Limited only by the imagination

A few weeks ago I kept a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas lunch appointment at the M&S Fargate store, followed by a stroll down The Moor in a futile attempt to shed an inch or two from my rapidly expanding waistline.

Monday, 15th January 2018, 5:37 am
Updated Monday, 15th January 2018, 5:40 am
Coles Corner

But my word, it’s a depressing scene if ever there was one. Not only my waistline but also the appearance of some of the recently constructed new buildings in our heartaches of the City programme – and those still under development. It’s hard to believe that this is the best we can come up with. Apparently, it is!

When Leeds opened the first of its depressingly gorgeous new city centre stores I wrote, in a reader’s letter, that it was bang-on schedule for the 21st century and, since then, they’ve only gone and completed yet another even more stunning addition to their city centre stock. And us? Well, we’ve fallen even further behind our Yorkshire neighbours and it’s difficult to believe we’ll ever catch up.

However, it’s not all bad news! On my return home I dug out a copy of an October 15, 2007 letter I originally sent to the, then, JLP chief executive, Andy Street. But then a very recent edition of The Star focused on JLP’s exciting plans for their current Barker’s Pool site and, as I’ve said in other letters on this subject, it’s a blinding opportunity for this city to showcase the architectural and design talents we’ve actually got available to us in this capacity. Let’s do it! Let’s make it happen! Let’s rock it!

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Because, the way I see it, on one hand, it’s an essential fiscal necessity in which JLP can vastly improve both its city centre portfolio and its bottom line. On the other hand, it’s a tremendous opportunity for myself and hundreds of thousands of other Sheffield folk to take a trip back into the future. To Cole’s Corner! Back in the day, Cole Brothers was so much more than just a small shop at the end of Fargate. Then it was the place where Sheffielders met. Tomorrow it can be again.

I’m an enormous admirer of an 850-year-old South Yorkshire castle, not in Sheffield, but in the small town of Conisbrough some 25 minutes away. Once a year the castle is illuminated with red and green poppies as a part of the WW1 armistice commemoration and very effective it is too. Now I’m not suggesting for one minute that JLP project poppies onto the facade of their Barker’s Pool store, but what an awesome opportunity to use all sides of that edifice as giant four-sided screens to provide all types of images, moving or static, for the benefit of the Sheffield public.

It’s limited only by the imagination!

H Dakin

S6