When you’re driving down ‘Posh Car-Dealers Alley’ aka Attercliffe Road, you may not have noticed a large rather numb looking red-brick building near the junction with Weedon Street. Old Tinsley Tramsheds have stood there since 1874 and I could never quite work out why they are Grade II listed, but nevertheless they are. I think the reason must be because they were originally built for horse-drawn trams and therefore are very rare. When I was a child I can remember seeing Weedon Street on the trams’ (not horse-drawn I hasten to add) destination boards, and I never really knew where it was. Alterations were made in 1899 when lines were electrified, and the last horse-drawn tram ran in 1902. On 8th October 1960 the last tram in public service (No. 222 for all you other anoraks out there!) pulled into Tinsley Depot and the staff struggled to shut the gates such was the size of the crowd. Many trams ended up here before being cut up for scrap at nearby Tommy Wards, but fortunately one or two survived and can be seen at Crich Tramway Museum.
Tinsley Depot continued its transport links by becoming South Yorkshire Transport Museum, but the excellent collection has now moved to Aldwarke near Rotherham and the Tile Megastore, which had shared the site with the buses, has now taken over the entire building. It needs an awful lot of money spending on it and 5 or 6 of the many pitched roofs need totally replacing. The owners want to re-roof in sheet metal and repair the vast glass sections in in polycarbonate instead of glass. Water is pouring in and there’s a lot of vegetation growing up there, but the building was listed with a glass roof so these would be major changes (if they are allowed).
Internally there’s not a lot left of any merit and to heat a glass-roofed building of this size would be impossible and break every piece of insulation regulation in the book. Fortunately tiles, like trams, don’t need keeping warm so the new owners won’t have this problem.
Some tramlines and cobbles in front of the building were still visible last time I looked, but these look set to go with proposed car-park resurfacing. The only other clue to its previous life is the incision into the red brick of ‘Sheffield Tramways Company’ and long may it survive.
Hold tight please!