Historic Sheffield photographs to be in city's safe hands, thanks to generous donors

Archives and heritage manager Peter Evans will soon have a couple of historic Sheffield photographs added to the city's collection
Archives and heritage manager Peter Evans will soon have a couple of historic Sheffield photographs added to the city's collection
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Two historic Sheffield photographs will soon be in the city's archives for safe keeping, thanks to the generosity of the public.

The photographs, which date from 1900, depict a group of men fundraising for the Mafeking Seaside Fund on Leopold Street in the city centre.

Sheffield City Archives and Local Studies launched a fundraiser to pay for the photos this week.

A Crowdfunder page urged 149 people to donate £1 each to buy them

It took just over 24 hours for the target to be reached as Sheffield history lovers responded.

"We had raised the money by 10pm on Tuesday, with the final fiver," archives and heritage manager Peter Evans said.

While there were some donations of £1, many preferred to give £5 or £10 get the project over the line.

The photographs are in the post, on their way from Fareham in Hampshire.

Once in Sheffield, they will be cleaned by conservators, scanned and added to the picture archive.

A group of men can be seen dragging a cannon around the streets in one photograph, collecting money to help soldiers from the siege.

One man is holding a bucket for donations while another can be seen holding a picture of Lord Robert Baden-Powell aloft.

Lord Baden-Powell was a hero of the war, successfully defending Mafeking during the siege in 1900. More than 800 English soldiers were lost in the 217-day siege.

A coincidental anniversary is approaching.

Mr Evans said that news of the siege's end Sheffield on May 25, 1900.

Many schools celebrated by sending the kids home.

"It was a big national event for Britain when our troops were freed," Mr Evans said.

Mr Evans, a 49-year-old Muskoka Drive, Bents Green resident, was pleased with the public's generosity in giving to the cause.

"I'm amazed we got the money so quick," he said.

He said it showed an important part of Sheffield heritage. He described the photos as 'patriotic and jingoistic'.

"We weren't aware this fund existed," Mr Evans said.

"It's an insight into our Victorian ancestors."

"We just scour eBay and sale sites online to see anything relevant to Sheffield," Mr Evans said.

More than 400 Sheffielders died in the war. Memorials at the entrance to Town Hall and Weston Park list their names.

Picture Sheffield has 80,000 photographs online. The collection has more than 150,000 in total.

Mr Evans and the staff add about 3,000 every year to the online archive