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Of Interest

There are a large number of footpaths around the parish giving access to wonderful scenery and glimpses of the local history of the area.

Please use the following link to the Bradfield Walkers are Welcome web site, to find out about walks around Bradfield in the Peak District National Park.

Sensicall Park in Oughtibridge has some enjoyable, short but strenuous walks. A leaflet giving details of the site may be viewed by clicking on the link to the Stone to Steel web site as shown below.

Grants Scheme
The Parish Council runs a grant scheme for local constituted groups. Community Groups are encouraged to apply for funding for any projects they might be finding difficult to fund. Full details of what you can apply for can be found in the Grants Policy together with an application form on the Grants page or contact the office.

Useful contact numbers for Sheffield City Council and others
Please use the following link Sheffield City Council

Grit bins and Streets Ahead
Grit bins in most of our area are managed by Sheffield City Council's Streets Ahead and if you have any issues around the siting of existing / new bins and the filling of empty grit bins please use the following link

SCC road and pavement issues

Police Information
To find out how to contact the police and much more, please use the following link South Yorkshire Police

The Great Sheffield Flood occurred just before midnight on March 11th 1864 when the newly constructed Dale Dyke Reservoir above Low Bradfield burst causing some seven hundred million gallons of water to go down the Loxley Valley at around twenty miles per hour and up to sixty feet deep in places causing the loss of two hundred and forty people on the night, research has since found around another sixty died as a result of contracting illness in the weeks and months following the flood.

The first fatality of the flood was a two day old baby swept from its mothers arms whilst trying to escape from the cottages in Low Bradfield, the largest number of lives were lost in the Malin Bridge area where ninety five lost their life (it is thought that there were 163 living at Malin Bridge at the time. The General Cemetery in Sharrow, Sheffield is where the majority of the victims are buried although a number are buried in Chapel and Church Graveyards along the route.

Dale Dyke Reservoir was the first of three reservoirs in the Bradfield area to be constructed, Agden was in the process of being built and Damflask was only at the planning stage and all work had to be halted until the inquiry into the disaster was completed and this resulted in a complete rethink on how reservoir embankments should be constructed. When Dale Dyke Reservoir was finally completed the new embankment was built some two hundred yards inside the old reservoir was knocking around a third of the previous capacity off and resulting in the difference being absorbed by the construction of Strines Reservoir as a 'top up' for Dale Dyke. There are four stones marked C.L.O.B. which marks the centre line of original bank at Dale Dyke.

The largest loss of life in one family was the Armitage family from Stag Inn and cottages at Malin Bridge and numbered twelve, they are all interred at Loxley Chapel Graveyard in one biog grave apart from two who were never found but there names are on the headstone with a note that they were assumed to be lost in the flood.

One of the sons of the Chapman family from Little Matlock died in the flood and his body was found almost in Conisborough some seventeen miles from his home, again he and his family are all buried in Loxley Chapel Graveyard and although I know the grave location there is no family headstone.

Every year local historians and enthusiasts mark the occasion with walks, talks and sometimes exhibitions of artifacts etc.

Allotment Inspection 2021
Councillor Stephen Bennett Chair of the Parish Council visited Kaye Meadows Allotments to carry out the annual site inspection on a very warm July morning

Bus Stop Project - Stannington
Last year Loxley Primary School children painted the bus shelter near their school with funding provided by the Parish Council. Following its success the Parish Council are giving other local schools an opportunity to paint a shelter in their area. Stannington Infant School have recently painted the shelter on Uppergate Road. Children at the school were helped by Angie Turner a Teaching Assistant at the School.

Birkswood Bank

During the preparation of a management plan and schedule for Birkswood Bank which involved verifying the boundary line, it came to light that the land is not registered in the Parish Council?s name. The land was gifted some years ago to the Parish Council and it appears that confusion has arisen during the housing development stage and the land is now owned by the Crown. In order for the Parish Council to acquire ownership of the land it would first need to acquire the land from the Crown. Councillors have discussed fully the information presented by the Solicitors and due to the potential high costs involved in both legal fees and acquisition of the land they have resolved not to pursue ownership/title. The Parish Council therefore have no liability for the land at Birkswood Bank.

We have written to Sheffield City Council as Local Authority informing them of the matter.

Loxley Bus Shelter - Bus Stop Project
The Bus Stop Project was an idea that Head Teacher James Connolly at Loxley Primary School, had been thinking about for quite some time. It was such a grimy, ugly bus shelter, sitting next door to the school entrance on Rodney Hill. Mr Connolly felt it really pulled the mood of the community down, and he was determined to do something about it, possibly as a school art project.

Tasmin Torrington, one of the Teaching Assistants at Loxley Primary, has a degree in Fine Art and so used her skills to work with the children to help them design a mural for the bus stop.

Children from each year group held meetings together and came up with design suggestions and drawings, which were submitted by Mr. Connolly to Bradfield Parish Council for approval. They included beautiful scenes of the Loxley Valley, trees and fields and blue skies.

The children were very excited to get the go ahead!

During lockdown, the keyworkers' children continued to come to school while their friends stayed at home, their parents kept working in hospitals, pharmacies
transport and other essential services. These same resilient, incredible children, have painted the beautiful mural that you now see, having added a stunning rainbow to their design.

The rainbow has come to be recognised as a symbol of unity in the community, the recognition of the effort and sacrifices that the NHS, care workers, Teachers, transport workers and all other keyworkers have made over this difficult time.

As lockdown is being slowly eased and people are now starting to have some more freedom and normality, the mural will hopefully remind the community of Loxley that there is always an end to the storm, and as it blows over the valley we are left with peace beauty and hope. As the school motto scribed above the mural states, our community will get through this by Aiming High Together.

Oughtibridge Paper Mill, or to give it its official name, Spring Grove Paper Mill, first opened in 1834 and was operated by Marsh Brothers for a number of years. Papermaking was an important local industry. Of 16 mills in Sheffield, six were in Bradfield Parish.

The demand for paper came from the local metal trades which needed tissue paper for wrapping plate and silverware. Toolmakers needed oiled paper, and both had the need for coarse brown paper. The rivers Loxley, Rivelin and Upper Don all had clean, soft water for paper making. But the industry was fragile; bankruptcy and change of ownership were a frequent occurrence. Between 1834 and the arrival of the Dixons in 1871, there were at least four changes in ownership and two bankruptcies at Oughtibridge Paper Mill.

In 1870 an alarming explosion destroyed machinery installed only 18 months earlier and paper making ceased at the site. Peter and Joseph Dixon bought the mill for a moderate price in 1871, with the mill being in a state of complete disrepair. They were established papermakers and adapted the mill to focus on newsprint, this being the only product until 1936.

Their timing was good. The education act of 1870 was beginning to increase the level of literacy in the country and the cost of books and periodicals was falling. The 1890s would see circulation wars between new popular newspapers such as Daily Mail and Daily News.

Another attraction for the Dixons was the railway line across the river. In 1888 a branch line was constructed into the works from Oughty Bridge Station. This gave a double advantage, enabling newsprint to be shipped out but also bringing wood pulp in. The Dixons were one of the first papermakers to recognise the potential of wood pulp for papermaking.

The workforce had geographically dispersed origins. Skilled workers were widely travelled and some worked at more than one of the local mills, but even the unskilled workers, men and women, came from all corners of the country, plus Ireland and Scotland.

In 1967 a new company was formed between Dixons, Inveresk and Associated Tissues under the new trading name of British Tissues. The company went through a succession of name changes and ownership changes before finally closing in 2013. The following year, the site was put up for sale and purchased by a property developer who submitted a planning application to build housing on the site.

In the Parish Council Offices in Low Bradfield is a large photograph of all the employees who served the company, including all the staff from their works at West Marsh Paper Mills, Grimsby and Head Office at 56/57 Fleet Street, London. It is estimated that there are around 400 people on the photo, which was taken at an event at Hampton Court, London on Monday June 22nd 1936.
The picture is inscribed Peter Dixon & Son Ltd Mills Outing and General Holiday – with it is a souvenir programme detailing the day’s events to mark the forthcoming marriage on July 1st 1936 of William Bernard Dixon, Director and son of Mr W H Dixon plus the coming of age on June 26th 1936 of Peter John Dixon the eldest son of Cuthbert Dixon.

It goes on to say, “The directors of Peter Dixon & Son Ltd have decided to grant a general holiday to all the staff and workpeople together with an outing to London entirely at the expense of the company, wages will be paid for ordinary working time lost during the time the mills are closed.”

The Dixon family home was at Spring Grove House, Wharncliffe Side. This was demolished a number of years ago and now has a housing estate on the site.

Hutton Operation for the Raising of the School-leaving Age

The UK Government passed the Education Act 1944 this act supported the expansion of education to raise the compulsory education age to 15, one extra years schooling for all.
This act resulted in the need to accommodate an extra 168,000 pupils with extra classroom provision for each school.

The government answered the problem by designing a concrete, timber and corrugated roof flat pack delivered to 7000 schools called the Horsa Hut. These flat packs were erected within the school boundaries to accommodate the extra school year. Originally intended to last approx. 10 years as a temporary solution, with modifications and renovations, some are still being used today.

Within the Bradfield Parish Council there are six schools. The Horsa Hut existed on each site, most being demolished during School modernisations over the years, there was recently one at Oughtibridge School but this was demolished during the extensive extensions. Loxley School still have their Horsa Hut, this has been extensively refurbished and re roofed. It is still used today as a joint Nursery and After School club on a daily basis.

Wharncliffe Side School donated their Horsa Hut to the community by a Trustee deed. The Trustees rebuilt and extended the Hut into an unrecognisable building which is now the Wharncliffe Side Community Centre. Steve Buckley one of the Trustees remembers the original Horsa Hut from 1955 when he first moved into the village.
The unrecognisable Hut at Wharncliffe Side and Loxley's Hut being the last remains of the Horsa Huts from the 1940's In Bradfield Parish.

Bradfield Parish council sponsor the annual Well Blessings at St. James Church Midhopestones. This involved blessing the St James Well dedicated to the farming communities and the Potters Well situated in the village of Midhopestone, dedicated to industry.

This Well Blessing is an ancient ceremony established in the 11th century, these ceremonies held in superstitious reverie long before Anglo Saxon, Dane, or Normans came, continuing throughout the following centuries to bless the St. James and Potters Wells in Midhopestones.
The Well Blessing service occurs in September at the Grade 2 listed St James the Less church on Chapel Lane, Midhopestones.

Thomas de Barnby was Lord of the Manor of Midhope 1337 to1354 when his nephew Robert de Barnby took over. It was probably Robert who founded the church laying the foundation stones in 1360. It was originally a private Chapel for the Barnby family. After the Reformation, the family found themselves impoverished after incurring heavy fines for continuing to follow the catholic religion. They consequently sold the entire Manor.
In 1690, Godfrey Bosville of Gunthwaite Hall bought the Manor for £2256, restoring the church in 1705 and adding the bell Cupola.

The Grade 11 listed church is administered by Penistone & Thurlstone Team Ministry, retaining the 3pm service time established originally so that the farming congregation could attend between morning and evening milking.
There is reputedly a tunnel leading from the chapel to Midhope Hall which was the Manorial Home of Elias de Midhope. After speaking with the current owner of the Hall who farm the land and live in the Hall, it appears that during years of farming and gardening, 'many' dressed stones have been dug up in the direction where a tunnel could have run from the Hall towards the church - interesting.

The church has original timber, several closed pews with family names still inscribed and ascending to the upper gallery the chain is still present near the bell .

Photos courtesy of Malcolm Nunn

Midhope Church d.pdf

The Riddle of Robin of Loxley: Hunting for Robin Hood at Loxley Primary School

Scholars have spent many years debating the existence of Robin Hood, but now in a forgotten corner
of Loxley new light has been shed on an actual documented figure who potentially fits the origins of
the legendary 'Hooded Man'.

Loxley Primary School uses the land now known as Robin Wood (a totally coincidental name given
just a few years ago!) for its woodland curriculum but research is looking like it can prove that it is
or very, very close to the location of a reference given in 1637 as 'Little Haggas Croft; wherein is ye
foundacions of a cottage where Robin Hood was borne', not across the way at Normandale as has
previously been assumed for many years. This reference has long since been overlooked as it is
much later than when Robin was supposed to have lived, but is not too far removed from linking
Loxley to a man known as 'Robert Dore of Wadsley, also known as Robert Hood' who was arrested
as one of the leaders of the 1380 Peasant's Uprising in York. Robin was the traditional shortened
form of Robert. His arch-enemy (the Mayor at the time) 'a man named Gisburn (although John, not
Guy)' and his punishment: a stint in The Tower before receiving a full pardon from good King
Richard (the II in this case, not the Lionheart as tales would have us believe) two years later.

Some of this woodland shows evidence of being from antiquity, and one part backing on to Loxley
Common contains dense masses of extremely mature holly trees, an essential requirement for
peasant's pasture land which is revealed by its old Yorkshire place-name 'Haggas'. Combined with
other newly discovered 'on the ground' evidence, Loxley teacher and Archaeological Sciences
graduate Dan Eaton feels that the school's work may hold the key to unlocking a long-lost riddle. He

'Very little has ever been recorded of Loxley in the Middle Ages prior to 1400; no-one has ever really
established where the original settlement was at this time, and certainly on flatter ground close to
the river would the most obvious suggestion, not way out on the slopes above Rodney Hill. This side
of the valley going towards Bradfield was a hunting area known as Loxley Chase with a region known
as Loxley Common (which was probably the worst land available in the area) allocated for peasant
usage. This was conjoined to Wadsley Common and a stone'[s throw in the bigger picture from
Little Haggas Croft so the two areas would have had indistinguishable boundaries. Landowners
cared about where their own land started or finished, not where common lands met. It is perfectly
acceptable that Robert Dore could have been born just this side of the 'border' rather than the better
historically established Wadsley. A legacy of oral history passed through several generations of
sedentary families could easily have kept this locational knowledge alive until John Harrison's visit in
1637. Ask yourself this: if Loxley is the earliest recorded birthplace of Robin Hood, why would anyone
have ever heard of such a backwater locale at the time if there wasn't some truth in it?'

There is still much to be done, but hopefully Dan and Loxley Primary will be able to continue to
untangle the Gordian Knot that is the origins of Robin Hood in the coming months.

Covid 19 - useful links
Staying at Home Guidance
Click here

Statement from the Leader of Sheffield City Council
Click here

Closure of Face to Face Services - SCC
Click here

Keeping Healthy
Follow the links below for information from Sheffield Public Health Director, Greg Fell about social distancing as a family and keeping healthy during these uncertain times.

Guidance for Parents

Healthy Minds

Parish Councillor elected as MP
December 2019 as well as bringing incessant rain week after week also saw the first December General Election since 1923 and one of our Parish Councillors being elected as MP

Bradfield Parish Council boundaries are split between parts of two parliamentary constituencies, Penistone and Stocksbridge being one, this covers the Parish wards of Oughtibridge, Wharncliffe Side and Midhopestones.

Cllr Miriam Cates who has represented the Parish Ward of Oughtibridge since 2015, was duly elected as Penistone & Stocksbridge MP.

Cllr Miriam Cates has been a major contributor on Parish Council business since she was first elected in 2015, always proactive and always bringing pertinent considered views across all Parish business.

On Friday 17th. January Miriam Cates MP visited Bradfield Parish Council offices and met with Chair of the Parish Council Cllr Stephen Bennett, and Chair and Mayor of Stocksbridge Town Council Cllr. Catherine Ward, together with the Clerk of Bradfield and Stocksbridge Teresa Bisatt and the Assistant Clerk at Bradfield Pam Burgoyne.

Cllr Bennett stated he was delighted to welcome Miriam back to the Parish Council Offices and very pleased that Miriam had decided to continue as Parish Councillor, Miriam maintains that her new responsibility as constituency MP must also continue with active involvement at local level.
We all look forward to continuing to work with Miriam and send her our best wishes for her extended career as MP

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