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Darnall Territorial Army Centre


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davekgautier

In the early 1960's there was a TA Centre on Greenland Road. I remember it was derelict but still standing in the mid 60's. Can anyone provide information on the TA unit based there and its function. Any photographs would also be welcome. The Picture Sheffield site has no docs/pictures relating to this unit/centre and I am trying to discover as much information as possible. Thanks to all in anticipation

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ManoutotCity

I’m sorry for such a late reply to this enquiry but Im fairly new to the SH site.
If the moment hasn’t passed, for yourself, or others, for what it’s worth,  here’s  my response to your interesting question. 
Although the study of military installations, including barracks sites ,is a significant area of my work as a specialist, military, historian as well as a former, long-term resident of Sheffield (and someone in their second, half-century!)  I’m afraid  I know of no TAC ever been  on Greenland Road  an area Im fairly familiar with. The nearest TAC being  at Manor Top, situated between Mansfield and Ridgeway Roads....and not too far away from Darnall. 
Published studies on old barracks in UK do exist, a particularly comprehensive one being Mike Osborne’s ‘Always Ready’, a very well illustrated survey of TACs in UK.
I wonder what building  it was that you recall? I’d guess it’s design was institutional. Might it have been a police, fire or ambulance station? Maybe a Civil Defence location..my knowledge, ‘expertise’ doesn’t extend to that large and important organisation but it was certainly active during The Cold  War and although I believe that the principal CD location fir the area was in Bridge Street Sheffield, roughly where the large ‘Combined Courts Centre’ now stands, there’s every possibility that there were satellites within the Sheffield Area. There may well be ex -members of  CD who look at this site and these threads and able to offer some  informed opinion. If your interest is still there or present in others, I hope that these notes will prove of value.

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RLongden
On 26/02/2014 at 02:02, davekgautier said:

In the early 1960's there was a TA Centre on Greenland Road. I remember it was derelict but still standing in the mid 60's. Can anyone provide information on the TA unit based there and its function. Any photographs would also be welcome. The Picture Sheffield site has no docs/pictures relating to this unit/centre and I am trying to discover as much information as possible. Thanks to all in anticipation

Would this be the place I wonder? Map from 1960-65

Current aerial view puts it approximately in the red circle...

https://www.old-maps.co.uk/index.html#/Map/439500/388500/13/100765

E1D49409-3538-4A1C-8412-7E4115669357.jpeg

0B1FF476-4EC1-41AA-BE21-17DE8328F058.jpeg

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ManoutotCity

I did wonder if there was anything on an old period/map...
Well spotted!
But I’m afraid it’s still without my personal knowledge which covers, fairly comprehensively, local military installations, in particular. Moreover, at one time, I had friends living in that area who, even knowing my interest, never mentioned such a place.
Clearly we never know as much as we think/hope we may do but I haven’t a clue about that location - more particularly, any unit which may have been based there and again I’ve a particularly long- standing and extensive knowledge of units in the Sheffield Area over this and the last century.

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Edmund

Below is a page from the Green Un in 1951 - interesting but doesn't help with the Greenland Road question.  The volume of National Servicemen needing to be accommodated was such that prefabs were needed for some Regiments HQs despite War Office policy that future TA Centres would be permanent buildings.

 

99826317_GreenUn1951.thumb.png.9354fb309b97865453ab4da023e391ad.png

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ManoutotCity

Actually, in a sense, it does. If we assume that ALL local units participated in this ‘Saturday Night’ TA recruiting  shot - on the basis that it would be unlikely that any would abstain (as the aim of the mini-adverts would be  to increase their individual manpower levels - a competitive exercise) then we can see the TAC locations  within each of the inserts. There is no mention that I can see, of a TAC at Greenland Road. Conclusion? There may have been a building, derelict or otherwise but it wasn’t occupied or active. It was possibly a product of the inter-Wars response to the impending NAZI threat which lost its purpose, post WW2. 
A very senior, retired TA Officer, friend has now confirmed that he recalls a TACentre being in that area but otherwise nothing about it - certainly the identity of any unit which may once have been there.....very much a case of, well if he doesn’t know...
So, it may have to remain (an annoying) mystery!

 

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As a young un I recall it becoming unused around the early 60's. The wooden barrack/office type buildings made a great playground. It seemed a shame that there were good semi detached houses left to be vandalised

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ManoutotCity

That’s interesting. Are you saying no masonry built structures there - just wooden?  
Or maybe  just the ‘operational’ building(s) of wood ?
I’d guess any (likely, staff) housing - maybe that showing towards the top of the site with the ‘residential footprint ‘ would be of masonry - in that era, probably brick. Looks like one of the other  blocks ( adjacent to the area marked, ‘ playground’) may have been garaging.. 
The 1950s map, helpfully produced a few messages back on this thread,  seems show a quite large, roughly triangular, almost ‘parkland’ or least least ‘green’ area, with what seems to be a  roughly rectangular building around an open ‘ hollow square’. Compared with more modern TACs, it seems to have enjoyed the benefit of an unusually large site. 
Anyway ..... bits of memory on this coming out progressively - I’m hoping that someone’s going to tell us that they served or worked there, before long!

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On 24/01/2021 at 20:24, ManoutotCity said:

That’s interesting. Are you saying no masonry built structures there - just wooden?  
Or maybe  just the ‘operational’ building(s) of wood ?
I’d guess any (likely, staff) housing - maybe that showing towards the top of the site with the ‘residential footprint ‘ would be of masonry - in that era, probably brick. Looks like one of the other  blocks ( adjacent to the area marked, ‘ playground’) may have been garaging.. 
The 1950s map, helpfully produced a few messages back on this thread,  seems show a quite large, roughly triangular, almost ‘parkland’ or least least ‘green’ area, with what seems to be a  roughly rectangular building around an open ‘ hollow square’. Compared with more modern TACs, it seems to have enjoyed the benefit of an unusually large site. 
Anyway ..... bits of memory on this coming out progressively - I’m hoping that someone’s going to tell us that they served or worked there, before long!

The buildings in the north area are brick built houses, I'd say 1950's build. Next to the playground was the brick build garage with roller shutter doors and the wooden buildings built around the central court yard in the southern part. The whole area was black cinder/grit except in front of the garage which had concrete standing. The area had vehicle access gates at the bottom of Craven rd and a access gate on Greenland rd which you then went up some steps to the main doors of the wooden barracks/offices buidings. 

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1 hour ago, Wallsy said:

The buildings in the north area are brick built houses, I'd say 1950's build. Next to the playground was the brick build garage with roller shutter doors and the wooden buildings built around the central court yard in the southern part. The whole area was black cinder/grit except in front of the garage which had concrete standing. The area had vehicle access gates at the bottom of Craven rd and a access gate on Greenland rd which you then went up some steps to the main doors of the wooden barracks/offices buidings. 

Great description of what it use to be like back then. Would be great if some pictures of the barracks and the surrounding area were available as I just live on Industry Road. 

So much has changed since then. 

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ManoutotCity
4 hours ago, Wallsy said:

The buildings in the north area are brick built houses, I'd say 1950's build. Next to the playground was the brick build garage with roller shutter doors and the wooden buildings built around the central court yard in the southern part. The whole area was black cinder/grit except in front of the garage which had concrete standing. The area had vehicle access gates at the bottom of Craven rd and a access gate on Greenland rd which you then went up some steps to the main doors of the wooden barracks/offices buidings. 

Interesting. You seem to speak as though some of it remains ? I thought it had been built on..

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ManoutotCity

......sorry, meant to ask you about the size of the garage you describe with roller shutter door(s). If you can imagine an ordinary sized Army Lorry of that era (they use much bigger Teutonic monsters these days) - which  were classified as a 3 (or 4) Tonners though were actually nearer 7 ton. Are you able to say, roughly,  how many such - sized vehicles would fit inside the garage you saw? 
Thanks!

 

 

 

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Its all long gone, I'd say in the 1970's. The garage had roller shutter doors if I remember rightly and would have held 2 or 3 lorries. It always seemed vey high to me but I suppose a lorry with a canvas top would need to be. It was flat roofed and built of the same bricks as the houses which was a buff colour.

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ManoutotCity

Yes, I get that - I’m even worse with recall! But don’t worry, that’s useful, 
That’s not a lot of cover for vehicles - and  my guess is  that you’d find repair facilities in there as well eg a pit - reducing the space even more. Conclusion; either the unit didn’t have more than say, four lorries or  it wasn’t intended to hold the units entire fleet. Unless I’ve hit the scale wrong, the site plan on the Darnall District map, looks to me, too large, for a unit requiring just half a dozen vehicles.   
I’ve been looking elsewhere on this site and learned that there were actually anti-air -raid exercises over Sheffield in the early fifties, ‘dummy’ bombers, sirens, searchlights  and all which got me thinking about air defence and the inevitable requirement for anti-aircraft guns as part of the fictional scenario. As the very interesting press cutting produced in an earlier contribution on this thread, indicates, there was an existing AA unit based in Sheffield in 1951 but I  just wonder if there were (had been) more, in view of what seem to have been regular post-War air-defence exercises.  
The limited garaging you describe does dissuade me a little as leaving guns uncovered wouldn’t have been a chosen option though it sounds like half a dozen Bofors-type  mobile guns MAY have fitted in the structure you describe, with their towing vehicles stacked in the open.  
In truth, I really don’t know - they’re just part- informed and part-speculative guesses on my party.  I’ve now contacted the County Reserves and Cadets Assoc  to ascertain whether they hold any  historic records of unit locations but unfortunately they don’t. So, back to the hope that someone else will see this thread and give us a piece or two more to this difficult jigsaw!

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Edmund

In 1963 there were families living at the TA Centre - probably at least 9?  Mrs Vivian Tucker was one of them, and she couldn't tell the difference between Stork and butter.

1944852368_StorkAd1963.png.c95d45b41b1978fb75dc2e336c331469.png

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ManoutotCity

Haaahaaaa! That’s great ...she’s obviously a dab hand with bread spreads but I don’t think she’s going to tell us  whether she lived with Bofors Guns!

Joking aside, the address and date ARE interesting and doesn’t suggest total dereliction there in late ‘63. 
Both  interesting  and frustrating  but gives hope that we might just get there in solving this one if people keep turning material up.....

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More information if you read through this topic, especially #62

https://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/topic/338297-tank-graveyard-at-darnall/page/6/#comments

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ManoutotCity

For anyone, interested, Im pleased to say that I’ve finally established, beyond doubt,  the identity of the unit which occupied the Greenland Road TA site, long since defunct. As I rather suspected from the size of the site but with relatively  limited  buildings, it was a TA Yeomanry (armoured) unit - specifically, ‘A’ Squadron of The Yorkshire Dragoons. The Regiment also had other sub-units and sites in South and West Yorkshire.The information comes from a former TA soldier who served there. Apparently the unit subsequently moved to Somme Barracks in Sheffield - the Greenland Road site, falling progressively into disuse.

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