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  1. History What can I tell you about Castle Market? As a child, it seemed to have come straight out of Hieronymus Bosch. The bustle, the mess, the noise. The smell of mackerel and bloodied sawdust. The cabbage leaves and broken biscuits underfoot… How, I used to worry, would I ever find my way out if I were to become separated from my father?... The market’s multi-storied galleries, engineered for ease of movement, were linked by a system of walkways and curved ramps. But their logic, if it existed at all, was lost on me then, obscured as it was by the massed ranks of trolley-dragging old ladies in mushroom-shaped hats and fuzzy coats… Like Park Hill, Castle Market was yet another one of Sheffield City Council’s utopian modernist projects. J. L. Womersley, the architect responsible for the legendary Park Hill residential complex, drafted the design in the early 1960’s and by 1965 it was open for business. Castle Market was constructed on the remains of Sheffield Castle and the site of an earlier fish and vegetable market which was created in the inter-war period. After 1965, however, the site had been extensively redeveloped into two main floors which both included many small static shops and stalls. A number of other stores faced the streets surrounding the indoor market, and a gallery, which also gave access to an additional number of shops, was positioned above one of the main market halls. The market could be accessed via a number of main entrances and by the gallery which was linked to the bridges by Exchange Street. Furthermore, an office block situated on the corner of the site, adjacent to the former Town Hall and Courthouse, was made assessable via the market. Despite the market’s popularity, the council have proposed to redevelop and regenerate the Castle Market site since the 1980’s. More or less thirty years later, very much true to their word, the council finally elected to close the market in 2013. It is reported that the 1990’s recession stalled earlier plans to revitalise the area. Most of the former businesses, stalls and shops were moved to the newly constructed Moor Market on the other side of the city centre, which, contrary to popular belief, is not owned exclusively by the council; it is, rather, part of a partnership between Sheffield City Council and private developers. Since its closure, demolition has commenced; although last minute plans have been drafted to save the large tower positioned on the former office block. It is rumoured that the tower is Grade II listed. Further plans that detail the reconstruction of Sheffield Castle’s Gatehouse and moat have been revealed, as part of a £5 million city regeneration programme. The actual castle was destroyed in 1648 after it was captured by parliamentary forces. The aim of the council is to create a new park so that people “can be surprised by what a rich history the castle site has witnessedâ€. Councillor Leigh Bramall reported that the Castlegate site will become “an area of real historical significance for visitors, and an area where vacant buildings are being regenerated and brought back into useâ€. Having said that, however, many of us may wonder which buildings she is referring to in this statement since most have already come face to face with the wrecking ball. Our routine was always the same: a precision raid, two stops. First, the meat market. “Lovely FRESH pipe and bag!†the signs used to say… Pipe was a euphemism for intestines, and bag meant stomach, and both would be draped palely across the stalls like something recently washed up on a beach. If you looked down, you’d often see a bucket of cow heels as well, though I tried hard not to… We were just scooting by on our way to the fish stalls, so much more genteel, the stock piled tidily at the back and pride of place at the front given to row upon row of tiny ceramic plates in dolly mixture colours. Each one held three fat whelks, half a dozen prawns, a little mound of cockles or winkles. They came from Bridlington. You paid per plate, and ate the contents standing up, while the fishmonger chatted to you… We would proceed directly to stop number two, a sweet stall that sold real aniseed balls. We were fundamentalist about aniseed balls: no dusty seeds, no return custom. (Extracts by Rachel Cooke, November 2014). Our Version of Events During my time in New Zealand Castle Market reports cropped up a good few times, and since then I’ve had an itch to go and have a nose around myself. Having put it off for weeks, imagining that it was in all probability going to be a complete and utter waste of time since demolition is well underway, I finally decided that it was worth a visit on account of the ‘locked tower’ that’s been raised in several conversations. So, before time ran out (because the demo job seems to be going well), I quickly arranged to meet up with another explorer, Soul, and we wandered over one miserable afternoon. However, Just as we were about to make our move to sneak inside, I quickly detected a couple of suspicious looking characters lurking near the fence. Suspecting that they too were attempting to get inside, we decided to loiter nearby; creating a slightly awkward situation as the other guys suddenly became awfully interested in examining the quality of the fence. A good old fashioned Mexican standoff ensured, except there were no Mexicans. A few moments later I approached them and, using the most authoritative voice I could muster, asked what they were doing. Ten minutes later, we were stood inside Castle Market’s crumbling interior alongside UrbanGhosts. The place has certainly changed since I was last in there. I recall my last ever purchase being a giant watermelon, but there’s no trace of the stall anymore, only the memory. I can’t say it was particularly difficult to find the way to the tower, even if the office block is a little maze-like, but the views certainly don’t disappoint. Ever since I arrived in Sheffield, I’ve wondered what the city would look like from that random turret poking up above the market. Now I know… Pretty damn awesome! After spending a bit of time up there, grabbing a few shots and watching the world go by below, we decided to try and find the legendary castle remains, but, after much searching we never did manage to unearth their whereabouts. I’ve got a vague idea, but it all seemed to be locked up tight. I suppose we’ll have to wait until the archaeologists excavate it a little more, then we can perhaps think about sneaking back for a quick look. For any others who have thought about having a wander through Castle Market, I’d recommend it: the tower alone is worth standing on. Explored with Soul and UrbanGhosts. Castle Market: Out of hours entrance: Shots from the tower and rooftop: The remains of the market: 1: The tower staircase 2: Demolition in progress 3: The tower 4: A view from the office 5: South gallery 6: Inside the former market 7: Downstairs in the market 8: Old shops and stalls 9: Tunnels beneath the market 10: Main section of the tunnel 11: Lift out of service 12: A brief history of the life of a building
  2. So this had been on my radar for a while, I even visited here in January 2005 with my parents and some friends to buy some Chinese ingredients for a special meal that was being cooked for an occasion of which I can't remember. At 14 years old this place was really interesting, lots of interesting food and foreign ingredients. I remember getting a plate and having a little bit of everything from about 4 stalls, the food stalls were round in a square shape and the communal seating in the middle. They had all sorts, Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Singaporean, Korean etc. I remember seeing it reported on way back in 2011, but put it off due to rumours of heavy handed security. Me and Northern_Ninja visited early this year and couldn't even get into the site. We returned for another go and saw a small gap. It was a good day out and sort of cheered me up slightly following a personal grievance. The complex served a large Community in North London and people would travel a long way to browse its two stories of restaurants, bars, clubs, shops and supermarkets. It was originally a Yaohan Shopping Centre; but changed its name when the Yahoan Corp went bust in the 90s. There was a durian stall, a satay stall, a Karaoke bar called the "China City Karaoke Bar", Dim Sum restaurants and a Szechuan restaurant to name a few. The centre also included tableware and clothes shops. It had featured on the TV series "Luther" and on the movie Dredd, where the interior was modified to look more trashed sadly. It has also fallen victim to vandals. Onto the pics. Unfortunately I forgot the externals! Thanks as always More at: Oriental/China City - a set on Flickr
  3. 2013: Still an airsoft venue I think 2011: Been wanting to do this for a long time now. We were allowed in by permission of a company that uses the site for airsoft. Brilliant set of blokes, and asking permission is pretty much the only way in for this one. Shopping center closed due to the opening of The Oracle Shopping Center in 2004. My first ever permissible explore! What a nice relaxed one it was. #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 And onto Mecca: #1a #2a #3a #4a #5a #6a More at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/sets/72157626034161655/
  4. Oriental City was a shopping centre in Colindale, London specialising in various oriental foods and items. It is located on Edgware Road The centre contained a large oriental supermarket, and a food court with a range of foods from different areas of South-East Asia; stalls offered Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. The food court was immensely popular with surrounding office workers and the North London community; and often became very crowded at weekends Aside from the food outlets, the centre also previously housed an import game shop, a Sanrio store, and one of the largest oriental bookshops in Europe, called Asahiya Shoten. In the period shortly before the centre closed down, shoppers could find a tailor's shop, a jeweller, a hairdresser, a beauty shop, Chinese medicine shops, a martial arts store, and a large furniture store. Oriental City was also host to a Sega Dome arcade Planning application was submitted on the 8th June 2010 to demolish the shopping centre, here are some snippets from the proposal... 1. Redevelopment for mixed-use purposes,with a replacement Oriental City to include a Sui Generis amusement arcade and separately a new B & Q and bulky goods store and a health & fitness studio which together should provide 500 jobs 2. 520 residential units (comprising 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom flats, 4% being affordable) located in eight blocks rising to 3, 6, 9 and 18 storeys 3. A nursery and primary school for 480 children 4. 1,098 car-parking spaces The Oriental City in its hey day Right, on with the photos..... The menu at The Hunan Restaurant. I'll have the number 24 with a number 53 on the side, Fried Frog with Pig Ear in Special Sauce!!! Nom Nom!!! Visited with, wait for it... Skeleton Key, Priority 7, Trog, Wevsky, Silver Rainbow, Space Invader, Obscurity and a non member called Ben. Yup 9 of us mooching around the shopping centre, it was like it was open again
  5. Good little explore this one, all was going well till secca appeared with dogs and got us escorted off site by police Visited with Nelly, Skeleton Key, Msaunder1972, Non Member Ben, Troglodyte, Priority Seven, Wevsky, SpaceInvader and Obscurity. Nelly has more than covered the History on this one so straight on with the Pics Thanks to Nelly and the guys for pointing this one out
  6. Apologies to the guys due to me and explore beer Right troglodyte pointed this one out and after a security fail at st Josephs we headed here!was a very pleasant explore till the man the alsatian and the baseball bat came into play,we pointed out we where leaving at this point he said no you are not !Could Not re iterate further the point ..look mate we are going..9 of us on this explore which tbh was a tad crazy but we had no intention of antagonising said man and dog but he wouldnt leave us alone in the end as we where talking to the police out side he chased a few of the guys out to fence still waving baseball bat..so names taken etc and we where allowed to go..a few pics from this part of the day Bowling alley win Troglodyte Just a few pics from a very eventfull day..visited with space invader obscurity silver rainbow nelly ,troglodyte and way to many people