Thursday, 24 March 2016

Britain's tallest carousel ride, Fargate.

Britain's tallest carousel ride, Sheffield, Fargate, March 2016Hooray! Britain's tallest carousel ride has now been erected in Fargate in Sheffield city centre.

If memory serves me right, it's two hundred and twenty feet tall, which makes it just thirty five feet shorter than the University Arts Tower and therefore makes it one of the tallest structures in Sheffield.

As I explained on Twitter on the day I took these photos, I have so far neglected to go on it.

There are those who may assume it's because I'm a spineless coward afraid of being flung around at great altitude in a way that nature never intended.

It is instead because Logan's Run has made me deeply distrustful of carousels.

It's also made me distrustful of robots who want to be sculptors.

Fortunately, there are no such robots in Fargate.

I've checked.

Anyway, here's a load of people who clearly don't realise that, now that they've been on it, it means they have to be disintegrated on their thirtieth birthday.

Britain's tallest carousel ride, Sheffield, Fargate, March 2016

Friday, 28 March 2014

Lees Hall, Gleadless.

Lees Hall duck pond, Gleadless Valley, Sheffield
Pond near the site of Lees Hall Farm - (Neil Theasby) / CC BY-SA 2.0
You have to hand it to Sheffield City Council. There's not many municipalities would think it a good idea to demolish a 16th Century mansion in order to create a rubbish tip - but Sheffield City Council did exactly that in the late 1950s when they knocked down Lees Hall in Gleadless Valley, in order to create what would later become the Blackstock Road Dump-It site.

Having done that, they then bulldozed the rubble into the house's duck pond, in order to completely remove all signs that any such thing had ever existed.

This is of course one of the great architectural scandals of Sheffield and would never be allowed today.

Lees Hall was a three story, triple gabled structure but all that remains of it now is the name - which lent itself to the neighbouring Lees Hall golf club - a bit of rubble and the above ditch which is the last remnant of the duck pond. Up until a few years ago, even that was lost but it was exposed during a clean-up of the site, meaning we can at least have a tantalising glimpse of what was once there.

That may be a picture of Lees Hall as it is now but pictures of it shortly before its destruction can be found at Picture Sheffield.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

The Egg Box Town Hall extension.

Sheffield Egg Box Town Hall extension being demolished
Photo by neuroticcamel from Sheffield, England (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
I'll admit it. I liked the Egg Box. Plenty of people hated it but I refuse to hate any building that could possess such elements of chunky sticky-inness and sticky outness.

Not only that but it'll always hold a special place in my heart as the first building in Sheffield whose creation and then death I witnessed. Somehow, experiencing the entire lifespan of a building gives you a whole new view of life and the passage of time.

Of course, its great claim to fame was that, in Barry Hines' TV movie Threads, it was the location of the bunker from which Sheffield City Council would run the city in the event of a nuclear holocaust. Given that the council often struggle to run the city when there's not been a nuclear holocaust, perhaps it was a little optimistic to think they could run the place when there was one.

Well, that's all fine and dandy but, for me, its other claim to fame is that, in the 1970s, there was an amusement arcade in Blackpool that had a roof like an egg carton - and thus the two buildings felt like spiritual brothers. That building had a dalek you could sit inside and pretend to kill people with.

Sadly, Sheffield's building lacked such a thing.

No wonder it wasn't popular.
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