Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Event - Local History Fair at Creswell Crags (1st October)

Following on from lasts years highly successful event at Shireoaks, this year see's the Local History Fair at Creswell Crags on 1st October starting at 10.30. Due to the large numbers of visitors expected additional parking will be provided at Lafarge Quarry with a free shuttle bus to Creswell Crags Museum from their car park.

Most of local history and archaeology groups are taking part in this years event:
Barlborough Heritage
Bolsover Civic Society
Clowne History Society,
Elmton with Creswell Local History Group
Gringley History Club
Harthill Memories and History Society
Kiveton and Wales History Society
Langwith and Whaley Thorns Heritage Centre
Norton and Cuckney History Society
Priories Historical Society
Retford Historical and Archaeological Society
Todwick Historical Society
Whitwell Local History
Woodsetts Local History Society
Worksop Archaeological and Local History Society

Event - Date change for church (Rotherham)

A SOUTH Yorkshire church is staging its open day earlier than normal this year to avoid clashing with the Rotherham Show.

Talbot Lane Methodist Church in Rotherham will throw open its doors this Saturday from 10am to 4pm, and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm.

A spokesperson for the church said: “We would like to fit in with the National Heritage Weekend from September 8 to 11, but we have a problem every year as the Rotherham Show falls on the same days.

“So, this year we are hoping that by opening a week earlier we can allow more folk to drop in to see our beautiful church, officially described as a gem of Methodist architecture.”

Event - The Romans are coming to Leger Week (Doncaster)

ST LEGER FESTIVAL WEEK will be about much more than racing this year as the town’s tourism chiefs take advantage of the influx of visitors to Doncaster to offer a range of entertainments for all the family.

Highlight of the week’s programme of events will be a Roman experience, when a historical re-enactment group in the role of Roman legionaries will pitch camp in the grounds of Doncaster Minster - site of the Roman fort of Danum around which the modern town was built.

The ‘gladiators’ will put on demonstrations of Roman battle techniques on Leger Saturday and children are invited to dress up in costume and have a go with the weapons themselves. There will also be displays by Arabian dancers.

‘This promises to be a great weekend of activities for all the family”, added Colin Joy, Doncaster Council’s Tourism Manager. “Visitors will be able to see the Roman Army march through town on both days, as well as displays of drill, Roman coin making, and learning how to write their name in Latin script.”

The Romans will be in town from 10am-4pm on Saturday and from 10am until 3pm on Sunday.

There are over 150 events taking place during the 10 day festival including Doncaster’s biggest free music event – Doncaster Live - heritage walks, art exhibitions, a Medieval Autumn Fayre, champagne brunches, Proms in the Park, wine tasting at the Minster and a beer festival. This year’s Festival is sponsored by Travel South Yorkshire.

Many local pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants are putting on special events during the Festival, including the Red Lion pub where the St Leger Stakes was founded in 1776. The full event listing can be found at

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

News: 17th Century trek to Warsop trek (Sherwood perambulation)

A RAMBLE following a route traced by a 349-year-old map of Sherwood Forest will visit Pleasley Vale and Warsop on its next stage.

‘Perambulatory poet’ Dave Wood, who is funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, is following the route of the 1662 map and the fourth stage will be a trek from Skegby to Market Warsop on 2nd September.

Dave said: “The nine-mile section is far greener. Skegby to Market Warsop goes into country park, heritage sites and follows the River Meden for a while too.

“At one point we’ll pass St Chad’s in Pleasley Vale which has its own legend.”

Dave is keen for walkers to join him and for more information contact 07709977684 or email davewrite2002 @ Also follow

Event - Digging in for archaeology event (Edingley)

BUDDING historians and archaeologists can enjoy a Second World War Home Front and archaeology fun day in Edingley on Saturday.

There will be chance to see a replica Anderson shelter built by young archaeologists, visit a ‘Dig for Victory’ garden with vegetables which were available in the 1940s and take part in a real archaeological dig.

The event is being staged at Hill’s Farm Shop in the village and has been organised by the Newark & District Young Archaeologists Club. The event runs from 10am-4pm and for more information contact Sue on 01636 815394.

News - Sheffield Fayre 2011: History comes alive

THOUSANDS of people flocked to the annual Sheffield Fayre for a summer extravaganza of history, horrors and horticulture.

More than 600 historical re-enactment enthusiasts have been camped out in Norfolk Heritage Park since Friday, living in authentic period camps and recreating dramatic battles.

The 11th annual Fayre, a two day event - Sunday and Monday, August 28 and 29 - also features a large gardening show and competition, 1950s illusions such as ‘the horrific Monster Girl’, and dozens of stalls and funfair rides.

Around 25,000 people are expected to attend the free event over the two days.

The actors’ mission is to recreate famous battles from Roman times through the Middle Ages to World War Two, wearing authentic costume and living in period tents.

John McConnell-Smith, from Halfway, visited with with wife Rachael and six-year-old son Thomas.

“It’s a great day,” he said. “This is much better than I thought it would be. The re-enactments are really good.”

Jane Ibbotson, from Stannington, had brought along her grandson Finlay, five.

She said: “It’s the only event I come to in Sheffield, and it’s very good.”

“It’s great for the lad. It’s a nice day and it teaches him something different.”

Christian Sprakes, a telesales worker from Bentley, Doncaster, was among the re-enactors attending the event with the American Civil War Society.

He said: “We do about six or seven major festivals every year and Sheffield is very good, because you get lots of different period groups here.

“Our members come from all across the country, from every walk of life.”

William Brown, a tattoo artist from Edinburgh, was playing the role of the commander of the Confederate Battalion.

He said: “We go all over the country but this is a great event, it has a great atmosphere.”

In the horticultural show tent, green-fingered residents entered competitions in more than 100 categories, from best chrysanthemum to largest marrow to finest homemade wine.

Horticultural show steward Gill Capewell said: “This show is a celebration of all things home-grown. We want to celebrate the community spirit in Sheffield, and welcome more entries next year.”

But organisers raised concerns about whether there would be a Sheffield Fayre next year.

Event organiser Claire Taylor, the council’s parks area officer for east Sheffield, said: “It’s been going really well. The weather has helped - at one point we thought it would be very wet.”

She said there were doubts as to whether the council could afford to run the event next year because of funding cuts, but added: “We think it’s very good for this area, there’s not a lot else that happens like this.”

Arbourthorne ward councillor Jack Scott said: “It’s been a fantastic day and it’s great to see so many people here.

“I think events like this really put Sheffield on the map. We want to do everything we can to support it.

“However, the massive government cuts have an impact on everything the council does, so we are going to have to look really hard next year at all our priorities.”

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Book - A glimpse of life as it was in Victorian workhouses (Sheffield)

IN Victorian times the workhouse was a word that carried dread. There was a stigma attached to anyone who was admitted to a workhouse and once inside conditions were extremely harsh.

“Initially people who went into workhouses were seen as lazy idle scroungers and this would deter people from going in. Some would rather starve on the outside than go into a workhouse,” says Margaret Drinkall, author of Sheffield Workhouse.

Although it was the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act which abolished systems of poor relief and established workhouses throughout England and Wales, they had existed as far back as Elizabethan times and the book cites material from accounts of the town trustees in 1567 to Fir Vale workhouse in the 1900s.

Funded by ratepayers, the main workhouses in Sheffield were on Kelham Street and at Fir Vale, along with Pitsmoor referred to as a school but where children were kept, and Hollow Meadows, a farm which was intended to provide the workhouse with produce but became a place for test labour of able-bodied inmates,
The records of the Sheffield Workhouse were destroyed in the Sheffield Blitz, but the author has used archive material, newspaper reports and the remaining guardian minutes from 1890 to capture something of the lives of inmates as well as the work of the Board of Guardians.

Sheffield was hostile to the 1834 act and resented having to pay to set up workhouses and were not happy with the Board of Guardians, elected on a yearly basis. The guardians were an argumentative lot, according to Drinkall, often defying the Local Government Board and at loggerheads with the work staff, or officers.
But it was the inmates themselves who most interested the author. “One of the drawbacks, though, is the voices of the people were not heard. The only time names were mentioned was when they were punished for bad behaviour. I would like to have known more about them.

“One of the things I enjoyed researching was reading the Master’s Book, the letters he received and sent out. For example, there was an application on behalf of a Mrs Shaw who was a widow living with her son and his wife. The letter said she had worked all her life, taken in washing, and never in her life asked for parish relief but the son had fallen ill and there was no money. That showed it was ordinary people who went in there, people down on their luck.”

Most of the notes and letters confirm how hard life in the workhouse was.

“The conditions were terrible, especially the food. But at least there was food and children were taught to read and write. A lot of the kids had been almost feral when they arrived The guardians worried about them and came up with the idea of emigration to Canada or Australia of orphans,” says Drinkall. “I often wonder about how much the children understood what was happening to them.”

Life was pretty grim for the officers too. “They were on duty 24/7 and one of the biggest bones of contention among staff was that they had to ask permission from the Master to go out. It must have been demeaning for people like schoolteachers and they must have seen themselves as inmates.”

One way in which the Sheffield guardians showed enlightenment was the decision in the 1890s that the workhouses should run on hospital lines. “Up until then they had got inmates to act as nurses but they decided to train nurses as part of the formation of a hospital system. That’s where the word matron comes from in hospitals,” says Drinkall.

“Fir Vale, the one surviving workhouse building in Sheffield, was turned into a hospital in the 1930s. That makes me wonder if that is what’s behind the fear of hospitals among old people.”

The retired Rotherham Borough Council worker dedicates all her time to researching and writing about South Yorkshire’s history. Earlier this year she published Sheffield Crimes and next up is Rotherham War and Peace, looking at the town in the inter-war years.

Sheffield Workhouse is published by the History Press at £12.99.


Event - History day hits jackpot (Alfreton)

LOTTERY funding has been awarded to a local group to put on a historical fair.

Jacksdale Historical Society has been given a grant from the national fund to put on a history fair at Alfreton Leisure Centre on Sunday, October 23.

Back to the Past will see over 30 organisations in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire attend, helping visitors to delve into the area’s past from 10am until 4pm. Alfreton Heritage Trust are also expected to attend. Entrance to the event is £1 and there will be books and photographs on sale. For more information call Paul Nicholls on 01773 604809.

The Heritage Centre in the Old Chapel in the cemetery on Roger’s Lane in Alfreton is open each Sunday from 2pm until 4pm and it is free to come in.


Saturday, 27 August 2011

Book - What’s Tha Up To? Moving memoirs of a Yorkshire beat bobby (Sheffield)

Martyn Johnson never intended for his stories to become a book. He was just writing things down for his grandchildren.

But there has been so much demand for the former Attercliffe beat bobby’s heartwarming anecdotes there is already a reprint in progress, despite What’s Tha Up To: Memories of a Yorkshire Bobby not hitting the shelves until September 15.

The book is full of tales of criminal antics, impromptu fights and ‘domestics’. Readers will also find out about the time that PC Johnson unwittingly helped a local thief steal coal, about a dead horse that moved, a lost peacock and even UFOs.

In the 1960s and 1970s Sheffield, Martyn, who grew up in Darfield, near Barnsley, and still lives in nearby Wentworth, worked as a beat bobby in the Attercliffe area, which he admits was ‘a real shock to the system, after coming from such a small village’.

He left school at 15 to start his working life as a blacksmith, but joined the Sheffield City Police force at 19, and became a well-known ‘beat bobby’. He joined the CID after seven years - but missed grassroots policing so much that he returned to the streets only two years later.

Martyn said: “The reason I wrote the book is that I was ill, and my son said to write some of my stories down before it is too late.

“All coppers have got stories to tell, and I love to be funny, so the book is humorous, as well as a bit weepy and sad in places.

“There is nothing grand about it – it is just the ordinary stuff that every bobby sees, but that no-one seems to write about.”

Martyn’s stories about life on the beat were originally published in April 2010, after local author and historian Brian Elliott got hold of some of them and contacted Barnsley-based book publishers Pen and Sword.
And the book has been given a ‘uniform’ five stars by reviewers on Amazon’s UK site.
“The interesting bit of the story is that I got a call from a lady in London who had just happened to pick up the book. She was absolutely thrilled with it, and her publishing company bought the rights,” Martyn said.
The latest edition of the book, released by Little Brown imprint Sphere, will be available right across the region in supermarkets and book shops.

Martyn will be taking part in the Off the Shelf literary festival in Sheffield in October, and will be doing several talks and signings to promote the book. And a follow-up, What’s Tha Up To Nah?, will be released later this year.

Martyn, the son of a coalminer, was also involved as a researcher for Catherine Bailey’s best-selling book Black Diamonds, about the reality of life as a miner in Wentworth between the world wars.
One of his main hobbies is as a ‘metal detectorist’, and he has appeared on BBC Radio Sheffield to talk about it.

n Visit for more information about Martyn and his memoirs.


News - Mansion project opens up a vista of Yorkshire (Wentworth)

At MORE than 120ft in the air, a breathtaking panorama of Yorkshire countryside, taking in rolling fields, rural villages, a country house and one of England’s biggest cities, stretches out for as far as the eye can see.
At one time, the view would have been seen from the top of a folly called Keppel’s Column, but because it has fallen into disrepair, a cherry-picker crane was required yesterday to recreate the impressive vista.

The machine was hired by Clifford Newbold, who owns nearby Wentworth Woodhouse, and his son Giles as part of their vision to restore and revive the house and park which was originally the home of the Fitzwilliam family.

The column, which is now the responsibility of Rotherham Council, once formed part of the estate, and Giles Newbold said it offered a “unique viewpoint” from which to document the landscape and understand how Wentworth was designed.

Mr Newbold and his father bought the crumbling house and parkland for just £1.5m in 1999, but have since spent tens of millions of pound researching its history and carrying out structural and engineering surveys to ascertain its condition.

The huge mansion, which is said to have 365 rooms, one for every day of the year, has had a chequered history since the Fitzwilliam family left in the 1950s, the National Coal Board opencasting the site for several years.

At present, the Newbold family are making a claim against the Coal Authority, which is now responsible for the after-effects of mining, and are arguing that both the opencast operations, and deep mining have affected the house.

Mr Newbold said the family had worked tirelessly in the last 12 years on the coal claim and on other plans to try and save Wentworth Woodhouse from complete dereliction, but added that it had required much work behind the scenes.

Now they have the support of English Heritage, and blueprints are being drawn up which could see the Grade-I listed house and its equally impressive stables and other buildings turned to a new modern use as offices and a luxury hotel.

Mr Newbold, a 36-year-old building surveyor said he, his 85-year-old father, an eminent London architect before his retirement, and his two brothers, were “absolutely committed” to ensuring that the estate had a “sustainable future”.

He added: “Over the last 10 years we have done a lot of research into the history of the estate but one thing we could not find were any pictures of it from the top of Keppel’s Column. So we hired the cherry-picker to see the view.

“Looking at the house and park from this angle allows us to see what survives of the original landscape and how the stripping out of the estate by the coal board, which went within a few feet of the house and 1,000 ft down, affected it.

“Being able to document the landscape will also help us to make an argument for the parkland and make sure it is protected in the same way as it is at country houses like Chatsworth and Castle Howard.


“There has been a school of thought that Wentworth isn’t worth saving, and charities like the National Trust would never have taken it on. But my father saw that it was worth saving and if it was lost it would be lost forever.
“The rest of the world absolutely craves our heritage and there is now a huge amount of interest in Wentworth Woodhouse, and we aim to ensure that it survives for centuries to come.”

The proposal for the mansion house is to create a combination of publicly accessible restored museum to the central and grandest rooms, as well as a 70 suite luxury hotel and spa.

A Rotherham Council spokesman said yesterday morning’s event had been carried out in partnership with the Newbold family and allowed the authority’s officers to carry out a visual survey of Keppel’s Column and check its condition.

The spokesman said: “The survey was part of the authority’s ongoing care and maintenance of a number of heritage sites across the borough. It was a visual inspection and the findings will be reported back to members in due course.

“The operation also allowed the Mayor and Mayoress of Rotherham, Shaun and Lisa Wright, to take in some of the best views across Rotherham.”


Friday, 26 August 2011

News - Founder of Traditional Heritage Museum says site could close for good (Sheffield)

SHEFFIELD’S ‘secret museum’ is facing permanent closure – because it could cost £500,000 to repair the former church hall in which it is based.

Traditional Heritage Museum founder Professor John Widdowson believes a formal announcement by its owner Sheffield University will come soon.

The museum, run by volunteers and students, has been closed since February because of health and safety issues.

Based in the former hall of Endcliffe Methodist Church on Ecclesall Road, it features a variety of displays representing Sheffield from past decades.

“The cost to repair the building will be substantial at a time when the university is seriously strapped for cash,” Prof Widdowson said.

“But this is a unique resource and is one of the few examples of a facility where the university interacts with the people of Sheffield.

“The university owns the important collections inside which span the years from 1850 to 1970, and if they are split up then the integrity of the collection as a whole will be lost.”

The museum was created by Prof Widdowson in 1964 and moved into its present building in 1977, a church hall first built in 1928.

“There are obvious problems with the hall – we had trouble with the heating last year and that was before the awful snow in December,” the professor said.

“After that we suffered from burst pipes and flooding, and a subsequent survey found asbestos in the boiler room and basement. The university has spent £30,000 on repairs in recent times so their commitment has been there.”

Prof Widdowson said little thought seemed to have been given to whether the repair work could be carried out in phases to better manage the cost.

He added: “It could be that launching some sort of appeal for sponsorship or support could be the only way forward,” he added.

The museum has a variety of walk-through displays, including a replica kitchen from the 1920s and recreations of a variety of Sheffield shops, such as Pollard’s tea and coffee and Renwick’s Basketmakers.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Survey - CBA Young People Research Survey

New research is getting underway at the Council for British Archaeology, to look into the different ways in which we can support young people to get more involved with and enthused by archaeology.

The research aims to collect as much information as possible about how young people engage with archaeology and other activities over the next few months, including via an online survey (

We are interested in gathering thoughts and views from a wide range of individuals and groups with experience of engaging young people, so no matter how much or how little you know about archaeology, we still want your views. If you would like to share your thoughts, opinions and experience please visit the survey page (also accessible via or contact The survey will remain open until Friday 11th November 2011.

A web page ( has been set up for the project, which we will update as the project develops. A report of the research will be made available in Spring 2012.

Event - The Romans Are Coming (Doncaster)

Event - Restord Plaques to Go Up in Church (Bulwell)

THE memory of more than 170 men and women from the Bulwell and Basford area who fought in two world wars will be revived next month.

Two plaques containing 174 names of local servicemen and women are to be erected in St Mary's Church, Bulwell.

The plaques had been found abandoned and in poor condition in the basement of the now-defunct Basford Social Club.

They have been restored by Ian McClair, a director of private members organisation The Nottingham Club, who owns Sign Specialists Limited.

As well as the plaques, two stones containing a further five names were also discovered.

The plaques and stones will be re-dedicated at St Mary's on Sunday, September 11.

The event will begin with an armed forces and veterans march from Tesco supermarket to the church at 11.30am.

Among those on parade will be Lord Mayor Michael Wildgust, Sheriff Leon Unczur and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Colonel Roger Merryweather, who will unveil the plaques.

It will be followed by a service in St Mary's at 11.45am.

News- Lottery grant to help preserve village memories (Upper Broughton)

A VILLAGE history group has won nearly £15,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Upper Broughton History Group will use its £14,900 grant to record life in the village.

The group's volunteers will interview local residents and record their memories of the village as a self-sufficient farming community from the 1920s to the 1960s.

The interviews will focus on the war years, education, trades and crafts, farming and how people enjoyed themselves.

Illustrated booklets will also be published for both present and future villagers.

Project leader Catherine Jones said: "This award gives the group the funding to train volunteers in oral history techniques and use them to capture the memories of those who knew the village as a self-sufficient community."

"It will also enable us to involve local children and produce a permanent multimedia resource for Kinoulton Primary school."

People with memories, information, photos or documents relating to Upper Broughton are invited to get involved in the project.

Call Catherine on 01664 822916 or e-mail

News - Just one university has spare places (Bradford)

BRADFORD University is the only one in the region with vacancies left for young people using the clearing system.

It still had spare places on 25 courses yesterday including archaeology, chemical engineering, civil engineering, economics, environmental science, design, history and peace studies and politics, according to a statement on the university’s website.

Yesterday York St John University became the latest to confirm that its clearing spaces had filled up while Hull revealed on Monday that all of its vacancies had gone.

Leeds University did not even enter clearing while Leeds Metropolitan, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam and York all quickly filled up their remaining courses after A-level results were announced.

Universities and Colleges Admission Service (Ucas) has revealed that thousands of university places have been snapped up in a day as students continue to fight for the last remaining vacancies.

As many as four students are now competing for each clearing place. Five days after A-level results were published, 24,698 students across the country have now found a university place through clearing, according to Ucas data.

This means that around 6,800 students have had clearing places confirmed in space of 24 hours.

At this point last summer, 19,276 people had found a place through clearing.

Clearing is the annual process which matches students without university places to courses that still have vacancies.

While the process usually lasts a few weeks, it could be shorter this year as students are accepting offers quickly.

Event - 300 stalls at antiques fair (Doncaster)

A GIANT two-day antique and collectors’ fair takes place this weekend at Doncaster Racecourse featuring stalls from all over the country.

More than 300 stalls for buying and selling thousands of items will be inside the Racecourse’s giant exhibition hall on Saturday and Sunday.

The fair runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm on both days.

Among the items for sale will be porcelain, china, glassware, pottery, gold, silver, costume jewellery, vintage and retro goods, as well as collectables such as postcards, stamps, militaria, coins, books and football programmes.

Admission is £3.50 for adults, £3 for OAPs/children, and free for under 12s.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Event/Course - Ha-Ha happy to help (Wentworth)

IT may be called the Ha-Ha wall – but restoring this historic feature on a South Yorkshire estate is no laughing matter!

Volunteers are being trained in the intricate art of dry stone wall building to repair the East Ha-Ha at Wentworth Castle at Stainborough, Barnsley.

The wall, which is set into a trench, was created in the mid-18th century to allow uninterrupted views of Wentworth’s landscape while at the same time preventing grazing animals straying onto the ornamental gardens from nearby parkland.

Over the last 30 years the feature has gradually crumbled and now needs significant restoration work to bring it back to its former state.

The project has been set up by Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust, Steel Valley Project and the Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Academy, with help from the East Peak Innovation Partnership.

Walling instructors from the academy have trained 12 conservation volunteers and staff before they set about rebuilding the structure.

On Saturday, October 8 a free all-day session is being led by trainers from the academy, giving beginners an introduction to building dry stone walls.

For more information or to book a place call Kate Hughes at the Steel Valley Project on 0114 2830880.

A lecture is also taking place next Saturday to discuss the estate’s Blackamoor garden statue, which was restored last year.

The talk, titled The Wentworth Blackamoor and the War of the Spanish Succession, will be led by Wentworth Castle Trust trustee Dr Patrick Eyres.

Dr Eyres will give an insight into the statue, installed at the gardens in around 1720 as a monument to Thomas Wentworth’s achievement in bringing about the Treaty of Utrecht, which ended the Spanish war.

The talk starts at 2pm and will be rounded off with a traditional cream tea.

To book visit or telephone 01226 776040.

Event - Sheffield Fayre 2011

The annual Sheffield Fayre will be taking place in Norfolk Heritage Park this weekend (28th August 2011 to 29th August 2011 (10:30 - 17:30)). This is one of the largest free events in South Yorkshire and this year looks like being another bumper year for this celebrated city festival.

There will be the Through the Ages Living History show with reenactments and displays ranging from the Romans (Legio VIII Augusta MGV), to World War II (The Northern World War II Association,. The American Civil War will also be occurring with attendance from the American Civil War Society.

There will also be the annual Horitcultural Show, fair rides, craft tent and market stalls

Admission is free. For more details email: or phone 0114 286 0400.

For further details see or

News - Will ‘secret museum’ ever return? (Sheffield)

QUESTION marks are hanging over the future of a ‘secret’ Sheffield museum which has now been closed for six months.

The Traditional Heritage Museum on Ecclesall Road is owned by Sheffield University but has been run in recent years entirely by volunteers.

Based in the former hall of Endcliffe Methodist Church, it features a variety of displays representing Sheffield from past decades.

A university spokesman said the museum had been closed due to health and safety concerns but refused to give further details.

“The University of Sheffield has undertaken a full assessment of the property and will be discussing its findings with the relevant people. The museum will remain closed at this time,” he added.

But volunteers and supporters fear the museum may now have shut its doors for good.

Regular visitor Peter Bolt, of Marshall Road, Woodseats, said its permanent closure was on the cards.

“It has provided a unique experience over the years, giving an insight into how trades and shops used to provide services to people in a bygone era,” he said.

“The museum is the only one of its kind in Sheffield - we do not have anything like it on the same lines.”

The museum opened in 1985 and has a variety of walk-through displays, including a replica kitchen from the 1920s and a variety of Sheffield shops, such as Pollard’s tea and coffee and Renwick’s Basketmakers.

The interior of Pollard’s Coffee and Grocery shop was created from original fittings preserved from the former shop on Glossop Road.

Other collections date from 1850 to 1950 and illustrate life and work in Sheffield, including several displays reflecting the ‘little mester’ trades.

Another preserved shop is Thackeray’s, which used to be in a terrace house at Upper Hanover Street.

Event - Friends, Romans, countrymen entertain punters at St Leger (Doncaster)

The St Leger Festival next month will be more than just horse racing - with a full programme of other events announced yesterday.

Attractions will include Roman soldiers marching through the town, Doncaster’s biggest free music event Doncaster Live, heritage walks, art exhibitions, a Mediaeval Autumn Fayre, champagne brunches, Proms in the Park, wine tasting at the Minster and a beer festival.

There are five top performances at the Civic Theatre, including Paul Harris with his one man play Frankie Titters On, looking at the life of comic treasure Frankie Howerd. The UK’s only touring burlesque spectacular presents An Evening of Burlesque: The Ultimate Tease, and there will be musical tributes to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons with Let’s Hang On and classic 1980s rock anthems with A Foreigners Journey.

Quirky comic Mark Steel is also appearing.

Many local pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants are putting on special events during the Festival, including The Red Lion pub where the St Leger Stakes was founded in 1776.

The full event listing can be found at

For more information call Doncaster Tourist Information Centre on 01302 734 309.

Luddite bicentenery - Articles wanted by Northern Anarchist Network

2011 & 2012 sees the 200th anniversary of the Luddite uprisings in the midlands and north of England. After an initial sudden outburst in Spring 1811 amongst framework-knitters in Nottinghamshire, discontent gestated until November 1811, when the self proclaimed 'Army of Redressers' emerged once again, this time proclaiming allegiance to the mythical avatar 'General Ludd'. Though the outbreaks were initially located in and around Nottinghamshire and were concerned chiefly with industrial disputes, they soon entered into parts of South Derbyshire and Leicestershire, before extended further north to Lancashire & Cheshire amongst weavers and most notably amongst the cloth-dressers of West Yorkshire in 1812, by which time the uprisings had taken on a wholly different character: opposed to the Napoleonic War, tyranny and the direction that a particularly militant version of laissez-faire capitalism had begun to take, using new technology to drive down wages and break the power of highly organised workers. Though the uprisings continued in a muted form all the way into 1816 in the Midlands, the back was broken in the north by early 1813, with show-trials, mass executions, deportations and the virtual occupation of the region by 12,000 troops, more than were currently engaged in conflict on the continent in the Napoleonic Wars.

The Northern Anarchist Network plans to facilitate a booklet to mark the 200th anniversary of the Luddite uprisings at their zenith, in April 2012. We are looking for contributions, chiefly original articles and artwork, but any kind of work that fits into the printed format will be considered (i.e. poetry, creative writing). Articles of any reasonable length will be considered.

We welcome original submissions of all kinds, but it you are stuck for ideas, we have some themes we have come up with that interest us:

The local history of Luddism from where you live

Caravats in Ireland 1806-1811 & the parallels with Luddism

Enclosure of the commons, 200 years ago and today

The 'neutrality' of technology

The role of technology in the modern workplace

Why does 'the left' ignore the Luddites?

The politics of rioting

E.P. Thompson's & the Luddites

Disappearing workers, skilled and unskilled: from self-service checkouts to 3D printing

General Ludd in the North, Captain Swing in the South

You may have your own ideas, and we would welcome discussing them with you.

We are Anarchists, but we welcome contributions from comrades across the Libertarian Communist spectrum, and beyond: we are happy to consider articles from those who feel outside any political spectrum but are willing to contribute regardless.

Although this is the Northern Anarchist Network, we welcome ideas from anywhere in the world.

We plan to have the booklet published by April 2012, and will be seeking expressions of interest until the end of October 2011. We request that a first draft is submitted by the end of November 2011 at the very latest.

We feel that for a number of reasons, the history of the Luddites and their messages and significance down the generations have been distorted and all-too-often ignored, quite often wilfully. There is an opportunity over the next 12 months to rehabilitate and to begin to regularly celebrate the machine-breakers from 200 years ago from whom we can still learn so much.