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Calvin72

Drainspotting!

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Many of these around.

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Sheffield Electric Light and Power Co Ltd - any idea of dates? For a long time I had only seen a handful of these, but they are numerous around Nether Edge and the Botanical Gardens area.

light and power board.jpg

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Sheffield Corporation 1897.

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Sheffield Corporation 1898 - lots of drains installed around this time.

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An 1899 (i think) vent in the pavement, at Commonside just past the top of Barber Road, probably installed at the same time as the electric Tramway route was being constructed.

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Many thanks for doing that they're really fascinating. I'll definitely be on the lookout for those from now on.

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Circular vent in the road near Crookesmoor. Nice to see it has survived various road surface changes!

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I've been scouting around for Sheffield manufacturers of manhole covers, drain covers etc, but I haven't come up with anything.

Any ideas on search terms to use.

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I've been scouting around for Sheffield manufacturers of manhole covers, drain covers etc, but I haven't come up with anything.

Any ideas on search terms to use.

Try Foundry (iron foundries),

there is one within yards from where I am sitting, a drain grate, not a foundry lol

'Beeley Foundry' had me puzzled for years, thinking it was at Beeley Wood, turns out it was on't Cliff.

http://www.picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;s20283&pos=3&action=zoom&id=22799

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An 1899 (i think) vent in the pavement.

I'm wondering if that round cover originally had glass in it to provide some daylight to anyone working in the drain?

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I've been scouting around for Sheffield manufacturers of manhole covers, drain covers etc, but I haven't come up with anything.

Any ideas on search terms to use.

Most common names on features today are Blakes Foundry and Charlton Ironworks.

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I've spotted a lot of Blakes Foundry this week, I'm presuming that those drain covers aren't that old.

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Been working at a house near Carterknowle Rd today and there's a Sheffield made one on the path. It's badly worn so I can't make out the maker.

Back tomorrow so I'll have a walk down the street to see if there's a readable one.

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Been working at a house near Carterknowle Rd today and there's a Sheffield made one on the path. It's badly worn so I can't make out the maker.

Back tomorrow so I'll have a walk down the street to see if there's a readable one.

Be prepared that if you kneel down and try to feel the letters 'braille' style then people will look!

They do when i do it anyway :)

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Been working at a house near Carterknowle Rd today and there's a Sheffield made one on the path. It's badly worn so I can't make out the maker.

Back tomorrow so I'll have a walk down the street to see if there's a readable one.

The cast iron inspection chamber lids found in peoples gardens and paths often are marked with the name of the builder of the property, rather than the name of the foundry.

The foundries must have offered an easy option for customised lids.

We have owned three houses which had a name on the lid which matched the builder named on the deeds.

HD

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I'm wondering if that round cover originally had glass in it to provide some daylight to anyone working in the drain?

I think that the holes in these lids were there purely to ventilate the sewer below, of methane and leaking coal gas.

Over the years the holes and slots have been partially or completely blocked by ashphalt used to repair the roads.

There are often very deep shafts under these lids and not much light would reach the bottom.

HD

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The cast iron inspection chamber lids found in peoples gardens and paths often are marked with the name of the builder of the property, rather than the name of the foundry.

The foundries must have offered an easy option for customised lids.

We have owned three houses which had a name on the lid which matched the builder named on the deeds.

HD

Interesting observation HD

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Ok, I've done a bit more researce on Sheffield's drain covers, so here are my findings so far. It's an ongoing project though, so if you think anything needs changing or you have better info please feel free to let me know.

As far as we can work out, the oldest covers are those marked 'Local Board' like the one below.

Sometime between the Local Board of Health coming into existence in the late 1840s and the new design of Corporation covers appearing sometime around the mid 1890s (we think), the Corporation originally used covers in the same Local Board style but with 'SHEFFIELD CORPORATION' lettering like this one. If you look closely the iron slats look slightly thinker and the holes slightly narrower than on the Local Board example.

Around the mid 1890s there seems to have been a boom in drain building around Sheffield. This is possibly in part due to street reconstruction for the Corporation's new electric tramway system. At this time the Corporation changed to a larger, more square and flatter design of cover, t=which they helpfully dated as shown below. This particular example is in the Broomhill area and if it really does read 1895 as it appears to, is the oldest example of this design we've found so far.

A close up of the date.

How long the Corporation continued to use this dated design is unclear. Calvin, what's the latest one you've found?

Alongside this design also came other associated covers like this round one. Unfortunately the date has worn off.

I'm currently working on a web page with more information which can be found at http://andyc823.wordpress.com/street-furniture/

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Thanks to Andy for summing up our findings and, not least, for driving us both around Sheffield recently!

For quite a while i only saw the 'Sheffield Corporation' covers dated between 1896 and 1899, however recently i have found a few with 1902, 1906 and 1912 dates. However these total only half a dozen or so and represent replacements rather than a programme of drainage such as i believe happened in the late 1890s. As Andy suggests this does tie in with the plans and construction of the Electric Tramway in 1899. Something else that leads me to think there is a link is that i originally became interested in these features whilst looking at, and for, tramway remnants. They do appear more regularly alongside tramway routes from 1899 than in other places.

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Sheffield Corporation 1912 near Hunters Bar.

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Found this on the road down to the Dam House.

Apparently Sheffield Corporation took over the water works from the old company on 2nd January 1888, which puts this small tap cover after that date. Interestingly it's in the same casting style, with the raised blocks, as the large round drain covers which are still dotted around.

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