Help to uncover Sheffield’s wartime secrets

Wartime anti-aircraft masts erected over the Strines reservoir
Wartime anti-aircraft masts erected over the Strines reservoir

A new project aims to uncover the secrets of the Dungworth and Bradfield area of Sheffield in the Second World War.

A series of free events are being held in the coming weeks to encourage people to come forward with memories and artefacts and find out more about how they can get involved.

More than 5,000 troops were billeted in the area as defence forces.

The study aims to uncover the roles of Dale Dyke and the other nearby dams. They were key strategic points and had high wires constructed around their circumference in a bid to stop low-level bombing as planes headed for the armament factories in the East End.

Project manager Richard Godley said: “The role of the nearby Derwent Dams has passed into legend via the Dambusters story. But very little is known about the part played by the dams in this area.

“They were a massively strategic resource and were surrounded by high wire and gun installations.

“We also would like to find out more about what it was like to live here during the war, how the media portrayed the war effort and how the billeted troops interacted with the local community that were deployed as defence forces.”

The project is particularly keen to hear from anyone that has artefacts or photographs they’d be willing to share, has personal histories of Dungworth or Bradfield and district people who fought and died, knows anyone who was involved in defending the dams and reservoirs or knows where any installations were located.

Dungworth and Bradfield District Heritage Group were awarded £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the work as well as support from Bradfield Parish Council. The first events are at Dungworth Village Hall, Main Road, 9.30am-12.30pm, September 12, and 12.30pm-4pm, October 12, plus a drop-in session at Stannington Library, 1.30pm-6pm, September 17. Otherwise, contact Richard Godley on 07854 646742 or email Dungworthheritagegroup@gmail.com