The Loxley Valley, Stannington and Wood Lane - Local History

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The Loxley Valley, Stannington and Wood Lane - Local History by Sally Ellis

The Loxley Valley, Stannington and Wood Lane - Local History by Sally Ellis

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  • 1. The Loxley Valley, Stannington, Wood Lane and Wisewood... an area of myth, legend and natural disaster! A brief history from the Romans to the present day
  • 2. The Ancient World and our area
    • Whilst the Romans where busy conquering the ancient world, those in our area had a role to play in it...
    • One, son of Albanus, after serving twenty-five campaigns had earned an honourable discharge, and as a result was granted a piece of land for his courageous actions, this went on to become our very own village of Stannington
  • 3. Who said robin hood was from Nottingham?
    • Whilst many people believe that Robin hood (if indeed he existed) came from Nottingham, his whole life is shrouded in mystery and intrigue...
    • Recently, researchers and archaeologists from the University of Sheffield have claimed that the eponymous Robin Hood was actually from Yorkshire, and more significantly, from the Loxley Valley in Sheffield
    • Yorkshire names are found throughout the rhymes and legends of Robin Hood, and it is believed that Loxley was part of Barnsdale forest, which, along with its more famous counterpart Sherwood forest made up the forest where Robin Hood robbed the rich and gave to the poor....
  • 4. When Wood Lane, Malin Bridge and Wisewood were destroyed in a matters of minutes: The Great Sheffield Flood of 1864 On a windy March evening, when spring gales were unusually vicious, disaster struck. A dam that was near completion in the Loxley valley was battered by the weather...a crack began to appear in the embankment, water officials rushed to repair the threatening crack, but to no avail. They tried all they could, attempting to blow a breach in the side of the dam, but it was too wet and the gunpowder would not ignite, all the while residents of Myers Grove and Wisewood slept on. The centre of the embankment collapsed and some 650 million gallons of water thundered down the valley, wiping out all in its wake... In a matter of seconds the area was obliterated, killing many families and leaving many, many more without a home.
  • 5. Following the flood Today For video clips of where the flood affected visit:
  • 6. A letter from the time of the flood
    • Sir, -
    • It was my lot to visit a few days since a scene which no one can fully describe, and what certainly my pen cannot do justice to. In the most populous part of Sheffield there are at this moment hundreds - and I might say thousands - of the poorer classes, totally destitute of furniture, cooking utensils, and clothes, who a few days ago had each a comfortable and, I believe, a happy English home. It is a very prevalent and popular idea that the poor people who have suffered are those who have been swept away by the devouring flood. Would that it were so. Alas! These hundreds are but a few. The many are those who on the Friday night went to bed with every humble luxury that their industry and hard savings had earned them, and who were aroused in the dead of night to find their home, their comforts, nay even their common necessaries of existence, destroyed.
    • Let me add, to their honour, that not one murmur did I hear, and that those poor who were in a position to grant shelter to their less fortunate neighbours have done so with a free and willing hand. The suffering poor are always readiest to help their suffering fellow creatures, and nowhere was this more plainly seen than under the shadow of this terrible calamity.
    • 42, Grosvenor-place, March 19. ALFRED PAGET    
  • 7. Wisewood School is opened! In 1928 Sheffield Council decided to build a housing estate to cope with the increasing demand for homes. This meant that there had to be a school built to educate the influx of children into the area, and, that school was Wisewood, which is celebrating the its 75 th Anniversary this week. It opened its doors in September1933, however it was a very different place to the Wisewood that we know today. The curriculum was very different, offering children a totally different set of courses. When the school had not even been open 10 years, the Second World War struck, calling up many of Wisewood’s teachers to participate in the war. School attendance was limited to half days, until effective trenches had been built. In December 1940, (in a raid by the Germans that has subsequently been called the Great Sheffield Blitz) many incendiary bombs were dropped by the Germans on the school, only to be extinguished by the teacher Mr. Nowill and some Handicraft teachers.
  • 8. A little bit about Wisewood school in the past… All pupils wore a blazer, shirt and tie, black trousers and smart shoes, it was a very strict uniform All the PE lessons were conducted elsewhere, the gymnasium was at another school and the school playing field was off site as well The Wisewood Game was and still is an invasion game, a cross between football and rugby, there is no boundaries, the ball is always in and you have to score from behind the goal and volley it in, it is an all action game! Often when the weather was bad in winter, sledging down the hill was part of the PE lessons. The staff pantomime started in the early 1970s which was written by two teachers
  • 9. The Second World War, and the importance of the area to the war effort
    • The manufacturing industry has been central to Sheffield since the Industrial Revolution of the Nineteenth Century, and the mining that went on in the Loxley Valley was central in providing resources to support the war.
    • The clay miners who worked in our area
    • have often been forgotten
    • in our memories of the war
    • but they were essential in
    • our victory.
    For more information on this, visit:
  • 10. Myers Grove School was opened!
    • And like Wisewood, was a very different place to the one which we see today, these pictures seem a world away from the classrooms of 2009...
    Myers Grove today Myers Grove was opened in 1960, and was the first purpose built comprehensive in Sheffield
  • 11. The school used to have four houses, with the pupils each belonging to one. They were called, Canada, Ghana, Australia and India. When the school opened in the 1960s it had a very different environment. The teachers even wore robes, There was a strict uniform, even down to the knickers that girls wore for gym classes. Needlework, secretarial skills, metal work and woodwork were typical classes for boys and girls to take. But, the pupils had a lot of fun, with the whole of the school descending on the school rugby pitch once a year for the Grove Games. The aim of the game was to get the ball to your house’s side of the rugby pitch, apart from that, there were no rules ! and punishments, according to some former pupils were administered by the slipper, not simply by giving detentions like we have today. A Little bit about Myers Grove School…
  • 12. I loved my time at Myers Grove ,in Year 9, I really felt like my social life started.  I had a group of friends who I would spend time with in school and out of school.  We used to laugh *so* much. We even made something called "The List" - and it contained all the funniest things that had happened. On many occasions, we were laughing so much that we couldn't breath - we even gave this a name - we'd call them "attacks"; when you're sitting on your chair, with a massive grin on your face, rolling backwards and forwards, taking big gasps of air where you could fit them in, and just splitting your sides... There was one class however, where you didn't need your friends to have fun and that was Mr.Kirkman's class. He managed to make keep you laughing like a mad-man for an hour . All of the teachers were amazing though at Myers Grove.  They gave a 110%. Will Barker , the last head boy at Myers Grove
  • 13. Wisewood and Myers Grove schools have a shared history that dates back 50 years, even before ideas of a merged school! In 1962 pupils from Wisewood used the Myers Grove playing fields. In 1966 73 pupils transferred from Wisewood School to Myers Grove And, not to mention competing against each other frequently at sport!
  • 14. In 1966 it was proposed that Wadsley Village would be demolished… It was rumoured that some villagers, annoyed by the raising of their rents, without repairs promised from their landlords, spoke to the council about their poor living arrangements. It was then decided by the Council that Wadsley would be demolished and rebuilt, this led to a great outcry from the villagers who did not want to lose their homes, and the signing of a petition to stop it However, this was paid no heed and the plans were put into motion, in September 1968 demolition started and whole streets of houses were knocked down! By mid-1971 huge progress had been made to the redevelopment of Wadsley with 20 flats being ready for occupancy, and by 1975 all three phases of the development had been completed and the new Wadsley was ready!
  • 15. Our Local Legends Chris Turner , who played for Sheffield Wednesday and now manages Hartlepool FC (he has also given us an interview about his happy memories of Myers Grove) Ernest Harper , a long distance runner from Stannington, who represented Britain in the Olympic Games three times. Sheila Sherwood , who was an international long jumper, and won various medals, including silver Medal at the summer Olympic Games in Mexico in 1968, Sherwood went on to become a PE teacher at Myers Grove School Malcolm Elliot also went to Myers Grove school and went on to become a world class cyclist Wisewood and Myers Grove are both traditionally sport-orientated schools and they, along with the rest of the area have produced some very impressive athletes, here are just a few… Wisewood School has produced many professional footballers including: Sean Connelly, Alan Smith, John Pearson, Steven Sole from Wisewood represented Britain in the 400 metre hurdles