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Sheffield brutalism

We had a day trip to Sheffield which is easily accessible given the new station at Ilkeston. The weather was grey and overcast but as we were in search of urban decay and brutalism this enhanced the opportunities. Sheffield has not benefited from the level of regeneration of other northern cities but there does seem to be a programme of ongoing rebuilding and many new city centre flats are being built.

Slightly away from the main shopping areas are some absolute gems of 1960s/70s concrete. The sharp edges and angular structures were very striking and certain situations felt as if we’d walked into a cold war documentary.

A final treat was stumbling across the excellent Harrison Cameras who had one of the best selection of second hand film and digital cameras we’d ever seen. With a competitive trade in arrangement this has made me seriously consider handing over my trusty Canon to upgrade to a full frame version.

The Park Hill estate looms over the city in its new colours which shone out even on the dull day we were there. The coloured facade has made this former concrete eye sore into something fresh and contemporary. It’s great to see visionary architectural additions rather than ripping down and restarting.

We spent some time in the excellent Millennium Gallery looking at the Ruskin collection of drawings and paintings, as well as the many people that he influenced. Many forget that Ruskin was a highly talented artist himself which no doubt gave him a deep insight into art and helped refine his many writings on art and art history.

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