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Late Night Tales

Late Night Tales #14

The old man with the pipe made another impromptu appearance. This time, outside the Town Hall. He looked sad as he rested underneath a lamppost. Good evening, I said. He didn’t answer straightaway. “Aye lad, it is a good evening.” He looked towards the Peace Gardens and sighed. “I must take leave of you lad. Tonight I’m meeting up with my family in the churchyard..” He walked away and I was distracted by the chimes of the Town Hall clock. When I looked back, the old man with the pipe faded in a light mist and was gone. Happy Easter everyone.

© 2022 David Poole. All Rights Reserved.

Categories
Late Night Tales

Late Night Tales #13

Image: DJP/2020

May 1850. Water that flowed down an underground sewer in Howard Street had formerly been derived from springs in the neighbourhood. It ran down the hillside and emptied into the River Sheaf near the Pond tilt. All went well until several properties in Eyre Street, at the top of the hill, started emptying waste into the drain. It might not have been an issue had it not been for Thomas Dewsnap of Arundel Works, who discovered that his father had diverted the sewer to a reservoir at the works and used the water to power a steam engine. The reservoir water started giving-off a foul smell and after numerous complaints from neighbours was deemed to be injurious to the health of the neighbourhood.

© 2022 David Poole. All Rights Reserved.

Categories
Late Night Tales

Late Night Tales #12

Image: DJP/2022

July 1885. Henry Bradbury, a boy, living in South Lane, was charged with stealing seven newspapers from the shop of Mrs Pearson. The youngster made a small profit by selling the newspapers to men living in the slum neighbourhood. With this money he bought food for his brothers and sisters. He had previously been convicted of similar thefts and was sentenced to seven days’ imprisonment and hard labour. He cried in court.

© 2022 David Poole. All Rights Reserved.

Categories
Late Night Tales

Late Night Tales #10

Thursday 29 May 1856. Thousands of people attended a May-day procession to celebrate the fall of Sevastopol, the capital of Crimea, the previous October. “The view from Moor-head along this fine street was lively in the extreme, presenting to the eye at one glance a greater number of flags and banners than perhaps any other part of the town.”

© 2022 David Poole. All Rights Reserved.

Categories
Late Night Tales

Late Night Tales #9

March 1927. George Mooney and John Thomas Murphy arrived at the Raven Tavern in Fitzwilliam Street. The two drunken men came across their enemy and foe – Sam and Bob Garvin. The brothers shouted, “They’re here lads. Cut their heads off.” And a violent fight ensued. It was the latest instalment in Sheffield’s Gang Wars. Fast forward 95 years, and such history is lost under West One.

© 2022 David Poole. All Rights Reserved.

Categories
Late Night Tales

Late Night Tales #8

Mappin Street. Image: DJP/2022

Last night,  I met an elderly gentleman, who stood smoking a pipe outside the gate to St George’s Church. “It’s a wet night,” he obliged. “Aye, but Mappin Street looks very beautiful in the rain,” I said.

“Nay lad. This is Charlotte Street, and before that it was St George’s Square.” He paused. “I understand why you might be confused,” and pointed his pipe back towards West Street.

“Walk back yonder and look at the white paint on the building at the end. It says ‘Zarlot Street.’ Once upon a time, there was a Pitman Society in Sheffield, and they persuaded the town authorities to allow them to name our streets phonetically. That’s the last reminder, but it’s always been Charlotte Street to us.”

And Charlotte Street became Mappin Street, named after Sir Frederick Mappin, whose building for the University of Sheffield was completed in 1913.

© 2022 David Poole. All Rights Reserved.

Categories
Late Night Tales

Late Night Tales #7

Late Night Tales. In the 1600s, Barker’s Pool was sometimes used for ducking harsh-tempered or overbearing women. For this, the ‘cuck stool’ was brought up from Lady’s bridge. The chair was attached to a long wooden beam and was lowered into the water. Repeated ducking routinely proved fatal, the victim dying of shock or drowning. The reservoir went out of use and filled up with rubbish, and in 1793 it was done away with.

© 2022 David Poole. All Rights Reserved.

Categories
Late Night Tales

Late Night Tales #5

Sheffield City Hall. Image: DJP/2022

In November 1931, Sheffield City Hall was nearing completion and would cost £444K, more than £79K above budget. Several ancient wells had been discovered when excavating the site, and to stop water rising into the basement an asphalt tank was built, in which the foundation walls and floor rested.

© 2022 David Poole. All Rights Reserved

Categories
Late Night Tales

Late Night Tales #4

Pinstone Street redevelopment (2022). Image: DJP/2022

In 1892, the opening of a new shop on Pinstone Street offered splendid facilities for pickpockets. A crowd stretched across the road, and while those were looking through the windows, the light-fingered gentry deftly relieved them of their purses and wallets which contained the bulk of their week’s wages.

© 2022 David Poole. All Rights Reserved

Categories
Late Night Tales

Late Night Tales #3

“Sir, gather your copies of War Cry and follow me. It is a weapon of attack; and a very efficient weapon it has been. Tonight, we shall visit all the public houses in surrounding streets and offer a copy to those with the evil drink. Afterwards, we shall return here and take a cup of hot chocolate, braced with a drop of brandy.” – Anon. Salvation Army Citadel. Cross Burgess Street. March 1903.

© 2022 David Poole. All Rights Reserved