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West Bar Police Station


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Screenshot 2020-12-22 at 13.54.18.jpg

West Bar Police Station in Shalesmoor Sheffield opened on 16th July 1965

I remember going into West Bar Police Station and being paid £10 to stand in a identity parade one Sunday which was interesting!

These days it's a hotel - not sure how successful it's been though?

Does anyone remember West Bar Police station? If so what are your main memories of it?

Also what do we know about the history of the building, what sort of police work was done there etc?

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My dad was coming down Broad Lane around 1955 pulling a trailer behind our Pre-war Wolsey. The trailer broke loose and hit the door of the police station, he jumped out fearing the worst, hitched it back on and drove away. Not a policeman in sight,,, so nothing has changed much in 50 + years

 

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fentonvillain

You are factually incorrect with the location. West Bar Police Station, prior to the "new" building pictured was in West Bar Green, not Shalesmoor. And the building pictured is even further into West Bar Green than the old "nick", headquarters of B Division, Central Division of Sheffield City Police prior to  local government reorganisation and the formation of South Yorkshire Police in 1973/4, which is now the home of the Emergency Services Museum.   The former Fire Station part of the old building was also headquarters to F Division, the Traffic Division of the old Force. Many people, myself included, think that even in spite of the sensationalism aroused by the so called Rhino Whip cases of 1964  et seq the City Force was much better organised and effective and the creation of the larger force was a retrograde step.  I served at West Bar from 1961 to 1964. In those days no less than 36 beats were operated from there in a Division that covered the City Centre, Broomhall, Sharrow, The Park, Burngreave, Pye Bank, Philadelphia, (St Philips) and Crookesmoor. 

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Sheffield History
23 hours ago, fentonvillain said:

You are factually incorrect with the location. West Bar Police Station, prior to the "new" building pictured was in West Bar Green, not Shalesmoor. And the building pictured is even further into West Bar Green than the old "nick", headquarters of B Division, Central Division of Sheffield City Police prior to  local government reorganisation and the formation of South Yorkshire Police in 1973/4, which is now the home of the Emergency Services Museum. 

 The former Fire Station part of the old building was also headquarters to F Division, the Traffic Division of the old Force. Many people, myself included, think that even in spite of the sensationalism aroused by the so called Rhino Whip cases of 1964  et seq the City Force was much better organised and effective and the creation of the larger force was a retrograde step.  I served at West Bar from 1961 to 1964. In those days no less than 36 beats were operated from there in a Division that covered the City Centre, Broomhall, Sharrow, The Park, Burngreave, Pye Bank, Philadelphia, (St Philips) and Crookesmoor. 

 


Ah thank you for the info!!

I always get confused where West Bar starts and Shalesmoor ends!

 

lol

 

 

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LeadFarmer

If you go inside the hotel you can see they have preserved an inscription on a wall which if memory serves correctly details the opening of the building.

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Eric Boocock
On 22/12/2020 at 13:58, Sheffield History said:

Screenshot 2020-12-22 at 13.54.18.jpg

West Bar Police Station in Shalesmoor Sheffield opened on 16th July 1965

I remember going into West Bar Police Station and being paid £10 to stand in a identity parade one Sunday which was interesting!

These days it's a hotel - not sure how successful it's been though?

Does anyone remember West Bar Police station? If so what are your main memories of it?

Also what do we know about the history of the building, what sort of police work was done there etc?

 

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Eric Boocock

I remember West Bar Cop Shop.

A few of us from the Helen Wilson Settlement Youth Club, at the bottom-end of Rutland Road, went for a look round the place.  One of the officers brought in a police-dog called Caesar, and when I reached out to stroke it the officer pulled on it's lead to stop it getting any closer, and advised me an everybody else never to get your hand that close to a police dog's teeth.

A couple of years later in 1969, me and a mate of mine went to a Judo class in an area somewhere close to the top floor.  Our idea was to learn how to handle ourselves properly in the event of us walking into any sort of late-night trouble in the city centre.  The trainer told us that before he taught us how to throw people around, we needed to learn what to do in the event of somebody doing it to us.  He then proceeded to chuck the pair of us all over the place, and it took the best part of a fortnight before either of us was able to walk properly.  I don't recall ever going back for the second session.  Happy days!

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LeadFarmer

The European cup, once lost, wss subsequently handed in at West Bar Police Station

ec.jpg.d988b1a661eb94c61e42965b2eebf41b.jpg ec2.jpg.9d2137580a9363880559d36d083a0ea6.jpg

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8709846.stm

It was the most prized piece of silverware in European club football - but one night in a pub in the West Midlands, it went missing. Twenty-eight years later the story of how two teams of police officers played to win the European Cup can finally be told.

Very few people knew about the disappearance and subsequent recovery of this famous piece of football silverware in Sheffield. A secret kept for the last 28 years.

In May, 1982, Aston Villa were the kings of Europe, having just won the most prestigious club prize - the European Cup. The then 22-year-old Villa left back, Colin Gibson, along with midfielder Gordon Cowans, brought the gleaming trophy home after a one-nil victory against Bayern Munich in Rotterdam. 

Gibson recalls how, in celebratory mood, the pair took the gigantic silver cup, which weighs up to 15kg, out of the boot of the car and took it into a pub. 

"We used to go out and take the European Cup where we could to show it to the fans… and let them have their pictures taken with it," says Gibson. 

They were celebrating with supporters at the the Fox Inn in Hopwas, near Tamworth, in the club's native West Midlands. 

"Gordon and I had had a few drinks, and we were playing a competitive darts match, when someone turned round and said 'the cup's gone, it's been stolen'. 

Folklaw

"At the time you didn't really realise what was happening. All I can remember is dread and trying to block it out as if it didn't really happen." 

To this day none of the players knew where the cup had disappeared to. But a collection of policemen on night shift 100 miles away in Sheffield knew exactly where it had gone. 

Mick Greenough, was the officer on duty that night at West Bar Police station in Sheffield city centre. 

Sheffield policemen on how European Cup went missing

"I remember the lad on the desk walked through to the control room and said we've got a man at the front desk who says he's got the European Cup in the car. So off he trotted and next thing the swing doors go and there he is at the front desk with the European Cup, with claret and blue ribbons on." 

Graham Wragg, then a 24-year-old constable, says they rang West Midlands Police to try to find out where the cup had come from, but they put the phone down saying they had a major incident on. 

Puzzle

"So we rang back, and said we think we know what your major incident is… We said 'we think we've got the European Cup here, would that be connected to it?' There was a bit of a silence and they said 'we're coming to fetch it!'" 

These football-mad young men had already formed their own team from the members of their shift. The chance was too good to miss and they decided to stage their own European Cup final - the prize being the feted piece of silverware itself.

Former Aston Villa left back Colin Gibson recalls what happened

They picked two teams in the middle of the night, in full uniform in the garage at the back of the station, and had their photographs taken holding the cup. In 1982 the only cameras readily available were those used by scene of crime officers, who it is believed took the pictures. 

For 28 years this story has been kept a secret between those involved. It has only come to light now because the photographs were discovered at the station, which is being cleared out and closed down. 

All these years the story has been met with disbelieved and treated as folklore at the Fox Inn near Tamworth, from where the cup vanished that night. 

The pub's current manager, Robbie James Pimberley, confirms it was "a popular place for the Villa players back then". 

"As you take over new pubs you get the histories… that was one of the first things I was told. I never knew what to believe. Now I know it's true. It's great to hear the Sheffield policemen played each other for the European Cup. It's what dreams are made of for young lads." 

But one final bit of the puzzle remains. Who actually stole the cup? The pictures show a man standing next to the police officers, but his face has been rubbed out and no-one can remember who he was. 

Nobody has been able to track him down, but there is a police station in Sheffield who would very much like to hear from him. 

 

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LeadFarmer

I have a key to West Bar Police Station from when I was there late 90's, it also fitted all the police boxes such Bramall Lane, Sky Edge, Fitzallan Sq, Park hill and the tardis outside the Town Hall.

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31dec1966

Oh dear, this place has very painful memories for me.  In 1972 I got a job with Trebor Sharps as a trainee sales rep with a company car (a maroon escort estate) and to celebrate I took some mates out in Sheffield. We went to the Mulberry Bush, Stonehouse,  and Blue Bell as I remember, and we were stopped by the police down near Castle Market somewhere. I was breathalysed and took to West Bar.  A doctor came and took a blood sample, I'd been on pints of shandy, but I thought the worst and was devastated at ruining my chance. After an awful two weeks I got a letter saying the test was negative and I was OK, but every time I've driven past that building I've remembered the hollow feeling sat inside waiting for the doctor.

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Sheffield History
On 01/01/2021 at 17:38, LeadFarmer said:

I have a key to West Bar Police Station from when I was there late 90's, it also fitted all the police boxes such Bramall Lane, Sky Edge, Fitzallan Sq, Park hill and the tardis outside the Town Hall.

 

No way!
The green police box?

That's amazing!


What's it like inside?

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LeadFarmer
On 06/01/2021 at 20:03, Sheffield History said:

 

No way!
The green police box?

That's amazing!


What's it like inside?

I'll snap a photo for you when I'm next in town. Theres nothing much in there to be fair, other than loads of junk when I last looked.

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Forgeman

During the early 1980's I called regularly on the mechanics in the workshop. Always a busy place but even busier was the body repair shop, always full of damaged cars and vans.

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fentonvillain
14 hours ago, LeadFarmer said:

I'll snap a photo for you when I'm next in town. Theres nothing much in there to be fair, other than loads of junk when I last looked.

There was never anything in a police box other than white coats for point duty, an occurrence book, a set of pro-formae for summons reports etc, a small almost useless heater for mashing cans  (piece of history in itself) and a stool under the bench which stretched across from the telephone cupboard to the far wall.   This was all described in my essay The Beat Book which Sheffield History Admin have a copy of and which was written for the British Police History Society website. The blue light over the door was activated by a telephone call from West Bar which operated a solenoid switch. A bobby seeing the light on would respond to the call and re-set the solenoid.  Very low tech.  Of course bobbies took their meals in the boxes so most would carry it in an ex army knapsack which would be left hanging on the hooks with the white coats. A dim view was taken of any bobby who left old newspapers etc in the box.   Pc 441 (1961 - 64)

 

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On 06/01/2021 at 20:03, Sheffield History said:

 

No way!
The green police box?

That's amazing!


What's it like inside?

As I recall they were picked up very inexpensively when they became surplus to requirements and used mainly as garden sheds. The Doctor Who tardis popularity put a stop to this, the last one I saw for sale was listed at circa £6000.

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