Sheffield’s Hyde Park flats once dominated the city’s skyline.
The second phase of the huge regeneration scheme which began with the Park Hill flats, they were opened amid great excitement and acclaim by the Queen Mother on June 23, 1966 – the same day as another city landmark, the University of Sheffield’s Arts Tower. But unlike Park Hill, which has undergone a remarkable revival to become one of the city’s most sought-after addresses, history has been less kind to the Hyde Park flats.
They were initially feted but living conditions rapidly deteriorated and the blocks were cleared of residents in the late 80s before being briefly converted to house competitors in the World Student Games in 1991. By 1993, most of the flats had been demolished – with the rubble reputedly used to fill in Sheffield’s Hole in the Road underpass. Today, two blocks remain, renamed as Harold Lambert Court and Castle Court.
This photo gallery of images from The Star’s archives gives a glimpse of what life was once like on the huge estate.
The Queen Mother looks down over Sheffield from the top of the city's Hyde Park flats which she opened in 1966 Photo: National World
2. Huge flats complex
When completed in 1965, Sheffield's Hyde Park flats dwarfed their older sibling, Park Hill, in both overall scale, with the 1,313 homes housing an estimated 4,605 people at their peak, and height, with the tallest block rising to 18 storeys. The complex, which featured shops, pubs, a branch library, a welfare clinic and doctors surgeries, was viewed at the time as bold and futuristic Photo: Submitted
3. Night patrol
Sheffield's Hyde Park flats were initially popular but living conditions quickly deteriorated, with reports of gangs terrorising the area, infestations of rats and ants, and objects being thrown from heights. In 1967, just one year after their official opening, a former council planning officer said the flats should never have been built, claiming people were being not housed, but ‘warehoused’. This photo, taken on March 25, 1981, shows people taking part in one of the night patrols which were set up following a spate of burglaries Photo: JP
In April 1979, a young girl, Lisa Dean, was tragically killed when a television set fell on her head at Sheffield's Hyde Park flats. This photo taken in 1965 shows the view of Sheffield Canal Basin from Hyde Park flats. Photo: Submitted