Showbiz supported Dam Cafe ready to forge ahead again!

ONE of Sheffield's best-loved cafes has opened its doors again following a complete revamp after 4,000 names were collected on a petition calling for it to be saved.

Forge Dam Cafe in the Porter Valley closed temporarily early last month and since then has been fitted with a new roof and external cladding, as well as improved foundations.

The inside of the cafe has also been given a fresh lick of paint, although the familiar 1950s-style interior decor has been retained.

May Young, who has run the cafe with husband Alan for 16 years, told The Star the timber building's corrugated tin roof was in a bad state of repair.

"The roof was going to fall down - it hadn't had any maintenance for a number of years.

Also the structure had no footing, they've had to put steel on the floors to make sure it's not going to give way," she said.

"It was literally sitting on a few bricks."

The building has been on the site for 80 years and is believed to have once been used as a Methodist chapel in Walkley before being dismantled and moved to Fulwood.

Supporters of the cafe, including community group Friends of the Porter Valley, drew up a petition asking Sheffield Council for investment .

The council spent 80,000 on the improvements.

"We're definitely pleased the refurbishment's happened," said May.

"The cafe's just part of Sheffield life. We've also had it decorated but people didn't really want the appearance of the inside to change.

"Everything else as people know it is the same - it's just been made to last another 50 years."

The cafe is open 365 days a year and serves up hot and cold drinks, snacks and meals to hundreds of visitors.

Supporters who signed the petition include singer-songwriter Richard Hawley, while Jarvis Cocker mentioned the cafe in the lyrics to Pulp's song Wickerman.

Sheffield Council leader Paul Scriven said: "A lot of credit must go to the team who worked on this project to deliver a great facility on time and within budget.

"I know it will be a tremendous asset for local walkers and nature lovers for many more years to come."

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