Sheffield retro: 17 photos capturing life at city's Park Hill flats over the years as new tours are announced

Sheffield’s iconic Park Hill flats are continuing to enjoy their moment in the national spotlight.

The brutalist blocks looming over the city centre inspired the award-winning musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge, which is set to begin its run at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, in London’s West End, this Friday, February 9.

Now people are being invited to see inside, with the Park Hill Residents’ Association offering tours of what is one of Europe’s largest listed buildings.

The 90-minute tours, led by residents, will run every Saturday between April and August, at 10.30am and 1.30pm, with evening tours starting at 6pm on the third Thursday of each month.

Visitors will be shown around the famous ‘Streets in the Sky’, as the development was dubbed upon completion in the 1960s, taking in the views, learning about its history and getting an insight into life there today, with the chance to see inside one of the flats.

Private tours for groups can also be arranged on request at any time of the year, with the income being used by the residents’ association to support the community.

When the huge concrete apartment complex was completed in 1961, replacing rows of rundown back-to-back housing, it was among the most celebrated civil engineering projects of its day.

The 995 flats and maisonettes were linked by bridges – which were wide enough to accommodate milk floats. There were four pubs – The Earl George on The Pavement, The Link and the Scottish Queen on Gilbert Row, and the Parkway on Hague Row – and 31 shops.

Park Hill hasn’t always been as well loved as it is today, with the newly refurbished flats becoming among the city’s most sought-after addresses. But as these photos from the archives show it has been home throughout its six decades to a thriving community.

To book a tour, visit