Friday, 29 April 2011

Event - Museums at Night 2011: Historic Buildings after dark (Worksop)

You might need a torch or even a tallow candle to do it, but for one weekend in May you can be a night-time nosey-parker at some of the country’s most inspiring historic properties.

Historic buildings take on a new and entrancing sense of drama after dark. The Gothic cliff top ruins of Whitby Abbey and the medieval sacred space of Durham Cathedral are just two of the attractions inviting you in.

Soak up the atmosphere of Witley Court, the spectacular ruins of a palatial 19th-century mansion in Worcestershire or step into a candle lit, atmospheric historic house and take a self led journey into the shadows at Coughton Court.

In Derbyshire the former home of Edith Sitwell at Renishaw Hall is offering the chance to watch the sunset and see the grounds at dusk or you can explore the modest surrounds of a 1920s grocer’s house at Mr Straw’s House in neighbouring Nottinghamshire.

A similarly humble abode, Mrs Smith’s Cottage in Lincolnshire will also be the setting for candlelit tales and plum bread, pork pie and old-fashioned sweets.
A magical experience at weaves fashion, performance and installations with tales of the princesses who lived there while down in Brighton, will be offering kids’ ghost tours.

An evening of sparkling chandeliers, twinkling lights and special interest tours and talks awaits visitors at Harewood House in Yorkshire and Sulgrave Manor near Banbury is promising candlelight, shadows, creaky staircases and darkened corners.

There will be monastic plainsong at Chester Cathedral or at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich a twilight tour of its Gothic tower will offer views across a city whose famousDragon Hall will be hosting a ribald medieval feast.

A warm welcome awaits you at St Nicholas Priory where treats of jumbles, spiced biscuits and juice from its Tudor kitchen will be served. CSI Friday at Cotehele House in Cornwall is a torchlight investigation of conservation techniques and housekeeping secrets.

Elsewhere you can glean secrets and inside knowledge from experts leading tours at a variety of heritage sites, including St Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury or in Norfolk’s Oxburgh Hall
where you can explore the 16th century priest hole and journey through five secret doors.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

NEWS - Rare chance to see castle (Tickhill Castle) 29/04/11

Tickhill’s historic Norman castle will be open to the public tomorrow in celebration of the Royal wedding.

The private Motte and Bailey castle adjacent to the Mill Dam will be open to all comers during the afternoon.

Barry and Deborah Moss, the tenants of the substantial house that lies within the grounds, will be giving people a chance to see behind the gates from 2.30pm to 5pm on what is a once-a-year occasion.

Afternoon tea and cakes will be available.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

News - New Attractions At Creswell Crags

Visitors are getting up close and personal to Britain’s oldest art thanks to £91,000 worth of improvements at historic Creswell Crags.

The limestone gorge and caves, bordering Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, now boasts interactive museum exhibits and a new viewing platform in Church Hole cavern – location of ancient Ice Age wall engravings.

Donations of £45,000 from Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK through the Landfill Communities Fund and £46,000 from Bolsover North East Derbyshire LEADER Approach made the scheme possible.

Ian Wall, Director of Creswell Crags Heritage Trust, which manages the Crags – location of Europe’s most northerly Ice Age art – said: “The new platform and interactive museum zone are now fully open and visitors love them.

“The idea was to enhance visitor experience to Creswell Crags and really help bring to life the story of our Ice Age ancestors. Thanks to the generous funding from Lafarge and the LEADER we believe we have achieved this.
“The new metal platform looks more fitting against the landscape and ensures visitors get a great view of the Church Hole cavern paintings, while the interactive exhibits really let people get hands-on with history.

“People can dig for artefacts in a simulated excavation display and use a giant microscope to examine animal teeth and bone fragments.”

David Atkinson, Senior Planning and Estates Manager for Lafarge, which has a quarry nearby and is a long-standing supporter of the Heritage Trust, said the additions were impressive, adding: “We are proud to continue to support our neighbour the Heritage Trust with a significant donation towards this project.

“The new amenities are a wonderful addition to the existing excellent facilities at what is one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe.”

The Church Hole engravings and bas-reliefs, discovered in 2003, were a momentous discovery as before then it was thought no Ice Age cave art existed from that era in Britain.

The drawings, including deer, bison, birds and horses, remain the most northerly finds in Europe and put Creswell Crags firmly on the archaeological map.

Excavations at the caves show they were used as shelter by our early human ancestors between 55,000 and 10,000 years ago and animals such as hyenas, mammoths and woolly rhinoceros roamed nearby.

Article – Wartime hero remembered (Sheffield)

THIS is Sergeant Major Gerald Strachan, the World War Two elite soldier whose Boys Own adventures are set to be recreated in a new book.
The Diary tracked down the late Sheffield paratrooper’s family after French scholar Nicolas Bucourt asked for help finding more details about the hero for the history tome.
Gerald was one of the lead players in one of the conflict’s defining operations, the daredevil Bruneval Raid, which effectively allowed the Allies to wrestle control of the European skies.
And his offspring – two children, six grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and 10 great great grandchildren – are delighted his heroics are still being celebrated nearly 70 years after the 1942 assault.
“It’s incredible there are still people out there who value what dad did,” says son, also Gerald.
Incredible it might be – but then Gerald played a pretty incredible role himself.
Then aged 37, he was parachuted behind enemy lines to steal key German radar equipment based in north France.
The 200-man operation saw the Brits take the Germans by surprise, swipe the technology and escape by sea with only one British fatality. Significantly, the stolen radar allowed British scientists to perfect the Allies own technology and take control of the skies.
Gerald was later awarded the Croix de Guerre – the French version of the Victorian Cross – for his bravery during the raid.
“He was shot three times,” says younger Gerald, a 67-year-old retired heavy plant fitter of Angleton Green, Manor. “They say his stomach was hanging out but he was a fighter.”
He would later be taken prisoner during the Allies’ attempts to capture the Arnhem Bridge, and remained captive until the war’s end.
Afterwards he stayed with the army but died from war wounds in 1948, aged just 42.
“My mother was so proud,” says daughter Sandra Trigg, a retired carer of City Road, Deep Pit.
“We all are. I’m 66 now so I was only three when dad died but I’m happy to help Mr Bucourt’s research anyway I can.”
Gerald, originally a fishmonger from Aberdeen, met wife Ivy while based at an army camp in Darley Dale where she was a cook.
They fell in love, married in 1942 and moved to Studley Road, Darnall. Ivy lived to 91, only passing away in 2004.
And how would she feel about this new book on the Bruneval Raid?
Granddaughter Jane Smith, 44, of Mansfield Drive, Woodthorpe, thinks for a second.
“She’d be so happy,” she says. “They only knew each other a short time but it was such a strong love she said she thought about him every day.”

News - Curator named for new Military Museum at Thoresby

Former Regimental Sergeant Major Mick Holtby has been appointed curator of the new Queen’s Royal Lancers and Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Museum due to open in the Thoresby Courtyard this spring.
Captain Mick Holtby served in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Germany and the Oman during a 25-year career with the 17/21st Lancers.
After taking up a retired officer post at the headquarters of The Queen’s Royal Lancers in Grantham, he was involved in setting up the newly amalgamated Lancers’ museum, of which he became curator, and which used to be housed at Belvoir Castle.
Now that collection is being combined with fascinating exhibits from the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry for the new museum at Thoresby, to present a unique collection of arms, uniforms, medals, silver and paintings which illustrate the role the local regiments have played in the great battles of the last three centuries.
Created by The Queen’s Royal Lancers, a cavalry regiment, and The Nottinghamshire Yeomanry, which is made up of The Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry and The South Nottinghamshire Hussars, in partnership with the Stonebridge Trust, the museum will tell the human, social and military history of the regiments as well as the ongoing story of the British Army today.
It is due to open in time for the Spring Bank Holiday.
Mick, also assistant regimental secretary of The Queen’s Royal Lancers, said: “Thoresby is a fantastic venue. We have been very fortunate to work in partnership with the Stonebridge Trust, who have not only provided space in the Thoresby Courtyard for our galleries, but have also contributed funding for the capital costs of the project”.
“The museum provides a great opportunity to bring together three fine collections which normally would be ‘behind the wire’ in regimental collections not normally seen by the public.
“As it will be free to enter, the museum will enable the public to see more of their local history through the eyes of the collection.”

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

News - Parish church’s £50,000 grant for vital restoration (Royston)

A PARISH church in South Yorkshire is to benefit from a £50,000 grant towards vital restoration work.
The money will be used to fund repairs to a 15th century window at Royston Church in Barnsley, and repointing of the masonry.
The grant, awarded by not-for-profit company WREN, is part of a new heritage fund which helps to protect listed buildings across the UK.
Parts of the building date back to the 13th century and the church has previously been given grants from WREN to restore the roof and carry out community work.
Church warden Christina Cockcroft said: “We’re delighted WREN has recognised the importance of preserving one of the area’s most important historic buildings and continued its generous support of Royston Parish Church.”
Peter Cox, managing director of WREN, said: “Buildings like this are part of the historical fabric of the UK and we must ensure they remain intact for future generations to enjoy.
“We’re delighted to support the restoration.”

Monday, 25 April 2011

XH558 at home (RAF Finningley)

Finally home; Avro Vulcan B.2 XH558 at Robin Hood airport

News - Volunteers ‘vital’ for museum’s future (Rotherham)

AN appeal has been made for more volunteers to help operate the South Yorkshire Transport Museum in Rotherham to help ensure its future.

Business consultant Richard Baker has launched the appeal in his role as mentor to the museum. He hopes to plan the future of the site and make the museum, which costs £4,000 a month to operate, more viable.

Mr Baker said the museum needed more volunteers for a variety of tasks including engineering, cleaning, painting, guides, marketing and helping to run the shop and cafe.

He said: “The museum is a charity costing £1,000 a week to operate and we need a larger team of volunteers – especially younger people – to help make it more viable and preserve it for future generations.”

The museum at Waddington Way in Aldwarke has a collection of 25 old buses dating back to the 1930s, old military vehicles, a 1948 tractor, various cars and a tram.

In the collection is a restored 1959 Leyland double decker, which belonged to Sheffield Corporation Transport and is hired out for functions.

The organisation has a team of 150 members and 20 volunteers who are currently restoring two old buses, including a 60-year-old open top double decker which belonged to London Transport and which the museum plans to hire out to help raise funds.

Volunteers interested in helping out should go along to the museum between 11am and 4pm on any Saturday.
Open days are also held on the second Sunday of every month, starting from 11am.

At the next event, on Sunday, May 8, there will be a display of MG cars on loan from a local club.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, June 12 there will be an event day focusing on military vehicles. On the Friday night prior to that event the museum will host a war-themed swing dance, to which visitors are encouraged to wear 1940s dress.


Event - Events mark jet bomber (Newark)

Events including a crew reunion will be held at Newark Air Museum to mark the 60th anniversary of the RAF’s first jet bomber, the Canberra.
The Canberra entered service with 101 Squadron at RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire, in May, 1951.

To mark the anniversary, events at the air museum, which has a collection of Canberra airframes and cockpit sections, include a display of Canberra models on Saturday, May 7.

On Saturday, May 21, there will be an air and ground crew reunion of Canberra squadrons and associations.

A flypast by the Dakota from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will also take place that day.

At both events there will be displays about the aircraft.

Some of the cockpits will be opened for the public to sit inside.

Former Canberra personnel with proof of service receive a 50p discount on the admission price.

Cockpit owners or model clubs interested in taking part in the Canberra events can email

From: ThisisNottingham website

News - New tour of Nottingham set to launch

THE promotional material for David Cross's new Heroes and Villains of Nottingham tour asks a somewhat provocative question: Was Robin Hood gay?

The on-a-postcard answer: er, no.

But the reality of the time was a bit more sexually diverse than later history re-writers, like those priggish Victorians, may have liked to admit.

"That (question) was very tongue-in-cheek," Mr Cross said. "There's absolutely no evidence. But Richard the Lionheart absolutely was, as were many other historical characters."

That said, Mr Cross expects that at some point in the near future, Hollywood will try a Robin Hood tale that uses sexuality as a plot point.

"They've kind of run out of things to say about Robin Hood," he said.

That is not a problem shared by Mr Cross. He's always had a passion for history. Nearly two decades ago, he began translating that passion into something fun – history-laden "ghost tours" of Nottingham.

"We've been doing the Nottingham Ghost Walk since 1993," he said. "I've always wanted to develop a new tour alongside the ghost walk and now that I'm semi-retired, I've got the time to do it."

The new tour took eight or nine months to develop but if the ghost tours are any example, it will be an ever-evolving work in progress.

Storytelling, he finds, is an odd beast. An idea that sounds great on paper can fall flat, while a story thrown into a tour at the last minute can become a winner. One thing he has learned is that you can research a story, write it out, practise it and have it down perfectly, but until you try it out in front of a group of expectant faces, you won't know how it's going to go down.

The new tour won't revolve simply around Robin Hood and that well-known cast of characters from his stories, though they'll loom large.

The tour will start near the castle, wind past Old Market Square to the Lace Market and then double back just about to where it started. Those, Mr Cross said, were the necessary locales to explain a city that developed from a Saxon enclave near what is now the Lace Market and a Norman stronghold near the castle.

While he's at it, Mr Cross will also take the opportunity to take his guests through other eras in Nottingham history. Characters such as Lord Byron will also make appearances. Even more modern heroes, such as DH Lawrence and Torvill and Dean, will warrant a mention.

"There's a lot more walking than in the ghost walk," Mr Cross said.

And during all that walking, he won't shy away from the difficult queries.

"The big question that everybody has is 'Did Robin Hood exist?' And that's a very complicated question to answer."

Modern Robin – the Hollywood Robin who married Marian at the oak and got misty-eyed while reminiscing about Nottingham Castle – no, of course he didn't exist.

But what about the guy from the medieval ballads? "The consensus is probably not."
Still, though, it's a good yarn. Particularly the way Mr Cross tells it.

For more information, visit or phone 07850 145642.

From: ThisisNottingham website

Friday, 22 April 2011

Event - Fitting tribute to some of Canada's bravest warriors (Creswell Crags)

THE Wellington bomber was clearly in trouble, the engines dying, the pilot struggling to maintain control.
It was August 1944. Teenager Gerald Plant was cycling along the lanes near his home at Creswell, on the Notts/Derbys border, when he saw the Wellington approaching, low and fast.

His attention was drawn to it because of the unusually loud engine noise it was making.

Gerald could see one propellor on the twin-engine aircraft was not working.

As it drew nearer, to his horror it went out of control, performed a half spin and crashed in a field at Hennymoor Farm.

The five crew members, all Canadians, did not stand a chance.

Pilot Willis Murdie, 26, navigator Lowell Brehaut, 21, wireless operator James Clarke, 20, bomb aimers Walter Cooper, 32, and John Lee, 19, died together and were later buried side by side in Stonefall Cemetery, Harrogate.

Although it was nearly 70 years ago, those five Commonwealth heroes have never been forgotten, certainly not by Gerald Plant who still lives in Creswell.

He said: "I am constantly reminded of seeing the plane crash, as I pass within 100 yards of the crash site on average twice a week.

"The vision of the plane flying on one engine, the roar of the engine, the sudden deathly silence and the sight of the plane diving vertically into the ground is seared into my memory." The tragedy also made an impression on Gerald's elder brother Arthur who died last year, leaving enough money to pay for a memorial stone.

That will be dedicated on May 21 at Creswell Crags visitor centre in a ceremony to be attended by more than dozen family members of the crew, whose expenses for the trip from Canada were also paid by Arthur Plant's bequest. There will be a fly-past by the RAF and it will be attended by representatives of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian High Commission.

The five airmen came from all over Canada. Some, like James Clarke and John Lee, were single and just out of high school. Others, like Walter Cooper, were older, married men with families. Local poet Craig Griffin, who has written a special verse for to honour the men, has been in contact with relatives.

"What has come through very strongly from the relatives is that they were a grand bunch, some of Canada's finest sons.

"Each had their own talents, passions and aspirations from dancing to model making to mathematics to teaching – hopes and plans for the future that events cruelly put an end to.''

The crew were training with No 86 Operational Training Unit (OTU) at RAF Gamston (now Retford Airport). They would have come together as a crew for the first time at Gamston and would have spent several months there training.

On August 5, 1944, the crew were flying in a Vickers Wellington on a long-range navigational exercise which had taken them down to the South Coast before returning to Gamston. The flight would have been one of the crew's last at 86 OTU before moving on to the next stage of their training.

Craig said: "For reasons unknown they flew the whole flight about 10 knots faster than the briefed airspeed and consequently ran out of fuel in the vicinity of Creswell. We don't know why they did not land at Gamston but a navigational error could be the reason."

"I was over the moon when the poem I wrote was not only accepted but I was told it would be used on the actual day and in the commemorative booklet to mark the memorial. I think that the organisers should have credit for their achievement in getting this project off the ground and their efforts to never forget those that allowed us to live our lives freely."

Craig's poem:
At Hennymoor Farm
In a field rarely seen
A young schoolboy witnesses
The end of so many dreams
As the Wellington they flew
Fell horribly from the sky
Navigation or lack of fuel
May have been the reasons why

Some of Canada's bravest were lost
On that August summer's night
Training to protect our island
As Fascism this world did fight
Willis, Lowell, James
Walter and John Lee
Heroes to our island
Forever you will be

And the only way we can say it
As the moment is now long gone
Is with a fitting memorial
So your names
Will eternally live on

The memorial is situated to one side of the visitor centre at Creswell Crags, site of a prehistoric cave system where evidence of Britain's earliest inhabitants has been found. The unveiling ceremony on May 21 will start at 11.15am.

After lunch at the centre guests will take the short walk to the Crags gorge and at 1.50pm an RAF Lancaster bomber will perform a fly-past.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

John Speeds Maps now online (Notts & South Yorks)

Cambridge University have now reproduced John Speeds Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine first published in 1611.  These maps are a great insight into the area in the reign of Charles I and shows how place names have developed between Doomsday and their present forms.
South Yorkshire is shown under Yorkshire: North and East Riding and Yorkshire: West Riding whilst Nottinghamshire is listed under Nottinghamshire
The university library purchased the proof maps in 1968 

The main webpage for the maps is located at

News - Minster launches guide for visitors (Southwell)

HIDDEN carvings and secret treasures will be revealed in a new visitor's guide for Southwell Minster, which is launched next month.

The booklet offers visitors a detailed guide to lead them round the cathedral.

Some of the special features listed in the book include details on stained glass, such as the St Paulinus window and the stunning Angel window, hidden carvings in the Chapter House and on furniture around the Minster, and an ancient Roman mosaic that can be glimpsed between some medieval pews.

Dean of Southwell, the Very Reverend John Guille, said: "I'm very grateful to all the hard work Canon Nigel Coates has put into producing this guide, along with the cathedral visitor committee.

News - Museum's future uncertain (Newark)

The future of Millgate Museum, Newark, looks uncertain as councillors are being urged to break the lease for the building.
A report to Newark and Sherwood District Council recommends withdrawal as soon as possible despite short-term financial loss.

The portfolio holder for leisure, Mr Roger Jackson, said tentative talks had taken place with the private consortium owners of the property, Wendgreen Ltd, to see if they could be released from the lease or a change of use be permitted.

The 30-year lease was taken out on April 7, 1995, and expires in 2025.

Mr Jackson said: “How an earlier council agreed to that lease beggars belief.

“It was a crazy bit of business and has tied us up in knots.”

His comments came at a meeting of the services overview and scrutiny committee.

Mr Brendan Haigh said the exhibits, such as an Edwardian/Victorian street scene, were looking tired given limitations of layout and space, and it might be better “to board it up” rather than keep it operating in its current guise.

“The whole aura of the place is tired,” he said.

Mr Haigh said he realised they had a lease and that they may have to make a loss in the short-term.

“The nettle of Millgate Museum must be grasped,” he said.

In addition to the street scene, installed more than 20 years ago, there are exhibitions centred on agriculture, trades and industry, Newark in the two world wars, and the legacy of the 20th Century.

Some exhibits could move to an agricultural museum planned at Newark Showground, it was said.

Mr Jackson said Millgate Museum was not Disability Discrimination Act compliant. A lift would probably need to be installed to meet the legislation.

He said much-needed money could be reinvested in creating a national Civil War museum on Appletongate at the Old Magnus Buildings and Tudor Hall.

Mr Jackson said the focus would be on Newark under siege.

Newark was laid siege three times by Parliamentarians and surrendered only when ordered to by King Charles I.

The council has until 2012 to develop detailed plans and apply for the £2.8m it needs from Heritage Lottery towards the £4.43m scheme.

It is believed 40,000 people a year could visit the interactive museum.

Speaking after the meeting, the council’s chief executive, Mr Andrew Muter, said: “The council is working on developing an exciting new museum at the Old Magnus Buildings about Newark’s history and the Civil War.

“If and when that project comes to fruition, the council will want to have considered the future of Millgate Museum but the time-scales for this are not yet clear.”

The scrutiny committee’s recommendation to the ruling cabinet is that: “the council should urgently negotiate withdrawal from Millgate Museum at the earliest opportunity accepting that this would incur costs in the short-term.”

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Event - Exhibition to mark Bible date (Epworth)

A NEW exhibition has been opened at Epworth Old Rectory to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James translation of the Bible.
The exhibition was opened officially by Nick Nothard, chairman of the Isle of Axholme Family History society, whose ancestors are mentioned in inscriptions in two of the Bibles in the exhibition.
The Rev David Leese, superintendent minister of Wesley Memorial Methodist Church, Epworth, also started a handwritten Bible project by writing out the first verse of Acts chapter 2.

Article - Bentley folk’s true grit in face of Hitler bombs (Doncaster)

Our recent story which featured the bombing of Doncaster during World War II resulted in a number of replies reminding me of Bentley’s ordeal.
In fact that attack took place on December 21, 1940, the year before Balby suffered. The destruction at Bentley centred on the Royston Avenue area but a bomb also fell close to The Sun Inn blowing in the windows and injuring a young man standing at the bar as well as nearby pedestrians.
One gentleman who distinguished himself during the incident was miner Charles Allmand.
Mr Allmand was an ARP Warden on duty that night as residents were hurriedly taken to St Peter’s Church hall for shelter. He rescued several people during the raid, including an elderly lady who became trapped in her chair with her dog (which had been killed) still on her knees.
This brave indivdual lifted and propped up the piece of wood which had trapped the lady. He went on to help a mother and two children who were trapped in their makeshift bomb shelter under the stairs. They had to wait to be rescued by the heroic Mr Allmand.
There were many examples of bravery that night as neighbours and friends all struggled to help each other but Charles Allmand’s feats earned him official recognition from the Government which awarded him The British Empire Medal For Bravery by the Civil Defence Office. With regular rescue services stretched to capacity there was much sterling work done by volunteer members of the fire brigade and medical profession who also put their lives at risk attending to the residents.
There were several deaths and and many injured during this raid but with reporting restrictions in place at that time the local Doncaster Gazette newspaper’s headlines read “Families Buried in Their Homes, Many Left Homeless by Nazi Raiders. Women and Children Among The Victims”.
I received a letter from Bentley resident Fay Mackintosh who told me her aunt, uncle and cousin were all killed in the Royston Avenue raid and their names along with other victims are now on a memorial plaque in Arksey Cemetery.
Fay also remembers her mother was injured when the Sun Inn bomb exploded, which resulted in her losing her leg. Thankfully Fay and her father, who were close by, were uninjured.
Papers weren’t of course allowed to give casuality figures or to say where it all happened, having to describe Bentley quite simply as “an industrial village in the North” so no crumb of satisfaction should be gleaned by the enemy. True facts and figures weren’t released until much later.
One lady remembers that the family house was damaged but not demolished and it took nearly a year to make it habitable again during which time they stayed with neighbours and even managed to salvage their un-opened Christmas presents for some welcome cheer.
Smaller bombing incidents in the Long Sandall and Hyde Park areas took place, but the ferocity of the attacks increased again in 1941 with the Balby Blitz.
I would like to thank all the people who contacted me regarding this subject; there were some amazing, and poignant stories but Bentley folk were made of sterner stuff, they took it on the chin and came out fighting in true British fashion.

News - Women of Steel will get lasting memorial (Sheffield)

COUNCIL bosses have allocated funding towards a permanent memorial for Sheffield’s Women of Steel, after a successful campaign by The Star.
Despite funding squeezes, councillors say they have found £28,000 from efficiency savings to pay for a monument in Barker’s Pool.
They are now asking businesses to donate funds to make up the estimated £150,000 total cost of the memorial.
The announcement follows a long Star campaign to win recognition for the hundreds of women who braved Nazi bombing raids to keep the city’s steelworks going during World War Two.
As part of the campaign, last year the women received thanks from former Prime Minister Gordon Brown during a visit to Downing Street, as the Government finally officially recognised their contribution to the war effort.
Kathleen Roberts, Kit Sollitt, Dorothy Slingsby and Ruby Gascoigne, each aged between 87 and 90, were received at Number 10 after working with The Star to give the campaign momentum. The whole campaign was triggered after Kathleen contacted The Star and it met a fantastic response, with hundreds of women calling in to tell of their wartime experiences.
Now Sheffield Council has decided there will be a permanent, lasting monument to their heroic work.
Paul Scriven, Liberal Democrat leader of the council, said: “I’m delighted that through making efficiency savings in-year, we’ve been able to locate these funds for this vital project. We’re confident that the commitment we’ve made will encourage donors to come forward.”
Originally four ideas were proposed for the monument, including an abstract, contemporary sculpture at the top of Howard Street, commemorative plaques as part of the seating on Howard Street, and a garden of remembrance.
But after consultation with the former foundry workers, it was decided a memorial in Barker’s Pool would be the best way of marking the women’s efforts.
Designs have yet to be finalised, but the council has launched a fundraising drive to get the cash together, and hope their initial pot of £28,000 will soon swell to the total amount.
Coun Scriven said: “These women made great sacrifices for the war effort and it’s important that, as a city, we recognise their contribution.”

News - Arthur Price revamp unearths historic scissors (Great Exhibition)

The beautifully-engraved stainless steel scissors, which measure 3ft in length, were crafted by master cutlery maker George Butler in Sheffield for display at the Great Exhibition, a celebration of modern industry and commerce held in London in 1851.

Following their brief spell in the public eye they were packed away and forgotten. But now, 160 years later, the renovation of an old warehouse by Arthur Price - which took George Butler's company over in 1994 - has led to their rediscovery.

Arthur Price now plans once again to give the scissors the exposure they deserve. Chief executive Simon Price told "At some point in the near future they will be on display in Harrods and can be purchased for £40,000."

News - 700 years of hallmarking history could go in red tape bonfire (Sheffield)

All gold, silver, platinum and palladium sold in Britain – whether made in the country or imported – must carry a hallmark, a tiny stamp that proves it is contains the correct amount of the precious metal and giving details of its manufacturer and the date it was made. 

The symbols are crucial guide for antique dealers and thousands of amateur collectors, who can find out whether their supposed priceless Georgian coffee pot is the genuine article or a modern replica.
However, hallmarking and the hundreds "assayers" – the independent experts who authenticate and test the metals – could potentially be scrapped as part of a Government scheme to axe as much red-tape as possible. No longer will the experts on the Antiques Roadshow be able to get out their magnifying glass to discover, from the symbols alone, that someone's battered silver salver is a museum piece. 

The Department for Business insisted it is merely seeking views from people about what rules and regulations on Britain's statue book are useful, and which can be culled as part of its Red Tape Challenge, adding that no formal consultation had even started. 

But hallmarking is highlighted as one of the first areas to be examined for simplification and one of the questions in the section says: "Should they be scrapped altogether?". Jewellery makers up and down the country as well as assay offices have expressed horror that such ancient legislation, which has inspired countless amateur antique collectors as well as protected consumers from fraud, is even being considered for the scrap-heap. 

Michael Allchin, the chief executive the Birmingham Assay Office, the biggest of the country's four centres of authentication which stamps 13 million items of gold in a busy year, said: "Hallmarking is paid for by the industry. It's not civil servants doing the job, we're not a burden on the taxpayer. 

"A hallmark is essential for consumers to make sure they are not ripped off. If your wedding ring says 750 that means it is 750 per 1000 parts pure gold, or 18 carat. No more no less." 

He added that it was more important than ever before, with gold at a record price and more people interested in the investment value – and the resale value – to ensure consumers had confidence in the market.
Barry Stevenson, the chief executive of pawnbroker Albemarle Bond, said: "While those in the jewellery industry have sophisticated methods of testing metals, including acid scratch tests, the general public depends on hallmarks, and scrapping them could prove disastrous by creating extra confusion around what is and isn't precious metal. 

"The company is concerned that any move that produces confusion about precious metals could create a market for unscrupulous buyers and sellers of jewellery who wish to mislead consumers on the value of items or pass off non-precious jewellery as the real thing." 

Hallmarking has been on the statute book since 1300, with the Company of Goldsmiths given a charter in 1327 to assay silver and gold. The metal was weighed and stamped at its offices at Goldsmiths' Hall, giving rise to the term hallmark. There are four assay offices: London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh, each with their own distinctive symbols, with London marking with a leopard's head, for instance and Birmingham using the anchor. 

A Department for Business spokesman said that they were not picking on hallmarking, it was just one of the 21,895 statuary instruments and the Government was determined to trim some. 

He added: "The Red tape challenge campaign is a powerful new tool for the public to have their say about the red tape that they deal with every day. 

"We want the public to tell us what they think about the more than 21,000 regulations that are on the statute book. Some of these regulations will be vital to protect consumers or employees, but others will be badly enforced or just plain obsolete; putting an unnecessary burden on the businesses that should be focusing on growing their businesses. 


News - Vulcan on show in Doncaster (Finningley)

Plane enthusiasts will have a chance to see the iconic Vulcan close up this Easter.
The last flying Vulcan, XH558, will be on show from a viewing gallery at Robin Hood Airport from Good Friday until May 2.
From the viewing gallery, visitors will be able to see the Vulcan XH558 parked up outside, take photographs, try the flight simulator and visit the shop for lots of Vulcan memorabilia - with volunteers on hand to answer questions about the stunning craft.
It will be free to view the plane between, but there is a parkign charge. However, if a discounted car parking ticket of £3 will be offered to people making a purchase at Wetherspons in terminal building and this will cover the parking for the five hours the plane can be viewed.
For the viewing gallery, visitors are asked to enter the main terminal building and follow the clearly marked out signs.
For more details of the viewing conditions please visit:

News - Pete’s 200 mile challenge (Woodsetts War Memorial)

A WOODSETTS walker is trekking the width of the country to raise money to restore a local war memorial.
Caretaker Pete Lemon will take on Alfred Wainwright’s famous coast to coast trail, covering some 200 miles in just 10 days.
“I am doing the walk to raise money to refurbish the war memorial at the side of St George’s Church,” said Pete.
“It needs quite a lot of work in order to bring it back to its former glory.”
Seasoned walker Pete will be setting off on his mammoth solo journey on the Tuesday after Easter from his starting point of St Beas on the West coast of Cumbria.
His route will then take him through three national parks as he journeys across the Lakes, through the Yorkshire Dales and into the North York Moors before finishing at Robin Hood’s Bay on the east coast of Yorkshire.
“I do walking as a hobby and have been doing it for a long time,” continued Pete.
“I’m 59 now, but I’m still aiming to do it in the 10 days and I am very determined that I will finish. I’m a very stubborn person and when I say I’m going to do something, that’s it.”
Although unofficial, the coast to coast Walk uses public rights of way and is one of the most popular of all the long-distance footpaths in the UK.
In 2004 it was named as the second best walk in the world according to a survey of experts.
As well as training hard Pete has been busy getting sponsorship before his challenge, and has had a good response from people living in the village.
“It’s been great so far, but I want to raise as much as we can,” he added.
There are sponsor forms at various places around Woodsetts including St George’s Church, the post office on Lindrick Road, the newsagents and Flavours Cafe on Worksop Road.