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A Magazine for Sheffield

Pound’s Park opening: disabled access and who on earth was John Charles Pound?

With the brand new city centre park to be opened on 3 April, we look at what disabled people can expect and the story of its namesake.

Two pyramid towers under a blue sky with buildings in the background

Pyramid towers in Pounds Park

Plans for a new city centre park in Sheffield are coming to fruition, with a planned opening on 3 April in time for the Easter school holidays.

Located between Rockingham Street, Wellington Street and Carver Street, Pound’s Park features a climbing boulder and a children’s playground, including two pyramid towers, slides, a seesaw and playhouses.

Why is it called Pound’s Park?

In 1869, Sheffield Town Council launched a municipal fire brigade that anybody could access (rather than just those who paid a premium to private insurance companies) and advertised for a chief fire officer. John Charles Pound got the job and managed a grand total of 15 staff, for which he was paid £100 a year (the equivalent of £15,228.96 today).

An old photo of a man in a fireman's uniform. He has an impressive white beard

John Charles Pound

National Emergency Services Museum

It was not smooth sailing, with difficulties putting out fires when the water wasn’t switched on, or when the brigade’s horses took too long to arrive, but with new premises on Rockingham Street and increasing amounts of equipment, things improved over time.

Pound’s career ended 26 years after he took on the role following an accident he had while putting out a fire at the Park Club, after which he had to retire because of ill health.

The National Emergency Services Museum tells us that when he died in 1918 of Spanish Flu, “His body was carried on a horse-drawn fire tender, with a guard of honour made up of regular and volunteer firemen. Among the mourners were the chief fire officer, police superintendents, his old fire service colleagues and even a handful of men who had served with him in the navy more than 60 years before.”

Disabled access at Pound’s Park

The children’s playground at Pound’s Park includes fully inclusive play, with a sand-play platform for wheelchair users, accessible points for children to engage with the water pumps, and various touch and sound sensory items to be explored.

There are level entrance points to the park and there will be accessible toilets, however the power and water connectivity at Pound’s Park will not be ready in time for the early April launch. This means the accessible toilet will not yet be ready for use.

While some disabled people find many areas of the city centre inaccessible since pedestrianisation and road changes, if you are able to use public transport, SYPTE recommends the following: Services 6, 30, 30a, 51, 52, 52a, 95, 95a, 120, 181, 257, X30 and SheffieldConnect all call at or close to Pounds Park, with Blue and Yellow Supertram services calling at West Street, about 5 minutes’ walk away. Sheffield Station and Sheffield Interchange are around 15 minutes’ walk away.

Sheffield City Council told me that the closest is Blue Badge parking bays are at Union Street, Cambridge Street and Balm Green, however a time limit applies at some of these locations. You will need to check the sign plate adjacent to the parking bays.

Disabled badge holders can park free of charge and without time limit in the on-street Pay and Display bays and SCC off-street car parks within the city centre.

Learn more

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