Farewell to Sheffield's heavy metal legend, Olga Marshall
A former pub landlady who became an unlikely supporter of heavy rock music – earning herself the nickname ‘Sheffield’s Matriarch of Metal’ – will be laid to rest today (Wednesday) following her death aged 92.
Olga Marshall successfully turned Cambridge Street venue The Wapentake, popularly known as 'The Wap', into a music hotspot in the 70s.
The mother-of-four, who also ran The Buccaneer on Leopold Street, retired in 1996 – and to mark the occasion, hugely successful Sheffield band Def Leppard played a homecoming gig in her honour in 1995.
The group played an early show in 1979 at The Wapentake, reportedly earning a £15 fee from Olga.
Starting as a barmaid in 1964 at The Buccaneer, Olga became landlady of The Wapentake in 1973.
Speaking to The Star seven years ago, Olga said: "We'd only got a jukebox, so I spoke to the management about getting a DJ in. I tracked down George Webster, who was playing at the Cannon Hall social club at Page Hall. The Buccaneer took more on our first night with George than it did on its average weekend.”
In its early days, The Wap had originally tried to cater for pensioners who came in for lunch as well as night-time rockers. Eventually, rock won and The Wap – underneath the Grosvenor House Hotel – went on to become one of the most legendary heavy metal venues in the country.
It went on to become The Casbah, which has since been demolished along with the rest of the hotel complex.
Olga leaves her sons Garry, Andrew and Glen, daughter Alison and eight grandchildren.
Her funeral is at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium today at 1.15pm, followed by a wake at The Phoenix, Ridgeway. Donations will be collected for Dementia UK via John Heath and Sons.
All are welcome at the funeral and mourners are asked to wear blue.