In pictures: remembering Sheffield’s blitz – 81 years on

Written by Lucy Edwards

Crowds gathered on Thursday afternoon to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Sheffield Blitz, one year after Covid-19 restrictions caused the event to be postponed. 

The event paid homage to the devastating impact of the Blitz and was hosted in one of few buildings to survive the bombings, Sheffield Cathedral. 

Sheffield City Council supported the day and its various activities and provided a budget to enable the event to take place.

Stalls outside the cathedral for the National Emergency Services Museum.

Keith Farrow, 62, Reverend Canon Vice Dean and Canon Missioner of Sheffield Cathedral, said of the event: “Its been good to work with the council in the heart of the city and with the people of Sheffield, some of whom actually remember the blitz.

“It reflects the power of the human spirit to survive certain things and that is amazing, it is amazing that the community in Sheffield survived this.” 

Canon Keith Farrow showing the memorial books of The Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment.

The event ran from 12pm to 9pm and featured a range of activities that the public were able to enjoy. 

Some of the key parts of the day included the screening of a rare blitz film and the launch of the 10th anniversary edition of the book, ‘Sheffield’s Date With Hitler’ that was turned into the BBC documentary ‘Sheffield – The Forgotten Blitz.’

Author Neil Anderson launching the 10th anniversary edition of his book “Sheffield’s Date with Hitler.”

Author Neil Anderson said: “The Sheffield Blitz is part of Sheffield’s DNA, it’s the reason so much of the city looks like it is.

“So many incredible sacrifices were made in the war. It’s very important to mark it and educate future generations on what the city went through. So even though it’s a year late we’re still very glad it’s happening.” 

Throughout the event, the public were also able to speak with World War Two reenactors, view a display of vintage military vehicles and memorabilia and enjoy a performance by Miss Marina Mae, who covered a range of popular songs from the 1940s. 

Vintage vocalist and personality entertainer Miss Marina Mae performing at the event.

As the day drew to a close, a remembrance service was held and a commemorative wreath was laid in the Cathedral. 

The vehicles at the event were brought along by the National Emergency Services Museum who also helped in organising the event. 

A reenactor showing some of the contents of the mobile canteen vehicle, brought by the National Emergency Services Museum.

Helen Shepherd, 44, PR and Marketing Coordinator at the Museum, said: “The Sheffield Blitz had a massive impact on the emergency services. It was the fire fighters and the ambulance drivers who were out in the middle of the bombs trying to save lives.”

“It’s great for us to be able to commemorate and remember such a major event in Sheffield’s history.”

Reenactors demonstrating the act of putting on a gas mask at speed.

Written by Lucy Edwards

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