sure whether to look up or down these days.

I too used to wonder why so many of the manhole covers I looked at in years gone by came from other towns and cities.

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Not a great pic due to sudden downpour, but this is Palm Street, Walkley this afternoon.

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Here's another pic of the 'SHEFFIELD LOCAL BOARD' cover in Palm Street.

Plus another more worn example at Commonside.

These covers are easy to spot because they are very curved, while most other types are flat.

Andy.

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Thanks Andy!

The one at Commonside is outside the chippy and next to a late 19th century 'Sheffield Corporation' cover with a handful of cobbles in between too!

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As part of myself and Andy1702 looking into the listing and conserving of street features i would like to try to date these covers as well as possible. I believe they are some of the oldest pieces of street furniture in Sheffield and worthy of conserving (road re-surfacing is occurring in the area). They date from somewhere between c1840 and c1870, but when was Palm Street developed/constructed and are there any other dating clues i could look into?

I have never seen any outside of the immediate area in Walkley but would be pleased to find out if anyone knows better!

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According to town plans on Oldmaps.co.uk, Palm Street wasn't built in 1853, but it was there in 1890.

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An advert appeared in August 1851 - "TO SURVEYORS AND C. - Premium of £20 is offered for the best plan for laying out the Freedom Hill Estate into Allotments of 600 yards each, Valuing and setting out the building sites on each Allotment and Making Working sections of the Roads."

In March 1853 the Independent reported: "Freedom Hill Land Society - the members of this society having obtained possession of their allotments and the roads through the estate having been completed....the occasion was celebrated on Monday by a dinner given by the members...The roads had been made by Messrs Anthony under the superintendence of Mr Townsend [the surveyor] at the cost of £1100....During the 15 months that it had been in the hands of the members the old neglected farmland being now turned into a smiling garden"

Also reported in March 1853 was the suicide of one of the members of the Freedom Hill building society, a Mr Benjamin Gaunt, a scale cutter, who had been under great stress whilst building his house in Palm street, and at the same time having to continue to earn his living.

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Thanks very much both - 1853 fits in my time span quite well. I am getting there slowly :)

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Myself and Andy had another field trip around Walkley on Thursday researching 'Sheffield Local Board' drains. Not a lot discovered but more questions to answer! Firstly there are two and possibly another worn one on Palm Street and a third definite one on Commonside (see pics above). Has anyone seen any more anywhere in the City? I think it is likely that they were installed c1853 as per the information in this thread about the development of Palm Street.

Is there anything special about the area with regards to the Cholera outbreak or is just lucky that these covers survive? Either way i am going to apply for listing status for them as the street resurfacing has already been carried out in the adjoining streets. Although drains are not usually affected it is not worth the risk.

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Shameless bumping of this thread as the 'Drainspotting' thread is discussing the age of Palm Street and the provenance of the 'Sheffield Local Board' drains.

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We do wander about somewhat don't we ? :)

It seems that one question usually poses another question - or more.

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How many of these Local Boards were there? I ask because while walking round Long Eaton near Nottingham the other day I found this...

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I am in Nottingham next Tuesday and am now looking forward to it far more than i was!

Drainspotting on tour!

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A couple of quotes from the attached pdf

The authorities struggled to cope with the outbreak. Though they had some warning that a cholera outbreak was likely some chose to deny this, probably on economic grounds. They did not want any interruption to trade. Also, at this time, there was no tradition, or widely accepted view, that local authorities, such as they were, should interfere in matters of health or hygiene, or tax the local population to raise money in order to introduce services to deal with the epidemic. There was no national health service, nor was there a borough council. What there were were a number of smaller, more parochial, vestries and parishes, along with the Town Trustees. As the seriousness of the situation was felt a local Board of Health was established to try and coordinate a response.

14 July 1832

The Privy Council in London formally constituted the Sheffield Board of Health

Sources for the Study

of Cholera in Sheffield.

Bouncing my first ever SH thread as i have been wading through lots of things in research recently. Thanks to vox for this link in which i have only just taken notice of the existence of a separate Attercliffe cum Darnall Local Board, presumable a different Parish at the time to Sheffield. Oh for an 'Attercliffe cum Darnall Local Board' drain cover!

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Found another Sheffield Local Board cover today. This one was miles away from any of the others, on the North Eastern end of Whiteley Wood Road, just feet away from where AMEY have left one of their recent trails of mass destruction.

The sad news is that if you look on Google Streetview, a bit further down the road, near the pillar box, it looks like there was another one, which is now obliterated with nasty new tarmac!

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Yesterday I found a further example of a 'Sheffield Local Board' drain cover which were installed in the mid-nineteenth century to combat cholera. This superb example is at the bottom of Millhouses Lane off Abbeydale Rd South. I still think it remarkable that these hidden pieces of social history are just sitting around on our streets! 

Millhouses Lane Local Board.jpg

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