Tuesday, September 30, 2014


This post has been delayed again and again due to technological difficulties.  I simply could not get the pictures we took to load and transfer to the blog.  And then, we were so far out in the beauty of rural England that for awhile our internet connection was spotty and s......l.....o....w.  So, today we will give you a thumbnail sketch of Sheffield using stock photos since ours are still not being cooperative.

The city was a steel town known for its cutlery and other steel works.  During WWII it was heavily bombed due to those steel works.  Post war it suffered from all of the uglyiness of 1960's "architecture".  But currently a great deal of that is being torn down and urban renewal is taking place throughout the city and promises a much more attractive future.

As a juxtaposition, Sheffield is the greenest urban area in England with countless parks and trees for people to enjoy.  This juxtaposition of old and new seemed to me to be the trademark of the city.  And, in several areas it has been done quite well and quite attractively.

Above is the boat basin where we parked.  The series of arches you see to the right have been turned into shops and restaurants.  This area was recently rehabbed and it is now quite attractive.

The shots above show what I mean when I talk about the combination of old and knew with abundant green space.  When done carefully the result is quite attractive.  I especially like the photo on the far left:  new growing out of old.

In the name of greener transportation the city has an active electrical tram line as part of its mass transit system.  More and more British and European cities are going this route to lessen their carbon footprint.
Good choice.

But then you walk past something like the picture below.

This is a shot of part of Sheffield Cathedral.  On the right hand side you see the old and majestic stonework and windows of the Cathedral.  On the left is the new "modern" entrance to the Cathedral built of cement block with wide expanses of glass.  I am still shaking my head as to why one would attach such a modern monstrosity to an old and dignified Cathedral.  (Can you tell I am not impressed?)

Then you come across this eyecatching modern building known as "the cheese grater" for obvious reasons.  I still haven't really decided on this one.  It is unique and eyecatching but what will it look like in a hundred year?  Will it tand the test of time?  It might, but then it might not.  Time will tell.

Parts of the city are old.  Parts are new.
Some is attractive.  Some not.
Parts are clean and feel safe.  Others are strewn with garbage and abandoned buildings, reek of urine and abound with the homeless.

It will be interesting to come back in a few years and see what results from the obvious growing pains.

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