Tuesday, 22 January 2008
I was in Sheffield today; once the proud home of Britain's steel mills, when Sheffield Steel meant a British product rather than something from Kansas.
The decline of the steel industry's impact is documented in the improbable 'The Full Monty' which takes the steel mill unemployed and shows them become male strippers for a Ladies' Night.
Nowadays Sheffield has a skyline of cranes as various areas of the city are being re-constructed and some of the larger buildings appear to be owned by financial institutions. The central area around the town hall has a pedestrianised look, along with a modern tram service, akin to continental Europe.
I arrived late in the evening to almost deserted streets and then the next morning witnessed the major bustle as people went about their daily business.
Sheffield has had to re-invent itself between the thriving early 70s of the steel industry, through the recession of the 90s and now into new business of the 21st century.