Firshill and Pitsmoor Local History Group

Firshill History Group
Firshill History Group

Story: Marion Graham

We are a small group of people who live on Firshill estate in Sheffield.

When Adult Education offered to provide a tutor for any courses which might be of interest to people living in the area, the estate opted for IT lessons and the formation of a group of people interested in local history. For about a year we had help from the tutor, John Hopkins, who pointed us in the right direction for researching the history of Firshill and Pitsmoor. We included ‘Pitsmoor’ in the title of our group because many of our members (we started off with about 22) had been born and spent most of their lives in the Pitsmoor area – now generally referred to as Burngreave – and so most of their early memories were about Pitsmoor.

A close community

Firshill estate was built in the 1970s and lots of people were moved from the Ellesmere, Petre Street and Carwood areas, to the new flats and houses at Firshill. So, at that time many of the people who came to Firshill already knew each other, having lived in quite a close community. They had attended the same schools, married in the same churches and raised their families around the same time. Lots of the men worked in the same local steelworks and factories and had spent their leisure time together in the local pubs. And, of course, they had gone through World War 2 together – the men in the armed forces and the women ‘keeping the home-fires burning’.

At the Whitby Museum
At the Whitby Museum

So, when our History Group began, we just reminisced about old times and when we were young. We spent lots of time chatting and recollecting days gone by – we are champions at talking! We were encouraged by the tutor to bring in old photographs and other items to stir memories. We ended up with a huge collection of really old pictures and stories. Then we thought it would be good to get some of our recollections down on paper – so that they would not be lost completely. Hence our first venture into publishing – “Down Memory Lane” – consisted of a mixed selection of reminiscences about living in Firshill and Pitsmoor from the 1920s onwards.

Recording the past

Flushed with success at actually producing that journal, it seemed natural to make the next step a record of our time at school, so that today's children would realise what they had missed! Our “Schooldays” booklet followed and was very well-received. We still couldn’t stop chatting at our weekly gathering and the result was a third journal “Do you remember…” – another mixed collection of memories widely circulated amongst our members and their families – our contribution to posterity! Some of our articles have been reproduced in the Sheffield Weston Park Museum. And, not to be left out of modern technology, we also have several stories in the BBC People’s War website. We were also involved in a local project, supported by the Museums and Libraries Department which resulted in the publication of a comprehensive book of memories of people and places in the Burngreave (Pitsmoor) area of Sheffield – ‘Burngreave Voices’.

So, maybe others of our and following generations might like to read some of our reminiscences. Our stories are primarily about the lives of the people in Firshill and Pitsmoor, rather than the physical history of the area and we hope they might prove interesting and/or amusing and stir a few memories. Maybe we will include some articles in future issues of The Messenger.

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The content on this page was added to the website by Derrick Okrah on 2009-07-16 21:10:33.
The content of the page was last modified by Jamie Marriott on 2009-07-20 16:26:15.

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