I’m grateful to a range of people and resources for their help in making this project possible. Here is a list of organisations, venues, museums, historians, societies and authors who have helped me so far:
The Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust including…
Shepherd Wheel Workshop
Nestled by the Porter Brook in Whiteley Woods, the Shepherd Wheel is an outstandingly restored grinding workshop. One of only a few workshops (I think) in full working order, you can see the huge water-powered wheel running on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.
Kelham Island Museum
A great city-centre cathedral of industry, Kelham island museum collects a range of exhibits which tell a compelling story of Sheffield’s industrial past. A perfect introduction to the city.
Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet
Spookily evocative, visceral and real, warts-and-all time capsule. I’ve only visited once (see my 10th May ‘Field Trip’) and was blown away by its particularly well-preserved atmosphere, as if every dusty grinding stone and moss-covered crucible pot could be put to use at any moment.
Sheffield Museums including…
This city-centre gallery has a vibrant mix of exhibitions, from traditional cutlery collections, to special exhibitions on the Recording Britain project to a display of Sheffield’s cutting-edge printing scene. I love dipping in for a quick look whenever I’m in the area.
Bequeathed to the city by businessman and very generous fellow, it’s a bite-sized and well curated gallery a few floors above the Central Library in Sheffield.
Yet to visit, but I’m looking forward to seeing the ‘Story of Sheffield, from prehistory to the present day’.
Wortley Top Forge
On my ‘wish list’ of local places to visit, this is the world’s oldest surviving heavy iron forge.
The Portland Works
A former cutlery works in Sheffield which was rescued from redevelopment by a group of community heritage heroes, and is now a vibrant home for manufacturers, artists, makers and musicians.
Bank Street Arts
A hugely proactive self-funded interdisciplinary Arts Centre which makes the most of its independent nature, by running an impressive amount of projects, exhibitions and events. It also supports local and national artists and creatives.
The Rivelin Valley Conservation Group
Since 1991 this dedicated group of volunteers have worked tirelessly to help maintain and manage the Rivelin Valley nature trail. They’ve clearly done a brilliant job, as it’s a stunning place, and one which inspired me to start this project.
Friends of Porter Valley
Like the RVCG, this small but very dedicated local group campaign to ‘preserve and enhance the natural and historical characteristics of the Porter Valley, between Hunters Bar and Porter Clough’. I live right by the Porter Brook, so I’m very grateful for the work they do to look after it.
Sheffield General Cemetary Trust
Just up the road from me in Sharrow, right by the Porter Brook, this Cemetery is an oasis in the city, while being the final resting place of many sad souls. The trust do lots of god work including guided tours, research and publications. The ‘explore the residents’ page on the site is a hoot.
South Yorkshire Industrial History Society
Thought to be the world’s oldest industrial heritage preservation societies, since 1933 they’ve been instrumental in a number of important projects – not least the early preservation of the AIH.
Based at Bank Street Arts, WY support writing in all its forms, by offering resources, training and opportunities to writers of all types, from emerging artists, to established professionals. I joined back in March, and I’m looking forward to getting involved.
English Folk Dance and Song Society
Preserving, Promoting and Developing the Folk Arts in England, the EFDSS are a vibrant and active organisation based in Cecil Sharp house. The epicentre, mecca, hub of Folk music in the UK, home to the Vaughan Williams library and creators of the jaw-dropping ‘Full English’ online collection.
Set up by local academic and Musician Fay Hield back in 2011, Soundpost are helping to keep traditional song alive with their performances, events and recordings. Rather than straightforward ‘cheerleaders’ for the folk movement, they explore and examine the issues related to traditional music in the modern world.
The Full English
The vast encyclopedia of folk arts created by the EFDSS. The world’s biggest and best box room of stashed treasures.
A fascinating archive of images from Sheffield over the years. Start off looking for pictures of Rivelin Valley water wheels and find yourself three hours later giggling at photos of circus strong men on bicycles. A huge amount of work has been done by some very saintly librarians, and I’m very grateful for what they’ve created.
The Sheffield archives and local studies library
Staffed by a very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable team, the local studies and archives libraries are the epicenter of my research at the moment, and the very first place I ever used a microfilm reader.
The Yorkshire Film Archive
Like ‘Picture Sheffield’, it’s very easy to lose an afternoon to browsing through this vast archive of footage from Sheffield’s past. A wonderful resource packed with character and stories.
This wonderful blog is a key inspiration for how I will conduct much of my research – on foot, exploring the lost places of Sheffield’s history. As well as featuring some great writing on Sheffield, and organizing guided walks in the area, Timewalk Project have compiled an amazingly thorough listings calendar including pretty much any event, talk, walk, or exhibition related to the local area. I’ve linked to the calendar with my Google cal, and I check it every week to see what’s happening around town. I recommend you do the same. Thanks Timewalk.
I first discovered Jack’s work in an issue of local culture paper ‘Now Then’ where they’d published his abridged article on local bard of the working classes, Joseph Maher. Jack’s blog features witty, well thought-out and researched explorations of working class heroes across the ages.
The South Yorkshire folk music bible. I get my copy each month from Porter books, and catch up on the juicy gossip from the local music scene published by real aficionados of folk music for decades.