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Sheffield History

Park Hill Flats

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Apologies, DaveH, had a hectic few days: (including an attempted burglary the night before last!)

park hill was four blocks, I think, linked by bridges at each level, as I said earlier, the levels were named Norwich Row, Long Henry Row, Hague row and Gilbert Row.

ok Hyde park: Four blocks, listed largest to smallest in order as far as I can remember, generally linked, block to block, by a bridge on a single level

Biggest block (now demolished)

High pavement Row (where the shops were)

Bevis

Chancel

Dacre

Lord

Rowland

St John's

Next biggest:- (now refurbed and under Northern Counties' Housing Assoc' Control, Clad in red)

Bungay Row

Chequers

Derwent

Ropery

Cricket Inn row (Walk?)

Second smallest (now refurbed and called Harold Lambert Court. Clad in Green)

High Pavement Row

Link Row

Reubens (? Rubens?) Row

(there were some "penthouses£ like St John's but I forget the name)

Smallest Block (the one nearest the city centre on broad Street, now also demolished)

Stepney Row

Snow Hill Row

Link Row.

There were some satellite blocks along from HPF called HP Terrace and HP Walk, which were also refurbished.

Kelvin

(can't remember which order the rows came in from top to bottom, but I can name all four...)

Two blocks, same height, four levels, linked by bridges on each level)

Kelvin Walk,

Edith Walk

Woollen Walk, and

Portland Walk

It was odd that HP and PH flats all seemed to be named "rows" and the Kelvin were all "walks", and I'm not sure why that was.

What I do know is that the rows and walks were named for the streets that had been there before clearance, and before the building of the flats' complexes.

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Thank again for all that info Plain Talker,

I had friends at Norfolk School who wer "bused up" to our school from Park Hill and Hyde Park and all of these names sound vaguely familiar as the addresses of school friends from about 40 years ago.

As for Kelvin flats, I know very little about them (except where they were) and having posted a photo of them it reminded me that they looked very similar to the Park Hill and hyde park ones.

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Thank again for all that info Plain Talker,

I had friends at Norfolk School who wer "bused up" to our school from Park Hill and Hyde Park and all of these names sound vaguely familiar as the addresses of school friends from about 40 years ago.

As for Kelvin flats, I know very little about them (except where they were) and having posted a photo of them it reminded me that they looked very similar to the Park Hill and hyde park ones.

Internally the all three sets of flats were pretty much identical, (although HPF was the only development to have the top story roof- gardens and single level "penthouses".

Park ill had a slightly different window-layout to HP and K, PH's windows were in a "portrait" lay out (IE taller than they were wide) whereas HP and K's windows were "landscape" (that is, wider than they were long)

PHF had a variety of different coloured bricks, in its construction, each level getting progressively paler, from a dark, sooty looking brick to a pale, sandy brick on the topmost floor.

HP and K looked very alike, the same grey concrete coloured bricks. (though I seem to remember the smallest block on HPF, near town, being a sandstone coloured brick, and not grey.)

HP and Kelvin had glassed lifts, originally, and you could see a panorama of the city below you as the lift went to the upper floors. my aunt lived quite high up and I hated that, (I am still afraid of heights to this day)

PHF's lifts were enclosed fully. There were only the windows in the doors, not in the rear wall of the lift.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/southyorkshire/conten...ark_470x365.jpg

on this photograph, you can see on the HPF lift-shaft, the windows going all the way up.

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Internally the all three sets of flats were pretty much identical, (although HPF was the only development to have the top story roof- gardens and single level "penthouses".

Great picture clearly showing the "glassed lift" Plain Talker (sorry to hear about your "burglary" by the way)

Now I don't know that much about Hyde Park flats but just to recap :-

"glass - sided lifts giving panoramic views of the city, top story roof- gardens and single level penthouses".

Are we talking Sheffield inner city high density council housing here? It sounds like a millionaires paradise in California or on the Med. (except for the weather).

I bet people were queueing up at the Council Housing Dept. to get one of those.

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Great picture clearly showing the "glassed lift" Plain Talker (sorry to hear about your "burglary" by the way)

Now I don't know that much about Hyde Park flats but just to recap :-

"glass - sided lifts giving panoramic views of the city, top story roof- gardens and single level penthouses".

Are we talking Sheffield inner city high density council housing here? It sounds like a millionaires paradise in California or on the Med. (except for the weather).

I bet people were queueing up at the Council Housing Dept. to get one of those.

They were very popular, Dave, and really nice, at the beginning, before the "undesirables" were moved on; and naturally with the heating and constant hot water, they were palaces, compared to the back-to-backs they replaced.

the design of the flats internally were nice, very light and airy.

I loved how the warmth used to hit me as we entered my grandma's flat, and the delicious smell of the huge pan of stew she'd have cooking on the hob.

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They were very popular, Dave, and really nice, at the beginning, before the "undesirables" were moved on; and naturally with the heating and constant hot water, they were palaces, compared to the back-to-backs they replaced.

the design of the flats internally were nice, very light and airy.

I loved how the warmth used to hit me as we entered my grandma's flat, and the delicious smell of the huge pan of stew she'd have cooking on the hob.

Sounds like they were the best of the three, although as I have said previously my grandmother was very happy with Park Hill flats and prefered them to the Norfolk Park blocks after a short time up there.

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Sounds like they were the best of the three, although as I have said previously my grandmother was very happy with Park Hill flats and prefered them to the Norfolk Park blocks after a short time up there.

I think as the three complexes were built, the standards deteriorated, and that PHF was the better constructed of the three.

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I think as the three complexes were built, the standards deteriorated, and that PHF was the better constructed of the three.

So my gran was right them. When we visited here we thought the flats were good if just a little cranky in design.

As well as the portrait windows there was also the pointless staircase (entrance door + hall on one level, flat itself up / down stairs), some strange shaped rooms, small interconnecting balconies with hardboard panels, rooms which had no windows inside the flat (including the bathroom / toilet) that relied on SAL (subsidiary artificial lighting, - i.e. an electric light bulb!, a kitchen with an oven called a "Jackson Giant" which wasn't big enough to roast a chicken in (although Gran once managed to do a goose in it for Christmas) and a sink with a very large plug which allowed it to double up as a dustbin (just put the rubbish down the sink!)

These were all great inovative ideas at the time, but they did seem a little unusual.

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So my gran was right them. When we visited here we thought the flats were good if just a little cranky in design.

As well as the portrait windows there was also the pointless staircase (entrance door + hall on one level, flat itself up / down stairs), some strange shaped rooms, small interconnecting balconies with hardboard panels, rooms which had no windows inside the flat (including the bathroom / toilet) that relied on SAL (subsidiary artificial lighting, - i.e. an electric light bulb!, a kitchen with an oven called a "Jackson Giant" which wasn't big enough to roast a chicken in (although Gran once managed to do a goose in it for Christmas) and a sink with a very large plug which allowed it to double up as a dustbin (just put the rubbish down the sink!)

These were all great inovative ideas at the time, but they did seem a little unusual.

The garchey waste disposal system was quite clever, in its day... the sink functioned as a normal sink for all your cleaning tasks like washing up/ hand laundry and preparing veg etc, but simply turn a cover, and the normal sized plug opened wider to put the waste potato peelings and whatever into a drum. The centre acted as a plunger, and when raised, the waste would flush away. even tin cans and bottles could go through the system (made a helluva racket though, if someone upstairs from you decided to send cans and bottles down the Garchey in the early hours!!!)

The interweaving design of the flats (up/down/ level) actually made best use of the space, (if you look at le Corbusier's Unité d'Habitation in Marseilles you can see this to best effect.

If you knew the layout of one flat, you could work out the way the following flats were laid out. (along the landings, a two-bedroomed "upstairs" flat was always next door to a one- bedroomed/ bedsit downstairs flat, and the three-bedromed "level" flat was always next to / above a 2-bedroomed "downstairs" flat. The living rooms were above each other, in a column, and the kitchens were also aligned, as you went up the block, it was kitchen, kitchen, bedroom, kitchen, kitchen bedroom... the upper part of the double height balcony housing the bedroom.)

The loos, and the bathrooms had extractor fans, so they didn't need natural light, (many houses were built with enclosed bathrooms).

The tiny balconies with the hardwood (or was it asbestos?) panelling were fire escapes. The "downstairs" flats had a similar panel between their single-storey balconies, as do/did almost all the high-rise developments across the city.

The oven problem... I'm puzzled, as the ovens installed on PHF (and HPF, and Kelvin) were the tenants' own. they weren't supplied by the housing/ builders.

edit to say

odd-shaped rooms:-

because of the zig-zag design of the landings, the corner properties had a triangular bit added onto/taken out of their living rooms to account for the angle of the zig-zags

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They seem to have gutted all the interiors now

I have mentioned this gutting of the interiors in another thread somewhere.

It is not clear from their current appearance weather this is a preliminary to a complete restoration and makeover or just getting ready to demolish them as they did this sort of thing to the Norfolk Park tower blocks before placing explosive charges in the base.

As I understand it from Council plans and an artists impression they are to be completely renovated and so will remain a part of the face of Sheffield.

Did they ever manage to get a listed building status for these flats on the grounds of their 1950's inovative "walkways in the sky" design?

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yes they got a grade 2 listing

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Could be an opportunity for one. Sorry I can't oblige.

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Could be an opportunity for one. Sorry I can't oblige.

The picture from the Star is an upto date one, there is somewhere on here is another topic about Parkhill,, there may be some older photo's in that

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The picture from the Star is an upto date one, there is somewhere on here is another topic about Parkhill,, there may be some older photo's in that

Here are a few more photo's taken 28/01/09

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Here are a few more photo's taken 28/01/09

Unlike Stuart I am not going to risk my life walking around the deserted work site that is Park Hill Flats, - it was dangerous enough when people lived there!

So here is an up to date view taken from the relative safety of the Canal Wharf across the magic roundabout (sorry, Park Square)

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Unlike Stuart I am not going to risk my life walking around the deserted work site that is Park Hill Flats, - it was dangerous enough when people lived there!

So here is an up to date view taken from the relative safety of the Canal Wharf across the magic roundabout (sorry, Park Square)

I was not brave enough or daft enough to get in close, in fact in these modern times there are to many fences and Health and safety signs.

You can poke your camera through the fence though.

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I was not brave enough or daft enough to get in close, in fact in these modern times there are to many fences and Health and safety signs.

You can poke your camera through the fence though.

from the Star 26 Feb 2008 :o

http://www.thestar.co.uk/headlines/Park-Hi...d-be.5017830.jp

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Stuart0742 did right to take those pictures then, just in case this is the last time we ever get to see Park Hill flats.

Let's hope it doesn't come to demolition "as a last resort"

For almost 50 years those flats on the hill above the City have been another of those iconic images of the City. Your train is coming home from the "dreary south", the train is pulling in to Midland Station, you look out of the window to the right (assuming you are facing forward with the trains direction) before you get up to get off. What do you see? What immediately tells you, before you look the other way and see a sign that says "Sheffield Midland", that you are home, that you are in Sheffield?

The answer is those dominating flats looking down at you from the hillside.

I would be quite saddened to see them go, just as I was with the Norfolk Park flats.

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I have many many happy memories of parkhill, my gran was one of the first tenants to move there.

it was like one big villiage every one took pride in their home in the sky. What a community ! its a pity

scc allowed the area to fall into a haven of criminality and drug abuse.

It will be a pity if parkhill ends up a pile of rubble...but i wonder if this was the aim all along :huh:

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Just found some old photos of park hill, and the city centre as seen from my grans window

will post them if anyone would like a look,not sure what year they were taken though

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