Discover how a century of change has affected these Sheffield areas

Take a trip back in time and see a Sheffield airfield as it was in the 1920s with a special event this weekend.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 3:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 3:17 pm

Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to funds raised by National Lottery players, the From RFC Airfield to City Suburb: A Century of Change project has been discovering the heritage of the local area around Meadowhead, Norton and Greenhill.

This Saturday October 16, from 10.30am until 3.30pm, organisers will be holding an exhibition at the Sheffield Transport Club with themed displays and the opportunity to see the flight simulation film of the airfield and area as it was in the 1920s.

The exhibition will reveal the changes that have taken place over the past 100 years which started when the area around Norton Lane and Dyche Lane was chosen as a Royal Flying Corps landing ground in 1916.

RFC Airfield at Sheffield transport Social Club, Meadowhead. Frank Donnelly and John Grayson look over old pictures of the airfield taken by John's father William

The effects of that decision have been far reaching and accelerated the development of the residential area and the way the area looks today.

The presence of the airfield and repair depot after the end of WW1 provided buildings that could be used for industry and housing on the site, for example at Painted Fabrics Ltd.

Some were sold and moved to be used for sports pavilions and meeting rooms, for example the original sports pavilions at the Sheffield Transport Club one of which was also used by the BBC as a radio relay station.

Change has continued but there are a few constants such as Norton Hall, the heart of old Greenhill, Jordanthorpe House and the petrol station by Meadowhead roundabout.

Sheffield Transport Sports & Social Club entrance drive, which follows the alignment of a much older boundary.

There has been a ‘filling station’ there since the 1920s when aeroplanes being used at the airshows were wheeled across the road from the airfield to be re-fuelled.

The area would have been very different if plans for a commercial airport to rival Manchester had been approved. In other areas, such as Little Norton, change has been almost total.

Apart from a few old walls, the hamlet which had existed for 100s of years was mostly demolished in the 1930s and totally gone by the 1960s. It is hard to imagine walking round the area now what it must once have been like but the team has found some glimpses into the past.

These and other stories will form part of the exhibition but people are invited to come and add theirs.

One of several notable Ash pollards along the southern boundary, another old field boundary which still exists today.

Entry is free and all are welcome to attend.

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