The Sheffield walkway in the sky

My teenage years are long behind me now, and the ache and pains I have today never existed then.

Thursday, 25th February 2021, 4:45 pm

All the summers were long and hot, and the winters snowy and short.

Many of my teenage years were spent in town on the Gallery.

This was situated along Exchange st and the Haymarket, a walkway in the sky.

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Gallery

These walkways were a safe haven from the hustle and bustle of a busy Saturday afternoon.

Away from the many thousands of shoppers in the area and the cars with their exhaust throwing their fumes into the air, before Exchange street was pedestrianised.

When I speak to my contemporaries now, they all mention the Gallery, I’m surprised there was enough room for us all.

Gallery in decline

The gallery acted as a great conduit to get from the Castle Market to Woolworths and even into the Sheaf Market, without touching the ground.

There were so many shops and stalls to look at and dream of what you’d buy if you had the money.

Woolworths was a favourite of mine because it seemed to have everything: sports equipment, rows of sweets, records – you name it!

In my day they were record shops, but I always liked Woolies.

Maces the pet shop was like a small zoo for us, I remember myself and my friend Pete bought a couple of mice from there.

On the Gallery and Woolworths there were passport photo booths. We spent many a happy time taking photos with friends and if you were lucky a girlfriend or boyfriend, without a thought of ever getting a passport.

This was an easy and quite inexpensive way to have a bit of fun. Some people in their 50s still have photos taken with friends today.

The Gallery was also a great vantage point, we would spend time just people watching, hoping to spot friends or foes.

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