The Fifties: When smoke got in your eyes

Smoke scene Sheffield 1954
Smoke scene Sheffield 1954

Plans to introduce a mandatory 60mph speed limit on the M1 between Junction 28 at Mansfield and Junction 35a are due to concerns about reducing air pollution.

Here is a reminder of the days when there wasn’t much clean air in the East End of Sheffield and the locality where the motorway now runs.

Though Sheffield was famous for its factory smog, it was realised that most smoke pollution came from domestic coal fires rather than industrial processes.

And so in 1956, the Clean Air Act established ‘smokeless zones’ in which only carbon-efficient fuels could be burned and by 1972 the whole of the city was subject to the regulations. These days the concern is about greenhouse gas emissions from ever-increasing road traffic.