The Burngreave of my childhood (1960s and 1970s)
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I was born in 1965 and lived at 32 Petre Street until 1976, with my brother Patrick and three sisters, Veloria, Glenroy and Doreen. A three bedroom terraced house with no bathroom and an outside toilet, we had our baths in the kitchen. We were well known as we were one of very few West Indian or black faces living in that area at the time! My brother Patrick still lives in Burngreave and is a strong member of the community.
Burngreave has seen many changes, too numerous to mention, some good, some bad.
It's really nice to see that the Vestry Hall missed the bulldozer and is being restored to its former glory. This was a well used building. I remember lots of wedding receptions been held there in the late '70s and early '80s. The Seventh Day Adventist church, now situated at the top of Andover Street, used to occupy the Vestry Hall every Saturday for worship. I was a reluctant member of the congregation. I also remember the original library which stands at the Gower Street/Ellesmere Road roundabout (now a mosque) and the halal butcher on the corner of Earsham Street and Ellesmere Road actually being a bank, TSB I think.
I often return to Burngreave to see family who live in the area and to go to 'The Mangla' restaurant on Spital Hill. Sometimes, when I mention to friends who have never been here, they say they would like to go 'but isn't it in a dodgy area?.' Some people feel intimidated by the area's reputation but this is unfounded and it is really no better or worse than many areas in Sheffield. Burngreave Road and Barnsley Road have some of the most beautiful houses in Sheffield, one of the best kept secrets of the area. Burngreave has its problems but it also has a lot to offer if only some of the people living there and people from outside would realise it.
Written by Errol Edwards, October 2006.