Old-fashioned, in a neighbourly way...
You only have to pick up a copy of the Crosspool Clarion, the quarterly newsletter of the middle class community to the west of Sheffield, to know that the residents like knowing what's going on and looking after each other.
Crosspool, which lies 2.5 miles from Sheffield’s city centre, has an atmosphere which defies its small appearance at the junction of Manchester and Sandygate roads. The selection of shops and a local tavern is thriving.
The old-fashioned approach to living is often lost in 21st century cities.
In Crosspool, people still know, and are friends with, their neighbours. They regularly check in on each other, and exchange keys in case of emergencies.
The Clarion is the official newsletter of the Crosspool Forum, the go-to community group and website for all things related to the suburb.
There’s all sorts of information on the forum, from what’s happening down the local pub to what time the next city-bound 51 bus departs from Crosspool shops.
And the neighbourly spirit really shines through – community-minded folk are currently trying to track down the owners of a set of keys left in a shop and a pair of binoculars found on Coldwell Lane .
The Clarion was the brainchild of Crosspool resident Ian Hague 13 years ago.
It began as a way of reporting the minutes from the forum’s meetings. It soon turned into a newsletter for the suburb as Mr Hague foraged for snippets of local news.
Mr Hague, who is now 70, wants future generations to use the Clarion as a historical look back at the history of the suburb.
“To me, it’s like a moment in time for Crosspool,” he said.
Residents take a keen interest in their suburb. The forum usually gets between 50 and 100 people turning up at each meeting.
Councillors, police and Amey representatives give insights into Crosspool-related matters from their organisations, and there’s usually a guest speaker.
“We try and get somebody of interest to come,” Mr Hague said.
There’s always something interesting being planned by forum members. Organising the Crosspool Festival and Summer Fair keeps them busy in the warmer months, and there’s the tree recycling after Christmas.
Car boot sales are on throughout the year, and they have organised trips to places like Salford Quays and Stratford-upon-Avon.
The forum members have green thumbs. They look after an orchard, and take care of floral displays on Manchester Road’s grass verge.
“We have planted about 40,000 spring bulbs over the years,” Mr Hague said.
It all adds to the appeal of the suburb.
“We try to keep it a vibrant place,” Mr Hague said.
Tim Jones can’t imagine living anywhere else in Sheffield.
Mr Jones, 53, moved to the area 28 years ago.
He and wife Claire, 52, have raised sons Sam, 22, and William, 17, in the family home on Cardoness Road.
He has seen a shift in the population of Crosspool in his time there. House prices have rocketed, and many people who grew up there in its working class history can’t afford a home to live in. Sam is one of them – he lives in Rotherham.
Crosspool’s working class families have gone, replaced by doctors, lawyers and accountants. BMWs and Audis are parked in driveways up and down the streets.
A butcher, greengrocer, restaurant, fish and chip shop and supermarket mean travel into the centre of Sheffield isn’t essential. Crosspool residents can still get by with what’s on their doorstep.
There was once a drinking establishment on every corner, enough for a decent pub crawl in one suburb. Just like in a lot of other English towns, though, those days are long gone.
“There aren’t enough local pubs to have a night out in Crosspool anymore,” Mr Jones said.
Regardless of the watering holes drying up, Mr Jones still rated Crosspool as the best suburb in which to make a home.
“If you’re new to the city and looking to buy a home, I’ll always recommend here,” he said.
“I was happy to bring my family up here.”
These days, many neighbours barely know each other – but that certainly isn’t the case in the Jones’ section of Cardoness Road. They are friendly with many who live nearby.
“If something happened to Jill next door, I’d go and look after her as if she was a parent,” Mr Jones said.
The community atmosphere is highlighted down at the Crosspool Tavern every Monday. A friendship dinner hosted by the pub is always a great place to meet up for a laugh.
Sheffield Lord Mayor Denise Fox has twice visited for lunch.
Tavern manager Chris Squire said it was about getting those who felt excluded together.
It’s all part of that community atmosphere.
“Everyone knows each other and everyone gets on,” he said. “It’s pretty quiet around here.”
Even quieter parts of the world are nearby. With the suburb on the fringes of Sheffield, the Peak District is just a short drive away.