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Sheffield's high-rise flats: when did the 'shame' begin?


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In the 1960's the world, and especially Sheffield, built the high-rise 'streets in the sky' of which we were proud.

 

At some point between then and the last decade or so (or before?), they are now known to many people as either dirty, dangerous or embarrassing, thanks to a minority of residents perhaps, as with any estate?

 

So, even with fancy exterior cladding to smarten them up, at what point did they become such ''unwelcome eyesores'' and why?

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In the 1960's the world, and especially Sheffield, built the high-rise 'streets in the sky' of which we were proud.

 

At some point between then and the last decade or so (or before?), they are now known to many people as either dirty, dangerous or embarrassing, thanks to a minority of residents perhaps, as with any estate?

 

So, even with fancy exterior cladding to smarten them up, at what point did they become such ''unwelcome eyesores'' and why?

 

It's like any other estate a few rotten apples spoil it all. My Dad lives in Harold Lambert and everyone there is 55 or over so the attitude is more community based than a lot of blocks. I would swap with him tomorrow if I could.

Not that I don't love living on the Manor of course :help:

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More than a decade in my opinion, i can remember the Kelvin estate. To be honest, as far back as I can remember, high rise council housing hasn't been on the desirable list - and I'm pushing 40, it certainly seems to be improving though.

Edited by craigs
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They have always had problems but the downfall was around 1980> and mostly due to lack of maintenance and the way in which Sheffield council ran them.

 

The lifts were constantly breaking down and with rising electricity costs they became very expensive to heat. Plenty became empty because of the costs so they became available to anyone and had no waiting list.

 

The ones in Norfolk Park ended up in the late 1980's with a high density of drug addicts especially ones using heroin.

 

The younger people who were put in them also didn't respect their neighbours and it was common to have music blaring out at all time of the day and night.

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They were always a stupid idea precisely because they were so easy for on or two bad apples to spoil.

 

The isolation when you're walking around in the communal areas makes it like essentially walking alone down an alleyway. If there are a few unsavoury characters about it is intimidating and frightening to be in such an enclosed area as the communal halls (I say this from experience) and you feel scared just walking in and out of your house.

 

They also become a magnet for non-residents because they can get up to all sorts with only a few residents to disturb them if they hang out in the hallway sixteen floors up injecting drugs etc. Gets them out of the rain into somewhere comparatively warm but it's not nice to be tripping over skag and crackheads every time you leave and security locks are easily broken.

 

Living in a house where the front door opens onto the street or a small low rise block of flats is far more secure.

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I lived on Park Hill in the early 60's as a Toddler and the familly moved to Hyde Park in the early 70's for a number of years.

 

I thought it was a good place to grow up but when they started to move large families onto the flats during the Wybourn re-generation this seemed to bring problems with a them and us attitude.

 

Went down hill fast during hte past 20 years, as mentioned before, due to lack of maintanence and druggies etc but also a change in socail attitude to property.

 

People Peeing and defacating in lifts and under stairwells, although this probably always happend, it seemed to increase in the 90's. At the end, they were not a nice place to live or feel safe.

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in the early 60s when there was mass demolition, and the war not long finished, there was a need to build social housing, and to get rid of the slums and there were lots ot those i lived in the old pitsmoor through out the 50s and the squaler that some people in was diabolical. you would often see tarpalins thrown over roofs with bricks to keep it from blowing off, this was because the roofs keaked and the landlords back then refused to repair them as they knew they were coming down. most of these houses had no indoor heating apart from a coal fire which was expensive they had no indoor toilets and damp was rife cause the houses were so damp you could see it running down the wallswe as kids would go down to the railways then as it was still steam and coal would be on the side of the tracks if you found a signal box we went there with sacks bags owt that you could carry away the coal i'm sorry ive gone on a bit but lots of people today dont know what the state of housing was then so high rise was the cheapest option but these high rises were heaven to what they had lived in before thank for reading this but until you have lived through it you don't know how lucky we are now

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In the 1960's the world, and especially Sheffield, built the high-rise 'streets in the sky' of which we were proud.

 

At some point between then and the last decade or so (or before?), they are now known to many people as either dirty, dangerous or embarrassing, thanks to a minority of residents perhaps, as with any estate?

 

So, even with fancy exterior cladding to smarten them up, at what point did they become such ''unwelcome eyesores'' and why?

 

Why "especially Sheffield"? Plenty of other cities built lots of high rise - have a look at all those in Birmingham on this thread;

 

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=242771&page=43

 

The rot started to set in with the massive increase in unemployment in the '80's and the attendant rise in crime, drug addiction etc.

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If anyone has been up here in Glasgow,you would have noticed the amount of high risers there are. Same problem up here,but those that have been taken over by housing associations are much sought after now.They are well maintained,and all potential tenants are vetted.

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