A bus ride through Attercliffe's rich history

As an industrial suburb in the northeast of Sheffield, Attercliffe may just be an area where most people drive by without taking much notice of it.

By rahmah ghazali
Wednesday, 19 June, 2019, 10:47
Take a tour of Attercliffe with local historian Mike Higginbottom

But thanks to an initiative by Attercliffe historian, Mike Higginbottom, the locals - young and old - have started to appreciate its rich heritage. 

It all began when the former English teacher conducted the popular Walks Round Attercliffe as part of Heritage Open Days, and decided to look for a more appealing way of driving around to show people more of the valley's rich history.

This time around, Mr Higginbottom, who grew up in the suburb, is conducting Bus Ride Round Attercliffe which is already gaining popularity and strong demands from the locals. 

The first two trips in April and June have both sold out, he said, and now will be taking bookings for a follow-up trip on September 29, which is nearly full. 

And the star of the event is a 1954 Sheffield Corporation Leyland Titan double-deck bus that is immaculately restored and part of the South Yorkshire Transport Museum fleet. 

Explaining the overwhelming interest, he said: "There is a whole generation of Sheffield people, aged sixty and above, who grew up in Attercliffe when it was still a thriving working-class community based on the huge steelworks.

"Their children and grandchildren are often fascinated by how different the area was up to 1970s."

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He said the most important way of preserving the history of the Lower Don Valley is footfall as it brings in more people to appreciate how important Attercliffe is in Sheffield's social and industrial heritage.

"The local community is beginning to capitalise on the surviving historic buildings. A particularly good example is the Attercliffe Library, now a restaurant with a growing reputation for events as well as good food," said Mr Higginbottom.

Many have also taken the extra steps to preserve the rich history, where the Friends of Zion Graveyard have transformed a neglected wilderness into a wildlife reserve with historic links to local industry and politics and the anti-slavery movement.

And these are some of the examples the bus rides aim to show the people as they explore the sites in Attercliffe, Brightside, Carbrook and Darnall dating from the 17th century to the 21st.

"The top-deck view with a commentary shows how much has changed and helps people to understand what has gone," he said.

The half-day tour, which costs £18 per person will depart from Penny Black pub on Pond Hill, next to Sheffield Interchange at 2pm and will return at 5pm.

Those interested can visit http://www.mikehigginbottominterestingtimes.co.uk or contact Mr Higginbottom at 01142420951 or 07946650672.