I visited Sheffield’s northernmost suburb of High Green - and while it had fresh air, locals say it's changed

Any Arctic Monkeys fan will have heard of High Green in Sheffield - but what is it like to live there? We visited to find out.
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High Green is Sheffield’s northernmost suburb, and has been firmly placed on the map by the Arctic Monkeys, who famously came from the area.

While I have lived in Sheffield for the past six years, I’d never had a reason to venture up to High Green. But after readers voted the bus service that runs from Batemoor - High Green as the ‘worst’ in the city, I knew I had to use it as an opportunity to get the 1 bus, and to visit the suburb.

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And on one Friday morning, I found myself on Thompson Hill as I stepped off the bus.

Reporter Kirsty Hamilton visited Sheffield's northernmost suburb of High Green.Reporter Kirsty Hamilton visited Sheffield's northernmost suburb of High Green.
Reporter Kirsty Hamilton visited Sheffield's northernmost suburb of High Green.

I’ve lived in several different areas in Sheffield, from Upperthorpe to Manor Top, but I’d never felt air as clean as in High Green. It was a particularly windy day and the sun was shining, and it felt like spring was finally here.

I first walked to Wortley Road. To my left were views of fields, and to my right were a number of shops, including Kevin Williams’ butchers, a convenience store, and a hairdressers and barbers.

I had heard that the Arctic Monkeys had been customers of The Circle Friery chippy, and decided that was where I would head to next. But I ended up walking the wrong way, and headed around Angram Bank Recreation Ground. Daffodils were swaying in the breeze, and there was not a soul to be seen - that is until I reached One Stop on Cottam Road. This shop seemed to be a hit with locals, and I found myself speaking to Vic Fretwell, who has lived in the neighbourhood since 1963.

Vic Fretwell has lived in High Green for over 60 years, and has seen some changes.Vic Fretwell has lived in High Green for over 60 years, and has seen some changes.
Vic Fretwell has lived in High Green for over 60 years, and has seen some changes.
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The 83-year-old told me how he and his late wife had moved to the neighbourhood where they went on to have three children - two sons and a daughter. 

Vic told me it’s a nice area, and that “you’re always in fresh air” - but in the 60 years he has lived there, it has changed a lot.

“There was nothing up here when we moved here, it was all fields,” he said. “Now they’ve built all these estates up here.

“It’s not as good as it used to be - there were 10 pubs when I came up here. All the pubs have shut, every one of them. There’s just High Green Club.

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“I have enjoyed it, it’s been a lovely place to live, but I know times are changing. If I had my time again, I wouldn’t come here, but you don’t know what will happen, do you? Life changes.”

Pub closures have affected the whole country over the past decade or so, turning many high streets and villages into ghost towns. While Vic tells me this is what has happened in High Green, it is sadly not unique - but I was pleased to hear he still visits High Green Club each week.

The daffodils have sprung in High Green.The daffodils have sprung in High Green.
The daffodils have sprung in High Green.

I then made my way to The Circle Friery, but found it hadn’t yet opened for the day, so I continued on to Greengate Lane where there were more shops, including a vets, a shop selling pet supplies, and a few food stores.

I popped into Go Local where one member of staff, who asked to only be named Sonica, told me how she had moved from Rotherham to High Green seven months ago for work. 

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When asked about living in the area, the 45-year-old simply said: “Nothing bad, everything is good”, and that the customers were nice.

Outside the Co-op a few doors down, I found myself talking to one man who asked not to be named. He also told me how the area had changed over the years, but that the fresh air and nature saw him stay.

It appeared to me that High Green ticked the boxes in a lot of ways - it had a GP, a dentist, primary schools, a range of shops, chatty locals, and lots of greenery. Anything else could be found a short bus journey or drive away, such as in Chapeltown and Ecclesfield.

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