History Tour of Kelham Island
As in 2017 this July the Sheffield and District Branch once again enjoyed a hot and sunny tour of Sheffield’s up and coming Kelham Island. This year we saw the western end of this former industrial area – by Ball Street Bridge and Neepsend. The tour began in Shalesmoor at the 1930s period pub The Wellington, with its original wooden bar and fittings, and tap to the local Neepsend Brewery. Then the magnificently tiled Ship Inn where we heard tales of ghosts in the cellar and small boys collecting jugs of beer from the dram shop from our local tour guide Brian Holmshaw of Sheaf Valley Heritage.
It was not all pubs: history came through a visit to the Globe Works, scene of a C19th union dispute and bombing; and the now-residential Dixon’s silvermithing works – where one million ‘Type B’ military helmets were cast for the war effort in World War One. We stood and looked out across the weir from Ball Street Bridge, ruined by the Great Sheffield flood in 1864, and re-built soon afterwards.
Community pub The Gardeners Rest was visited, and by luck the Sheffield Brewery Company, based in the old Blanco building at Albyn Works was hosting an open day as we passed, so an impromptu visit there capped off this very sunny and social day.