Just a couple of weeks ago I had my hair cut at Scott’s and I thought, I’ll walk up to the now demolished market and up towards Haymarket, writes Vin Malone
As I approached the now boarded-up Rotherham House I could smell the decay coming from the once popular pub.
How pubs like this one can be left to rot is just beyond me.
The pubs that we have lost in Sheffield for one reason or another is a crying shame.
The smoking ban didn’t help but long before that the ever-rising cost of the foaming pint contributed much more than the smoking ban has, along with the bars and clubs that enticed a generation of 18-year-olds from the traditional pubs and clubs that their fathers and grandfathers swore by.
These young people think nothing of spending £5 and over for one drink, something that the older end would never do.
I count myself in that category.
Ron Clayton has been fighting a losing battle over the loss of our pubs and historic buildings but he keeps his verbal battle going, as I try to.
Back to the Rotherham House, the original pub was built in 1797 and the one we see decaying today was built c1890.
It has had nearly as many names as Elizabeth Taylor.
It was a Berni Inn, the No 12, which still stands opposite Wilko’s, then the Market Tavern.
I used this old pub for a few years but it got a bit grotty.
In the Wicker we lost the Bull & Oak aka the Assembly House, Crown & Cushion, Dick Hills, Sam Hills Parlour.
The original building was built in 1715 and finally closed in 1998 and finally demolished for the ridiculous road system that blights this city.
We also lost the Bell in the Square.
The original Bell was on the other side of the square opposite the newsagents, then that little road was Market Street.
It was demolished when the square was altered and the building we see today was built in c1890. Now, instead of being a hub of music, singing and laughter, it’s been turned into flats.
We lost the Elephant just across on the bottom of Norfolk Street and Marples.
I could fill this newspaper’s pages for a week on the pubs we’ve lost to the developers and the council.
We are about to lose the Athol on Charles Street, another pub dates from 1887.
I passed Denby Street this week and I was appalled at the student flats that are being built there.
All the old firms have gone. Why not keep them and modernise the inside like what’s happened around Sidney Street and other areas?
Anyway, the Sportsman, not an old pub, but it looks lost, hemmed in by the towering flats, and it does resemble the scene from the film Up.
The Old Queens Head is another prime example of our terrible council allowing the domination of small buildings by the universities with total disregard for historic building like the Old Queens Head.
It’s true that the loss of our social meeting places cannot be blamed on just one thing, it’s a collection of things as I’ve pointed out.
Just when was the last time you heard in a Budget speech: “As from midnight, the price of a pint of beer will be reduced by 2p”? I would safely say the late 1950s.
It’s a never-ending increase for a drink that’s 99 per cent water.