ON THIS DAY: Sheffield's showpiece shopping centre Meadowhall opened 26 years ago

September 4 1990 saw thousands of shoppers converge on what would prove to be our regional retail powerhouse.
Crowds flocked to Meadowhall openingCrowds flocked to Meadowhall opening
Crowds flocked to Meadowhall opening

Not only would it revolutionise South Yorkshire's shopping habits it would, a quarter of a century ago, put Steel City on the map for leisure and trade tourism from far and wide.

Here we wind back the clock to when £400 million investment witnessed birth - not only of English singer songwriters James Bay and Danny Worsnop as well as England rugby player Jonny Lomax - but the UK's second biggest shops complex.

Meadowhall tape-cutting ceremonyMeadowhall tape-cutting ceremony
Meadowhall tape-cutting ceremony
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Opening the venue's HMV store that Tuesday, even rock n roll curmudgeon Bob Geldof liked Meadowhall ... if not Mondays.

An instant success, attracting 20 million customers within its first year, it was built on former steelworks, boasting floor area of 1.5 million square feet.

1990s Oasis centrepiece was massive screen displaying live TV and music videos before black-out by 2011 £7 million food court redevelopment.

The centre's eco-friendly credentials have for the past decade harvested rainwater and condensation from air conditioning, as well as ground drilled bore hole, to flush toilets and water garden areas. Seven metre high on-site tanks each hold 30,000 litres of water.

Meadowhall opening crowd controlMeadowhall opening crowd control
Meadowhall opening crowd control
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The complex also recycles 97 per cent of waste courtesy of its own facility with no rubbish sent to landfill.

Set to be overhauled with further £50 million refurb, the 280-outlet retail giant faces fresh challenge today to its fortunes with £480 million Sheffield Retail Quarter blueprint.