Tuesday 31 December 2019

View From A Hill - 31st December 2019

This blog is the 43rd I've posted in 2019 and the 487th blog I have posted since the blog started in November 2010 

But unlike previous years the number of new articles I have posted to the website has plummeted. I have posted quite a few updates to existing articles but it is not the same as posting original material. This may change in 2020 as I am considering the future of both the website and the blog.

The website has been going over twenty years and I have used nearly 90% of my data allowance with the company that hosts it. I am reluctant to increase the data allowance as this would involve additional costs and so the alternative is either a reduction in the size of the site and/or a restructuring of the material. 

I am also aware that as a sole proprietor of both the website and the blog, there is no successor!   

But on a more upbeat note, a big thanks to the readers who have contacted me in the last year,
And so all that remains is to wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year

Wednesday 25 December 2019

Hallamgate Crookes Sheffield

I have never seen this photograph before. It shows Hallamgate Road in Crookes, At the end of the road is the junction with Lydgate Lane and the building you can see in the middle of the photograph is the |Old Grindstone public house.

Broomhill Online have researched the history of the road

"In 1850 Hallamgate Road was a country lane connecting Hallamgate House, standing at the
junction with Crookes Road, with Hallamgate Farm, which stood back from the lane roughly
behind where number 28 Hallamgate Road now stands.

Hallamgate House was built for Francis Hoole and family and was occupied by him certainly
in 1790, if not earlier. The house stood out in its locality in terms of scale and had an
ornamental garden complete with ha-ha, which still exists today. Later occupants were:

  • Peter Frith, optician, from 1839 - 1844; 
  • Charles Hoole, grocer & tea dealer, from 1846 - 1879; 
  • Arthur Wightman, solicitor, Justice of the Peace for the City of Sheffield, TownTrustee, Trustee of the Birley’s Charity, Governor of the Sheffield Royal Grammar School,member of the Council of the University of Sheffield, from 1879 - 1924;
  • J G.Graves Ltd, wireless manufacturer from 1929-1948, who turned the house into the ‘Hallamgate Works’ and sold it to Plessey Ltd. 
  • The site was acquired by the University of Sheffield in 1963 and the house demolished to make way for the student halls of residence.**
At the other end of Hallamgate Road, Hallamgate Farm was the home of the Spooner family

and dated from 1760, so was older than Hallamgate House. The Spooner family had large
land holdings in and around Sheffield and in 1815 Joshua Spooner extended these by
acquiring all the fields between Lydgate Lane and Fulwood Road, purchasing them from the
estate of the Rev. Wilkinson of Broom Hall. The Glossop turnpike Rd (now Manchester Rd),
Lawson Rd, Sale Hill, Tapton Crescent Rd and Tapton House Rd were all built on land once
owned by the Spooners.

The end of Hallamgate Road that joins Lydgate Lane is pretty much the same today as it ever was,
which is why the road is narrow at that end. However moving towards the junction with
Tapton House Road, the route of the road remained undetermined until after Hallamgate
Farm was demolished at the turn of the 20th century. An early ‘indicative’ route that would
have produced a straighter road was abandoned and the change of plan left a curious
triangular remnant of land that was undeveloped until the 1930’s. The footprint of this
‘false start’ is clearly visible on the ground today.

The houses along Hallamgate Road were built at various times over the period 1890 to 1930
and one can follow the pattern of development through the OS maps. There are several fine
Edwardian houses in the road; the Pevsner Guide to Sheffield draws particular attention to
no.20 in ‘Domestic Revival’ style, built between 1901 and 1905. It was the home of Bernard
Hobson, eldest son of John Hobson, in 1912. Hallamgate Farm itself disappears from the OS
map at the same time as nos. 16, 20, 28. 30 and 32 appear for the first time, in the 1905 map."

Note ** the student halls of residence were in turn demolished in the winter of 2014 and the University of Sheffield sold the land to private developers. The site is now occupied by private flats and appartments

Walkley District Municipal Window Box Competition 1913 (Sheffield)

This rather magnificent postcard shows the first and second prizes in the Walkley District Municipal Window Box Competition of 1913

There is no indication of the actual location but given that the row of terraced houses are on the level, and brick-built it would point to the Providence Road area of the district but that is a pure guess,

It is a shame that the card is in black and white as I am sure that the display would have been a riot of colour.

Tuesday 24 December 2019

Park Hotel Wadsley Lane Hillsborough Sheffield - a 1950's photograph

I was looking through some old family photographs and came across this one that was taken outside the Park Hotel Wadsley Lane Hillsborough Sheffield

There is no date on the photograph but I would estimate that it was taken in the early to mid 1950's. The man on the middle row third from the left is my wife's grandfather Harry Simpson. Harry lived just up from the hotel on Dunella Road and the Park was his local watering hole.

Park Hotel Wadsley Lane Sheffield 

Sunday 22 December 2019

Lansdowne Picture Palace (1914 - 1940) - corner of London Road & Boston Street, Sheffield

On the same page of the Sheffield Telegraph dated Friday 19th October 2007 that gave details of the future of Sheffield's Old Town Hall and Courthouse, there was also a smaller article on a building that I always called the Locarno but I guess that is just a sign of my age

The building started as the Lansdowne Picture Palace which was at the corner of London Road & Boston Street, Sheffield

There is an excellent photo showing the site prior to its construction

 The boy crossing the road is barefooted but thankfully it looks as though it was a fine day

The Cinema Treasures website has his excellent summary of  the Lansdowne Picture Palace

"The Lansdowne Picture Palace was designed by architect Walter Gerard Buck of Campo Lane, Sheffield. It stands at the junction of London Road and Boston Street and opened on 18th December 1914. Brick built, it had a marble terracotta facade in white and green with a Chinese pagoda style entrance with arched windows on the side elevation.

Seating was originally for around 1,250 but by 1940 was reduced to 965 due to cramped conditions. In the days of silent films it had a ‘Bijou Orchestra’ with seven players, later increased to twelve in the 1920’s. A two show a night policy was adopted with matinees on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Little seems to be documented about the syle of the auditorium. The Lansdowne Picture Palace closed abruptly following the air raids on 12th December 1940 although damage was said to be negligible. The final film shown was Carole Lombard in “Vigil Of The Night”.

In 1947 the cinema became a temporary store for Marks & Spencers. In the 1950’s it became a Mecca Dance Hall called the ‘Locarno’ later changing into ‘Tiffany’s Night Club’. It had several more incarnations as a night club with different names and the frontage was painted black, its last name being ‘The Bed’.

Recently, following three years of closure, the original white marble facade with bands of darker stone has been restored with stained glass windows inserted and the front of Lansdowne Picture Palace is now a Sainsbury’s ‘Local’ supermarket. The auditorium was demolished and a development of student accommodation has been built at the rear of the former cinema"

The following photo was taken after the night of the Sheffield Blitz and shows what was left of the Hermitage public house which was only about 50 yards away from the Lansdowne Picture Palace. the fact that the cinema was shut even though damage was said to be negligible is puzzling to say the least 

I am pleased that the frontage of the building has been restored as its "pagoda" style is rather unique in Sheffield but over 90% of the original building was demolished in order that the student development could proceed. I do not think the two structures compliment each other but that is just my opinion   

Christmas in Sheffield - December 1878

The following is from The London Times dated December 1878, 141 years ago

"The distress and destitution among the working people in Sheffield are now far more serious and more extensive than was the case last year.

To give an idea of the scarcity of work, it may be stated that at one place where formerly 1,200 men were engaged only 40 are now employed.

It is also feared that the Government contracts for plates have left the town, inasmuch as the large firms cannot compete with Barrow, Middlesbrough, Swansea, and Newport houses, who have the advantage of carriage by sea.

The last contract for 20,000 tons of plates went into South Wales, and thus £300,000 is lost to Sheffield.

The destitution among the working people is appalling. Hundreds areliving in houses stripped of furniture, without fire, and are dependent upon the generosity of the neighbours. Prompt measures of relief are being taken. Soup kitchens will be opened and children's dinners supplied in a few days."

Merry Christmas, Dec 24 1878

The Prevailing Distress.

With the severe weather which has set in, the distress at Sheffield continues to increase.

The Mayor announced yesterday that it was now so widespread that £10,000 at the very least would be required to meet it.
Up to the present time £2,400 has been spent out of the relief fund at his disposal and he asks for further contributions.
In consequence of the publicity which has been given to the existence of the distress, the Mayor has recieved many letters from all parts of the country enclosing contributions to the relief fund.

One of which comes from the Dowager Lady Stanley of Alderley, expressing great sorrow at the privations to which so many of the working classes in Sheffield are now subjected and enclosing a cheque.
Another comes from a gentleman signing himself "C.D.J." The writer states that although he has no sympathy with the men, believing that the distress was in great measure owing to their own suicidal policy in unreasonably raising the cost of production in every branch of trade by high wages and shorter hours, he could not help feeling for the suffering which the helpless children and wives had to bear for their fathers and husbands improvidence. He therefore, enclosed a cheque for the fund.

In Brightside, where the distress is perhaps the most keen, it is stated that the relief given up to the present time does not exceed 1s. 6d. per family per week, or seven pence halfpenny per head.

This cannot be considered extravagant, as it is considerably less than parish relief.

In consequence of the continuance of cold weather the Executive committee are to consider the question of giving coals as well as food and clothing.

Immediately after Christmas the committee will probably put the unemployed to work breaking stones upon the highways and levelling some recreation grounds.

Ah yes "the workshop of the world"

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Crookes Cemetery (Sheffield) - A funeral procession circa 1930

A few years ago I posted an article on the opening of Crookes Cemetery Sheffield and the reasons why the cemetery was opened.

This article that appears below featured in the local Grapevine Magazine that is distributed in the district on a monthly basis. It is written by Jason Heath of John Heath &Sons (Sheffield)

It contains a photograph from the firm's archives that shows a funeral procession in the Cemetery taken circa 1930. The layout of the cemetery has not really changed - to the left of the mourners is the consecrated section G which then leads to section H at the top of the path. To the right of the mourners would have been a grassed area but this section is now used for current day burials 

Millhouses and Ecclesall railway station - Sheffield

I was going to post an article on the website about the Millhouses and Ecclesall railway station (Sheffield) based on the following photograph postcard that appeared on a well-known auction site

However Wikipedia have a brief history of the station in their article and so I decided not to proceed. The article does state that it became Millhouses and Ecclesall in 1932 which means that  the  photograph postcard is after that date (the signage)

There is a photograph of the station as it stood on Sunday, 22 June, 2008. It is the view north east towards Heeley and Sheffield. The left hand pair of tracks hav been lifted. Out of view to the far left, the old station house is standing   

I had a wry smile when the Wikipedia article stated in the last sentence that " In July 2017, it was proposed by the Local Enterprise Partnership that new stations should be built at Millhouses and Heeley as well as new platforms at Dore & Totley. The plans would be part of a call to have better links in South Yorkshire area as well as plans for a new Woodhead Route reopening.

When I passed over the bridge the other day, work on the station had not yet started. mmm

The Old Town Hall and Courthouse, Waingate, Sheffield

Talk about co-incidence. Yesterday I came across this old cutting from the Sheffield Telegraph dated Friday 19th October 2007. The article voices grave concern over the fabric of building that had not been used since 1996.
In fact this Grade 2 listed building was placed on the Victorian Society's list of most at-risk buildings in the UK that year. 

But sadly this fine historic building (Sheffield does not have too many of them) was left in the hands of private sector developers who proceeded oversee a further marked deterioration in the fabric of the building. Sheffield City Council who sold the building to the private sector kept a serious eye on the  increasingly dilapidated "landmark" building but that was about the extent of it.

There were talks, consultations, studies you name it but the building remained unoccupied until yesterday when it was announced that plans have been approved to redevelop the former courthouse in Sheffield and create "pod" hotel rooms and apartments. Sheffield City Council planners have said the building can be developed while "preserving it as much as possible".

I think the last statement remains to be seen. Sheffield does not have a particularly good record when it comes to restoring historic buildings in a sympathetic and meaningful fashion!       

Friday 13 December 2019

Crookes Valley Park Crookesmoor Sheffield - Twentieth Century Postcards

I came across these three postcards on a well known auction site the other day. All are images of  Crookes Valley Park Crookesmoor Sheffield  dating from the early twentieth century 
The first is circa 1914 and focuses on the bowling green that is still there to this day, 

The second photograph was possibly taken after the first world war, possibly circa 1927 whilst the third and final photograph was taken circa 1935

The park really has not changed in terms of layout since these photographs were taken. The main  difference is that the trees and shrubbery have grown especially around the perimeter of the park. On the third photograph you can clearly see the backs of the houses on Harcourt Road but these nowadays are partly obscured especially in summer 

Wednesday 4 December 2019

Rock Cottage and Nadin Cottage Crookes Sheffield

I came across these two postcards on a well known auction site the other day

The postcards were clearly taken at different times and from a different perspective - the first is more distant and shows the wall of the building to the right in its entirety. And is also features a lot more Crookes residents.

But the main difference is in the title of the postcards - Rock Cottage and Nadin Cottage Crookes. Picture Sheffield does have copyrighted photographs of Rock Cottage and states that the Cottage was demolished in October 1904. So these cards predate 1904

It was situated just before the left hand turn into Toyne Street which still exists. The Cottage would have stood in the middle of  the main road in Crookes 

The other point to note is that both cards shows on the right the chimneys of the old Punch Bowl public house. This photograph was taken circa 1920

Lance Corporal Arnold Luttrell (1897 - 1917) - Oughtibridge Sheffield

Arnold Lutterell, is a name which appears on the Oughtibridge Parish Church Roll of Honour in the parish of Bradfield near Sheffield. The 1901 census shows he is aged 4 born in Oughtibridge, living with his parents, Thomas & Mary.

The CWGC site doesn't list anybody called Lutterell as a casualty but there is an entry for an A Luttrell

Initials: A
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment: York and Lancaster Regiment
Unit Text: 2nd Bn.
Date of Death: 07/04/1917
Service No: 17682

Arnold is buried in Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension with the grave refrence I. G. 65.

He enlisted in Sheffield and from The Sheffield Daily Independent we know that he was gassed in June 1915

But what the records do not show is that his aunt, nieces & nephew were murdered in White Croft Sheffield in 1884 and that his uncle Joseph Laycock was executed the same year for the murders of his family.

Full details can be found on my website