The Plough Inn, Sandygate RoadThe Plough Inn (Crosspool) was a Tennants pub for many years. In 1962, ownership changed when Whitbread took over Sheffield-based Tennants. More recently, in 2003, Enterprise Inns took over the pub. Since then, there appears to have been no serious maintenance work and very little spend on upkeep. Enterprise have left the pub to rot. When the pub closed in 2015, a local community group successfully obtained ACV (Asset of Community Value) status from Sheffield City Council (SCC). This a clear badge of honour for the pub. In their comments regarding the application, SCC said: ‘The Property is a thriving pub…. It supports certain community groups and community activities that cater for the interests of a wide cross section of the local community. It is also apparent …. that the Property is well regarded by the local community and that there are no alternative premises within a reasonable travelling distance for many of individuals who use the Property.’ Enterprise Inns then leased the building to Sainsburys who then waited until peak holiday time before, on 2nd.August, submitting a planning application to turn the pub into a ‘convenience store.’ Without the ACV status, such a change of use would not require a formal planning application. The pub is adjacent to the ground of Hallam FC (the 2nd.oldest football club in the world). Hallam occupy Sandygate, the oldest football ground in the world and the site of the first football game (Hallam v Sheffield FC) as recognised by FIFA. The Plough is important in the history of football (the first inter-club game was adjacent, the rules of football written in the pub ………). Hallam FC also have various anniversary events planned in the near future, including an event when various old football trophies will be in the same place for the first time before going to Zurich to the FIFA Museum. We can only assume that Sainsburys were not aware of the historical importance when they took on the site. If they were aware, we would hope that they would not be aiming to effectively destroy a national historic asset. An ideal solution would be for the Plough to become a football museum with a community bar. We hope sense will prevail and that this planning application will be rejected. By the 6th.September deadline SCC had received 86 comments, many long and detailed, 85 of which were against the planning proposal.
Pub Heritage walksAs part of the recent Heritage Open Day events, Sheffield CAMRA led two Pub Heritage walks. Thanks to the 28 people who attended for their positive feedback. Details of the walk are included in the November 2015 edition of ‘Beer Matters.’ This is available to download for our website. Dave Pickersgill, Pub Heritage Officer