Penistone Street Views

Ward Street
The first picture is of 'Old Ward Street', which used to have a tennis court and poplar trees on the bend. Next shot is looking half-way up Ward Street. The red bricked houses on the left were previously council-owned until the 'right-to-buy' was introduced in the 1980s. The newer houses on the right are social housing, replacing the earlier 'Airey' prefabricated houses, which were council houses. In those days, most people rented their homes and they were not called 'social housing' unitl much later. Just off Ward Street is is mostly old people's bungalows on Dransfield Avenue, leading to Victoria Street.

The third picture is of the nearby Weaver's Court, which was built after 'Airey' houses on Wilson Avenue were demolished. Weavers Court is classed as being on Unwin Street now. It is a quiet area with sheltered housing, retirement housing and supported housing for older people, with a central area for social activities. The fourth picture is the lower part of Ward Street where it joins Green Road. Ward Street used to be a busy rat-run for cars going to and from David Brown's foundry just to the left, around the corner on Green Road. New houses arrived next to Rose Hill but the fourth picture is from 2006, not long before they were built.

Green Road
Bottom left is Green Road, opposite the old David Browns steelworks entrance and not far from Southgate and Westgate. Cubley Brook goes under Green Road near the junction with Ward Street on its way to the River Don at Spring Vale and this area has been prone to flooding in heavy rain. A particularly bad flood in the sixties saw the water rise half-way up the raised pathway on the left of the picture, to about where the roof of the parked car is. The 2007 floods did not rise quite as far.

Old Ward StreetWard StreetWeaver's CourtThe last patch of grass
Green RoadGreen RoadSaunderson GardensSaunderson Gardens

The next view looks in the other direction, towards Waddie's Shop with the long red-brick wall of David Brown's, before it was demolished and more new houses built. The road climbing up to the right used to have an old, red-bricked chip shop until it was demolished perhaps in 2006, with the road continuing to Castle Dam and Roughbirchworth. Older locals will remember 'Winnie's Chip Shop' after the local character, Winnie Adams. She would bite a piece off a chip to test the cooking, then the other part went back in the pan. People avoided eating half chips. After Winnie retired, it was taken over by two men. One was Geof Beard and the chip shop became nicknamed 'Chippie Geof's'.

The last two pictures are Barratt Homes which were built in 2007 on the site of the old Hitech X-Ray machine, which had been housed in a huge, square concrete building to protect people from the powerful X-Rays. It was used to detect flaws in metal castings. With new houses going up, this area is now called Saunderson Gardens (more like Kensington Gardens). An odd name, given that they do not appear to have any gardens. Saunderson was a famous, blind mathemetician born in Thurlstone in 1682.

Towards Spring Vale
Carrying on along Green Road, past Waddies' shop and you come upon another railway bridge, which now has traffic lights (but not in this picture). The Junior School children used to walk under the bridge to Spring Vale school. In the 1950s and 1960s, there was a wonderful, sulphurous smell of steam engines and an actual working gas lamp on the bridge's inner wall, with a ticking clockwork gas timer. It was probably the last gas lamp left in Penistone. The Victoria Reign post box on Waddies' shop is shown here. The shop closed in the 'naughties'.

Green Rd. Bridge VR Post Box, Green Rd. Birdcage Walk
Green Acres WMC, Springvale

Top-right picture is the view down Green Road to Sheffield Road junction from just after the bridge. This row was nicknamed 'Birdcage Walk' as cage-like railings used to adorn each house entrance although most have been removed now. From the same viewpoint but looking left is a large housing estate (bottom-left) with the silly name of Green Acres. The plans for these 47 houses on the old Cammel-Laird site were passed in 1999, with the houses being built soon after.

Just beyond that is took the last, rather sad picture, which was taken in 2004. This was the Penistone & District Working Men's Club. The original club was a large green building, opened Saturday, 17th January 1925 and re-used a building which had previously been used as a cinema by the Woodhead tunnel workmen in the 1950s. The old club was painted green but had to be demolished around 1958, as it became rotten.

The replacement purpose-built club became a thriving and popular institution in the area, with comfortable seating, games room, regular entertainment and ample car parking. the Penistone WMC club trips were also legendary in the area. It could fill eight railway coaches on its chartered seaside trips and was almost too long for Penistone Station. The children were always given free pop and crisps for the trips. It closed some time in the 1990s and was boarded up and abandoned until it was demolished in 2005. Part of the new junior school was been built on its site. See my Spring Vale reminiscences page.

Green Road Development
The wallWith the relentless expansion of house-building in Penistone, some old familiar views have gone forever. One of these was David Brown's red-brick wall that ran along much of Green Road. A hole appeared in 2007 and it was demolished in 2009, with the factory building behind revealed to the world. New houses sprang up, such as the 'Kensington Gardens' area and red-bricked houses opposite Waddies' shop.

Ex-pats and older Penistonians will be unsettled at how the landscape changed. The old wall was a special feature of Green Road that a good many Spring Vale alumni will remember, as it stood for many decades.

The next view is the 2007 hole in the wall in all its glory, from a viewpoint not far from Chippie Geof's old red-brick chip shop. Incidentally, that's another change. The old chip shop has gone and a house has taken in its place.


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