RETRO: Northern suburbs are brought to book

Cast members of Oliver at Angram Bank School in 1974
Cast members of Oliver at Angram Bank School in 1974
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For centuries they were three distinct communities.

But now Ecclesfield, Chapeltown and High Green are part of an almost continuous suburban built-up area on the northern fringes of Sheffield.

The crossroads Chapeltown in 1920s

The crossroads Chapeltown in 1920s

Although surrounded by fields and woodland, they were for much of the last two centuries not rural communities but centres of industry.

Coal mining, ironstone mining, iron making, nail making, file making, engineering and chemicals production (Izal disinfectant) were all important.

The communities also have a rich cultural and social heritage including hospital parades, local carols and hand-bell ringing.

Joan and Mel Jones have put together a book of old photographs of the three areas that bring to life some of their vivid histories.

Mel is a well-known local author and broadcaster. He is the author/editor of 80 books and between 1998 and 2010 did more than 250 live local history shows on BBC Radio Sheffield with hosts Tony Capstick and Roni Robinson.

Mel is a landscape historian and his two books Sheffield’s Woodland Heritage and Rotherham’s Woodland Heritage were used as the basis for a successful £1.6m Heritage Lottery Fund bid in 1999 to restore 35 ancient woodlands in South Yorkshire.

Joan is secretary of the Chapeltown & High Green Archive, a voluntary group committed to keeping alive the rich heritage of the local patch.

This selection of around 180 fascinating photographs from the thousands of photographs in the collection of the Chapeltown and High Green Archive provides a comprehensive visual history of the three settlements.

The photographs and informative captions will be of interest to long-established residents and relative newcomers alike.

Mel and Joan Jones have written extensively about the local history of South Yorkshire and are the authors of more than 25 books on the local history of the area which is the subject of this book.

They are the authors of Ecclesfield, Chapeltown & High Green Through Time (2009), also published by Amberley Publishing.