Sheffield FridayNightRide

we have nothing to lose but our chains

2011/07/15 Bonkers

Ride report: Great ride, 34 or 35 nutty riders in rain and shine, up hills and down dales, through Pitsmoor, Fir Vale, Southey Green, Parson Cross, Beeley Woods, Oughtibridge, Middlewood, Hillsborough (stop at The New Barrack Tavern) and then up into Netherthorpe and over to Broomhall, Sharrow, and finally Nether Edge where the final drink was had in the Union. Some got lost, some had punctures, pub had a dirty old blues band and fine beer, some good stories told by riders for each other and generally organised chaos and good fun! Didn’t do a ride report straight away and its now more than a month away so to add to the notes above; we told each other that there had been a farm at the Fir Vale Workhouse (now NGH) so the inmates could be as self sufficient as possible, that the presence of asylum wards at the Workhouse had contributed to the lack of development along the western side of Barnsley Rd, that it was a professional joke to ask neophyte medics on placement at Middlewood Hospital to “meet at the Oedipus complex”!

Next Sheffield FridayNightRide
Fri 15 July 2011
Start 6.30 pm
Meet at Barkers Pool

As it is another Friday with a full moon let us acknowledge the sensitive subject of lunacy and madness and ride around Sheffield where people labelled as lunatics and mad have lived, been kept or been treated and reflect on how definitions of madness have shifted and changed but never been abandoned. (You have to be a bit nutty to come on these rides) (Full Moon 15 Jul)

Asylums and lunatics have been situated in the old workhouses at Nether Edge and Northern General Hospital, Middlewood Hospital and other locations have been used, e.g. Mount Pleasant House in Sharrow, a site at Malin Bridge and of course psychiatric treatment still goes on. So this could be quite a tour!

Map with places and route at (this map has an elevation profile) and a map at Google maps has all the PoI with some photos too – see below

View SFNR Bonkers ( in a larger map

Heads up! All will all be on on roads and paths – path through Beeley Woods not suitable for ultra skinny tyres – going to Middlewood via Beeley Woods and Oughtibridge and coming back into town along Middlewood Rd – its a nice summer run

Historically Sheffield hospitals and hostels mainly for patients with mental illness have been: Aston Hall Institution (later Aughton Court), Aston; Girls’ Hostel, Scott Road (later Scott Road Hostel), Sheffield; Thundercliffe Grange, Kimberworth; Grenoside Institution (and Annexe), later Hospital; Hollow Meadows Institution at Malin Bridge; Wharncliffe Emergency Hospital; ‘Wadsley Mental Hospital’ later Middlewood Hospital; Wales Court MD Institution, Kiveton; and Woodhouse Girls’ Hostel. Later additions were: from 1957 the Yews at Worrall (still being used), Oughtibridge, adapted to provide a psychiatric day hospital in association with Middlewood Hospital; from 1959 Commonside Hostel, a former hospital adapted in 1958/59 as a hostel for working male mental defectives; and from 1972/73 St Joseph’s Hospital.
The treatment of the mad and definitions of madness are a fascinating subject and an enduring debate and topic. Sociological concepts, like deviance, have been created and then discredited and the rise of clinical practice has seen changes in types and definitions of mental illness but probably a steady increase in both. The boundaries of madness are always subject to debate but it would be a mistake to think that if the boundaries are uncertain then there are no mad people or a person cannot have periods of madness. And for many of our families the rise in the diagnosis and incidence of Alzheimers has made all of us aware and thoughtful about mentality and personality.

There’s more to this than you think; check out – amazing for the range of stuff being done wrt mental health in Sheffield and God bless the NHS!
Sheffield”s Mental Health Week coming up soon get to Fargate on 29 July for a mental health fair.

Come ride under the full moon and see how you feel!