Old Heeley Home Page

Heeley History Workshop was originally started as a class of the Sheaf Valley Adult Education Department based at the Mount Pleasant Community Centre in Sharrow.  The class tutor was Oliver Blensdorf and he arranged for the group to meet in one of the small community rooms in the recently opened Heeley Bank Centre, which occupied the ground floor of the old Heeley Bank School.  The school had closed in 1980 and the Adult Education Classes began in September 1981.  The class only had five initial members, but soon increased by merging with some members of another family history class which had met on Wednesdays for only a limited period.  The aim was to share and record memories of Heeley, its buildings and growth, its people and social customs.

In the summer of 1986 most of the sixth forms in Sheffield were closed down and several Further Education Colleges were opened; the Sheaf Valley Adult Education Department was also closed down.  The tutor, Oliver, was transferred to one college and the Heeley class was transferred to Granville College.  The new tutor was not familiar with Heeley and did not live locally, but the class continued.  After a few years the Further Education Colleges were recognized and formed into one college – the Sheffield College.  The class was then part of the Norton Campus with yet another tutor who did not live locally.  As part of the college system the class was limited to three 10-week terms for meeting times.  After a year under the Norton registration and fee paying scheme UDI was declared and the Heeley History Workshop has been running independently ever since, able to meet all year apart from Bank Holidays and over Christmas, at the old Heeley Bank School.  In January 2008 the old school was closed down until asbestos and other health problems were dealt with.

The Workshop continues to meet on Monday afternoons at the Heeley Green Centre in Gleadless Road just above the Coop and the Doctor’s Surgery.  There are no subscriptions or fees and the meetings are informal and friendly.  Visitors are welcome, especially after 2 pm.

Since 1986 the Workshop has produced 36 general leaflets about Heeley’s history, plus a few ‘specials’ including a Sporting Heeley, two on Heeley at War, one on Meersbrook Park (as a follow-up to our book on Meersbrook Park’s centenary in 1987) and also ‘The Emergence of a City’ that was compiled by Don Ross.  Half of the ordinary leaflets and almost all of the ‘specials’ are now out of print as is the book on Meersbrook Park, the latter half of the leaflets are still available.  Three books have been produced by the Workshop - ‘Heghlegh Then and Heeley Now’ and ‘Heeley and Thereabouts’ + It All Happened in My Lifetime’.  This last was a limited edition produced in memory of Eddie Chapman, a founder member who died aged 102.

For further information contact  - Lilian Haywood (Chair) on 01142 585 721.

Or e-mail – mrs.jean.edwards@gmail.com