These fascinating pictures caught the moment Sheffield changed forever in the 1980s

Photographer John Darwell was commissioned to take pictures of the changing face of Sheffield just over 30 years ago.

Monday, 30th March 2020, 2:56 pm
Updated Monday, 30th March 2020, 3:59 pm
An image from 'Sheffield In Transition 1988-89'. Picture: John Darwell.
An image from 'Sheffield In Transition 1988-89'. Picture: John Darwell.

In the late 1980s, with the steel industry having virtually disappeared and big efforts to regenerate the Lower Don Valley getting under way, John was asked by the city’s Untitled Gallery to take pictures of this important time in social history.

His work can be found in a new box set of books called Sheffield In Transition 1988-89. Here are 20 of the best images from the collection – read an interview with John here.

A steel factory is demolished.

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A fence line on the outskirts of Sheffield.
Tommy's Barber Shop - with Tommy in the mirror.
Peter at his 'buy and sell shop' on Attercliffe Road.
A polisher at work.
A former steelworker working on the demolition of his old workplace.
Members of a job creation scheme clearing litter from the site of Sheffield Arena.
The shower block at a derelict steel mill.
A scene from the Don Valley.
A derelict office block in the Don Valley.
A former metal merchant in the Don Valley.
Christmas decorations in an empty steelworks.
A chip shop on Attercliffe Road.
Another view of the 'buy and sell shop' on Attercliffe Road.
Meadowhall under construction.
Looking under the M1 flyover at Tinsley.
Playing to the camera on Attercliffe Road.
Inside the Arabian Nights cafe.
The 'buy and sell shop' trades between a boarded-up snack bar and a demolition site.
Three retired steelworkers.