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Calvin72

Drainspotting!

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Think this recent discovery is one of my favourites! Certainly pre-dates the Corporation takeover of the Water Works in 1888 and could be quite a bit older than that...

I am bouncing this photo from 5 months ago in case it has dropped off the radar! - Has anyone seen anything else like this? I think it may be one of the most interesting things i have found and i think (just a feeling based on condition and location) that it may be VERY old - any thoughts?

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well it's certainly not the normal 'SCWW' type of stop tap cover, which commonly found around the city. I'd say it either pre-dates the corporation taking over the water supply or is a generic casting used in a lot of different places.

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well it's certainly not the normal 'SCWW' type of stop tap cover, which commonly found around the city. I'd say it either pre-dates the corporation taking over the water supply or is a generic casting used in a lot of different places.

I have never seen another one, or indeed anything similar. It is on an old cobbled side street near the Cathedral and i think it is VERY old, certainly pre-1888 and i would estimate c.1850-60

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What's underneath it? Probably still the original valve?

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What's underneath it? Probably still the original valve?

I am strictly an 'on the surface' man :) - i wonder the same about Tramway remnants - are they re-used for other access or is there anything original still there...?

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I have posted about small P.O features in the pavement earlier in this thread and on the 'V.R Post Boxes' thread too. We are pretty confident that they are markers of long-gone Post Boxes and are marking the spot, possibly for legal or ownership reasons. However i recently discovered this variation on a theme at the top of Kenwood Park Road on Nether Edge - a marker for a disappeared phone box..?

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So now the question is - Why are some sites marked and others not ?

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So now the question is - Why are some sites marked and others not ?

Very good question. Why did the sites have to be marked in the first place? Could they not have just marked them on a map lodged with the city planners or something?

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Calvin, from my collection of sewer and drainage cuttings, these may be of some use for your book, being the beginnings of the administrative background to the hardware.

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Lots to read through :) - many thanks! I really need to know if the 'Sheffield Highways' cover is older than the 'Local Board' covers, and i am thinking it may be (lots of mention prior to 1848 in Edmund's post).

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I don't know for sure, but I think the Highways cover is older than the Local Board ones. There is fairly good evidence the Local Board ones evolved into the first Corporations styles of casting.

Victorians and Edwardians loved to take pictures of things with those new-fangled camera things, usually for turning into postcards. there are loads from all over the country of tramway track consctruction, so i wonder if anybody could turn up anything showing the drainage systems being put in and the street improvements, which must have happened at the same time.

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I've been wondering what came first, the 'Sheffield Local Board' drains or the 'Sheffield Highways' ones. So I've been doing a bit or research using the maps I've found on here. Bear with me on this because it's a bit complicated....

Calvin and I had a trip to Central Library this afternoon, where we found an 1850(ish) map showing Spring Hill, a street off Crookes Moor Road where the only 'Highways' drain cover has been found. In the 1850 map it's the only modern street in this now built up area that's present. There's also a well marked very close to the location of the drain.

So assuming the drain could possibly be as old as the street it's in, this gives us a date that could be as early as 1850.

But now I've found an 1832 map on here that clearly shows Spring Hill existed even then.

Here's a map from 1903, after the development of the area had been completed.

And here is the same place in 1832, clearly showing Spring Hill existed, although it's not named

And finally here's a detail from the 1832 map. I've added an arrow to show the location of the drain cover and also the well which is shown on the 1850 map we found in the library.

Also on the 1850 map there is a small cluster of cottages on the opposite side of the road, slightly up the hill. I wonder if the drain was put in to stop ground water from the dwellings running down the street and contaminating the well?

Also Palm Street, where the 'Local Board' drains have been found, is not built on the 1850 map, so those covers are almost certainly not before 1850 unless they had been moved (which is unlikely).

So does this mean the 'Highways' pre-dates the 'Local Board' ones?

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I am bouncing this photo from 5 months ago in case it has dropped off the radar! - Has anyone seen anything else like this? I think it may be one of the most interesting things i have found and i think (just a feeling based on condition and location) that it may be VERY old - any thoughts?

We've been back to Calvin's water works cover today. The questions are 'how old is it?' and 'what is it for?' It's quite small, maybe about the size of a CD.

Close by there is a plaque on the wall, as seen here.

But it's not a standard modern hydrant sign, although the thing in the pavement is about 9 foot 6 away.

Edited by madannie77
putting the pictures straight

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I'm not sure why the photos above came out on their side. They were the right way up on my computer! Can anyone help turn them round please?

Back to the history... Here's another water works feature.

There are plenty of things marked SCWW (Sheffield Corporation Water Works) around the city, but if you look closely this one reads SWWC. Could it be Sheffield Water Works Company and pre-date the corporation takeover perhaps?

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I'm not sure why the photos above came out on their side. They were the right way up on my computer! Can anyone help turn them round please?

Sorted that out for you. No idea why they came out sideways initially!

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The 'Water Works' feature is on the pavement of St Peter's Close just behind the Cathedral. The other feature which seems to say S.W.W.C is on St James' Street next to the Cathedral. These are the only two water features i have seen which pre-date the Corporation takeover of the Water Works at the start of 1888. According to an old thread on Sheffield Forum the Sheffield Water Works Company was founded in 1830. The second feature is therefore from between 1830 and 1887 - but is my favourite pavement feature pre-1830..?

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I don't know for sure, but I think the Highways cover is older than the Local Board ones. There is fairly good evidence the Local Board ones evolved into the first Corporations styles of casting.

Victorians and Edwardians loved to take pictures of things with those new-fangled camera things, usually for turning into postcards. there are loads from all over the country of tramway track consctruction, so i wonder if anybody could turn up anything showing the drainage systems being put in and the street improvements, which must have happened at the same time.

Sheffield was 'incorporated' in 1843 and we know at some point after that 'Sheffield Corporation' drain covers appeared (without dates until 1890). We also know that both 'Sheffield Local Board' and 'Sheffield Highways' organisations pre-date 1843. We now know that Spring Hill, Crookesmoor, was there before 1843 too, and that the 'Sheffield Highways' cover there could be original and 'in situ'. As for 'Local Board' covers they are on Palm Street which we have pinned down construction of to between 1853 and 1856. It looks like the Corporation did not produce it's own drain covers for a while after 1843, possibly 20 years or so after. The only other places where there are definite 'Local Board' covers are on Pear Street/ Pomona Street corner, Commonside, and Artisan View, Meersbrook. I tend towards thinking that any Sheffield Highways covers pre-date 1843, that Local Board covers continued to be either produced or put in place after 1843, and that the earliest Corporation ones date from the 1860's. But all this can be changed by dating of the streets i have mentioned above!

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Not a pavement feature as such but the only other thing I can think of, that has the inscription SWW, is the large datum stone set in the road edge by the side of Redmires Road just above where the Wyming Brook flows under the road.

The line on the side of this, now leaning slightly monolith, represents the datum from which the Redmires Dams were built. I should think it dates from the early 1830's.

HD

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Here's a bit more information from the pavements of Sheffield. There are quite a few of these about.

I managed (with a bit of a struggle) to find what appears to be a US patent registration.

US2109287A.pdf

US2194221A.pdf

Note the patent appears to be two different ones. I'm not really understanding this whole patent searching thing, so if anyone can enlighten me further on how to find things, please feel free.

The upshot of this is these covers seem to be post 1938(ish)

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Here's a bit more information from the pavements of Sheffield. There are quite a few of these about.

attachicon.gifElkington Sheffield-20140821-00803.jpg

I managed (with a bit of a struggle) to find what appears to be a US patent registration.

attachicon.gifUS2109287A.pdf

attachicon.gifUS2194221A.pdf

Note the patent appears to be two different ones. I'm not really understanding this whole patent searching thing, so if anyone can enlighten me further on how to find things, please feel free.

The upshot of this is these covers seem to be post 1938(ish)

I think these are Tramway related but can't be sure - they certainly seem to be prevalent along former routes. However what they are, or why they are not marked as being related to the Tramway i don't know. I would be interested to find out more.

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More on the "Elkington" from Graces Guide:

Dover Engineering Works

November 1933. Elkington cover.

of Dour Iron Foundry, Dover

1830 Established by A. L. Thomas. Later known as A. L. Thomas and Sons

1902 Public company.

1910 Making steam isolating valves branded as D.E.W. valves, intended for use with high pressure isolated steam.

1949 Company made private.

1956 Company reverted to public company.

1961 Engineers and iron founders, specialising in the manufacture of manhole, duct and trench covers and frame constructions used in roadways, docks, factories and airports. Brand name GATIC. 220 employees.

1977 Newman Industries bid for the shares in Dover Engineering that it did not already own.

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A variation on a theme. A vent, arrows in a different place and different writing.

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As my research reveals interesting patterns of dates across areas of the City, this is the breakdown of 1890s drains, which either says something about the installation pattern or the survival rate of particular year's examples. They appear to be of similar or identical quality so i believe that survival rates have been reasonably consistent across Sheffield (as long as there has not been any major clearance programmes etc).

Corporation of Sheffield 1890 - 7 or 8 (four in one small Sharrow street) - also one behind the Children's Hospital.

Sheffield Corporation 1891 - 1 (also Sharrow).

Sheffield Corporation 1892 - 7 or 8 (in or around the City Centre).

Sheffield Corporation 1893 - 4 or 5 (mainly Kelham Island).

Sheffield Corporation 1894 - 1 (above).

Sheffield Corporation 1895 - 6 or 7 (various) - also a pair of nice examples behind the University 'Information Commons'.

Sheffield Corporation 1896 - the first common date, 50 or more.

Sheffield Corporation 1897 - likewise, 100 or more.

Sheffield Corporation 1898 - more numerous again, probably 200 or more.

Sheffield Corporation 1899 - also 200 or more.

These are the approximate numbers based on examples i have actually seen - actual survivors numbers may be a lot higher. But there is a clear pattern of a change in policy or method from 1896 which is something i noticed right at the top of this thread - now we are just putting some 'meat on the bones'!

Here they all are!

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Here's a bit more information from the pavements of Sheffield. There are quite a few of these about.

attachicon.gifElkington Sheffield-20140821-00803.jpg

I managed (with a bit of a struggle) to find what appears to be a US patent registration.

attachicon.gifUS2109287A.pdf

attachicon.gifUS2194221A.pdf

Note the patent appears to be two different ones. I'm not really understanding this whole patent searching thing, so if anyone can enlighten me further on how to find things, please feel free.

The upshot of this is these covers seem to be post 1938(ish)

As I pointed out earlier in the thread, these covers are electricity section boxes with a "diving bell" inverted cover underneath to protect the interconnections between different power networks. The variant with ventilation slots are usually above cable joint pits to enable some cooling of the cables. I don't think they have any connection with the tramway system which had the upright green section boxes.

HD

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