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RichardB

Botanical Gardens

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Something that I find annoying in the Gardens is that many of the benches have been paid for in memory of members of the public, which is a lovely idea, but people seem to think it carries the right to tie bunches of flowers to the bench, which is supposedly there for the public to sit on. Frequently these are left to rot away rather than removed. It seems perverse to me to donate a bench then decorate it. They're in a Botanical GARDENS for heaven's sake, do they think it improves the place? So there's a beautiful rose garden decorated with bunches of dead flowers. It happens elsewhere in the Gardens as well, and it annoys me intensely.

I'll get me coat....

So, basically, no birds or fish in the glasshouses now, just a backdrop for giggly wedding parties??. Bayleaf, this is an awful practice, I can´t understand why it is permitted when I believe you cannot put a picture of the deceased on a gravestone and they are also planning to stop roadside tributes at accident spots.

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So, basically, no birds or fish in the glasshouses now, just a backdrop for giggly wedding parties??.

Just the occasional wedding party Suzy.

The glasshouses do contain an impressive collection of tropical plants which, to anyone interested in botany are well worth seeing on their own. Not only are the glasshouses cosmetically restored they are fully functional horticultural glasshouses.

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So, basically, no birds or fish in the glasshouses now, just a backdrop for giggly wedding parties??.

The fish and birds are no longer there, a loss to someone like me who keeps both as pets at home.

The Botanical gardens famously had a pair of parrots, a blue and gold macaw and a scarlet macaw which on nice summer days used to sit on their perches outside flanking either side of the main doorway into the glasshouses.

Now parrots are intelligent animals with a powerful beak which ranges from a playful nibble through a warning peck to a very nasty bite. Fortunately these macaws were clever enough to be very friendly towards children who wanted to pet them and aggressive towards grown men who thought they could stand up to them.

That is always a mistake as parrots are fearless, like our recently deceased Senegal parrot Charlie

In the house he was a better guard dog than our dog!!!

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The Bear Pit.

Some older people claim to remember a time when there was a real bear in the bear pit, - before my time though.

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A grand gala of the Sheffield Band of Hope Union was held in the Botanical Gardens, Sheffield on Monday last;

The attendance was large, notwithstanding the threatening aspect of the weather in the morning, the committee had provided various attractions in addition to those of the beautiful gardens, which were in fine condition.

Illustrations of the workings of the electric telegraph, stereoscopic views, a fairy fountain,

several bands of music, and various other things arresting attention, studded the gardens.

At three o'clock many hundreds of the members of the Bands of Hope assembled on a splendid green sward, and under the leadership of Mr. S. H. Barton sang several pieces,

including the "Hallelujah Chorus" and the “Temperance National Anthem”

At four, a large meeting was held under the presidency of J. Jobson Smith, Esq., J.P.,

and addresses were delivered by the Rev. Messrs. Tarrant, Adams, Mathews, and Hammond; by John Unwin, Esq, Mr. J. H. Raper, and others.

A special train, arranged by the Manchester and Salford Union, conveyed about 600 passengers to Sheffield during the day.

Published in the Band of Hope Record, 1862

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A grand gala of the Sheffield Band of Hope Union was held in the Botanical Gardens, Sheffield on Monday last;

The attendance was large, notwithstanding the threatening aspect of the weather in the morning, the committee had provided various attractions in addition to those of the beautiful gardens, which were in fine condition.

Illustrations of the workings of the electric telegraph, stereoscopic views, a fairy fountain,

several bands of music, and various other things arresting attention, studded the gardens.

1862

Sound more like a mini version of the Worlds Fair or International EXPO shows rather than a garden fete gala

By 1862, the electric telegraph was only 23 years old and the first invention of the telephone was only a few years into the future. At this time anything electrical would have been a wonderous modern invention to ordinary people.

The stereoscopic views would be photographic stereoscopic pairs taken to be viewed simultaneously one by each eye, in the same way as the "Viewmaster" system. Again by 1862 photography itself was relatively new and too complex and expensive to be done by amateurs, even a simple portrait photograph requiring the services of a professional photographer. So how futuristic and wonderous must it have been to have been shown images which had depth and jumped out at you in the 3rd dimension.

As the report says, I am sure these 2 items alone would have arrested much attention.

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Just the occasional wedding party Suzy.

The glasshouses do contain an impressive collection of tropical plants which, to anyone interested in botany are well worth seeing on their own. Not only are the glasshouses cosmetically restored they are fully functional horticultural glasshouses.

Thanks for the photos Dave, pleased they have restored them so well. I can grow most of these in my garden now B) , Banana, Canary Palm, cacti, etc. although we do have frosts up here in the mountains, so have to protect them. However gardeners are always perverse i.e., you always want what you can't grow. Aquilegia do brilliantly here, they never die down and flower 2/3 times a year, as do clematis, just cut them back, up they spring and flower, amazing. Saffron crocus is now sproutinh under the almonds.

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The fish and birds are no longer there, a loss to someone like me who keeps both as pets at home.

The Botanical gardens famously had a pair of parrots, a blue and gold macaw and a scarlet macaw which on nice summer days used to sit on their perches outside flanking either side of the main doorway into the glasshouses.

Now parrots are intelligent animals with a powerful beak which ranges from a playful nibble through a warning peck to a very nasty bite. Fortunately these macaws were clever enough to be very friendly towards children who wanted to pet them and aggressive towards grown men who thought they could stand up to them.

That is always a mistake as parrots are fearless, like our recently deceased Senegal parrot Charlie

In the house he was a better guard dog than our dog!!!

So sorry about Charlie,poor boy. Did you see my earlier post about Jack and Pollly the parrots at the Botanical Gardens? Whatever happened to them?

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So sorry about Charlie,poor boy. Did you see my earlier post about Jack and Pollly the parrots at the Botanical Gardens? Whatever happened to them?

Yes, but I never realised the 2 macaws were called Jack and Polly.

Aren't they absolutely beautiful animals.

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Does anyone know when the Bandstand was knocked down?

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Some older people claim to remember a time when there was a real bear in the bear pit, - before my time though.

attachicon.gifDSC01145.JPG attachicon.gifDsc01146.jpg

When was the last time bears were in the bear pit? I can only find a reference to bears actually in the pit during 1856 - they were a great success with crowds forming to see them. A report on refurbishments in 1888 refers to the pit as "the old bear pit" implying that it hadn't been in use for some time. Every time I've visited the Botanical Gardens, the bear pit has been a busy area, even without a live bear.

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When was the last time bears were in the bear pit? I can only find a reference to bears actually in the pit during 1856 - they were a great success with crowds forming to see them. A report on refurbishments in 1888 refers to the pit as "the old bear pit" implying that it hadn't been in use for some time. Every time I've visited the Botanical Gardens, the bear pit has been a busy area, even without a live bear.

I visited the Garden and specifically the Bear Pit last week. I too would like to know when a bear (or bears) were last kept there but i would be very surprised if anyone can remember anyone who can remember them, as that would place them since 1888 as you say.

Is there any truth in the story that a child fell into the pit and was mauled to death by the bears, and that was why the pit was closed. The story is told as a "legend" on the Garden's information board but without any references.

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From the Independent's report on the 5th Annual Meeting of the Sheffield Botanical and Horticultural Society in June 1848:

"The quarry, with the bear pit adjoining, both of which had long been used only as store places for lumber, have been laid out and planted by the Curator, who has converted an unsightly place into a pleasant and cool summer retreat".

As the gardens were opened in 1836 this narrows down the period that the bear pit was operational - UNLESS the bear pit was in use BEFORE the Botanical Gardens were set up. Bear baiting etc does seem to be an activity that would be frowned on by well-to-do gardeners?

EDIT: from the Independent March 10th 1855 - "The long un-occupied bear-pit is again tenanted by two fine bears, the gift of Sir Harry Hunloke. They are a great attraction, especially to the juvenile visitors"

On the opening day in 1836 a variety of zoological specimens were on show, including: a bear, a deer, a tribe of monkeys, a number of parrots and two eagles. To these were very soon added several cockatoos, paroquets and lovebirds, a ram, a goat and three hedgehogs. The bear was a young North American bear and was imported by Mr William Butcher.

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Taken out of a skip in front of the pavilions c1988 (best guess)
 

Parrots Botanical Gardens.jpg

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On 14/11/2010 at 21:50, SteveHB said:

The Bear Pit.

 

post-188-042822900%201289771278_thumb.jpg

post-188-025367600%201289771283_thumb.jpg post-188-088106100%201289771272_thumb.jpg

My mother born 1912 always claimed to remember when there was a bear in the bear pit.

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1 hour ago, Old rider said:

My mother born 1912 always claimed to remember when there was a bear in the bear pit.

I think that may have been one of those childhood memories that we all have that get mixed up with stories we are told at the time, or possibly there was a previous model bear. There is some reference to dates further up this post and according to Picture Sheffield and the Botanical Gardens websites the bears were removed about 1870, possibly after a child fell in and was killed.       ----------      http://picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;s11037&pos=2&action=zoom&id=14059       ---------------         http://www.sbg.org.uk/portfolio-items/bear-pit/

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Here's an advert for the sale of the bears in 1859, but it's not clear whether they were sold, they may well have remained into the 1860's.  There's no report of anyone ever being killed or even mauled by the bears, which I would have thought would have been newsworthy - possibly an urban myth?

33968034_BearTender1859.png.a250031770b60275c6f00e3cbf6c3d49.png

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