Re-live the history of Sheffield City Hall with the 80th birthday book

Carole Proctor, the first person to buy a Sheffield City Hall 80th Birthday Book.
Carole Proctor, the first person to buy a Sheffield City Hall 80th Birthday Book.

Carole Proctor, from Darn a ll has been part of the history of Sheffield City Hall for the last 50 years. It seemed only fitting that she was the first person to purchase a 80th Birthday Book.

The birthday book takes you through the history of the venue and its patrons with all its highs and lows, exclusively produced for the 80th Birthday in September 2012. Many of us have fond memories of the City Hall and it seems only right to put together a book of the stories, dramas and events since opening in 1932. Find out how the City Hall was built, how it survived the war, where the famous Lions from the Oval Hall stage went, how Sir John Barbirolli influenced classical music in Sheffield, where the Beatles had their after party, stories from the popular dances in the Ballroom, how Rock ‘n’ Roll took over the venue as well as the rise of comedy…..

As one of the country’s finest civic buildings, the City Hall has played a unique part in the day to day existence of the city and the country since the day it opened. Written by local author Neil Anderson, the birthday book celebrates this with extracts from local people, stories from the archives and interviews from previous customers and employees.

Carole Proctor has been on both sides of the walls, “I started to come to City Hall for Saturday night dances in the 60s and I fell in love with the place then. I came to work here 27 years ago, so now I’m part of the furniture and have been named the City Hall Oracle!”

“I enjoyed reading the customers and stewards’ memories. They didn’t think Bob Dylan would sell out as they hadn’t heard of him, I’m sure they do now. There has been such a change in ticket prices over the years; I’ve been busy converting shillings and pence into the coinage it would be today. ”

Sheffield City Hall will be remembered by many for staging some of the most iconic gigs. A few artists featured in the book include The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Led Zepplin who created the biggest queue for tickets. But the venue also helped shape the burgeoning careers of some of the city’s own legends: Joe Cocker (first performing as Vance Arnold & The Avengers), Dave Berry and Karen Young were amongst the local stars that started to appear. The book takes you through the stories with pictures, memorabilia and personal accounts of the events.

The Ballroom Dances are pivotal to many Sheffielders, one of which is the author whose parents were amongst the thousands that found romance on the busy ballroom dance floor in the 1950s. Read how many met their wives and husbands and how they used to go for a tipple beforehand at the nearby Albert Public House.

Discover how the celebrated conductor Sir John Barbirolli finally got his wish when the hall’s controversial lions were unceremoniously thrown into storage in 1962 how the building’s resident ghost still, we understand, resides where else but with the gods in the roof.

The City Hall promoted concerts for peace as the world teetered on the brink of Armageddon during the War and has never been without controversy as in 1934 15,000 protested against its staging of a convention by Nazi sympathiser, Sir Oswald Mosley and his black shirted-fascists. Read about the miners strike, how clubs took over the Ballroom unsettling the dances, how the City Hall moved its ticketing function in house, and how it required a much needed refurbishment by Sheffield International Venues who still manage the venue to this day.

The birthday book can be purchased from the City Hall Box Office in person, over the phone on 0114 223 3740 or online at Sheffield city Hall Birthday Book