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Attercliffe Common brought back to life

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For generations it was the beating heart of Sheffield’s thriving East End.

Attercliffe Common was home to the loyal workforce that kept local engineering giants like Brown Bayley and British Steel in production even through the Sheffield Blitz in 1940 that saw homes and industry in the area totally obliterated by two nights of devastating German attack.

But the demise of the city’s heavy industrial sector in the 1970s not only signalled the death knell for thousands of jobs, it also heralded the end for one of the most concentrated and close-knit working class communities the city has ever known as bulldozers lined up to demolish thousands of homes in the name of progress.

Ann Sapcote’s new book, ‘My Family And Other Morticians’, is a rare and poignant insight into the last great decade of Attercliffe Common in the 1960s.

Three years in the writing and researching, the publication contains scores of interviews with former residents, rare photos and a fascinating directory of the actual streets in question together with a house-by-house list of the names of the people that lived there.

Ann Sapcote is acutely aware there’s little physical evidence left of the proud community that once lived there – Don Valley Bowl now occupies the site of her former home and the streets she played in as a child.

She said: “The 1960s were the twilight years for Attercliffe Common and its population but none of us knew it at the time. Businesses were thriving, we had everything we needed on our doorstep and the post-war austerity years were fading into memory.

“I’m in debt to so many former residents who’ve been kind enough to relay their tales of humour, sadness and every day lives.

“Though it has been a fascinating journey to complete ‘My Family And Other Morticians’, I will, like thousands of others, never understand the kind of logic that destroys a whole community in the blink of an eye.

“The bustling Attercliffe captured in the book with its up market department stores like Banners and popular cinemas like the Adelphi is a far cry from the seedy, soulless suburb that exists today.”

No one has done more to keep the former community of Attercliffe Common together than Ann Sapcote.

She organises reunions for scores of ex-residents, produces a regular newsletters and had her first book on the area, ‘Once Round The Lump’, published in 2006.

Whilst the majority of her new book centres on the area’s halcyon years of the 1960s, her journey of discovery starts as far back as the 17th century, before giving graphic accounts of a Victorian cholera outbreak and the draconian ways the powers that be dealt with the people of the area.

From farming community to the industrial heartland of Sheffield, Ann Sapcote leaves no stone unturned.

‘My Family And Other Morticians’ is published by ACM Retro and sells for £13.95. It can be purchased from The Star Shop and http://www.acmretro.com

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Hi,

 

I am an historian currently researching the Adelphi in Attercliffe, looking for memories of times spent there. Would you be able to pm me with the details of Ann Sapcote, it sounds like she might be very helpful for my research.

 

Thanks

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hello i was also born and spent the first 25 years of my life growing up around the area when we never needed to go into town centre everythink we could possible need could be found between brought lane and staniforth road shops that were the heart of the cliffe burtons butchers stenton pork shop yeomens tobacconist lants and jacksons chip shops and many more and of course the pubs all the way up the cliffe and the cinemas anight to the pictures never needed to go further than the regal as there was also the adelphi the globe and the pavillion could always find somethink to see at one of them i was looking throughh some old stuff and found an old membership card for the adelphi after it was changed into abingo hall around the sixties i would think when changes stated to occur but as a growing up younster i think we maybe was poor in wealth but rich in things to do as a teenager we never got bored even if has the book says awalk round the lump always turned out to be fun and never got into serious trouble i thunk the most mischief we got into was knocking on doors and running i have like most people of my era some wonderful memories xx j

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My Mother was born in the Railway Cottages in Attercliffe and my parents lived in Attercliffe until 1961 when they moved to Handsworth. I was told stories of how 'alive' Attercliffe Road was in its heyday.

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My mother also lived in the railway cottages beside the old Broughton Lane bridge as my grandad worked on the railway.

 

Chris

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What a place it used to be, when all the houses were demolished and no residents left every one knew what would happen, bar the council, thousands of familys moved out leaving a ghost town ,dont think that was progress.its just run down now and wants millions spending on it to bring it up to something like, not forgeting staniforth road and surrounding areas

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Hi,

 

I am an historian currently researching the Adelphi in Attercliffe, looking for memories of times spent there. Would you be able to pm me with the details of Ann Sapcote, it sounds like she might be very helpful for my research.

 

Thanks

Hi Hayley, I can help you with your research. How do I contact you.

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Born in Attercliffe, was there through the heyday. Someone said its commerce was dying in the 1960s and this turned out to be true. A massive change was taking place in Industry, and the UK was n't quite ready for it, and Sheffield was a casualty.

The Adelphi was the closest cinema to me. I lived at the junction of Britnall and Bodmin St, next to Huntsmans Gardens. My friend's mother worked at the Adelphi. She served the choc ices and sweets at the "Interlude." I think her name was Gladys, last name Green. This would have been 1962-1965

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Attercliffe will not be brought back to life because it will never die while people remember it in their thousands

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hear hear raymondo.tragic what happened down cliffe.left to rot and decay.was the best place ever.all good honest people top mates all looked after each other.now its soulless seedy place.breaks my heart when I drive past my old st brinsworth st that is.if that street sign could talk what stories it would tell eh.me nd my brothers going to huntsmans gdns Emmanuelle y club jims vimto shop near banners.footy on peace gdns.margarets café opp brown bayleys.great days indeed.

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