THE downpours and grey clouds which have blighted the British summertime seemed a distant memory as families flocked to Sheffield’s seaside paradise.
With just days to go until the annual Sheffield by the Seaside packs up for another year, parents seized the chance to visit the Peace Gardens for the summertime spectacle.
The free event has been bringing the best of British beaches to the city’s doorstep for the past three weeks - and yesterday was no exception.
Thrill-seeking youngsters took a whirl on the helter-skelter, whizzed around on dodgems or rode in swing boats throughout the afternoon.
And as the sun made a rare appearance in the sky, the fountains filled with people cooling off from the heat or splashing around in the fresh water, while others filled up on ice cream.
Mother Laura Bufton, 23, of Halfway, Sheffield, took her 22-month old son Louis along for a seaside day out.
She said: “This is the first time I’ve been here. I think it’s great. It’s really nice having something like that in the city centre for kids and families.”
Fresh from his summer holidays abroad, toddler Alfie Bell, from Owlthorpe, Sheffield, was keen to show off the sandcastle-building skills he picked up on beaches overseas while grandmother Tina Snee looked on.
Tina, of Hackenthorpe, Sheffield, said: “Alfie’s two-and-a-half and he’s not long been on holiday, but he’s loved being able to come here and paddle around. His mum’s at work so I brought him down. It’s the first time I’ve been here and I think it’s fabulous. We live in Sheffield so we’re not near the beach, but they’ve got everything here.”
And it was not just younger generations getting caught up in the splendour.
Sheffield expat Janet Pepper accompanied her 98-year-old mother Phyllis Pepper, a resident of Alexander Court care home in Crosspool, for a day out soaking up the sunshine.
Janet, who now lives in Spain, said: “I’m helping look after my mum at the minute so I brought her along today. It’s lovely for us to see so much happiness and excitement. My mum used to like the seaside when she was little and I think it’s great they have this here in the city centre.
“She loves watching the kids, seeing them play. It’s such a lovely atmosphere for people, especially when a lot of them can’t get to a beach easily.”
Sheffield by the Seaside, organised by South Yorkshire firm Farrar’s Funfairs, remains in the city centre until Thursday August 30 - its run extended due to popular demand. It had been due to end on Saturday.