Another city building taking its last breath

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I have just been looking at some fascinating, but very depressing, pictures of Sheffield’s Old Town Hall in Waingate (which in 1896 became Sheffield’s Crown Court and High Court).

They were taken by a photographer called Neil Pledger who it appears specialises in taking photos of abandoned and neglected historical buildings which he describes as “the ghostly beauty of our decaying heritage”.

It is quite shocking to see the appalling extent of deterioration of our city’s old Town Hall which was built in 1807, but one can still see the fading splendour of this once grand building.

As long ago as 2007 it was named by the Victorian Society as one of its top 10 buildings most at risk and sadly as Mr Pledger says, “it now stands ignored and is succumbing to the putrefaction of time”.

I find it astonishing and quite disgraceful that a historical building which is such an important part of Sheffield’s history should be allowed to fall into this sad state of disrepair . Every effort should have been made by the council to preserve this unique gem.

It is a sad reflection on those who run our city that, as with so many other historical buildings, they stand back and watch them fall into decay. Urgent action needs to be taken to save it before it is lost forever, destined, as Mr Pledger says “bereft of function and taking its last breath”.

Susan Richardson