Reports in the Star concerning the possible demolition of the old Coroner’s court in Nursery Street reminded me of the time in late 1950s when the building or part of it was being used as a youth court and my appearance there.
When three of my school classmates and myself, aged around 13, were playing three card brag for pennies on an upturned tea chest at the bottom of the steep area of rough land that runs from Langsett Road towards Penistone Road, referred to locally as ‘the tip’.
As we were playing, we became aware of a man approaching from the Rawson Street area, we knew it was illegal to gamble outside so quickly removed the coins out of sight.
The man asked us what game we were playing and was told brag. He asked us if we were playing for money and we told him no. He then told us he was a detective and had been looking down at us through binoculars from the backyard of Wilcocks furniture shop on Langsett Road playing for money. He took our names and addresses. He could have given us a just a warning.
A few days later while I was out playing in the neighbourhood my father had a visit from the police. When I got back home he was sat at the table and told me to sit down next to him, asking me if I was in any trouble with the police. I said no, he then smacked me across the face, not for being in trouble but for lying to him.
All four of us lads got summoned, we had the morning off school to attend the youth court with our mothers. We were fined 10 shillings each and told not to bother the court again.
When we came out our mothers went in a nearby pub but we didn’t want to go back to school in the afternoon so went home for our fishing tackle and enjoyed an afternoon’s angling at Dam Flask.
Plan will be undermined
If demolition of the Old Coroner’s Court on Nursery Street begins as threatened on Monday, it will completely undermine the council’s much-trumpeted city centre masterplan, This is Sheffield.
If the council do not take steps to prevent it, the credibility of their claims to protect the city’s heritage will be in tatters.
Almost all of the Masterplan’s heritage content is in the chapter on Castlegate. A map of a proposed Conservation Area is shown neatly incorporating the court, so the council’s intention to protect the building is clear.
Heritage campaigners believe that there is a simple step the council could take to force Firestone to apply for planning permission and to have the heritage value properly considered.
Neither party can claim that this is a departure from existing council policy, unchanged since the court was identified as a heritage asset by the Urban Design Compendium in 2005.
There has been an ominous silence from decision-makers so far. If they do nothing, it will make a mockery of Julie Dore’s claim in that same Masterplan that “The best global cities use their heritage and history to establish energetic, 21st century versions of themselves”, and establish Sheffield as not of the best, not energetic, and mired in the outdated destructive obsessions of the 20th century.
J Robin Hughes
Towngate Road, Worrall, Sheffield, S35
Very quiet on the subject
So another piece of Sheffield’s history is about to be demolished by some developer to erect more apartments.
Just why can’t this 100- year-old building be incorporated into the new?
This city is fast becoming a vast apartment and flat complex despite the wishes of the people of Sheffield.
I have not seen one building erected in the last 50 years that I can truly say is a lovely building.
The area where St Vincent’s housed so many people is now a student village.
Just when are the people of Sheffield going to be considered for new housing? Never.
Seems that some of the top people in the Firestone Development Company are based in Eire and Manchester. Why should non-Sheffielders be allowed to submit plans to demolish the old Coroner’s Court just because it doesn’t suit their needs?
What’s the council doing about it? They seem very quiet on the subject.
Gleadless Valley, S14
The city of old relics
EB Warris in connection with recent concerns about the imminent demolition of the Old Coroner’s Court refers to Sheffield being known ‘as the city of old relics’.
Wish it was EB, it would be a darn site more interesting place than it is. I find it ironic that we have an exhibition of Lego models when we have the real thing shooting up around us. As for another type of ‘old relic’ well we all know where to find enduring examples of those in this city. As I approach me 66th year, I’m getting to be one of ’em. Things don’t change in Sheffield in some respects.
Do the right thing, Jared
I agree fully with Jayne’ Grayson’s conclusion, especially as I am one of Mr O’Mara’s constituents.
It’s unfortunate that he continues to have medical problems, but it would seem that perhaps he shouldn’t have stood as an MP in the first place.
But now that he no longer represents the party he stood for, surely he owes it to those Labour supporters who voted for him that he stands down?
Indeed wouldn’t it be the correct moral action so that Hallam can be truly represented by the “first past the post” majority of the Hallam electorate?
Come on, Jared, do the right thing!
The licence payers’ cash
It’s been reported that the BBC has agreed to pay Sir Cliff Richards lawyers bill to the tune of £850,000.
What they really meant to say was they would be paying the costs with licence payers’ money and not from the deep pockets of Tony Hall, top man at the Beeb.