How NENG Began
At the beginning of the 1970s the Sheffield Council announced that Nether Edge and Sharrow were to be 'Study' Areas. No-one knew what this would mean and some concern was felt that it would mean more industry and busier roads etc. The local branch of the Townswomen's Guild organised a public meeting. There was standing room only and afterwards a small number of residents got together to form a Steering Committee of a new residents group. Very wisely it was suggested that this should not be just an 'action' group but a 'neighbourhood' group covering a wide range of aspects of life in Nether Edge.
The first meeting of the Group took place on a snowy evening in early 1973 and the first AGM was held in May at the old Nether Edge Hall. This building later became Turn-Ups night club, which caused many years of distress to nearby neighbours until the Group successfully fought for its removal to a City centre location. Birchcroft now occupies the site on Nether Edge Road. At that first AGM there was again standing room only and 800 members joined in the first year. Initially three subjects were covered, namely Planning, Welfare and Recreation. The aims of the Group were stated in the Constitution to be:
'To improve the conditions of life of the community within the area of Nether Edge, Brincliffe and Sharrow, without distinction of sex, race, political, religious or other opinions, but associating the local authority, voluntary organisations and residents in a common effort to improve the environment, to advance education and to provide facilities in the interests of social, welfare and leisure time activities.'
In the first few years the various subcommittees were bubbling with enthusiasm. Scrap metal drives and newspaper collections were held to raise funds; children's fêtes were held each year in Chelsea Park; 'Good Neighbour' schemes were created; and members got to know each other through pea-and-pie suppers and barn dances.
Gradually these activities ceased through lack of enthusiastic help and the last activity of the 'Welfare' subcommittee was the extremely successful Luncheon Club for the Housebound which closed in 2004. However, new interests and activities emerged, sometimes being only ephemeral. There was a Chelsea Park Users group, a Conservation working party, a Retired Neighbours club, Edge Women's group and a youth club. The Local History Group and Joan Flett produced four very successful books and the Poetry Group continued to meet until recently.
The subcommittee which gained the most publicity was the Anti-Nuisance subcommittee, which was formed to deal particularly with Turn-Ups but also with other worries which residents had. In addition we co-operated with the Nether Edge Wildlife Group and continued to support the Playgroup and the Mother & Toddler Group, which NENG had started in the early days.