Letter: A visit to my old town

This letter sent to the Star was written by Chris Mann, Worksop, S81

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 6:49 am
Shoppers in Fargate

I had the great pleasure of visiting my home city, yesterday morning, for a long awaited haircut, at Taylor Taylor, on Surrey Street.

Having arrived in Sheffield, much earlier than I’d anticipated, I took the opportunity to take a walk, in the delightful Spring sunshine and, I have to say, the city centre looked as good as I’ve seen it, for many a year.

Regretfully, even though it was just after 10.00am, I seemed to have the place, to myself.

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A peek into Marks and Spencer’s and, it was clear to see that, although the displays were impeccable and the staff were welcoming and extremely friendly, the Coronavirus has created a mayhem, from which, such stores as M&S may still not recover from.

Yes, online shopping must also share some of the ‘blame’ and, in the case of John Lewis, the store hadn’t been ‘ loved’ by both successive managements and the local authority, for too many years to remember.

Once again, Leeds has taken the prize. Ain’t that a surprise?

The closure of so many landmarks, in the city – Halifax Bank, Surrey Street, a plethora of High Street outlets and Yorkshire Bank, close to the Town Hall.

The list is endless and a testament to both this dreadful and cruel virus, online activity and a complete lack of nous, by the local Council, going back too many years to recall.

My barbers were observing excellent Covid-19 protocols and, fortunately, were extremely busy. The conversation, with Paul Taylor, was a delight and, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, to my old town.

One day, hopefully soon, this dreadful period will be consigned to history.

However, as a matter of urgency, the Chief Executive and the local council need to formulate a group of Sheffield Trustees who are capable of drawing upon the remarkable expertise of – businesses, professionals and people from all walks of life and drive the destiny of the city forwards.

Unless a winning future direction is achieved, and quickly, the likes of Marks and Spencer will be the next business to leave Sheffield.

The chief failure of any of those in authority and, the reason most people have little time, for local authorities? They never seem, to listen.

I’d hate to be the one to say “I told you so”.