Soon-to-be launched Blitz project impresses war veterans

War veterans gave their approval to a new Blitz heritage trail to be launched in Sheffield while in the city to take part in the Invictus Team UK Trials.

Monday, 5th August 2019, 11:44 am
Updated Thursday, 15th August 2019, 2:17 am
The Sheffield Blitz App Author Neil Anderson outside Sheffield City Hall which still bears shrapnal marks from the blitz

They were able to road test the trail, at sites where interpretation plaques will tell the story of the German attacks that changed the face of the city in December 1940.

A Sheffield Blitz phone app, to provide a digital version of the walk, was trialled too. It is voiced by the last surviving Blitz fireman, Doug Lightning, who died recently.

The Sheffield Blitz seventy-fifth project, delivered in partnership with The Star, will launch the trail on the anniversary of the attacks, December 12, along with a new book.

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A campaign to create a lasting legacy to the German attacks started four years ago.

In 2017, the city’s first permanent exhibition to the attacks was unveiled.

A visitor centre inside the city’s National Emergency Services Museum, has attracted double the number of visitors since its opening.

Once complete, the trail will take walkers on a tour around some of the prominent Blitz sites in the city centre.

They include Sheffield Library which was the hub of the relief effort; Sheffield City Hall which still bears shrapnel marks; Devonshire Green where many lives were lost; Atkinsons Department Store that was completely destroyed, and Bramall Lane, that also suffered badly.

The Sheffield Blitz attacks killed and wounded over 2,000 people, and made nearly a tenth of the city’s population homeless.

‘Sheffield’s Date With Hitler’ author Neil Anderson started campaigning nine years ago for more commemoration of the attacks in Sheffield.

In November 2015, he and others secured £81,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help create a lasting legacy.

Further donations from a number of people and sources helped bring the project to fruition.