Call for memorial on site of former pub caught up in the Great Sheffield Flood

The Great Sheffield Flood should be remembered with a memorial at a new development in the city, says a local historian.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 2:49 pm

Three years ago councillors approved outline plans to refurbish Hillsborough Shopping Precinct with new shops and affordable apartments.

The plans focus on the site of the former Old Blue Ball pub next to the arcade of shops bordering Bradfield Road, Middlewood Road and Proctor Place.

The shopping centre closest to Bradfield Road will be partially demolished to create a five storey building with ground floor shops and 77 apartments.

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The site.

Local historian Ron Clayton says the Old Blue Ball had occupied the site since at least 1824 and featured in the Great Sheffield Flood of 1864. It was demolished in 2017.

He said: “The building itself was a feature of Hillsborough and Owlerton and was unique because of its location on what was the village green of Owlerton.

“It was one of the oldest remaining buildings in the area and is a prominent image incorporated in the flood photographic archives.

“Some years ago Stones Brewery arranged for plaques, designed by myself in conjunction with Hillsborough Community Development Trust, to be fixed to the Ball and the nearby Shakespeare pub.

“These were part of the Sheffield Flood Heritage Trail which is being developed across the city. The plaque was removed from the pub before demolition and has been renovated.

“The forthcoming Lidl at the bottom of Stannington Road will feature artwork relating to the flood so it seems highly appropriate that the plaque and images of the Old Blue Ball be incorporated in the new Hillsborough development.”

Mr Clayton said he had hoped to get the support of the architects and developers, the planning department, local councillors and MP Gill Furniss.

The city recently commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Great Sheffield Flood on March 11.

At least 240 people died after the poorly constructed Dale Dyke Dam at Bradfield collapsed and flood water swept through Bradfield, the Loxley Valley, Malin Bridge, Hillsborough, the Wicker and the city centre. Five thousand homes and businesses were left under water.