Thursday, 5 January 2012

A 60-Year-Old Bludner [1]

Good Old Sheffield Transport
A notable anniversary. 5th/6th January 1952
The origin of the name Malin Bridge is obscure but the most probable explanation is that the name derived from Malin Stacie, who was Lord of the Manor of Owlerton (which lies ¾ mile to the NE) between 1607 and 1652. It is possible that Stacie built the bridge or was responsible for its upkeep and it was therefore named after him.

The original village was all-but destroyed in the Great Sheffield Flood of 11th March 1864 ...
... when the Dale Dyke Dam burst and its contents inundated the Loxley valley and significant parts of Hillsborough, destroying homes, lives and livelihoods.
For two hundred and fifty people who lived in Sheffield and the hamlets in the valley below the dam, this was to be their last night on Earth. Six hundred and fifty million gallons of water roared down the valley and into Sheffield, wreaking death and destruction on a horrific scale.

The Sheffield tram route arrived at Malin (pronounced May Lynn) Bridge in 1908 and a network of bus services was later developed from surrounding villages to offer interchange facilities. The "sparks effect" of the tram service encouraged significant housing development in and around Dykes Hall Road.
From 1935 the service of "motor buses" to the nearby Wisewood estate, where construction had started in 1929, was extended through to the City centre and that overall service pattern remained stable until early in 1952.
Three Sheffield tram routes had been abandoned to the "more flexible" motorbus pre World War 2; namely those to  Petre Street (April 1925), Nether Edge (March 1934), and  Fulwood via Broomhill (August 1936). But, in the post-war rebuilding programme, the pressure was on to abandon the trams completely.

Thus it was that on 5th January 1952 the first tentative tram withdrawal took place. Trams ceased to run between Malin Bridge, City and Fulwood via Hunters Bar.

Unusually, between City and Malin Bridge, there was to be no replacement bus service as such. One reason for this seeming omission was that extra trams continued to run from the Holme Lane depot at Hillsborough ...
... via City to Hunters Bar. These became, effectively, "short workings" of the Middlewood, City and Ecclesall tram route.

Extra bus capacity from Malin Bridge was provided by significantly increasing the frequency of service 13/14; e.g. to every 8 minutes at busy times ...
... and by extending services 7 & 16 with their infrequent variants 107, 116 & 117 through to the city.
The resultant arrangements are shown on this fbb diagram.
In theory at least, this provision should have been more than enough to cater for the two or three stops between Hillsborough and Malin Bridge that were deprived of a frequent tram service.  But the plan did not go down at all well with the Sheffield public. There were significant protests. None of the services ran into High Street. Although Campo Lane ...
... was not far away, it was perceived as significantly less convenient.
Additionally, there would be a long walk to The Moor, also a popular shopping area.

Meanwhile, arrangements on the other side of the city were even less popular ...

  Next Blog : due Friday January 6th  

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