Gutted at missing out on small part of city’s history

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Although I have lived in Sheffield for 35 years, my first and only encounter with Hallam Towers happened when I was a student in 1978 and had been here for only three weeks.

Billetted in Earnshaw Hall on Endcliffe Crescent me and some of my friends wondered what would happen if we took a look at the big white hotel more or less across the road.

We duly dropped in and did all that exciting stuff like drinking the expensive ale and taking the lift to the top floor.

At the end of the evening and suitably refreshed we decided that it would be a good idea to cut across the gardens at the front rather than following the path back down to Fulwood Road.

We charged down the slope and through the assorted foliage with me in the front. I wasn’t expecting the gardens to end quite as abruptly as they did and I found myself treading air before landing smack in the middle of the main road. Luckily there was no traffic coming and I got away with a badly sprained ankle.

The next day I went to get it looked at at the old Royal Infirmary on West Street. I had no idea that the Royal was about to close and that I had fetched up in A&E on the last day it would be open. As we waited, a photographer from The Star turned up to get a snap of that last day’s patients.

He was about to press the shutter when my name was called and I had to leave the picture. I left the room to sympathy from fellow patients gutted at my missing out on being a small part of a footnote in the city’s history.

Paul Taylor