Diverse, beautiful and quirky suburb

Trees on Montgomery Road, Nether Edge.

Trees on Montgomery Road, Nether Edge.

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It’s one of the most beautiful and diverse areas of Sheffield, with its tree-lined roads and listed buildings.

Nether Edge stretches from Abbeydale Picture House up to Psalter Lane, and from Chelsea Park across to Mount Pleasant Park.

Trees on Montgomery Road, Nether Edge.

Trees on Montgomery Road, Nether Edge.

In recent times, problems with anti-social behaviour have forced the community to take action.

Abbeydale Stakeholders Group comprises businesses and people who play an important role in Nether Edge and nearby Sharrow.

Sheffield Futures, The One Nation Community Centre, Sharrow Community Forum, The Abbeydale Picturehouse and some local councillors make up the group.

Nether Edge and Sharrow Councillor Alison Teal believes a lot of positives are coming out of this negative situation.

I live on Brincliffe Edge, and I look on to woodland. It’s like having my own vast garden.

Adrian Hanstock

She said: “We set up this group to deal with the anti-social element in our community. It’s sad that such a negative situation has led to this but it has meant people who normally might not have come together are sharing their ideas on community cohesion.

“Last year the scenes we saw on Abbeydale Road around Bonfire Night were truly terrible. I believe we have already had an impact as this year there was nowhere near as many young people irresponsibly using fire works in the area.”

The group organised an Autumn Carnival in Mount Pleasant Park, which Alison described as a ‘genuinely multicultural event’.

“Our tactic has been to focus on community events. We had a few workshops in the primary schools at Sharrow and Nether Edge prior to the Autumn Carnival on November 5, so the children could get involved in making lanterns for the event.

“We had a parade around the park, there was singing, dancing. There were people of all ages and origins. It was really great.”

“I think involving the children in the process was a really positive thing – we feel like it was very successful.

“We are hoping that the families who attended will get involved in the more established Sharrow Vale Lantern Carnival in April.”

Nether Edge resident Adrian Hanstock, 51, who works in Jameson’s Cafe on Abbeydale Road, said: “I think there definitely seemed to be less trouble this Bonfire Night. I didn’t see as many youths running around in gangs.

Trees on Montgomery Road, Nether Edge.

Trees on Montgomery Road, Nether Edge.

“There are fewer takeaway food shops on this road now, and the more independent shops that open and the more gentrified the street becomes, I think it’s making the area better.

“We’ve got a great mixture of everything in Nether Edge – it’s a very diverse place. I live on Brincliffe Edge, and I look on to woodland. It’s like having my own vast garden.”

The village shops in the centre of Nether Edge have been revived over the last five years, according to Nicola Newman, 41, who runs Zeds on the Edge whole food store.

She said: “I love Nether Edge. Personally I think it’s the best place to live in Sheffield.

“Obviously the Farmers’ Market has been brilliant – it’s brought so many people here. The cafes are amazing, there’s so many of them now.

“Occasionally there is some bother, but I think in any area there is going to be young lads around causing a bit of trouble. I wouldn’t live anywhere else.”

Nether Edge closes its roads to become a market, Sheffield, United Kingdom on 18 September 2016. Photo by Glenn Ashley.

Nether Edge closes its roads to become a market, Sheffield, United Kingdom on 18 September 2016. Photo by Glenn Ashley.

For a residential area, Nether Edge boasts two very interesting old theatres, in The Lantern and The Merlin, which reopened in September.

“Cherry Tree Road is one of the oldest settlements in Sheffield,” said Andi Stamp, from The Merlin Theatre. I just think Nether Edge is so lovely. It’s such a beautiful area. There’s a great sense of community spirit too.

“The Nether Edge Festival has helped us enormously in raising money for the re-opening.”

Further down the road from the Merlin is Nether Edge Hospital on Osborne Road. Support Worker Tom Butler, 23, from Kelham Island, said he would love to settle down in Nether Edge.

“Without a doubt it is a family orientated area. It’s also quite quirky and interesting, I think.”

The Oxfam shop on the corner of Nether Edge Road used to be a hardware store when Sheila Kennedy, 71, first moved here in 1981. “It’s like a cafe society down here now. I’ll never move. It’s one of the nicest areas anywhere.”

Sam Peacock, 41, who works at the Oxfam shop with Sheila, added: “It’s nice just to walk around because it’s so pretty. We’ve got everything around here. I love all the trees on Montgomery Road, especially in the spring.”

There’s a real lack of joined up thinking over tree-felling policy

Since being elected in May, Green party Councillor Alison Teal said she feels Nether Edge is a really positive place to be. Many friends and residents’ associations are now taking action, not just on litter picking or anti-social behaviour but also the very topical problem of trying to save Nether Edge’s trees.

“You can imagine how powerless we feel,” said Alison. “Especially after what happened on Rustlings Road.

“There’s a real lack of joined up thinking when it comes to this tree policy from Amey. This will affect generations to come. I don’t think people mind a bit of a ripple in the pavement from a tree root. They also soak up a lot of the ground water, which can help with flooding.

“Money can’t always come first. I’m very, very upset about the trees. I can’t quite believe they are going to cut them down, especially on Rundle Road – it’s such a beautiful spot.

“It’s going to change the character of Nether Edge.”

Another project is the rejuvenation of Common Ground, on Machon Bank Road, the old St Peter’s Church Hall.

“What we are trying to do is make improvements to the building to make it a nicer space. In the past they were really struggling because all the money was being spent on vandalism repairs.

“If we can make it a more user-friendly, it will encourage more activities, and the building is less likely to be vandalised the more it is being used.

“We will be having fundraisers, and the car boot sale in December at the Picture House car park will help with this.”

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