Letter: Issues of the past, present and future

This letter sent to the Star was written by Ron Clayton, Malin Bridge, S6

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 23 July, 2019, 13:39
Packhorse bridge, Rivelin, looking peaceful sent in by Margaret Kent

I read Mike Dodgson's thoughtful letter, Star, July 13, regarding the Rivelin and traffic access over the 1775 packhorse bridge at Hollins Lane. I don't know whether Mike is a member of the long established Rivelin Valley Conservation Group but he has highlighted issues of great importance to this wonderful area and the folk who reside there, issues of the past, present and future.

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I hope he returns to his theme but first a few thoughts. This is an area rich in natural history and a place where one can get away from the stresses of 'the madding crowd' and rich in history and industrial archaelogy, on the packhorse route up Racker Way to Crosspool past the former Heavygate pub and on to the intriguingly named Mulehouse Road. Hollins and Haggs indicate the former importance of holly as animal winter feed, there is indication of Romano British activity area in the area, (when are we going to hear more from the exciting digs and research going on at Whirlow House Farm?) We have the world famous Mousehole Forge under renovation and the adjacent Loxley Valley, at one time possessed of more industrial archaelogy than any other in Sheffield but parts of it now in a sorry state, the book that myself and Mark Rodgers produced a few years regarding the Loxley did not address the traffic issue as Mike does nor the issue of regeneration/redevelopment now looming ever more on the horizon. This is giving cause for concern because of the lack of progress regarding a Sheffield Heritage Strategy, political difficulties over which I must remain impartial/silent for various reasons and the relaxing of planning regulations, finance and staffing issues. A result of this seems to be a naive hope that the safeguarding of Sheffield's remaining heritage will be best served by property developers and we can enlighten them accordingly. Echoes of the tree felling row in this vacuum perhaps?