Great Sheffield Flood commemorated in feature wall outside city's new Lidl store
A feature wall to commemorate the Great Sheffield Flood of 1864 has been erected outside the city’s new Lidl store, built on the site of a farm where 10 Sheffielders lost their lives.
A new Lidl store opened on Stannington Road, Malin Bridge today (June 17), complete with a poignant art project from Sheffield stonemason, Steve Roche, themed around the disater which caused the deaths of more than 240 people and destroyed 5,000 homes.
The store was built on the site of Trickett’s Farm, where the adjoining farmhouse was swept away in the flood, drowning all 10 occupants.
Each of the items carved on the feature wall, including a violin, scales and a kettle, depict things of significance to local people and businesses that were lost in the widespread devastation caused by the flood.
“The items give a really interesting insight into life in mid-Victorian Sheffield,” said Steve
The feature wall, which was commissioned by Lidl, shows a Grandfather clock set to a few minutes before midnight, the time on March 11, 1864 when the wall of Dale Dyke dam collapsed, sending a raging torrent of water down the Loxley Valley and through Malin Bridge and Hillsborough.
Steve delved through the catalogue of lost items in the reparation claims archive of the Great Flood of Sheffield, which can be accessed on Sheffield Hallam University’s website, for background on the feature wall.
Among the more unusual items depicted on the feature wall were oysters, which were the subject of a claim from a Sheffield fishmonger.
“I’ve tried to include some items that people will recognise, and some that they might not,” explained Steve.
The project also features plaque with the names of the people from the farm and an explanation of the carvings.
41-year-old Steve is the stonemason behind a number of memorable public sculptures across Sheffield including the Mosborough Thumbprint Labyrinth Stones, which were based on the thumbprints of local residents including ex-miner Fred Rotherham.
Another such project is the sculpture at the Sycamore Heights housing scheme in Shiregreen, a carved boulder depicting a spinning sycamore seed which includes a poem about the scheme.
The new Malin Bridge supermarket is Sheffield’s sixth Lidl store, which was created as part of the company’s ongoing £1.3bn expansion and regeneration plans across Great Britain for 2021 and 2022.