Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The Horrors of High Green (1) ...

... Its Buses; not its People!
In 1793 Mr Newton and Mr Chambers, seeking expansion for their works in central Sheffield, leased a stretch of land on the banks of the Blackburn brook at what became the community of Chapeltown. By the early 20th Century the works was dominating the town.
Anything that could be made of iron and steel was made there.
But not just big stuff; domestic appliances were in their catalogue ...
... together with a famous disinfectant and toilet roll!
For those who prefer the traditional hard tissue, the product is still there if you look for it, but now offered on Ebay as a "vintage" product!
fbb's grannie used nothing else even when softer products appeared on the market.

There is a delightful film, (made in 1953) of the Newton Chambers works on-line (here). But it does last for 30 minutes.

By the 1920s and 30s, the need for better quality housing for Chapeltown's workers meant new building in and around the older mining communities along the road towards Penistone. Chapeltown is just off the map below, centre right.
And in 1920, Sheffield Transport started its first bus service to High Green via Chapeltown from the Owlerton tram terminus.

Then came new housing at Mortomley ...
... and during WW2 addition buses ran to this new housing from Sheffield via Firth Park. Later (immediately post WW2) buses also ran on the new Worrall Road just north of the hamlet of Charltonbrook ...
... showing "Greengate Lane" on their blinds.
By the mid 1940s a real hotch-potch of route numbers and services was operated, either via A61 Grenoside (79, 86, 96,  179, 196) or via A6135 Firth Park and Ecclesfield (167, 173, 267, 268). Most journeys on both sets of routes ran via Chapeltown. A detailed nicety which fbb will ignore is that for some "variants", buses didn't quite make it to High Green but terminated at "Greengate Lane".
So in 1954 they had a tidy up. Services via Grenoside became simply 79 and via Ecclesfield 73. Here is a map produced by fbb and dated 1960. Again, this map ignores diversions to or via "Greengate Lane".
Simple. Well, nearly simple. Some buses ran direct from Grenoside to High Green omitting Chapeltown and they kept the number 96. We'll quietly forget changes in 1963 introducing buses which went via Grenoside then across to Ecclesfield (via The Wheel - it's the name of a road!) and were numbered 91. Oh yes, and most 79s were renumbered 80.

For those readers that have almost lost the will to live we can summarise things as follows.
 80  Sheffield : Grenoside (A61) : Chapeltown : High Green

 73  Sheffield : First Park : Ecclesfield (A6135) : Chapeltown : High Green

 91  Sheffield : Grenoside (A61) : Ecclesfield (A6135) : Chapeltown : Greengate Lane

And fbb nearly forgot: 73s left from a different place in City (Exchange Street then bus station) from 80s and 91s which left from Bridge Street. Also ignored are buses extended beyond High Green to Howbrook and Wortley!

It was so simple in the good old days!

But, in essence, the broad pattern remained as via Grenoside and via Ecclesfield and still applies today. The 91 became an occasional minibus route M92 providing a very basic service via The Wheel.
Tomorrow we bring this route pattern up to date. Enter Stagecoach!

For completeness, it is worth mentioning that there is almost nothing left of the old Newton Chambers site, the land having been redeveloped with housing and modern warehousing premises. The main visible link with its past is a warehouse for Ronseal ...
... a company bought by Newton Chambers in 1960.

 Next High Green blog : Wednesday 21st October 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for some happy memories. My grandfather worked at Newton Chambers and I spent most of my childhood summer holidays in Grenoside, riding on the 79 and 91 into Sheffield and then further afield.