Wife and I out in the cold

St Mary The Virgin, Handsworth, Sheffield
St Mary The Virgin, Handsworth, Sheffield
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On looking for subjects for my articles in Retro, my wife Mary and I took a bus to Handsworth to look at St Mary’s Church.

“Are you going to be long, I’m freezing?” said Mary. As we got off the bus I noticed that a couple of trees had lifted the pavement, and the trees had been lopped down leaving three-foot stumps sticking up.

“That’s strange”, I said to my wife, “Oh, what are you on about now,”she replied.

I pointed out that Sheffield’s favourite contractors had cut down the offending trees because of the lifted pavement but they had left the reason why they had been cut down to start with.

Why leave the lifted pavement after cutting down the trees that lifted it in the first place?

Mrs Malone just wanted to get home out of the cold, although she did get a bit of a refuge by going into St Mary’s. What a fantastic unspoilt little church and churchyard, I’m surprised it’s survived to this day and age.

It really surprises me that little gems like this are never publicised in the Tourist Information office. They seem to be more concerned with Derbyshire and its houses.

Back to the cold day, I followed her into the church where it was much warmer.

Warmed up, we left and caught the bus back to town, through Darnall.

The “Little Dick” is still standing which surprised me. I spent many a happy hour in there with a stiff neck looking up at the screen from the cheap seats.

It’s been around 50 years since I was down Darnall and I couldn’t believe just how bad the place looks to when I last saw it, very sad. Staniforth Road down to Attercliffe was just as eyeopening. How can areas which were a hive of industry and friendly people turn into such run- down places?

I have many happy memories of going to Banners with my mother in the 50s after she got a £20 “cheque” to spend in Banners. “Can I have a toy, mam?” Mam replied “No, you’re having a new school cap, trousers, a shirt, a pair of shoes and stockings and a pullover.”

In we went up on the fantastic wooden escalator, clothes bought, “cheque” handed over. It was put in a container and shoved into a suction contraption that took it to the office where our goods were totalled up and any change was sent back down the tube to us.

The change was Banners’ own money, impossible to spend anywhere but in Banners but their pennies did fit our gas meter!

Goods bagged up, off we went to catch the tram back up to the Manor with me shooting everybody in sight with my new gun which my mam said I couldn’t have – mothers are like that. They say no but I knew she would get me something.

That’s all gone now, nothing but cafés, restaurants and fast food outlets, hardly any pubs left.

Just what’s happened to this city I’ll never know.

We are back in the warmth of our home now after to me what was a pleasant morning out.

It took Mary four days to get warm, women are like that aren’t they, just joking love, just joking.

Vin Malone

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