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Harvest Festival at Plot 44, Rivelin Valley 24th Sept 2017 – Free Family Activities

18 Sep



Beyond the Books – an Oral History talk celebrating 60 years of Broomhill Library

18 Sep

Join us for an informative and enjoyable evening of history about our Sheffield Libraries with a main talk led by Val Hewson, and an update on the Broomhill Library Conservation Project. Come & share your memories of the library here in Broomhill and the area at the time the library first opened its doors.

Locally sourced refreshments included in the ticket price.

Val Hewson is an independent researcher based in Sheffield. After a career in the civil service, Val has picked up her academic interests again. Her current focus is Reading Sheffield, an oral history project about popular reading in Sheffield in the 20th century, which is led by Dr Mary Grover and supported by Sheffield Hallam University and others.

Val is editor of the Reading Sheffield website ( and is researching authors, books and genres cited in the oral histories. This has also led Val to explore the context for the oral histories, including particularly the history of Sheffield’s public library service and the librarians who shaped it. Val has always been a fan of libraries, having to date belonged to eight and worked, briefly, in one.

For full information, including how to book a place visit:


Broomhill Community Library Celebrates 60 Years – Come along and join in the celebrations on Monday 25th Sept 2017

18 Sep

BH Library 60 years

Arthur Conan Doyle and his campaign to save the lives of British Tommies Exhibitiionat Sheffield’s Local Studies and Archives Library

14 Sep

Conan Doyle-at-desk


New exhibition, Sheffield’s Local Studies and Archives Library,

13 September – Christmas 2017

A new exhibition is coming to Sheffield’s Local Studies and Archives Library which tells the tale of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his campaign to save the lives of British soldiers fighting in the First World War.


Sir Conan Doyle is famous as the creator of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. But he’s less well known for his campaign to reduce casualties during the First World War, when he used his fame to help those “fighting for the freedom of the world”.


The exhibition, funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, tells the story of that campaign and Doyle’s call for troops to be protected with armour. It draws on the writer’s personal papers held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds and records of steel makers held by Sheffield City Archives.


It was Sir Robert Hadfield of Hadfields Limited, Sheffield, who suggested using toughened manganese steel for the Tommies’ new helmet because, although it would dent when hit by bullets or shrapnel, it would not shatter. The same steel was later used in body armour.


Conan Doyle’s campaign started when, appalled by the 65,000 British casualties at the second battle of Ypres in 1915, he wrote a letter printed in The Times (27 July 1915) stating that helmets and armour would reduce the number of wounds caused by shrapnel, rifle and machine gun fire. This was the start of a campaign which lasted throughout the war, attracting the attention of the war time government.


His letters also led to a response from manufacturing firms making armour for private purchase by British officers who boasted that they used only the finest Sheffield steel.​ Many sent Conan Doyle samples of their armour which he tested in his garden at Crowborough with his own service rifle.​


Philip Abbott, Archivist at the Royal Armouries, said. “Conan Doyle’s concern over the heavy casualties being suffered on the Western Front was prompted by his humanitarian nature. His ideas on helmets, body armour and shields were a thoughtful response to the impact on soldiers brought about by trench warfare.


“Today most people remember the writer for his fictional work but this was a cause he pursued with great energy and passion throughout the war through the newspapers and lobbying directly with the government of the time.”


At the exhibition people will be able to see some of the letters sent to Conan Doyle, a replica of the one of the body armours made for soldiers in Sheffield, as well as photographs telling the story of the famous author’s campaign to save the lives of British troops.


Councillor May Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield Council, said: “We’re delighted this exhibition is coming to Sheffield.


“Sir Conan Doyle was a fascinating man for many reasons and his work to bring body armour and helmets to soldiers on the Front undoubtedly saved lives.


“The exhibition is particularly interesting due to the Sheffield connection.


“Our historical events in the libraries are always well attended and we hope people enjoy this new exhibition.”


Free talk by Philip Abbott, Archivist at the Royal Armouries


The exhibition includes a free talk at Sheffield’s Local Studies and Archives Library on Wednesday 11 October at 1.30pm by Philip Abbott, Archivist at the Royal Armouries.  Booking your place for the talk is advised at


Find out more

Phillip Abbott’s book ‘Saving Lives Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Campaign for Body Armour, 1914–18’ is available on the Royal Armouries’ online shop:


The Cemetery Riot Tour 8th Sept 2017 @WardsendCem

7 Sep

The Riot Tour


Womens Eid Celebration @ZestCentre 19th Sept 2017

4 Sep

eid zest


Heritage Open Days in September 2017 @ZestCentre

4 Sep