Meadowhall: Shaking floors and 'absolute chaos' - opening day memories shared 33 years on

The megamall affected thousands of lives from the moment it opened
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Memories of Meadowhall’s exciting first moments came flooding back to shoppers on its 33rd birthday - including Bob Geldof, red roses and “absolute chaos.”

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On The Star’s Facebook page, Brian Newsam wrote: “It was so crowded that on the upper floor I felt really uncomfortable with all the vibrations from thousands of feet.”

Meadowhall opening day on September 4 1990Meadowhall opening day on September 4 1990
Meadowhall opening day on September 4 1990

Christine Hemsley added: “I was one of them, absolute chaos but I should have known better.”

Lynn Housley said: “I went on opening day and they were giving single red roses out, and I got one.”

Sharon Davies recalled: “They gave out a free board game based on Sheffield which I still have in mint condition."

Police attempt to control crowds on Meadowhall launch day 33 years ago.Police attempt to control crowds on Meadowhall launch day 33 years ago.
Police attempt to control crowds on Meadowhall launch day 33 years ago.
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Tim Shepherd added: “Remember being stuck in HMV waiting for Sir Bob Geldof to turn up to do a trolley dash. Of course he was late and nobody could get out of the store.”

Anne Chukukere said: “There were marshals in the car parks the first few days showing you where to go. Happy memories.”

Barbara Marriott was also there but she was working.

“Worked in Debenhams from day one, lasted 17 years, all those late nights around Christmas. Meadowhall has lost its way, apart from M&S, Next and Primark most stores are phones, trainers and sports gear,” she said.

Teresa Struggles tagged her friend Caz Nutter and said: “We went. I got the job at the Jean shop can you remember?”

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Meanwhile, those involved shed light on the huge construction project.

Mike Hutson recalled: “I remember being there for almost 24 hrs prior to opening, working on finishing our project. Will never forget Bovis taking me to the top of the dome whilst it was being built view of Don Valley was brilliant.”

Helen Beasley added: “I remember construction. I and many others stopping at the side of the road to see the dome airlifted in by a twin rotor helicopter.”

The famous dome was lowered into place by helicopter.The famous dome was lowered into place by helicopter.
The famous dome was lowered into place by helicopter.

Michael Green said: “Pleased to say I drove my Sherpa van inside it during construction, until the Italians moved in to to do the tiling!”

Bob Agus added: “Helped wire the place.”

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Gaynor Jill Ellis posted: “My husband worked on the construction of the car parks.”

Many were shocked at how much time had passed, but, for some, the intervening years had done nothing to soften their opinion of the place.

Andrew Pilkington said: “Still got my Ellesse jacket I bought a few months after it opened... wow, over 32 years old.”

Andrea Hartley added: “Went with my mum the day it opened, hate the place.”

Melvin Dickinson recalled: “Give me Castle Market back any day.”

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