Whinfell Quarry Gardens, Sheffield.

I love these little gardens. They are quite hidden away and I only found them by accident when out running. Prior to that, I had no idea that they were here.

Video of the gardens.

The gardens are Grade II Listed and were formerly called Whirlow Quarry Gardens, as indicated on an OS map of 1893. However the name got changed for some reason, I could not find out why.

The quarry was once leased from the Fitzwilliam Estates by the steel industrialist Samuel Doncaster. Does anyone know if this was the same Fitzwilliam family of Wentworth Woodhouse? If you do, please leave me a note in the comments.

A house was built on the quarry in the late 1890s-early 1900s, called Whinfell House. The only picture that I could find of the house is on the information board (Above). Doncaster also planned for a garden to be laid out in the two disused quarries, which were called, Big Quarry and Little Quarry.

Initially, 10,00 trees were planted in the gardens. Backhouse & Co Nursery of York laid out paths and steps and a sequence of rock pools. Sometimes around 1915 the horticulturist, plant collector and nurseryman Clarence Elliott was commissioned by Samuel Doncaster to design a garden in Little Quarry. Elliott had worked for the Backhouse Nursery in the late 1890s and early 1900s and may have assisted with the creation of the garden for Big Quarry.

Doncaster is said to have travelled all over the world collecting plants. In 1933, the House and grounds passed from Samuel Doncaster to Frederick Neill, the first High Sheriff of Hallamshire, who undertook an extensive replanting scheme during the 1960s.

In 1968 the Quarry Garden was given to the city of Sheffield by James Neill Holdings Ltd. Since then the site has been a public park, owned and managed by Sheffield City Council. The House and the adjacent paddock remained in private ownership.

In 1971, Whinfell House was destroyed by fire and subsequently demolished in 1979. In the 1980s flats and houses were built on the paddock and the site of Whinfell House. This new housing estate, called Whinfell Court, incorporates the stable block and the former drive with the remains of the tree belt to its east, formerly called Daffodil Wood (not included in the registered area).

The gardens are open daily and are free to walk around. There is ample space to social distance and lots of benches to sit and enjoy the surrounding nature.

Thanks for reading.

Norfolk Heritage Park, Sheffield.

Sheffield has 80 public parks and 650 other green and open spaces as well as being situated right on the edge of the Peak District National Park.

Norfolk Heritage Park opened in 1848 and today is designated at Grade II. The land once formed part of Sheffield Park, the deer park of Sheffield Manor.

The park has a few interesting facts:

  • Norfolk Football Club played its home games in the park between 1861 and 1880.
  • Queen Victoria visited the park on 21 May 1897, during her Jubilee year.
  • In 1910 Norfolk Park was given as a gift from the Duke of Norfolk to the City of Sheffield
  • Wikipedia states that, the TV game show, It’s A Knockout, was filmed in the park during the 1970s. However, Sheffield History state that it was held on the Arbourthorne Playing Fields in May 1971. If you know, leave me a note.

During the later 1980s the park fell into decline. In 1994, the park was added to the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens (Grade II) and the ‘Friends of Norfolk Park’ group were established.

Al that remains of the old Refreshment Pavilion.

Also in 1994, the park became more commonly known as Norfolk Heritage Park reflecting its heritage and cultural significance. In 1995, the derelict Refreshment Pavilion was badly damaged by an arson attack and was demolished. A new refreshment pavilion was build called, ‘The centre in the Park’. Which was built to serve the community. It has rooms available for hire, a community cafe and Creche. It opened to the public in 2000, along with new children’s play areas, thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield.

I visited Kelham Island Museum back in October. The museum had remained closed during the pandemic. However, they were finally able to re-open with COVID safe implementations in place. The museum are using the track and trace app and have a one way system in place with social distancing. If you head to their website, they recommend booking tickets in advance. Adult entry is £7. Sadly, the River Don Engine was not performing shows, which is understandable.

I love Kelham Island, there is a lot to see and the Island Cafe/Bar does awesome food and coffee. A lot of Sheffield’s industrial history is now inside the museum. It is a wonderful place to remember what made Sheffield the city it is today.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Abbeydale Park Rise and Crescents Charity Christmas Lights 2020.

The lights on Abbeydale Park Rise and Crescents in Sheffield are in aid of the Eden Dora trust which helps children with Encephalitis and the Sheffield children’s hospital charity. To donate, please click HERE.

If you are unable to visit the lights, below is a short video.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Glenwood Springs Mall. Partially Dead Mall in Colorado.

This is perhaps a little different from my usual posts. However, I am currently going through old photographs and videos in order to write my blog posts as here in the UK, we are under a second lock down.

I apologise in advance for the poor quality video. I shot the footage back in 2016, before I got a little more serious about blogging and YouTube.

The Glenwood Springs Mall is located just outside the beautiful town of Glenwood Springs. Whilst the mall is still open, when I visited in 2016, the mall was relatively quiet and I believe that, more stores have now closed.

There seems to be a lack of history available relating to individual malls. However, with so many closing across the USA, surely they will soon feature as part of the changing consumer habits of the American nation.

I briefly visited Glenwood Springs on holiday back in 2016. The movie theatre closed in 2013 after being open for 35 years. I could not find an opening date for the mall. However, if the movie theatre had been open for 35 years, that would date the mall back to at least 1978. There used to be a K Mart, which I believe was an anchor, and the other anchor was JC Penny, which closed in 2017.

Today, on the mall website, they only list 9 stores being open.

Frontier Historical Museum, Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

I was clearing out my phone as the memory is almost full and I found a few pictures of the Frontier Historical Museum so I thought I would write a little post. I apologies for the poor quality phone pictures!

The natural hot spring water was first used by the Utes, who believed that it was sacred. When the white settlers began to migrate from the East, the springs soon became a tourist destination. President Theodore Roosevelt, Molly Brown, Buffalo Bill Cody and Doc Holliday, have all stayed at the springs.

Museum Website

Thanks for reading.

Amlwch Port, Anglesey.

Amlwch Port is normally one of the quieter parts of Anglesey. However, on my recent visit, it was packed. It was a bank holiday weekend though and in general, the island was packed.

Sadly, the heritage centre and cafe was closed due to COVID. There are lots of walks around the port and along the coast with some interesting things to see along the way.

Some of the earliest records of ship movements from Amlwch are recorded in the Beaumaris Port account book for 1730. In the 18th & 19th century the port was used to transport copper from Parys mountain, which was the largest copper mine in the world.

I highly recommend the Port Chippy should you fancy some fish and chips.

Fishing boats in the harbour.
I could not find what this was, if you know please leave me a comment.
‘Melin Y Borth’. The Amlwch Port Windmill.

It is claimed that, when the windmill was built in 1816, it was the tallest on the island.

Creepy old house.

I would be interested to know more about this house should anyone know. I have been visiting Anglesey for a number of years and I could not remember if this has always been derelict. Behind the wooden covers on the windows there is no glass and there is an outhouse in the back with some old rubbish in that looks like it has been there for some time. The house is in an incredible location overlooking the coast.

The old Octel Bromine Works

The Octel Bromine Works closed in 2004. The works was in operation for 50 years and produced bromine derived chemicals from sea water.

Bromine is used in agricultural chemicals, dyestuffs, insecticides, pharmaceuticals and chemical intermediates. However, from what I have read, some uses are being phased out for environmental reasons.

Lime Kiln.

Shiregreen Working Mens Club, Home of the Full Monty.

A post came up on my Instagram feed by Heritage Sheffield which stated that, the Shiregreen Working Men’s Club, where the penultimate strip scene from the 2007 movie, the Full Monty was filmed, is to be demolished. Horrified, I immediately picked up my camera and ventured across the city to take some pictures of the club whilst it was still there. Local petitions temporary halted demolition plans. However, since then Eyre Investments, who own the land, have been granted permission from Sheffield Council to demolish the club and build on the land.

In my opinion, Sheffield Council were always going to grant permission for the demolition of the club. Sheffield Council is one of the most corrupt local councils in the country. I am sure I need to say no more. Like many other important Sheffield landmarks, it is to be lost forever. We have lost our industry, we have lost Don Valley, the Cooling Towers, The Hole in the Road, and we are soon to lose the Shops on Division Street. As a native of Sheffield, I feel that Sheffield is losing its identity.

The Shiregreen WMC opened in 1919 on Shiregreen Lane and moved to its current location in 1928. The club closed in 2018, after 99 years of operation.

Traditionally, WMC’s were to provide recreation and education for the working-class communities, mostly in the industrial north of England. However, they were mostly recreational, with their peak being in the 1970s. Normally, clubs required membership with thousands more waiting on the lists to become members of their local club.

Slowly, WMC’s started to decline in the 1980s. The pits closed and so did the steelworks. Changing social patterns, Sky TV, and cheap supermarket alcohol hit the WMC’s hard. The 2007 smoking ban also caused further decline for the clubs. Traditionally, the WMC’s were smoke-filled buildings, bad for your health, sure. However, it was just part of their identity.

Within a few miles of the Shiregreen Club, there are several other WMC’s still operational. However, it makes you wonder, how long can these clubs stay open? The area that surrounds Shiregreen WMC is already a deprived area. WMC’s served as community hubs, whilst as a nation, we are losing our sense of community. Rather than thinking about lining their pockets, I think Sheffield Council should consider its people and communities a little more.

Thanks for reading.

I’m not sure if it is too late, but please sign the petition below:


The Remains of RAF Woodhall Spa

Today, parts of the old RAF base at Woodhall Spa make up the Thorpe Camp Visor Centre. However, if you look around the area, there are other hidden remains of the old base.

Before my visit, I found some blog posts and watched some YouTube videos on the derelict parts of the base. However, when I got to Woodhall Spa, some of them have now sadly been demolished.

However, if you know where to look (some locals told me) there are still some buildings that remain.

Thorpe Camp Museum

Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire.


Thorpe Camp, officially known as the Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, is part of the former Royal Air Force barracks for RAF Woodhall Spa.

The buildings that today make up the Centre were formerly part of the No.1 Communal Site, which was built in 1940. In 1998, the camp was made into a visitor centre by the Thorpe Camp Preservation Group.

Woodhall Spa and the surrounding area has a long history connected to the RAF. The 97, 619, 617 (Dambusters) and 627 Squadrons were based at RAF Woodhall Spa.

For a more in-depth look around the Thorpe Camp, please watch my video below.

Thanks for reading.

Can anyone tell me what these posts are?

Before you visit, check their website for opening days and times as these have changed due to COVID.