Walkley History

News, events and discoveries of the Walkley Ways, Walkley Wars history project.

Walkley History 2014

Here is a report on the activities and events of the Walkley Ways, Walkley Wars project in 2014.

First World War


The Walkley Community Centre project remembered the centenary of the start of the First World War with a number of events. Research on the nine men of the Walkley Reform Club (now Walkley Community Centre) who fought and died in the First World War, and who are commemorated in memorial windows, was completed and published on the Walkley History website.


The Nine Men, Nine Lives, One Great War exhibition was created from this research. It was displayed in Beeches window during the Walkley Festival. A touring version was displayed at Ruskin Park Fun Day, Gerry’s, St Mary’s Church and the Centre.

The memorial windows were successfully restored, with four photographs and a sketch based on a newspaper photograph replacing the faded photographs of five of the men.

90 Resized

The rededication service for the restored windows was held on Sunday 3rd August, the centenary of the eve of the start of the First World War. Over 50 people attended including 25 relatives, all the Historians who researched the men, the Lord Mayor and Mayoress of Sheffield, and the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire. The local newspapers covered the restoration, research and the rededication ceremony. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yJ_ZgCjRCs

The permanent exhibition was hung beside the memorial windows as an ongoing display about the nine men.


A storytelling event led by Simon Heywood and based on the nine men was held at Walkley Community Centre in November and was attended by 50 people.

Oral History

50 oral history interviews have now been completed. Interviews and transcripts are continuing. A number of new volunteers joined the project, including history students from the University of Sheffield.

Two of our interviewees died during the year but their words and memories live on.

Walkley History online

We have published over 120 pages on the Walkley History website, which has attracted comments from current and ex-residents from as far afield as Australia. Ex-residents have made contact with each other and found out information by contacting the website.

7548 visitors to the website looked 44,218 times at site pages.

The Walkley History Facebook group has 160 members.

There are the:

Flickr photo archive https://www.flickr.com/photos/walkleyhistory/,

AudioBoom audio archive https://audioboom.com/users/1354533/boos and

YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/WalkleyHistory/videos.

Walkley Memory Map

nicola memory map Star

The interactive memory map was launched in May. It includes interview clips, photos and historical excerpts in a clickable Google map. The local newspapers covered this in depth too. http://mapmaker.donkeymagic.co.uk/map/24758/

Walkley Witness

The history students were part of the History Department’s involvement in the project. Students and staff helped by creating an online archive of digitised WAG material, including digitising large format material such as maps volunteers were unable to scan. The archive is on the University’s Witness website – http://www.witness.group.shef.ac.uk/walkley-action-group-archive/ – and a version will appear on the Walkley History website soon.

As part of the collaboration, the University re-ran the Walkley slum clearance panel discussion with Veronica, Narendra Bajaria and Geoff Green – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYz679O6mLo

History IS Here

We held five History IS Here talks during the year attended by a total of 150 people.

Looking Forward to 2015

The project ends in December 2015. By then we will have published the book(let) summarising all of the research and the DVD of oral history clips and photos.

The History IS Here talks will continue.

This year’s exhibition is about the history of Walkley Reform Club and the people it was founded to reform. It is scheduled for the end of the year with a permanent version identified for installation in the Centre – the nature, size and location to be agreed by the Management Committee.

In November we will have one or two celebration events at the Centre to launch the book, DVD and exhibition as well as thank all volunteers and participants.


About Bill Bevan

Bill Bevan is an archaeologist, writer, photographer and heritage interpreter.

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This entry was posted on January 13, 2015 by in News.
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