Ponds Forge: Sheffield swimming and international sports centre took name of historic steelworks

Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, which reopened earlier this year following a £500,000 revamp including a new wave machine, also made waves when it opened.

By Julia Armstrong
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 5:09 pm
George Senior & Sons Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Ponds Forge, Sheffield, pictured in April 1988, on the site of the soon to be built swimming pool, Pionds Fo0rge International Sports Centre
George Senior & Sons Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Ponds Forge, Sheffield, pictured in April 1988, on the site of the soon to be built swimming pool, Pionds Fo0rge International Sports Centre

Ponds Forge, which opened in 1991, was a venue for the World Student Games, which the city hosted, dividing opinion in the city as to whether that was a good idea. It still does, really.

The sports centre has been home to numerous international swimmers and divers and big competitions since its opening, though, thanks to the Olympic-sized swimming pool and diving pool.

Its name is taken from the steelworks seen in the old picture, George Senior & Sons Ltd. The firm’s founder was a self-made man who went from being too poor to go to school to becoming lord mayor in 1901 and head of the largest steel importers in the country.

Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield is built on the site of an old steelworks

There had been iron and steelworks on the site for centuries before before George Senior set up in 1872.