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Lyn 1

Osgathorpe disinfecting station

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At the turn of the 19th century local authorities established cleansing stations to literally clean the inhabitants of houses which were being disinfected and cleared of vermin, bugs and all the rest that went with insanitary Britain...but this post dates that period and whilst I knew Osgathorpe Road ,at that time, I can't say I recall it. Could it have been erected to deal with the after effects of a nuclear bomb...knowing how threatened we were and the precautions being made by Civil Defence?

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41 minutes ago, lysander said:

At the turn of the 19th century local authorities established cleansing stations to literally clean the inhabitants of houses which were being disinfected and cleared of vermin, bugs and all the rest that went with insanitary Britain...but this post dates that period and whilst I knew Osgathorpe Road ,at that time, I can't say I recall it. Could it have been erected to deal with the after effects of a nuclear bomb...knowing how threatened we were and the precautions being made by Civil Defence?

Thanks Lysander - I am aware of the earlier types of fumigating and disinfecting measure and the reasons why they were needed in Sheffield but was surprised at this being 1959 so with in living memory.  

http://picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;y11117&pos=1&action=zoom&id=113319 this photo shows baskets with areas named on them. Seems to suggest things such as bedding and clothes needing disinfecting?

I wonder whether it was still needed in areas of poor housing perhaps. Slum clearance was around 1960s/70s.

I remember an old relative telling me of his siblings having had scarlet fever in the 1920s and everyone had to leave their house including the cat and go to be fumigated/disinfected etc while their house was dealt with. On their return they needed to pick up the key from the Town Hall. Back home they had to go through it all again when he himself went down with scarlet fever. 

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After an outbreak of scarlet fever in Crookes in 1887 the Council decided that the existing arrangements for disinfecting clothing, bedding etc were inadequate (a hospital porter did it). A contract was awarded in 1888 to build a disinfecting station at Plum lane.

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I have an ex Councillor friend who was on Public Health in the 60s...If I get the opportunity I will ask.

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I spoke with her and she confirms that Osgathorpe was one of several around the City where people went to be disinfected...often as a precaution over infectious diseases but equally because they were filthy. This also applied to their homes. The system came under the Recreation Department and was still in operation in the late 1980s.

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Many thanks for that information. With the eradication (almost) of infectious diseases I presume they would not be needed nowadays. I suppose this is where Environmental Health comes in now depending on the situation.  

Lyn

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I worked there around 1965. I had nothing to do with the disinfestation work but was aware of it being part of the service there. Being a humble driver, my duties were collecting new brushes from Remploy, now sadly gone, and delivering them to local councils like Rotherham and Doncaster for use by road sweepers etc.. In addition, we collected district nurses and took them to their patients and also did 'Meals on Wheels'.

There was once a rumpus as the same vans used for 'Meals on wheels' were, later in the day, used to collect black bags of afterbirths from the homes of new mothers, obviously unhygienic and a black mark against the management for allowing it.

Other transport jobs included collecting disabled children and taking them to various centres like Whitely Woods in the special coach with a lift ( This vehicle I later bought in 1974 and converted it to a motor home. Low mileage and in top order, I had it for 4 years eventually selling it to students who planned to go to Turkey in it ! ( Reg. FWB 639 C ). 

I can remember only one co-worker with the surname Coffee.

Sheffield's fleet of early 1950's Austin Sheerline ambulances ( picture of one on 'Picture Sheffield', picture V 00362 ) was ageing at the time and, prior to replacement in the late 60's, I was surprised to see one or two brought to the yard at Osgathorpe depot. where a Sheerline car had been acquired for cannibalising to keep them running. Being a transport enthusiast, and prior to the coach, I had also bought one of the Sheerline ambulances out of service, WWB 3 with the radio name on the dash 'Sheff-am Robert'. Superbe quality vehicles which make today's ambulances look like glorified bread vans ( apart from the modern equipment ! ) The Sheerlines were Austin A 125's with large, 11" Lucas P100 chromium headlamps, not to be confused with the later Austin Princess ambulances which had the smaller, built-in headlamps. Anyone interested to hear more, give me 'a bell'.

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The Building still existed as of August 2015; albeit up for sale.  The remaining Council sign reads 'Environmental Services'

 

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