Tuesday 23 August 2011

Up For The Cup!

Following on from the previous blog there is a classic photo from the 1959-60 season showing Abbeydale Boys Grammar School Under 14 football team. It may give you an indication as to why the fortunes of the two Sheffield clubs have been so abject  over the years. Still I'd like to see Chris Morgan in those boots the team are wearing - they would literally be banned!

Down In The Old Schoolyard

Just posted some photos and recollections of a former inmate at Abbeydale Boys Grammar School who was sent down in 1958  

I probably did not stress it enough on the pages when I posted them, but the views I give are very much personal ones and in part are based on that wonderful commodity hindsight.

What really started me off were the articles in The Guardian which portrayed ABGS in the 1960's has some sort of educational idyll - an idyll that was destroyed by the imposition of comprehensive education. Well I certainly did not find ABGS idyllic,far from it. For many years I could not place my finger on why I was unhappy there but when you are a parent yourself you get a different perspective.

I came to the conclusion that it was not me that was at fault (you were always made to feel you were) but the system that existed. There were just too many teachers who should never have been let near a classroom in the sixties, they were just "unfit for purpose".

Maybe I am too critical of the school but for seven years they dominated my
life and the end product was not something they could have been proud of.
Perhaps I failed them but they certainly failed me.

Since I posted the pages quite a few years back - there was a paucity of material on ABGS online - quite a number of "old lags" have contacted me. Some have disagreed strongly with my views and said their time at the school was the best days of their lives, and even intimated that I was ungrateful for the opportunity I had been given. One even suggested that if I had found God all these troubles would have gone away!! . Well yes for certain people ABGS did work and provided them with a sound basis for their future careers and life.The majority to be fair have ambivalent feelings towards the school - yes there were faults but it could have been worse is the general line. But what has suprised me is the sizeable minority who demonstrate a real and lasting hatred for the place 40+ years on.

To quote

" Lousy, patronising bastards weren't they ,those tossers who pretended to teach us ? Not fit to look after my dog let alone children."

As for me I have no respect or fondness for ABGS as an institution at all, which is not how it should be. My children had a pleasant time at school and remember it
fondly and so perhaps things are improving in one sense.

Final thought a photograph of the teaching and secretarial staff from the summer of 1959 - spot the odd two out

Thursday 11 August 2011

The strange death of Margaret Davies - December 2002

This cutting is from the Daily Telegraph dated 11th December 2002 - I never knew places like this existed in the British Isles but apparently they do. The link above is to a Guardian report dated 18th December 2002 which I have only just found. I firmly believe that her death was due more to mis-judgement and isolation rather than other causes that were touted about at the time

Wednesday 3 August 2011

Kenneth Steel (1906-1970) Sheffield Artist

I've just posted an article to the site about another artist, Kenneth Steele who lived in Crookes for a time (Conduit Road), and whose works are now being sought after by collectors. To say that he had an "interesting" life is an understatement.  

 One of Kenneth's BR poster from the 1950's

"Painter in watercolour, engraver & lithographer of landscapes & street scenes; poster designer. Born Sheffield 9/7/1906, son of G.T.Steel, an artist and silver engraver. Studied at Sheffield College of Art under Anthony Betts. Represented in several public collections. Achieved a prolific output of artwork for the railways. Based in Crookes, Sheffield for years. Produced artwork for LNER Post-War, LMR Railway Architecture, Scottish Region series".

Roman Catholic Mortuary Chapel at City Road Cemetery, Sheffield

A week last Monday, I spent a couple of hours at City Road Cemetery like you do when you are on holiday. It had been a couple of years since I last went there and I was pleasantly surprised about the general condition of the Cemetery. It looks as though it is being cared for once again

However there was one exception to this general state of well-being and that is the Roman Catholic Mortuary Chapel which is situated inside the Cemetery. It is now in a state of severe disrepair and surrounded with security fencing that is in places toppling over.

Whhen I got home I checked it up and found that it had been listed as a grade 2 building in 1995. How it was allowed to get in this state is just beyond me. From what I can gather from the Sheffield City Council website it was last used in 1980 and since then it has been to deteriorating in an alarming fashion. As the photos show the Chapel is now totally derelict and neglected. In fact it can now be termed a dangerous strucure. It is a disgrace that such a striking and historic building should have been allowed to reach such a state. Sheffield is not over-endowed with Grade 2 listed buildings and so why was this chapel allowed to get in this state?