“The rot set in years ago”

Staff and shoppers in Sheffield's Castle Market'9th February 1996
Staff and shoppers in Sheffield's Castle Market'9th February 1996
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I must apologise to Judd Newton for raising his blood pressure (Letters, August 15) but am baffled at just what caused his rant at me and Hallamshire Historic Building.s

His comments that our Society did not champion the historical markets area is not strictly true if he can bear to read on.

If he is referring to the fact that we didn’t weep at the loss of the 1960s Castle Markets, then he is correct. I feel I am personally qualified to comment on this as my first job after leaving school was working in the offices there and what a numb, soulless place it was.

My lunchtimes were spent wandering around the market stalls and gallery shops and in those days they were vibrant, spotless and a joy to visit.

I couldn’t use any of those terms to describe them after I made the pilgrimage to view them prior to their closure. Filthy, squalid, run-down and way past their sell-by date are the terms that spring to mind.

Some wearers of rose- tinted spectacles tried to get them listed but were given a swift refusal by English Heritage.

I certainly can’t get excited by 1960s concrete unless it is of great merit and the Castle Market buildings were of minor merit.

We did however release an article about it, in which we suggested that there were some very interesting staircases, bannisters and door-risers.

Various areas contained good retro tiles and of particular interest were some tiled pillars up on the Gallery which spanned Exchange Street. They were of a Festival of Britain style and we suggested that they be consigned to a museum.

In the past we have also published an article about Hambleden House on Exchange Street (the old WH Smith and SYPTE building) singing its praises – ditto the Alexandra Public House. We have also praised the retention of the Old No. 12 Grill as it used to be known.

Perhaps Mr Newton would like to suggest some other worthwhile buildings on the Markets site.

I can’t speak for other conservation groups, but he is incorrect in suggesting that we are all ‘salivating at the mouth’ as he puts it about digging up the castle remains.

Although archaeologically interesting, I and many of our members doubt that tourists will flock to Sheffield to stare at knee high (if we’re lucky) castle wall remnants.

Hallamshire Historic Buildings have been fighting the heritage cause in Sheffield for many years now and if you care to turn the clock back you will see that we fought a massive battle to try and save the Grade II* Gas Company warehouse on Shude Hill – whose listing put it in the top 8 per cent of buildings in the entire country (it was replaced by the bland-looking Hotel Ibis).

I personally took the fight for this unique building all the way up to Prince Charles, but our Philistine Sheffield Council nodded through the demolition by one vote.

If that’s not fighting for the Markets site, then I don’t know what is.

I’m afraid the rot set in many years ago with the loss of the magnificent early 1850s Norfolk Market Hall which was demolished in the 1960s and then the Rag and Tag.

Historically this part of town has always been a market site and everyone (except the council) knew that moving to the Moor, as opposed to continuing the tradition of trading there, would be a bad idea – but we are where we are and we’ll just have to live with it.

Howard Greaves

Chairman, Hallamshire Historic Buidings

Not beautiful any more?

I’ve noticed young women “don’t FEEL beautiful” anymore. They may look very attractive as they always have but something inside them has been lost. Perhaps it’s the overwork; juggling work and being a mother, the fast lifestyle or the mobile phone always in their palm.

In the past they’d comb their hair in front of the mirror and go out “feeling” beautiful. Now in this PC world of high stress they may feel offended if they receive a compliment or not feel it, or take it like, “do you like digestive biscuits”, it means nothing.

Then we live during times when many are tattooed. This has never happened before. So is there a link between the many tattoos on young women and them not “feeling beautiful”, I wonder?

Peter Toctan

Queen Mary Rd, Sheffield, S2

Past their sell by date

Looking at the problem of recruiting new blood that residents associations are having reminds me of the working mens clubs in Sheffield. In their heyday they had thousands of middle aged members and were repeatedly told they should encourage the younger generation into becoming members, to no avail. And now, in addition to falling membership, most are closing, with the committee men and stewards being well past their sell by date.

EB Warris

by email

Stars bright for Fernando

We don’t need an article in The Star to tell Wednesday supporters that Fernando Foresteri is our best player.

When a global superstar like Cher belts out “Fernando” in the new Mamma Mia film, you know he’s the top man!

S Collins

Sheffield , S5

Cash found for the Royals

The taxpayer has just paid for one royal wedding, now we are expected to cough up a further £2 million for Eugenie’s wedding.

Sorry, but I don’t want to contribute towards this shindig of a minor royal. Let air miles Andy put his hand in his pocket.

I would prefer that money prefer to go to the homeless or meals on wheels.

We are always strapped for cash for good causes but it can always be found for the Royals.

jayne grayson

sheffield s35

Another step to equality

Well done to a young professional Muslim woman for winning her case against discrimination.

Farah Alhajeh, aged 24, was being interviewed for a job as an interpreter when she declined to shake the hand of a male interviewer for religious reasons and placed her hand over her heart as a greeting instead. Her interview was then ended.

The labour court in Sweden awarded Ms Alhajeh 40,000 kronor (£3,420) in compensation.

Another step on the road to equality!

John C Fowler

Leverton Gardens, S11