Take Two with Colin Drury

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YOU know things must be gloomy when even Starbucks don’t want to be in your city centre. The tax-avoiding, multinational coffee chain might not be everyone’s cup of latte but we all know they’d give their last bean to be where people and profits are. Which it seems isn’t here in Sheffield. The chain looks poised to shut its Fargate and Orchard Square units, as reported in The Star. At one point not too long ago this was a firm expanding so fast and opening so many new outlets in so many different places, one half expected to arrive home one day and find they’d set up shop in the spare room. That’s still happening in some parts of the country. No doubt, plenty of people will rejoice at the firm’s demise here - but they’re wrong to do so. A city centre that Starbucks doesn’t want to be part of really is a city centre that’s in serious trouble.


MEANWHILE, online, one forum user notes his disquiet at the amount of chuggers daily harassing people in Fargate. “It’s that bad,” he says, “I am thinking of emailing the BBC to see if they fancy using it for the next series of Total Wipeout.”


IT’S a little triangle to be proud of so fair play to the businesses based there for opening it up for the rest of us to see. John Street, Randall Street and Harwood Street form a three-sided quarter (if that makes sense) where four old metal factories - Portland Works, Stag Works, Clifton Works and Harland Works - have all been transformed into an eclectic mix of music studios, jewellers, photography workspaces and tattooists. Modern day mesters, you might call them. And this weekend they opened it all up for the rest of us to go and look around - complete with bands, craft stalls and demonstrations. A great idea. And how great to see this small area of Sheffield, at least, being so imaginatively regenerated. An place with a history and a future, and somewhere that’s well worth having a wander round if you have a spare afternoon any time.


AND finally forgive us if you’re aware of this one but excellent road name in North Anston: Memory Lane. Well worth a trip down, perhaps.