Sheffield FridayNightRide

we have nothing to lose but our chains

2008/09/19 Social Housing

The next Friday Night Ride will be

Friday Sep 19 2008

the theme is

Social housing in Sheffield from Almshouses to Housing Trusts. 

Meet 6.00 to 6.30 p.m. for 6.45 p.m. start

Tudor Square outside the Old Monk/Ruskins

– at least one can have a drink before we start – as well as during ….

Finish late back in the City Centre or peel off when you like ..

Bring lights!!


I anticipate about 10-15 miles cycling in all taking in little known parts and buildings of Sheffield and public parks as we traverse the centuries and the housing policies.

Probably city centre to Park Hill flats, Shrewsbury Estate (almshouses), up through Norfolk Park to Arbourthorne and 70s housing and the new ecohouses, then over to Skye Edge, Manor Park and Manor, Graves Trust Houses on Prince of Wales Road and back through Wybourn to city centre and then up through town to top of Brook Hill for Edwards St flats, over to Netherthorpe, down through site of old Broomspring flats cross road to Hanover flats and the up Ecclesall Rd to George Woofinden Almshouses at Hunters Bar roundabout – Firth Houses at Nether green may be a pedal too far!

Social stops as and when

Health, Education and Housing were all part of the original plans of the welfare state so that all could be well, educated and sheltered. This ride should help us to see how the establishment of Sheffield has responded in providing housing (which has always been the cinderella of social policies).

Map at,-1.464057&spn=0.011367,0.027466&z=15

Ride report SheffieldFNR Social Housing from Almshouses to Housing Trusts

14 nightriders gathered in Tudor Square and set off via town centre to South St view of the refurbishment of the last 50s listed Park Hill flats and across the roads the Hyde Park flats and then up  round the corner to the oldest charitable housing in Sheffield, The Shewsbury estate (17th C foundation, rebuilt early 19C) then back out along Norfolk Rd past the 70s additions to the estate and up through Norfolk Park to the 21st C eco-houses on Park Grange Rd to view the solar panels, wood framed buildings etc.  Back down to 70s housing on Skye Edge and through the footpaths to the top end of the 30s Wybourn estate much to the amazement and acclaim of local residents who couldn’t quite believe the peloton they were seeing.  Out to Manor Park with 50s houses and maisonettes and through the Manor 50s and 30s houses to Prince of Wales Rd which we cycled up passed all the thinned out estate until we reached the Edwardian Graves Trust Houses Trust – perhaps J E Graves needs a ride of his own? 


Accosted by a group of boys on bikes doing wheelies up and across the dual carriageway who couldn’t quite understand what we were doing and offered to guide us back to town as we were definitely ‘strangers’.  So we cut the last loop in the Manor out and zipped down the dual carriageway again to pick up Hastilar Rd and then Harborough Avenue where we waited for those we lost who we met eventually at the bottom of Manor Lane whilst the main group gazed at the illuminated Bernard Rd incinerator and chatted about recycling and incineration.  Then back down the TPT on Maltravers Rd where a voice in a rich Yorkshire accent boomed as the peloton swooshed down the hill – “Bloody hell, I’ve heard of nightriders but this is ridiculous!”


Back past the Hyde Park flats – late 50s refurbished late 80s and then into town – Mark fixed Sarosh’s bike whilst we all advised and then onto the Grapes where we could park the bikes and take a couple of pints on board – again people absolutely fascinated by the appearance of nightriders – do you think this is getting like performance art? 


Last 5 nightriders took off to see the 20s Edward St flats which looked amazing as we rode through the internal courtyard and out through the semicircular arch and under the ring road to visit the 60s Netherthorpe flats (just refurbished) and then through the University grounds down into Broomhall and visit the 90s housing trust estate where the 60s (notorious) Broomhall flats used to be and listened to Sarosh’s story about being there when the decision was made to pull them down, then back under the ring road to look at 18th C Hanover Square which is now housing trust houses and then through the 60s Hanover Estate and up Ecclesall Rd to finish at the rustic George Woofinden Almshouses with the Porter rushing through the grounds. 


Finish there – Mick, Edward, Chris, Richard and Sarosh split and Edward and Mick went for fish and chips on Sharrow Vale Rd opposite the Lescar and then rode to their respective homes


That’s it. I loved it – a brilliant ride, you’re all good company.  I  felt great the next day and then drove to London and spent the Saturday fixing friends’ bikes and Sunday helped marshal the Lewsiham and the Greenwich Cyclists into the London Freewheel which was brill – should we do this in Sheffield? – and returned north of the river to Woolwich and back into Greenwich having walked through the foot tunnel under the Thames.