RETRO: The boom and bust of Chapel Walk through time

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Long before the birth of Meadowhall Shopping Centre, there used to be this place people would head to which had a collection of booming retailers known as ‘the city centre’.

Chapel Walk, just off Fargate, has experienced some highs and lows in its history as a key part of the city centre’s retail offerings.

One photo, from 1978, shows the street positively bustling with keen shoppers.

Rather than big-name blue-chip firms, the walkway would be home to many local Sheffield businesses like Chapel Walk Chemists and Sarah’s Self Service Restaurant, where in June 1982 you could get a cheese and onion quiche, chips and peas for the princely sum of £1.25.

Later, the street would go through a bit of a downturn, with a fair few for let signs popping up by the early 1990s.

Several schemes have since been set up to reinvigorate the street, including ‘pop- up shops’ using £100,000 of Government money in 2012 in a scheme run in partnership with retail guru Mary Portas.

The fate of independent shops has come under the microscope with the plans to knock down some Division Street stores, including legendary book and record shop Rare & Racy.

But the Chapel Walk area has become home to several modern independent shops today and will continue to play a part as the city centre undergoes regeneration with the new Retail Quarter.