Our visit to Norton hammer for me was alike every other part of Sheffield in which I grew up, the terrace houses and the works encompassed by them offered me familiarity in a part of Sheffield that I’ve never had any reason to be in. Having grown up in Darnall I feel at home now in areas like these where work and home are side by side, this often develops a strong community when the people you work with live next door. The river sheaf is not the river I’m used to but like all Sheffield’s rivers it saddens me to see their dilapidation and pollution, trolleys, cones and cans litter the banks and gullies yet life still grips the river. Talking to a man who managed the site at nursery works I found out that he along with a few others had renewed the river bank near the car park for the office staff at the local IT firm and upon asking him what animal life he had seen whilst working by the river his response surprised me “oh everything, kingfisher, trout, newts you think of it I’ve probably seen it”. After that talk my pessimism towards the river was gone and my heart lifted.
I would like to think that a community still exists at Norton hammer between the works and the housing (something I will defiantly be looking into further) however I fear that it doesn’t, the amount of cars around the site would suggest people are coming from further afield and that there is a disconnect between the residential and the industrial. Taking into account what I have written previously it only seems right for me to want to strengthen the community in place, at the works surrounding the river and connect them more thoroughly possibly through the river itself by clearing it of litter and pollutants, and setting up a way to traverse down it from the climbing works to the far end of the nursey works possibly with suspended or cantilevered walkways like the ones already in place. There by connecting the community with nature and investing them in its wellbeing and upkeep.