Monday 25 June 2012

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the New Roots Cafe

Last week whilst I was in Burngreave I took the opportunity to photograph the New Roots cafe which is at the corner of Spital Hill and Hallcar Street. I've been meaning to do this for a few years as it is the place where Arthur Conan Doyle practised in 1878

 An archived site explains
"Arthur Conan Doyle had a brief acquaintance with Burngreave. In 1878 he came to Sheffield to work as an assistant to Dr Charles Sydney Richardson on Spital Hill. This was in the building on the corner of Spital Hill and Hallcar Street, which is now the New Roots Café and Burngreave Ashram. It seems that Conan Doyle did not get along with Dr Richardson or Sheffield patients as he later wrote:

'These Sheffielders would rather be poisoned by a man with a beard than saved by a man without one.'

In fact he stayed there for just three weeks before moving on. He was just 19 years of age.

When I saw the building I thought in looked newer than 1878, and so I checked on Picture Sheffield and found the following photograph that had the caption

"Nos 70-86, Spital Hill from Burngreave Road. Hallcar Street, left Sheffield_Burngreave 1900-1919

And so it was the buiding that Conan Doyle practised in, rather unsuccessfully it must be said

Monday 18 June 2012

The New Heeley Voice - June 2012

Our recently published book "Sheffield's Shocking Past" has appeared in "The New Heeley Voice" for June 2012  

I am really pleased that it has been featured as the book contains three chapters that relate to Heeley.

The host website is also very impressive - in fact it is one of the best community sites I have come across!

Pitsmoor, a Peek into the Past. A Snapshot of Life and Times in Victorian Pitsmoor

I was invited to the following on Saturday

I'm writing on behalf of Burngreave Local History Group to invite you to the launch of their first local history book: - Pitsmoor, a Peek into the Past. A Snapshot of Life and Times in Victorian Pitsmoor

The Burngreave Local History Group was started in 2009 by the Burngreave Messenger. With the help of Local History Tutor Suzanne Bingham, the amazing resources available at Sheffield Local Studies Library and Sheffield Archives, and after months of research, local residents have put together a collection of articles about the streets, buildings and people of Pitsmoor in the Victorian Era. 

Please come along to Burngreave Library, on Saturday 16th June, 11am-2pm, to help us celebrate the completion of Pitsmoor, a Peek into the Past. You will be able to enjoy looking at the book and our local history exhibition. There will also be light refreshments.

Books will be available on the day for £7, and in Burngreave Library after the launch
It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience with a excellent display of material. Needless to say I purchased the book and was amazed at the amount of effort and research that had gone into the production of the book. They can all be very proud of their achievements 

Wednesday 13 June 2012

The Trials of Selina Mannifield

Just posted an article to the site that has it's roots in the 1891 Census for Spring Hill.It relates to the Mannifield family and is rather sobering one to say the least!

I also updated the Walkley Cemetery page in the light of the information that I obtained on the work day last Saturday (9th June 2012)

Tuesday 12 June 2012

The Hampton by Hilton Hotel formerly known as West Bar Nick

On 8th March 2011 the BBC reported that

"It is the end of an era for Sheffield's main police station, which opens its doors for the final time on Friday.
West Bar police station opened on 16 July in 1965 under the City of Sheffield Police Force.

Now the crumbling building, which once towered over the city's skyline and served the force for over 45 years, is closing for a new state-of-the-art building.

Chief Superintendant Andy Barr told BBC Sheffield: "It's a day of sadness, a lot of the cops have loved working there over the years. There are some fond memories and some great stories."

The five-storey building has been sold to a development company which plan to demolish the former headquarters to make room for a new hotel and restaurant establishment.

"Instead of housing prisoners it will be housing some of Sheffield's many visitors."

Mr Barr added: "We're closing it because it's past its sell by date.
"The boiler and lifts kept breaking down. It's very cold and officers need somewhere better to work. We've also had a rat infestation problem too.

"We accessed the costs and they really would be too much for the police to continue working there and update the building."

Officers and staff will be relocated over the weekend to the new headquarters at Snig Hill. The police will remain to operate a 24-hour public enquiry desk which was available at West Bar".

Bearing in mind that the building is "crumbling" (a common condition that afflicts many public buildings that were built in the 1960's) and that it was "passed it sell-by date", I was not surprised to see that the building was to be demolished and be replaced by a new hotel on the site.

But I was taken aback when it was reported last week that this crumbling obsolete building was NOT going to be demolished but was going to be converted into a 142 bed city centre hotel. 
The Sheffield Telegaph dated 7th June 2012 report

 It seems perverse to me that a building that is deemed fit for demolition and has no architectural and/or historical significance whatsoever should be renovated at a cost of £9 million. And to call it one of Sheffield's "high profile buildings" is just plain rubbish - it is a building that was flawed when it was built and always has been.

But what is even more disconcerting is that the same newspaper carried a report which stated that

 I feel as though I'm missing something here!

Monday 11 June 2012

Deals Worth Celebrating??

" Nisa on Barber Road in Crookesmoor, now Costcutter, has been found on several occasions to sell dangerous, illegal alcohol to students. The illicit substances were tested and it was found the vodka was in fact industrial alcohol and contained a chemical commonly used in bleach, as well as xylene and toluene – two compounds found in paint stripper and dangerous for human consumption.
Despite this, the council renewed the store’s alcohol licence on Tuesday morning, on the condition that the premises supervisor was removed from his post...

(Forge Today - May 2012)

Does the decision by the Council condone the sale of industrial alcohol to students and other members of the public?