Thursday, 21 November 2013

Don Valley Stadium.

Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield
Photo by Matthew Hatton [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Some things in life seem designed to make you feel old.

Don Valley Stadium is one of them.

When they knocked down the old Egg Box Town Hall extension, around a decade ago, I suddenly got a glimpse of what it is to be mortal, as it was the first building I ever saw demolished that I'd seen being built in the first place. Thanks to that, I was suddenly aware of the passage of time in a way I'd never been before.

Since then, various things that were built in my childhood have fallen by the wayside but now, as though to rub it in, they're demolishing things that were built in my mid-twenties. What kind of madness is this? It's the sort of thing that could make one feel old enough to be Methuselah.

As for the stadium, it was a pretty thing, blessed with a roof of airy elegance - and clearly the UK's biggest and best athletics stadium for around twenty years. But, despite being used for a million and one other things, it hardly ever seemed to get used for what it had been built for - international athletics. With a need to cut spending and another smaller stadium nearby, I suppose it's inevitable it was going to get the chop but it's hard to escape the feeling of a wasted opportunity and to wonder just what it was the athletics authorities had against it, that prevented them granting it any events.

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