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Photos of Sheffield City Centre from the 1950's


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DaveJC
12 hours ago, Sheffield History said:

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It looks very miserable weather wise doesn’t it? However other than for the two weeks works shutdown this is just how It was, with the haze of the steelworks waste hanging over the city centre. Don’t be fooled by the standard of dress, this could easily have been Spring or Autumn, people wore coats and hats when stepping out of their homes in those days.

All the stone buildings were black due to the ingrained soot from the works chimneys, buildings like the Town Hall and the Post Office looked like things out of a Hammer House of Horrors movie. Come the Clean Air Act along with the MASSIVE clean up, Sheffield City Centre become a completely different place, it even revealed previously hidden views. It was little wonder that there were so many people suffering and dying from respiratory conditions after spending most of their lives breathing in filthy air.

 

 

 

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Sheffield History
54 minutes ago, DaveJC said:

It looks very miserable weather wise doesn’t it? However other than for the two weeks works shutdown this is just how It was, with the haze of the steelworks waste hanging over the city centre. Don’t be fooled by the standard of dress, this could easily have been Spring or Autumn, people wore coats and hats when stepping out of their homes in those days.

All the stone buildings were black due to the ingrained soot from the works chimneys, buildings like the Town Hall and the Post Office looked like things out of a Hammer House of Horrors movie. Come the Clean Air Act along with the MASSIVE clean up, Sheffield City Centre become a completely different place, it even revealed previously hidden views. It was little wonder that there were so many people suffering and dying from respiratory conditions after spending most of their lives breathing in filthy air.

 

 

 

 

 

Very true!
Have just been reading up and learning a little about the clean air act and the good it did Sheffield and the Sheffield people - interesting story and one man sorted it apparently?

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fentonvillain
On 18/01/2021 at 09:20, DaveJC said:

It looks very miserable weather wise doesn’t it? However other than for the two weeks works shutdown this is just how It was, with the haze of the steelworks waste hanging over the city centre. Don’t be fooled by the standard of dress, this could easily have been Spring or Autumn, people wore coats and hats when stepping out of their homes in those days.

All the stone buildings were black due to the ingrained soot from the works chimneys, buildings like the Town Hall and the Post Office looked like things out of a Hammer House of Horrors movie. Come the Clean Air Act along with the MASSIVE clean up, Sheffield City Centre become a completely different place, it even revealed previously hidden views. It was little wonder that there were so many people suffering and dying from respiratory conditions after spending most of their lives breathing in filthy air.

 

Hard to believe we had at least two hospitals dedicated to chest diseases and a full time mass X Ray centre in Ellin St at the bottom of The Moor.   (Winter St hospital; King Edwards, Rivelin and I seem to recall there was a dedicated chest unit somewhere around Queens Road/ Olive Grove area but also Nether Edge Hospital, Fir Vale and Lodge Moor all had chest units. My own father died of lung cancer in Lodge Moor.)

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fentonvillain

I actually stood on that rostrum at Coles Corner, doing point duty shortly before it was taken away after the demise of the tram network.  Loved it!    There was a spotlight on a nearby lamp post that you had to turn on in the evening rush hour.  There was a similar spotlight at another busy junction at the bottom of Spital Hill, under the Wicker Arches.  Now that WAS a bad place for air pollution!

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DaveJC
6 minutes ago, fentonvillain said:

I actually stood on that rostrum at Coles Corner, doing point duty shortly before it was taken away after the demise of the tram network.  Loved it!    There was a spotlight on a nearby lamp post that you had to turn on in the evening rush hour.  There was a similar spotlight at another busy junction at the bottom of Spital Hill, under the Wicker Arches.  Now that WAS a bad place for air pollution!

If my memory serves, the white wooden rostrum was stored in the concourse of Telegraph House when not in use, I assume that the white gear that you wore whilst on rostrum duty was similarly stored. We know some really good stuff between us, but as Michael Caine often says “Not a lot of people know that”.

 

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fentonvillain

You're dead right about the coat although on Saturdays you had to get a coat from Town Hall box. I don't recall any part of the rostrum being removable. In my time it was galvanised tubing guard rails fixed into the brick and concrete base. 

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DaveJC
11 hours ago, fentonvillain said:

You're dead right about the coat although on Saturdays you had to get a coat from Town Hall box. I don't recall any part of the rostrum being removable. In my time it was galvanised tubing guard rails fixed into the brick and concrete base. 

Well I recall tripping over something in the concourse, as for the Town Hall Box, was that when it was manned by John Mason? I believe that his origins were in Bamford, nothing ever escaped his notice, a top man was John.

 

 

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fentonvillain

Yes John Mason "the Town Hall Bobby". Great character. And, of course, "Big Albert"...the very tall, jowled-faced bobby whose surname just won't come to me. When he did point duty he had an extra large white coat. When I put it on it went down to the ground!  And I'm 6 ft! 

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lysandernovo

Back to chest diseases....I was referred ,as a young lad, in the 1950s to a paediatrician at the City General ( now rechristened the Northern General) After X rays, proddings and general inspection of my body he came to the conclusion I was suffering from a "Good old Sheffield cough".

The pictures show just what a busy place our town was. ( We never referred to going into the City centre it was always "going to town".😉

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fentonvillain

A walk down town on a Saturday morning was a snapshot of life in its entirety.  People everywhere. And you always bumped into someone you knew! Not like now !  Both my mum and dad worked on Saturday mornings so it was up to me to do a regular trip round the various bills to be paid......the estate agent in Norfolk Row for the rent,  Burnett and Hallamshire in Change Alley to pay the coal bill, the YEB in Commercial Street and so on. Dodging the crowds, hearing the hawkers, the whine of the trams....absolute joy!    Not so much fun when coal was in short supply, though. The wheelbarrow trip to the canal wharf  where people queued with old prams for nutty slack and returning without tipping the lot on an unseen kerbstone was a nightmare.     But we survived to tell the tale. 

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tozzin
9 hours ago, fentonvillain said:

A walk down town on a Saturday morning was a snapshot of life in its entirety.  People everywhere. And you always bumped into someone you knew! Not like now !  Both my mum and dad worked on Saturday mornings so it was up to me to do a regular trip round the various bills to be paid......the estate agent in Norfolk Row for the rent,  Burnett and Hallamshire in Change Alley to pay the coal bill, the YEB in Commercial Street and so on. Dodging the crowds, hearing the hawkers, the whine of the trams....absolute joy!    Not so much fun when coal was in short supply, though. The wheelbarrow trip to the canal wharf  where people queued with old prams for nutty slack and returning without tipping the lot on an unseen kerbstone was a nightmare.     But we survived to tell the tale. 

The time captured in one small paragraph, my Dad took me into the fish market on Saturday Afternoon for a plate of cockles or mussels, the place was heaving so I had to hold his hand all the time we were in there otherwise I could be swept along with the crowd, it was the only place I’ve ever seen a deer hung up ready to be butchered. All gone, Sheffield is a shadow of what it use to be, the Market is a poor substitute for what we lost. I hate the supermarkets, I would much rather see the small independent shops, grocers, butchers, green grocers, clothes shops, shoe shops, toy shops but their return will never happen, today’s young people just don’t know what they’ve actually missed and if you try to explain, they get that vacant look on their faces as though you’re telling them a made up story, the Rag ‘n Tag should never have been demolished , I could never understand that decision, then to make it into a car park until a few years ago, just criminal, no  consultation on the decision to remove what was a Sheffield institution, everybody loved that market.

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