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Sheffield History

The Hole In The Road - Photos

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There are plenty of 'hole in the roads' in Sheffield mate. Where do you want me to start photographing ? ;-)

Sorry Neil, could not resist it.

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Ahhh, takes me back!! Only the other day I was stood outside TJ Huges, Arundel Gate, trying to work out where one of the ramped entrances was that gave access to Hole In The Road - alas it is now a bus lane, so no good rocking a loose paver to see if the old fish popped their heads out!

Still miss HITR - was unique - Sheffield at its best, but also at its worst. Old enough to remember when the place was opended - gleaming and magical and unfortunately, just before it was closed for good, when HITR became so run down and dangerous, I for one would risk life and limb crossing the roads above rather than use the many subways below... In the early days, HITR looked especially nice at Christmas when the council decorated the roundabout wall above with lights and put a big Christmas tree in the middle, lit up to celebrate the season... Happy days.

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Ahhh, takes me back!! Only the other day I was stood outside TJ Huges, Arundel Gate, trying to work out where one of the ramped entrances was that gave access to Hole In The Road - alas it is now a bus lane, so no good rocking a loose paver to see if the old fish popped their heads out!

Still miss HITR - was unique - Sheffield at its best, but also at its worst. Old enough to remember when the place was opended - gleaming and magical and unfortunately, just before it was closed for good, when HITR became so run down and dangerous, I for one would risk life and limb crossing the roads above rather than use the many subways below... In the early days, HITR looked especially nice at Christmas when the council decorated the roundabout wall above with lights and put a big Christmas tree in the middle, lit up to celebrate the season... Happy days.

A BIG Christmas tree?

Sheffield Council?

Are you sure?

There may have been a big tree outside the town hall at the top of Fargate near the Goodwin fountain but as I remember it the one in the hole in the road was a small tatty looking tree in comparison

Take a look at these Christmas 1974 pictures (sorry about the poor quality) and see what you think.

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Granted, the 1974 Christmas Tree is a bit sparce - must ave been all them platform heels trotting through the subways that shook its needles to the floor! There is a much better HITR Christmas Tree pic, I think taken in 1967 that can be seen via picturesheffield.com and under the search of "Castle Square". Really is a lovely pic, in colour, too. That's how I remember the lights back then. Have a look - don't want to upload the pic here incase of copyright, but still nice to give people an idea if we could... You can see the big tree, the MASSIVE lit up crowns above HITR at the road junctions and folks down below, nebbing into that famous fish tank...

=============================================

Link to picturesheffield - Illuminations, Castle Square

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Granted, the 1974 Christmas Tree is a bit sparce - must ave been all them platform heels trotting through the subways that shook its needles to the floor! There is a much better HITR Christmas Tree pic, I think taken in 1967 that can be seen via Sheffieldpicture.com and under the search of "Castle Square". Really is a lovely pic, in colour, too. That's how I remember the lights back then. Have a look - don't want to upload the pic here incase of copyright, but still nice to give people an idea if we could... You can see the big tree, the massive lit up crowns above HITR at the road junctions and folks down below, nebbing into that famous fish tank...

1967 one does look bigger and better than the 1974 one.

They must always keep the biggest and best one for outside the town hall / top of fargate though as both of them look smaller than the one they position there.

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The 1974 one looks slim but tall enough to pop through the hole.

I remember them having big trees in the hole in the road, that's what they were

trying to achieve for it to surface out of the hole and above street level,

Must have been a poor budget in 1974. Remember when most off the large stores

used to contibute towards the lights, bet they don't do that now.

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The 1974 one looks slim but tall enough to pop through the hole.

I remember them having big trees in the hole in the road, that's what they were

trying to achieve for it to surface out of the hole and above street level,

Must have been a poor budget in 1974. Remember when most off the large stores

used to contibute towards the lights, bet they don't do that now.

What happened to the annual free Christmas trees which were a Christmas gift from the people and Government of Norway?

They were always really big trees.

Or was that just the one in Trafalgar Square in London?

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Many thanks for adding the link, Steve - job well done. I've no idea how to do these things and the pic of the 1967 show is a good one!

There are some good pics of HITR on picturesheffield.com that show many stages in the life of the famous Castle Square Subway from a tidy start, to a shameful ending just before the place was filled in. Some of the pics show additional roof supports were placed in the subways prior to bricking them up, strengthening the surface above for traffic and Supertram. I wonder if some of these tunnels are still there, under the ground? If they are, must be a very creepy place now! By my rubbish maths, has HITR been filled in for nearly as many years as it was open?

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The tunnels were all filled in when the subways were closed. I believe the ends of the tunnels were sealed with blocks and a gap left so that they could be pumped full of flyash. I walked through the complex in connection with my work when it had been closed off but before the filling work began, wierd. The middle was part filled with the remains of Kelvin flats.

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Great picture of the hole in the road, have we got a date on this one?

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The picture isnt actually dated but we would guess around 73??

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The picture isnt actually dated but we would guess around 73??

Is the estimate based on a knowledge of some of the vehicles driving around the hole and on the adjoining streets like their make, model and years of production?

I know some of the transport experts like transit and busman are excellent at that type of analysis.

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Is the estimate based on a knowledge of some of the vehicles driving around the hole and on the adjoining streets like their make, model and years of production?

I know some of the transport experts like transit and busman are excellent at that type of analysis.

yes, its just a shame there are no buses on the pic as this would make it a lot easier, Its deffo before deregulation tho as this shot wouldnt have been possible with no buses!

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Good one! I'll ave a guess at 1973, as the concrete roof of HITR doesn't look like it's aged much - Walsh's Department Store still there, which pre-dated Rackhams and can see one of those early Ford Escorts..?

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Does anyone remember a fish tank built into one of the walls? Or has my memory gone belly up.

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One of my postcards. Large scan, enjoy.

img083.jpg

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Has anyone seen the virtual hole in the road experience?

I believe it was in Millennium Gallery for a while and you had to wear VR goggles to 'walk through'.

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