Tram before the bus

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I think Peter Wostenholme’s memory may be playing tricks on him, (Star letter, Monday, March 20).

I suppose I could be wrong, but I think the 32 Woodthorpe bus route didn’t start running until the 1950s, not the 1940s.

I lived on Harborough Avenue and the 92 Manor Park route didn’t start until around 1955 and it only ran to Manor Park Centre to start with and the fare to town was just one penny, and I’m sure the 32 started around the same time.

I also attended St Theresa’s School and all I can recall was trams in the early Fifties.

I know the 32 ran from town and up City Road, across the Manor Estate via Wulfric Road, down Hastilar Road South and finally on to the Woodthorpe.

On the subject of our rivers, these should be uncovered and made a feature of, like other cities do.

Why they put the car before everything else and covered the rivers to make easy passage for cars is beyond me.

Vin Malone

by email

Put it out of its misery

I feel sure that the estimated £10 million would be better spent on more demanding restoration projects than an old useless monstrosity of a building like the rotting old Town Hall.

The days when it was in its prime are long gone. It should be put out of its misery and razed to the ground and something meaningful built in its place, such as a modern library and art gallery. Sheffield city centre should be attractive to the community, Haymarket is fast becoming run down. Maybe the campaigners could take a look at that.

Haymarket used to be busy, with shoppers galore. With some bright ideas and investment it could happen again.

EB Warris

by email

Honouring Dame Vera

She became famous for singing about bluebirds and nightingales, but it’s pigeons and geese who have benefited the most from the kindness of Dame Vera Lynn, who turned 100 this week.

Dame Vera has long been a staunch supporter of the British troops, so she was understandably distressed to learn that pigeons – loyal birds who served the UK by delivering vital messages during both world wars – are being shipped to the Continent each year before being forced to fly back home across the English Channel.

“Separating pigeons from their mates and forcing them to fly, exhausted, across the vast Channel is an utterly cruel pastime”, she said after viewing PETA’s pigeon racing exposé. “With hundreds of thousands of birds lost at sea each year, the Channel has become a veritable bird graveyard for these forgotten heroes.”

Dame Vera has also taken Fortnum & Mason to task for selling foie gras, even though its production is so cruel that it’s banned in the UK. In a letter to the retailer, she wrote, “For a department store with such a proud British heritage, it made me sad that you would wish to tarnish it by associating yourself with the force-feeding of animals”.

We hope people will be inspired by Dame Vera’s compassion to take a stand against cruelty by refusing to support these callous industries.

Jennifer White

Assistant press officer, PETA UK

Oughtibridge traffic danger

Though not an Oughtibridge resident I sympathise with them over the junction at the bottom of Jawbone Hill. Whoever decided it was a good idea to put a crossing at the bottom of Jawbone should be sacked.

I regularly drive down Jawbone Hill – I stop on the bridge and look to my right because this is a one-way street.

When it is safe I turn left only to find someone is crossing the road.

This is because some fool sited the crossing too close and on the wrong side of the junction to be safe.

With the increase in traffic along the main road from Fox Valley and many more houses soon to be built this junction must be sorted before it is too late and someone is killed.

A Mrs Barrow said that residents knew the problem but weren’t the experts.

Mrs Barrow, you and other residents are the experts as are other residents all over the city you and others see these problems day in and day out.

S Thompson

by email

Memorial to war dead

If I may echo the thoughts of John Griffin, February 25, letter Re: No memorial to war dead.

If a Jumbo jet crashed on Sheffield with no survivors, there would be a memorial as long as one of the wings to commemorate those who’s lives were lost, recording the fateful date and circumstances for all to see and respect for posterity.

Those who lost their lives in Sheffield during WW2 should be commemorated in a centrally placed memorial.

The Peace Gardens would probably be the most appropriate central setting for such a memorial.

The recent reference to the death toll from two parachute mines that were dropped on March 14, 1941 falling on Southey Hill/Kyle Crescent records that 14 people lost their lives.

I think that figure is inaccurate. At that time my father, Dr William Donnelly’s Medical Practice was at 11 Southey Hill, (our home).

He said that more than 30 people lost their lives in this single incident, most being his patients.

Seven houses, (17 households), were totally destroyed.

My father said this single incident had the second highest death toll of the entire war in Sheffield, apart from The Marples Hotel incident in the centre of Sheffield.

The parachute mine was designed to explode before it stuck the ground, maximising the spread of shockwave and lethal impact.

Whole families were obliterated. Those bodies that were found were recorded. Those whose bodies couldn’t be identified were placed in a mass grave in the General Cemetery on Cemetery Road.

History records 668 civilians and 25 servicemen lost their lives, and another 92 were reported missing. A total of 785 Sheffield men, women and children.

Should there be a memorial to commemorate those courageous Sheffield souls? Most definitely.

Respecting those lives lost is the least our proud city can do on behalf of its courageous citizens who had to stand and ‘take it’ during the World War Two years 1939-1945. God Bless them. It’s never too late to do the right thing.

Frank Donnelly

Retired chairman – South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum – Doncaster

School pals to meet again

If you were in the fifth form at Grange Grammar School between September 1956 and July 1957, I am organising a reunion on Thursday, March 30 to celebrate 60 years since then.

If you are interested in attending, please contact me on 01142839983 for details.

Pat Ledbury (nee Oxley)

by email