An unusual piece of street furniture seen in Sheffield


Like most of us, I have spent an inordinate amount of time wandering around the streets of England and Wales. But last week in Sheffield was the first time I have seen one of these.

It is really remarkable.

It was at the junction of High Cliffe Road, Sheffield.

The Historic England website describes it as:

Electric transformer. c1900. Cast-iron. Made by the British Electric Transformer Co., of Hayes, Middlesex. Circular column approx 1m in diameter and 2.5m high, with vertical ribs and horizontal bands. Panelled frieze, and cornice with egg-and-dart ornament. Shallow conical top with ball finial. 2 pairs of doors on opposite sides, the upper pairs smaller. An early example of electricity distribution equipment.

I ought to add that the lovely team in Sheffield are working very hard but could do with your help. Please come along and help in Sheffield Hallam as soon as possible. You too can experience the loveliness of the Hallam constituency and receive a warm Sheffield welcome!

The details of how you can help are here.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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12 Comments

  • Paul Barker 9th Sep '19 - 4:46pm

    That should have some sort of preservation order, its lovely & slowly rusting away.

  • John Marriott 9th Sep '19 - 5:59pm

    Those were the days when local councils provided electricity, gas and much more. What a pale imitation of their former selves they are today!

  • @ John Marriott, Yes, John, those were the days when public services were for the public and before they were owned by robber barons who paid themselves enormous bonuses.

    “The Independent 10 June, 2019. “The bosses of England’s nine largest privatised water companies were criticised yesterday after it was revealed they have earned £70m in the last six years despite complaints of rising bills and low corporate tax contributions.

    An analysis of the pay and benefits received by the highest-paid executive at each of the companies found they received £11m between them in 2018 – equivalent to an average of £1.2m each. The highest paid water boss was Liv Garfield, the chief executive of Severn Water, who received £2.08m in pay and benefits last year. She was closely followed by Steve Mogford, chief executive of United Utilities, whose remuneration package was worth £2.07m.”

  • Is this where the current MP for Hallam is hiding out?

  • David Evans 9th Sep '19 - 8:39pm

    John/David, Yes indeed. Of course local control of the Gas and Electricity industries was abolished by the Labour government in 1948, when they were nationalised. Water was taken from local authority control in 1974 (except Scotland), but it has to be admitted many were not well run and put in the hands of regional water companies. All these were privatised by the Thatcher government in the 1980s to artificially add further fuel to the economic boom spawned by North Sea Oil.

    And of course many councils ran the busses, providing a wide service to many areas, and using cross subsidies to ensure remote areas at least got some service. This time the Conservatives deregulated the market which led to price wars when a lot of local companies going under.

  • @ Joe I happen to agree on modern footballer’s wages, Joe. If true, given what’s happened at HTAFC, Pritchard’s wages are a joke even though the club had the lowest wage bill in the Premier League….. propped up by the awful tacky Sky Channel and the bookmakers…… who can’t even cough up to help poor old Bury FC.

    I won’t retaliate, given you’re a Brentford fan, by asking if you remember what happened to Brentford on 12 May, 1995…. more innocent days…. and I still have the contract signed by my great uncle : £ 8 per week (First Division, and the 1930 Cup Final) …. even more innocent days. Yrs grumpily…..D.

  • Andrew McCaig 9th Sep '19 - 9:40pm

    Ah, Highcliffe Road (not High Cliffe) brings back some memories of Sunday walks in an adjacent steep open/wooded area known as “The Roughs”. Also a top spot for sledging back in the days of reliable snowy winters. Tough delivery patch I would imagine..

    I must say though that with this by-election cancelled with no sign of O’Mara resigning, and a General Election very likely before Christmas, perhaps we should be sending our troops to other target seats and not just Hallam?

  • By election in Bassetlaw coming up. Well unless a general election gets in the way.

  • John Marriott 10th Sep '19 - 10:10am

    Footballers’ wages are obscenely high, particularly when you include all the endorsement agreements many have. It just shows you where many in society put their faith. Mind you, success in sport can and does boost morale, so perhaps you could argue that it’s money well spent. However, perhaps we’d better not apply that to test cricket at the moment.

    The point I was making about utilities etc. was to illustrate how local government has been emasculated over many years by central government. Like Messrs Raw and, I believe, Evans, I have spent many years as a Councillor working to make people’s lives better only to be frustrated by diktats from Whitehall and understandable general voter apathy. It’s time for central government to give a little back and trust those in local government to deliver the goods.

  • I would say O Mara is hanging on for his Loss of Office Allowance and to eke out the salary. He is hardly likely to get 70k+ anywhere else.

  • @ John Marriott Spot on, John. I’d start with returning schools to local authorities and having in house social care for the elderly.

    In my day the LEA provided teamwork and proper career paths, training opportunities all with some democratic accountability. The downward spiral of ever cheaper adult social care contracts is a scandal and will eventually implode. For younger orangeistas who may object to this I would say ‘one day the bell will toll for thee…… prepare to meet your ten minute bath/shower lunch and heaven help you if you get dementia or become incontinent…… which some of you will.

    Both unlikely though given Gavin ‘Spider’ Williamson’s comments about more free schools today and the non-appearance of the Social Care Green paper.

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