RETRO: The changing face of Sheffield’s Fargate

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It may lack the glamour of Meadowhall, but one thing Fargate sure has going for it is a whole load of history.

The city centre shopping row has been a mainstay of Sheffield for many a decade.

But in that time it has come through some hefty changes and a few false dawns and failed schemes, too.

These photos, taken in the 1980s and 1990s, show a Fargate adjusting throughout a changing Sheffield. The walkways into the underground passages, shown here near Marks & Spencer in 1974, were all gone by the 1990s as the Sheffield Supertram rolled into town.

The Goodwin Fountain was the pre-cursor to the Peace Gardens’ water feature. It was installed in Fargate in 1961, where it remained right up until 1998 – having become sophisticated enough in that time to be illuminated in changing colours.

Around that time, not particularly comfortable stone benches were placed along Fargate.

One photo here shows ‘an artist’s impression of a vision for the future of Fargate’, as created in July 1993, which envisioned a huge glass and steel roof being erected to cover the main shopping street.

That would be one of several mooted regeneration ideas which would not come to fruition, but of course, work on Sheffield’s £480miillion retail quarter - or at least, the demolition to make room for it - has begun.