Jump to content

What about OLD Sheffield?


Recommended Posts

History dude

I agree, but I don't think that Sheffield Council is all to blame. Some of the fault has to go to Sheffield University. While that has expanded no end, the cost has been to cater only for the student population, with everything they need including building housing in the city and around the edges. Even the tram system caters for them, bringing them up from Sheffield Station right up to the doors of the place!

I wouldn't be at all surprised that the Council and University are as thick as thieves and if the University wants something then it gets passed quickly. Of course the privatisation of Council services has not helped at all and the rubbish collection and highways have resulted in things that ironically has got at the University students. Especially the chopping of trees!

On your last line you need to add "face masks".

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lemmy117

I'm sure you will find it is not only Sheffield that has changed so much over the years. Whilst I agree some remarkable buildings have  been lost, the city has to move with the times. If we want investment to keep the city thriving we have to have modern facilities, otherwise the place will die anyway. Every generation longs for the time and things when they were younger, and the current generation will feel the same about Sheffield in the future, it will be their history.

Look at it this way, if all this change hadn't happened, we would have nothing to talk about, the Sheffield of the 50' and 60's would still be there, but sadly it has gone, it is history, which is what this site is about.

Link to post
Share on other sites
LeadFarmer
6 hours ago, Organgrinder said:

I don't know whether it's to do with the lockdown & Covid precautions and we are mainly staying at home but much of the site recently, has been taken up with photo's, videos etc of what's happening in the city centre now.

Others may feel differently but I personally am not the slightest bit interested in today's modern Sheffield

I understand what you are saying, but at the same time capturing photos of the redevelopment will become part of history research in the future.

I'm sure we would all love to see photos of Barkers Pool (the actual pool) being constructed, or the construction of the Queens Head pub off Pond Street, or of course Sheffield Castle. At the time of that construction, it would have probably appeared quite boring, only becoming interesting in years to come.

As my old history teacher used to tell us - 'What happens today, becomes history tomorrow'.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Lysanderix

The old "rag and tag" was, in my biased opinion, a pretty appalling place....as a child I was dragged around there every Saturday afternoon with the occasional mint rock fish as a treat!. The rebuilding of Sheffield in the 1950s was an exciting time for those of us wishing to escape from the years of Austerity. New buildings ,typical of the architectural styles of the time, offering a vast range of products ...the like of which a wartime child had never seen....offered us hope and the possibility of some affluence after years of "scrimping and saving". We grew up with the threat of the "Bomb" ever present yet somehow managed to create a new sort of culture....and that included having great pride in our City and its achievements.

Sadly, we all grow old and become more or less redundant and that has happened to City and Town centres and their aged buildings...seemingly, without any architectural merit... throughout the country. On line shopping was already growing and the "lockdown" gave it an enormous boost....with subsequent loss of taxes to the local and national finances.

Hitler destroyed many of our old buildings and the Corporation/Council have not been innocent of some vandalism yet I feel that we now have an opportunity to refigure our City Centre and make it more interesting and more "user friendly". When this cursed virus is finally tamed I would love to wander around the City Centre with masses of open air cafes/bars. flags and banners and public performances of all sorts....something dare I say, more like a Continental City!

Link to post
Share on other sites
History dude

Hitler did destroy many buildings, however in the UK there was no incentive to rebuild them. Whereas if you look at the ones in Europe we destroyed, they did rebuild them. I do think a lot of the rebuilding work is done due to large scale grants from Central Government. Certainly many buildings are knocked down regardless of the condition they are in. In the past the estates got this treatment, but since most council houses were sold off they can't do that anymore. It looks now like the City Centres are being targeted with grants instead.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
fentonvillain

You really would have to have been born into a certain class of society and in a certain period to really appreciate the benefits of the rag n tag, Norfolk Market Hall and  Dixon Lane. It wasn't about prices (which were as low as they could get), nor was it about quality (which was as varied as you chose), it was about COMMUNITY. A community that travelled together on trams and buses, not cars, that walked long distances without thinking it extraordinary, that faced hardships such as coal rationing, very long snowbound winters and basic foodstuffs and which above all related to one another. This last part applied on the streets, in the pubs, in the churches, and in the mucky, disease provoking workshops of an industrial city which was proud of its name. Those contributors here who denigrate the atmosphere of the Saturday markets can not have had a life rooted in such fertile ambience. You could not go "to town" on a Saturday without meeting several acquaintances or relatives. It was a village atmosphere in a city. Now such puritan architecture experts try to re-create such an ambience with false identities like Poundbury. You can't. Meadowhall will never be like the rag n tag. It was there. We loved it. We missed it and will miss it for all our remaining days along with the colourful characters who you see in the historic black and white photos. Cherish the photos. Regret that you didn't experience it. For it was US....US SHEFFIELDERS...us carrying coal from the canal wharf in a barrow, picking up horsemuck for the tiny rosebed in the backyard, clearing the snow off our front, spreading coke on icebound steep footpaths, and visiting family every Saturday on Sunday, unannounced but always welcomed.  This WAS life! A postal order from your grandad at Christmas was like a win on the treble chance.  An apple and an orange a fruitful bounty. Everything that came after that was, by comparison, shallow and lifeless. You can have your nightclubs and your cocktail bars. You have NOT lived.    The writer's grandmother sold flowers in Dixon Lane from an upturned fruitbox. She was killed by an  unlicensed teenage driver as she crossed East Bank Road on her way home . RIP Martha Westnidge. RIP the best days of our life. 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
paulhib48

Mate, a big thank you for saying everything I feel but couldn’t have expressed as eloquently.

For most Sheffielders of a certain age , this is the reality 

Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveJC

You must remember that it’s not just Sheffield City Centre that has experienced progressive change, it also applies to us. My memories of the ‘old’ Sheffield are just that, memories, all the bad things have disappeared, but with hindsight I reckon that the Rag and Tag was a health hazard, closely followed by the Castle Market. We don’t need to battle through traffic to search for an expensive parking place and then pretend that we’re enjoying the experience. I let my fingers do the walking and also pick up things at the suburban supermarkets that suit my needs and requirements, with the added bonus of being able to return/exchange them when I make my next visit.

Sheffield City Centre is evolving into a huge public sector work place and higher education centre. It will need services and hopefully a visible police presence, I hope to live long enough to experience the finished article.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lysanderix

I am from a very, very working class background and I never found the shared experiences of our lot to have created "community". My parents ( and I don't think they were untypical) wanted us children  to get away from the "hard life" they and  their ancestors had experienced for generations.....The "new" Sheffield was a start....as was full employment... the Social Security system,  , better housing and, of course education...especially the Grammar schools which allowed a kid like me from "darkest" Shiregreen to widen his horizons. 

Post War Sheffield was a grim place with fogs, soot and pollution  in all but the west of the City. I am glad that my kids and grandkids have never endured the "community" we are said to have enjoyed.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Organgrinder
1 hour ago, DaveJC said:

You must remember that it’s not just Sheffield City Centre that has experienced progressive change, it also applies to us. My memories of the ‘old’ Sheffield are just that, memories, all the bad things have disappeared, but with hindsight I reckon that the Rag and Tag was a health hazard, closely followed by the Castle Market. We don’t need to battle through traffic to search for an expensive parking place and then pretend that we’re enjoying the experience. I let my fingers do the walking and also pick up things at the suburban supermarkets that suit my needs and requirements, with the added bonus of being able to return/exchange them when I make my next visit.

Sheffield City Centre is evolving into a huge public sector work place and higher education centre. It will need services and hopefully a visible police presence, I hope to live long enough to experience the finished article.

 

 

I'm afraid that I disagree with that Dave, as my family and fore bears, like all those around us, shopped in the Rag & Tag, Castle Market, and Norfolk Market Hall, all their lives without dying of food poisoning or anything similar.  We didn't battle for expensive parking places as we walked from Heeley to town, did our shopping and walked home again.

In the old days there were no suburban supermarkets so we did much of our shopping at our local shops but always went to town on Saturdays and at holiday times besides works lunch times.

I, personally always enjoyed shopping in town and, for that reason, I also never  let my fingers do the walking as this is responsible for the demise of shops and the death of the city centres.

The minute we have a power outage, everyone will suddenly find that they can't buy anything which doesn't sound good if we suffer a cyber attack.

I prefer to buy things in shops, who pay their taxes and help to pay the cost of keeping everything running.

Our present lifestyle is unsustainable and will change whether we like it or not. Yes, we have changed along with the town centres but we are going to have to change back again.

It's laughable that we now have wider pavements than we ever had but hardly any pedestrians. Compare that with the throngs of pedestrians we saw in the old days.

We are going to finish up with a city centre of fancy paving but no shops except cafes and coffee bars and good luck with the visible police presence.

I hope to NOT live long enough to see the finished article

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
Organgrinder
8 minutes ago, Lysanderix said:

I am from a very, very working class background and I never found the shared experiences of our lot to have created "community". My parents ( and I don't think they were untypical) wanted us children  to get away from the "hard life" they and  their ancestors had experienced for generations.....The "new" Sheffield was a start....as was full employment... the Social Security system,  , better housing and, of course education...especially the Grammar schools which allowed a kid like me from "darkest" Shiregreen to widen his horizons. 

Post War Sheffield was a grim place with fogs, soot and pollution  in all but the west of the City. I am glad that my kids and grandkids have never endured the "community" we are said to have enjoyed.

I also came from a very, very working class background so I find it really hard to understand your feelings of lack of community.

The community I remember was  very much a loving and caring one and, although we were all poor, we had never known any other so didn't think that life was particularly hard.

As you say, there was full employment and you could leave a job and start a new one the next day. Unfortunately, that no longer applies and never will due to all these lovely changes which have taken place.

I think we can safely say that the "better housing" has petered out and, despite much talk from the politicians of both sides, we will never get back to building as we did in the 50's and 60's.

I don't know a lot about Education these days but I understand that we are way from the best when compared to other countries so, again, I would say that the old days were better.

I do remember the smog, soot and pollution and am thankful that things have changed for the better there but that was a result of Sheffield leading the world in steel and engineering

and our politicians failure to recognise, or care about, the health hazards this created for ordinary people. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveJC

It’s not about where you start, it’s about where you finish, I’m not about to kick start a repeat of The Frost Report ‘working class’ sketch. My post has been used and doctored to favour a far left wing view, also I can’t recall any parking fees in the city centre in the era that Organgrinder is talking about, and bus/tram fares were so cheap in those days I can’t understand the walking to and from town (just an observation, not a criticism).

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
fentonvillain

Err...buses and trams stopped at 11 o clock. When the family gathering at Arbourthorne ended after that we walked back to Sharrow down gas-lit Myrtle Road. . When we went to youth club across town we walked to save the coppers for a coffee in Marsdens.   When we went into Derbyshire we walked up Mayfield and across the moors. So many other times when buses and trams were there but we chose not to use them. My grandad, a local preacher, walked miles all over Sheffield to preach in Methodist chapels rather than claim the cost of a fare. It's what people did. And many's the time I walked from Sharrow Lane to High Storrs to save the bus fare for a gobstopper at lunchtime.  And home again!  Gives you time to think, to see things, to talk to your companion.  Gets you a good night's sleep. Try it!   Clears brain fog!

Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveJC
11 hours ago, fentonvillain said:

Err...buses and trams stopped at 11 o clock. When the family gathering at Arbourthorne ended after that we walked back to Sharrow down gas-lit Myrtle Road. . When we went to youth club across town we walked to save the coppers for a coffee in Marsdens.   When we went into Derbyshire we walked up Mayfield and across the moors. So many other times when buses and trams were there but we chose not to use them. My grandad, a local preacher, walked miles all over Sheffield to preach in Methodist chapels rather than claim the cost of a fare. It's what people did. And many's the time I walked from Sharrow Lane to High Storrs to save the bus fare for a gobstopper at lunchtime.  And home again!  Gives you time to think, to see things, to talk to your companion.  Gets you a good night's sleep. Try it!   Clears brain fog!

Err... The poster stated that he and his family walked to and from town on shopping trips, when would a bus or tram be required after 6.00 pm, let alone ‘11 o  clock’ ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveJC

The ‘Old Sheffield’ that I would love to see is large parts of, art work, plans, or preferably a virtual walk around what was Sheffield Castle. Just imagine Queen Mary and her entourage calling in on a trip from Manor Lodge, the Civil War siege, and sadly Cromwell and Bright’s destruction of it. However it must have stunk to high heaven, what with every type of human/animal waste being tossed over it’s ramparts. Sheffield City Centre would most likely have evolved around it, and it could well have gone on to house all matter of things, perhaps even the Town Hall.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lysanderix

I lived on the Brushes estate for the first 9 years of life, then on Littledale for a couple  and finally on Shiregreen until I was 23 when I married and started a life in my own semi and I never found the "community" that I am supposed to have experienced. I found people doing their best to "get on with making the best of a bad lot" often with low expectations and with many "keeping themselves to themselves" .....saying "we don't neighbour" so,  I may have had a unique experience but I think not!😎

Link to post
Share on other sites
Organgrinder
2 hours ago, DaveJC said:

Err... The poster stated that he and his family walked to and from town on shopping trips, when would a bus or tram be required after 6.00 pm, let alone ‘11 o  clock’ ?

I think that what Fentonvillain was saying is that there could be numerous reasons why people would not use public transport even if it was cheap.

In the case of our family, I had 2 younger siblings so we always had either a pram or pushchair with us. A pram wouldn't fit in the small loading area of a backloader bus.

The pushchair had a handle which folded and would just fit there if no one else had any luggage under there.

It was a lot less trouble to forget the bus and walk and my old grandma walked to town almost every day and rarely used the buses.

To this day, I will not use public transport unless there is no alternative and have not been on a bus for 20 years or more.

More than 75 years later from the times I am recalling, I still walk almost every day, a similar distance to what we did then because, I enjoy it and it's good for ones health.

As Fentonvillain said, us kids may have been given the bus fare when we went out, (maybe swimming at Millhouses) but we hardly ever used the bus when we could spend the money on a treat instead.

All my friends and their families lived their lives in the same manner so I don't think it's us who were the odd ones out.

I have a problem understanding this modern need to be carried everywhere we go when most of us have perfectly usable legs.

Although you may differ, to me they were lovely, happy times and I would go back in a heartbeat if I could.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Organgrinder
1 hour ago, Lysanderix said:

I lived on the Brushes estate for the first 9 years of life, then on Littledale for a couple  and finally on Shiregreen until I was 23 when I married and started a life in my own semi and I never found the "community" that I am supposed to have experienced. I found people doing their best to "get on with making the best of a bad lot" often with low expectations and with many "keeping themselves to themselves" .....saying "we don't neighbour" so,  I may have had a unique experience but I think not!😎

I found it so sad to read that and I'm afraid that I can't explain why there should be such a difference in our memories and feelings.

I grew up in a yard in Heeley and my Grandma lived at the end house in the same yard and her mother had lived next door but one to us (but died before I was born).

In my early married life, I got the tenancy of the house next door to my mothers and my sister got the tenancy of the house where my Grandma had lived.

When I was very young, all the neighbours were like second parents to us and we wandered at will into most houses on the yard.

I always felt that we were surrounded by love and caring even though we were all very poor financially. That was home and, in my mind, always will be.

We certainly were not "making the best of a bad lot" although, at the time, I didn't realise how fortunate I was and how badly I would miss those days and Sheffield as a whole.

Those are the riches I remember and that, to me, made us as rich as the Royals.

I feel sorry that, for some unexplained reason,  you didn't have the same.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Athy

At first, starting to read this topic, I thought of Organgrinder as "Axegrinder" as he seemed intent on dismissing any aspect of recent Sheffield history as irrelevant. As I share the opinion, expressed by another poster, that history begins yesterday, I could not agree with his sentiments.

   But, the more I read of his posts, the more I agreed with them, especially on the subject of community. I spent my first 13 years in lower-middle-class Gleadless Avenue; I did not have the concept of "community" then, having known nothing different, but looking back, I can see that it certainly did exist. If Mum needed to go out while Dad was at work, and couldn't take me with her, no problem: Mr. and Mrs. Settle next door would look after me until she got back - no need to pay for a child-minder. If my parents needed help with anything, Auntie Betty and Uncle Bert (Mr. & Mrs. Ledger) across the road would always help willingly, and my parents would do the same for them. We even borrowed a dog from along the road: if there were meat scraps left over, I'd be sent to fetch Major, the boxer dog which lived at one of the two shops at the end of the Avenue, he'd come in, wolf the food down and then stretch out and go to sleep in front of our fire.

   I'm sure there were many instances of everyday neigbourliness which went over my head; I wasn't yet 14 when we left Gleadless to move to Leicestershire, and I've lived in many counties - and two countries - since then but I don't think I've ever experienced such a sense of natural community anywhere else.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Lysanderix

.The difference  seems to me that some of us grew up in a "yard in Heeley" whilst my experience was entirely different. I grew up in  fairly modern housing, with inside loos ,a bathroom  and with neighbours all of whom had moved onto the estate from other parts of the City.. A Council estate was a vastly different place  to that from whence they  came...That's why, in my opinion, I had little experience of  "community". We all locked our front doors. Neighbours seldom "child minded" and the only places I experienced "community" was at Church  ( especially Whit gatherings)and in the Working Mans Club....although they could be a bit "iffy".

We come from a large City and, inevitably, our experienced will be different. The old City  has gone ...its history ...but it is a part of our lives

Link to post
Share on other sites
Athy

You raise an interesting point. Though most of our neighbours in Gleadless Avenue had been there for years (the houses were, I think, built in the 1920s), my parents were Chesterfield people and moved there only shortly before I was born, at the end of the 1940s. Certainly the Ledgers were long-established in the area: they had taken their house over from a man named Eddie Jarvis, who was a family member Yet I never felt any sense of "us and them". People just helped each other, perhaps not consciously, but because that was what you naturally did.

   A few days ago I was sifting through some old documents of my late father's, which included the programmes for plays which he produced at his various schools. One, from Woodhouse Grammar School, 1957, included a credit to "A. Lane, Hillsborough" for the loan of furniture to use on stage. Mr. Lane lived three doors up from us on the Avenue. It must have been shortly after that that I got a brand-new wardrobe for my bedroom, supplied by Mr. Lane's shop - an example of neighbours helping each other in their own ways.

   

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Lemmy117

When I was growing up in the early 60's we knew most people who lived on the road, and I agree it's not like that nowadays, we are all more insular.

One good thing coming out of the pandemic has been the setting up of community groups, although now on Facebook! Around us the group has sorted out shopping for people who were shielding, lending items, organising Easter egg hunts and treasure trails for the local kids, distributing surplus garden produce, the list goes on. So maybe there is a "community spirit", it's just different to what it used to be, if it will last once all this is over remains to be seen.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveJC

Beware of neighbours who keep telling you what good neighbours they are, they only tell you this because no one ever tells them that they are. 🤨

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...