The Friends of Wardsend Cemetery have two fixtures tomorrow, home at Wardsend for The Riot Tour and away at Sheffield Wednesday Football Club for the Sheffield and District Family History Society Fair.
Below the posters for these events is a suggestion about how you can enjoy them both while also having a walking tour of the area and appreciating the wider links with the communities located in the Parish the cemetery served from its opening in 1857.
Suggested itinerary for tomorrow:
10.30 Wardsend for the Riot Tour.
12.00 Cuppa and a chat.
12.15 Walk up Livesey Street past Owlerton Stadium built on Birley Meadows where Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show visited twice. This was also very nearly the location for Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.
Crossing Penistone Road walk up through the lovely and historic Hillsborough Park (You might want to take a picnic or head up to the Riverside café for lunch).
1.15 – 1.30 Family History Society Fair at SWFC South St and suites. Come and say hello to us at the Wardsend stall to hear more about the cemetery and our links with Sheffield Wednesday, nearby Hillsborough Primary School and the wider community. We have some great news about the memorial for Wednesday’s first superfan Tom Wharton thanks to the generosity of the Wednesday fans.
From then on times are flexible to suit you.
You may want to visit the beautiful Hillsborough Walled Garden and the headstone of Louis Bacon who was ‘so ruthlessly disinterred’ that you will probably have heard about on the tour in the morning.
Walking towards town through Hillsborough you will cross the Loxley which runs down from Dale Dike Reservoir. It was the breaching of the dam wall in 1864 that resulted in the devastation and over 300 deaths in what was often referred to at the time as The Inundation but is now better known as The Great Sheffield Flood. Some of the flood victims are buried at Wardsend.
Carrying on up Langsett Road you will come to the barracks where George Lambert VC died. George is buried at Wardsend along with several hundred other soldiers and their families.
Continuing on Langsett Road you will come to a row of old buildings which includes Andy’s Carpets near the old Burgoyne Arms (The name Burgoyne also features it the early days of Wardsend) It was here that local photographer W. T. Furniss, buried at Wardsend, produced countless photographs of the local area as well as team and individual player photos of the successful Wednesday side of the early 1900s.
From there on I would recommend dropping back down to Penistone Road via Cuthbert Bank and Bamforth Street turning right on Penistone Road and crossing Hillfoot Bridge (the other end of Club Mill Road to Wardsend Cemetery). On Neepsend Lane Walk past the historically important (in terms of The Flood) and recently purchased Farfield pub and make your way along Neepsend Lane to the Gardener’s Rest, or Head Office as we call it. Here you can partake of your preferred beverage (I like the Five Rivers) looking over the wonderful River Don and watch the trout rising as the sand martins fly up and down the river.
From then on you can enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening at Peace in the Park on The Ponderosa which coincidentally isn’t very far from the site of the now demolished St Phillips Church where the whole Wardsend Cemetery story began.
It was only while writing this as a bit of fun for our Facebook group that I realised that part of it might make a nice guided tour starting and finishing at The Gardeners Rest taking in Club Mill Road and the riverside walk up to Wardsend.
I would appreciate any comments as to whether or not you think this is a good idea and please feel free to add suggestions regarding other locations or alternative routes.