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A walk down memory lane at Heeley City Farm

This summer, a placement programme from the University of Sheffield has seen two undergraduate students researching the lesser-known histories of Heeley City Farm and its animals.

by Now Then Sheffield
Goat at Heeley City Farm by Philippa Willitts

Goat at Heeley City Farm

Philippa Willitts

Over the last two months Matt Stasiak, a History and Philosophy student, and Amy Maloney Young, studying Sociology, have delved into the farm’s local history in both its own archive and the Sheffield City Archives, to research and develop two free public walking tours set to take place this month. The tours will look back at the history of the area by exploring the heritage breeds and ethical issues surrounding animals kept on the farm, as well as the history and development of much-loved local establishments like Taggy’s Ice Cream shop, Dawson’s pikelet factory, and the late Myrtle Inn.

The first walk will focus on the different rare breeds that the farm has become known for, as well as the history of animals on the farm. There will be a tour of the farm and surrounding streets, a talk about the farm’s rare breeds, and opportunities to meet and feed the animals. Visitors will also get to hear about the daring escape of Olive the goat, the farm’s Soay sheep, which naturally shed their fleece, and the Large Black pigs, whose bloodlines trace back to the first pigs on the farm, 35 years ago.

Sheep 2 at Heeley City Farm by Philippa Willitts

Sheep at Heeley City Farm

Philippa Willitts

Matt said, “It was a lot of fun researching animals, which have been a big interest of mine since I was little. I’m excited to share what I found with those who come along on the walk.”

The second walk, researched and produced by Amy Maloney Young, will dive into the origins of local establishments around Alexandra Road in Heeley, uncovering secrets including local businesses’ celebrity stories and TV appearances, dogs that queue for ice cream, and tales of a drunken wife!

Amy herself said:

I have loved bringing these places back to life through my research and hearing people reminisce. A particular highlight was finding the living relatives of the families I’ve been researching and presenting them with their family history. I really look forward to people coming along and having a trip down memory lane.

The animal walk takes place on Monday 15 August at 11am. Beginning by the farm café, it will include an exciting hunt and colouring worksheet for those who take part. Animal feed will be provided.

Soay Sheep 2 at Heeley City Farm by Philippa Willitts

Soay Sheep at Heeley City Farm

Philippa Willitts

The local business history walk takes place on Tuesday 16 August at 11am. It will start at the farm cafe and make various stops at the former locations of iconic local businesses. Refreshments will be provided – expect a retro twist!

No booking is necessary, and the walks are free to attend. Children must be accompanied by adults at all times. Contact Rebecca at Heeley City Farm for more information at heritage@heeleyfarm.org.uk

Learn more

Heeley City Farm is wheelchair accessible. It can be found at Richards Road, Sheffield, S2 3DT.

by Now Then Sheffield

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