We meet Judith Hanson, author of two local history books about Crosspool and secretary of Hallam Art Group.
Her first book, Images of England: Crosspool, contains photos and text exploring the suburb’s development over time.
Follow-up title Crosspool Through Time features many more contrasting images of Crosspool.
How long have you lived in Crosspool and what do you like about the suburb?
I have lived in Crosspool since 1979. I am originally from Hunters Bar but have also lived in Bingley, London, Cyprus and Sweden. I like Crosspool as it is so close to open countryside, it is a very friendly community and a very pleasant place to live.
My first book came about through my being a bit of an amateur artist; I am secretary of Hallam Art Group. I wanted to paint pictures of the pubs in Crosspool and it was about the time that the King’s Head was to be demolished.
I worked in the post office and asked several people if they had photos of the King’s Head in its prime – to paint from. I realised that we were losing our local History and it needed to be recorded.
I had bought the Tempus Publishing book on Ecclesall so I wrote to them and asked if a book on Crosspool was in the pipeline. They said “No, how about doing one”. So I did.
How did you go about researching the content for your books? Was it hard work?
Because I worked in the post office and knew so many people I managed to acquire a lot of info and photos. Sadly some of these original photos have already been lost on the deaths of their owners.
My first book took over my life for several months and apart from talking to people, visiting them and listening to their stories I did a lot of research in the Local Studies Library.
For my second book, which I said I would never do, I also took a lot of photographs. The second book shows contrasting views of now and then.
A lot of my original contributors were no longer around so I had quite a difficult job finding new photos and of course I no longer had my contacts through the post office.
Do you have plans or material for any further books about Crosspool?
I have no plans for a future book but I am sure there is scope for someone else to take up the mantle. I wish there were some books on Fulwood and Broomhill too! I did do one more project. I was asked after my first book if I would do some guided walks which I declined.
However, I did do a guided walk booklet which was sold at GT News. The proceeds went towards a new bench in Lydgate Green at the bottom of Lydgate Hall Crescent.
If you’re struggling for a Christmas gift idea, then have you considered Judith’s books? They are available to buy from local shops, direct from the author or online:
1. From local shops: both books are available at GT News and Crosspool Through Time is also available at Craft Angels.
2. Direct from the author: signed copies can be purchased from Judith at 25 Lydgate Hall Crescent, Sheffield S10 5NE.
3. Online, from retailers such as Amazon: