Sheffield retro: 15 rarely seen photos of Sheffield's Hole in the Road and forgotten Furnival Square underpass

The city centre landmark became the meeting point for many a first date

The 1960s were the decade of bold fashion statements, from mini skirts to bell-bottom trousers and paisley prints.

They also gave us another unforgettable style icon in the form of Sheffield's famous Hole in the Road underpass and roundabout, at the junction of High Street, Arundel Gate and Angel Street.

What the concrete landmark lacked in colour it made up for in futuristic flare, with its modern look complemented by touches like the cool strip lighting, making it look like a UFO had crash landed in the city centre; the escalators leading to and from the High Street above; and the basement shop fronts displaying the latest wares.

But it was most famous for the fish tank built into the wall, which more than anything else turned the subterranean haunt from a feature designed to help folk get around the city to one which brought people together.

The fish tank became the meeting point for many a first date or night out on the town, and the Hole in the Road was a popular spot for buskers and for families to gather at Christmas to see it decked out with lights and a huge tree.

These rarely seen photos, taken by Sheffield City Council's engineers and surveyors during the 1960s and 70s, have resurfaced after they were uploaded to Picture Sheffield's online archives.

They show people gathered around the fish tank, pedestrians using the escalators, and some of the shops from that time, including the Thorntons sweet shop below gound and Walsh's department store, C&A and others above.

The Hole in the Road opened in 1967, rising, or should that be sinking, from the rubble of the blitz, as old streets which had been damaged by bombs during the Second World War were cleared to make way for the new Arundel Gate dual carriageway. It survived for less than 30 years before being filled in during 1994 to make way for the new Castle Square Supertram stop.

Its demolition followed years of decline, during which it became plagued by graffiti, vandalism and crime, meaning its passing was perhaps not mourned as much as it might have been at the time.

But it has left an indelible mark on generations of Sheffielders who remember it fondly. The Hole in the Road is today one of the city's most missed landmarks, eulogised in song, verse and artworks.

The same cannot be said for another less remarkable underpass at nearby Furnival Square, which was left in its metaphorical shadow in the same way as Park Hill today gets all the plaudits while the nearby Hyde Park flats, or what remains of them, are often forgotten.

This retro photo gallery also features images of that less eye-catching piece of urban engineering, which, with a road cutting through it, failed to find a place in the public's affections in the way the inimitable Hole in the Road did.

All the photos are shared courtesy of Picture Sheffield.