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I can vividly remember the Air Raid Siren being tested every month I think it was, in the 1950s just can't recall when the testing ended, the siren was placed on the Arbourthorne school on Craddock Road and with me living down on the Manor it was clearly heard especially when the wind was blowing down from the Arbourthorne . During my pre-school years I attended the nursery just at the bottom corner of the school fields, just at the rear of the garage that was there.

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I've often wondered where all the old air raid sirens went? There must have been loads of them during the war and I assume at least some were retained in case of attack during the cold war. (Is there one in Threads?)

I've only seen two in my whole life. I found one being kept outside a shed at the East Anglia Transport Museum about 20 years ago and a few years back I spotted another on top of a pole near Waterloo Station in London.

But where are the Sheffield examples?

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Some of those sirens were on Police stations and on the top of some telephone exchanges and were fed by a GPO system called WB1400 (google it or look at This site)

There was also a receiver in the park keepers lodge at Endcliffe park. This all went in the '90s.

Source: used to fix this stuff in the early '80s

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At the start of the war many of the sirens were the existing "Works" sirens 13 of which had been installed and tested in March 1939. When police headquarters received warning of a raid, their telephonists rang round the works telling them to sound the alarm.

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During the 1970's up to about 1984 we lived opposite a primary school in Sheffield which had a air-raid siren mounted on the roof. This was one of many sirens mounted above school premises.

At one point our telephone developed a strange fault, the bell used to give a litle "ting" at approximately 1 second intervals. We sent for the Post Office Telephones man who went up the pole outside and cleared the fault in a few minutes. I was intrigued by the nature of the fault and asked the engineer what had caused it. He told me that it was classified information but if the "tings" had stopped before he fixed the fault it might have been time to locate a clean pair of trousers :unsure:.

This sounds to me that it might have been the "Confidence Signal" mentioned in the technical article.

The siren mounted on Malin Bridge Junior School was always tested on a Thursday Morning at 11 am precisely.

When we lived at St. Anthonys Road in the early 1990's we watched the siren being dismantled across the valley atop one of the Stannington tower blocks.

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I remember hearing it around Meadowhead/Greenhill in the early 70s, I wonder also when it stopped.

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On 01/11/2019 at 12:06, hilldweller said:

During the 1970's up to about 1984 we lived opposite a primary school in Sheffield which had a air-raid siren mounted on the roof. This was one of many sirens mounted above school premises.

At one point our telephone developed a strange fault, the bell used to give a litle "ting" at approximately 1 second intervals. We sent for the Post Office Telephones man who went up the pole outside and cleared the fault in a few minutes. I was intrigued by the nature of the fault and asked the engineer what had caused it. He told me that it was classified information but if the "tings" had stopped before he fixed the fault it might have been time to locate a clean pair of trousers :unsure:.

This sounds to me that it might have been the "Confidence Signal" mentioned in the technical article.

The siren mounted on Malin Bridge Junior School was always tested on a Thursday Morning at 11 am precisely.

When we lived at St. Anthonys Road in the early 1990's we watched the siren being dismantled across the valley atop one of the Stannington tower blocks.

I have a feeling he may have been yanking your chain. The confidence tone wasn't to signal anything other than availability, and it wouldn't have been capable of tinkling a telephone bell even if there was contact between your line and the WB1400 equipped line. The cause was probably something more simple like a line fault. In the old days they used a pair of un-insulated wires which could lose tension over time and touch when there was a breeze. This could be quite rhythmic depending on the length of the line.

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The drop wire was of the copper-coated steel figure-of-eight construction and the tings were of digital precision.

The cadence of the tings was precisely like the sounds coming from the nuclear alert box which used to sit behind the bar at the tiny pub we used to frequent in Lincolnshire. The barmaid used to turn the volume down but the landlady, who must have been of a nervous disposition, used to turn it back up again. There was a hand cranked siren in the corner behind the bar, This was at the height of the cold war.

hilldweller.

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