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What about OLD Sheffield?


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neddy
On 15/04/2021 at 08:22, 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.

 

 

The Rag and Tag and the Castle Market became a health hazard due to lack of care by the Sheffield council,  who would have been the first to prosecute anybody else.

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DaveJC
1 hour ago, neddy said:

The Rag and Tag and the Castle Market became a health hazard due to lack of care by the Sheffield council,  who would have been the first to prosecute anybody else.

Actually the council are the only body that have the power to prosecute anyone. However I appreciate where you are coming from, they are and always have been a power unto itself, you get what you vote for.

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LeadFarmer

Nowadays folk perhaps move house more often than they did a few decades ago. When I think of my childhood we knew everyone on our section of the road, and all our neighbours had lived there a long time, some still do. Folk didn't seem to move house so often. But for many reasons folk now seem to move house more frequently, which may go towards explaining the loss of any community spirit?

Also, most couples work full time so will be out all day, and when they get home they just want to close their door to the world, which is understandable. Previously if the wives stayed at home they would get to know each other.

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Athy

Two very valid points, LF. Certainly, after I was born my parents moved house only once, when Dad (a schoolmaster) got a promotion and we moved from Gleadless to near Ashby-d-la-Zouch. In my case, work took me to South-Western France, Hertfordshire, London, Surrey and Sussex, we them moved to the Midlands to be near my parents and we now live in Norfolk.

Regarding work, yes, my Mum and my Auntie Betty were both housewives. I am not saying they didn't work - they both worked bloody hard in the house - but they didn't go out to work. This would be more unusual nowadays.

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DaveJC

Neighbourly friendships are different to the normal version, I’ll be dammed if I’m going to be forced into a friendship that I would never have chosen just because of the closeness of proximity to where I live. I recall that our son, who is now in his 40’s, didn’t make any lasting friendships with our neighbours kids, he did however make them with a small selection of his school mates. 

I may sound like a grumpy old sod, but we have next door neighbours who consider that anyone who doesn’t live their lives exactly the same as them are weird, eg~ foreign food is ‘muck’, pubs are devices of the devil, as is any type of alcohol, if you don’t take packaged holidays you are stupid, if you don’t spend every waking hour hour gardening you are lazy, etc,etc,etc.

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Athy
10 minutes ago, DaveJC said:

pubs are devices of the devil, as is any type of alcohol, if you don’t take packaged holidays you are stupid,

How odd! I've always found that alcohol greatly enhances the pleasure of a package holiday.

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ManoutotCity
On 14/04/2021 at 09:53, 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 because I feel that the council and planners have ripped the heart out of everything this city meant to me.

There was a bit of chat about the old Coles Bros etc but many seem not to care too much about the resulting demise of John Lewis and think it was too expensive anyway.

As Debenhams has suffered the same fate, the result is that If you like wandering around department stores, then apart from Atkinson's (long may they survive), there is no point in going to town at all.

In my early days of marriage, I was lucky enough to get the tenancy of the house next door to where I was born. It was left full of very good quality but quite old furniture.

The first thing I did was chop it all up and buy modern, early 60's furniture throughout (the thought makes me shudder now) and only in later years did I realise my stupid mistake.

I don't think Sheffield Council have had that realisation yet but, as in my case, it's now too late to rectify it.

I view lots of old videos and photos of old Sheffield and it brings one close to tears when you see all those MASSIVE crowds of people scurrying about like ants in the old city centre,

and compare that with the lifeless and soulless scenes of today. You would think we had endured a nuclear holocaust and the end of the world was nigh.

I remember crossing the footbridge, (never seen any photos of this) to the old Castle Fish market with my Grandma in the early 40's and enjoying cockles or mussels or, better still, chips, pie & peas

from a stall which I still took my family to more than half a century later and basked in the nostalgia of those poor but happy days. The old Rag & tag market was equally as much loved.

What will younger generations get nostalgic about in years to come but a dead city centre which will look nice although soulless until it's covered in graphiti, beer cans and litter.

‘Organgrinder’ (and others) make many observations and comments in this and other linked, pieces (with much of with which, I heartily agree) but  which will be dismissed as pointless nostalgia by younger generations  and even some of our own - understandable to a degree BUT there’s a vital paragraph, the contents of which are undeniable and should be a cause for serious concern to all Sheffielders, young and old:                                                           

 ( The presence of) .....’ all those MASSIVE  crowds of people...in the old City Centre and ......compare that with the lifeless and soulless scenes of today’.

I recall and appreciate, PRECISELY what that means and it’s a CRITICAL recollection and comment  because, muck an’ all and, yes, there was undoubtedly plenty of that, those scenes really said one thing about the place, warts and all, MONEY! Without which no community, large or small can survive. Sheffield was a very rich city and like many other wealthy beings, had and generally enjoyed, the trappings of wealth as those  eager crowds of (accurate) memory, attest.                                                                                Although ‘Our City’, sadly, Sheffield isn’t alone in this social and economic crisis - it is repeated in a thousand places, within these Islands. I’m no longer a resident in that part of the Country but when I, periodically, return I can say that changes are all the more profound - even during the few years I’ve been gone.

We dismiss the changing scene as progress, at our peril. Whether John Lewis (Cole Bros) is overpriced and no longer wanted .....anymore than the now ancient yet  atmospheric ‘Rag &Tag’ are matters of personal requirements and opinion. But be warned, they won’t come back and there’ll be no point craving shopping sessions, the  social intermingling, of the type ...whichever we chose. We ( in reality, ‘those who follow’) will have most if not all of their options piled in a soulless ‘basket’ to be delivered by some underpaid and overworked van driver by lobbing it over the front garden wall or heaven forbid, delivered missile - like by a drone over the back garden/yard. We should be very careful, just what we wish for - as the old adage goes..

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Lysanderix

I mentioned this topic to a retired Councillor friend and she reminded me that during the MASSIVE slum clearances of the 50/60s ,when whole local communities and their infrastructure were being discarded/destroyed to be rehoused in new  Council estates and high rise flats, its affects on mental health was such that Sheffield had one of the highest incidences of suicide in the UK.

Sheffield was, indeed, a wealthy City...in parts. It was said that outside of London our Rolls Royce dealer (Hoffman's?) sold more "Rollers" than anywhere else. That said, there was poverty...even post War and with full employment. The lot of a steel works labourer, married, with a couple of children and a wife who didn't work ( as most didn't once they had children) and with little "overtime" was one of belt tightening at all times. Similarly, many widows had a hard time of things especially if they had no close living relatives.

All of the above is history as much as dates and battles ( beloved of my old history masters). 

 

 

 

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fentonvillain
4 hours ago, Lysanderix said:

I mentioned this topic to a retired Councillor friend and she reminded me that during the MASSIVE slum clearances of the 50/60s ,when whole local communities and their infrastructure were being discarded/destroyed to be rehoused in new  Council estates and high rise flats, its affects on mental health was such that Sheffield had one of the highest incidences of suicide in the UK.

Sheffield was, indeed, a wealthy City...in parts. It was said that outside of London our Rolls Royce dealer (Hoffman's?) sold more "Rollers" than anywhere else. That said, there was poverty...even post War and with full employment. The lot of a steel works labourer, married, with a couple of children and a wife who didn't work ( as most didn't once they had children) and with little "overtime" was one of belt tightening at all times. Similarly, many widows had a hard time of things especially if they had no close living relatives.

All of the above is history as much as dates and battles ( beloved of my old history masters). 

 

 

 

People tracking me on the two leading Sheffield Forums will know I was a bobby in B Div before I became a journalist and broadcaster. Three years of patrolling Burngreave, St Philips, Hanover, Broomhall, and Sharrow was enough to confirm what I had learned as a kid at Sharrow from 1942 onwards.....that these communities had a solid gold centre that could not be replicated in Gleadless Valley, Mosbrough or anywhere else. On the night of the hurricane in 63 I was on night duty in the Ellesmere Road area and stayed on duty until 3 o clock the following afternoon where people were trying to salvage their belongings from rows of collapsed terraced houses. It was a Blitz scenario.  Ordinary people became heroes and heroines. If you don't know what I'm talking about you were not there, not old enough, or just in denial.  In my later job I walked among Royalty, politicians, celebrities and artists. The people of old Sheffield were way above them all. No pretence. Just honesty about who they were and who they wanted to be.  I loved them all. Still do. 

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ManoutotCity
On 21/04/2021 at 16:20, Lysanderix said:

I mentioned this topic to a retired Councillor friend and she reminded me that during the MASSIVE slum clearances of the 50/60s ,when whole local communities and their infrastructure were being discarded/destroyed to be rehoused in new  Council estates and high rise flats, its affects on mental health was such that Sheffield had one of the highest incidences of suicide in the UK.

Sheffield was, indeed, a wealthy City...in parts. It was said that outside of London our Rolls Royce dealer (Hoffman's?) sold more "Rollers" than anywhere else. That said, there was poverty...even post War and with full employment. The lot of a steel works labourer, married, with a couple of children and a wife who didn't work ( as most didn't once they had children) and with little "overtime" was one of belt tightening at all times. Similarly, many widows had a hard time of things especially if they had no close living relatives.

All of the above is history as much as dates and battles ( beloved of my old history masters). 

 

 

Whatever the social imperfections of those years of the 20C, in particular, one thing is certain and is as valid now as it would have been then, places without wealth from industry and commerce and  which are, therefore, living on handouts (‘Relief’) - are most certainly, going nowhere - sadly and worryingly, examples  now very common  in many parts of these Islands as we’ve progressively, let slip and effectively handed over our wealth-making industries  to  foreign competitors and MASSIVE  on- line monopolies. Is that really progress?                We can’t just sit back watching the Country’s life- blood ebb away.                    And thats  not nostalgia but hard, costly, perpetual, reality.                                   Yes, there may well be  arguments about what/ more should have been done with some of those profits which kept the likes of Rolls Royce in business in the provinces but the fact remains, in crude terms, the trick is to ‘sell yours, not, buy theirs’!                                                                                                                      Without  realising and dominating that principle  there’s quite simply,  ‘nowt for nobdy’

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DaveJC

Clever folk used to be taught for several end product reasons, however it is increasingly evident that the clever folk of today are taught in order to produce other clever folk who will do exactly the same. Every time I need the services of a top engineer, more often than not he/she appears to originate from Eastern Europe, which tells me that their clever folk are a lot more productive than ours.

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Lysanderix

Sheffield Corporation and. latterly, Council was, as I recall,  content to allow the City to continue as the "City of Steel". Sheffield was  in the 60s/ early 70s something of a "boom town"...jobs were plentiful and wages reflected this. As a result, we had too much reliance on our staples of steel, engineering and their associated industries but too little diversification.

 Government policy of  fully adopting the EEC D'Avignon agreement hit the City and industry very hard. The UK ,initially,  reduced its steel making capacity by 16%....whereas most European countries played lip service, with West Germany increasing its capacity by 15%   and Italy by 41%. The UK suffered the greatest job losses at 45% of the total....Italy's share was a very modest 5%.. By 1982 UK demand for steel had reduced by an average of 19.4% ( railway demand was down by 43.2%) Sheffield and District had lost over 20,000 steel making jobs and the City alone had unemployment of over 40,000...a rate of 13.9 % compared with a national figure of 9.5%. The Government offered£36 Million to the private sector to assist companies to "contract and consolidate". 

Government policy was largely responsible.... but  the nationalised BSC was losing £9 million a week at one point....However, it has to be said, there existed, locally, a widespread private sector policy of investing "too little too late".... and of having an attitude of offering customers ,"what we produce" rather than meeting what "they require" . All factors in why the City has had to try and find a way forward... which it may or may not have found,...and why it lost much of its wealth and prosperity and why, arguably, it had/has too much reliance on social welfare.

 

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