A photograph taken in 1966 of Athol and Little London Road by H.Ainscough, currently available on pcituresheffield.com. I noticed in this particular photograph how defined the streets were. Notice the crisp edge of Little London Road; a distinction between road, footpath and parking. On revisiting this area I focussed on accessibility. This happened to be on a day where the lamp posts were in the process of being replaced, which contributed to the restrictions of the space. Key moments and views have been chosen for comparison and are marked by location and direction on the image above.
1966 vs 2016 Little London Road. Although there is still a physical distinction of the footpath, it is not a restriction. Vehicles are allowed to use this space and often have to if allocated areas are full. Tarmac has been used to patch up both the path and road over time, blending them at parts. Plants have crept through barriers.
I can’t tell if the footpath has always been narrow, or whether the wall or road have taken what they can.
This photograph was taken on a Saturday, early afternoon. The postman had to use the road as the footpath was not wide enough with cars now parked on it. On this occasion double yellow lines were ignored and as this was the post office depot, many were coming and going to pick up their parcels. There is no real place for them to park while they nip in.
“Footpath closed”. A father pushes his double buggy in the middle of the street on his way back towards his home.
“Keep right”. The father continues along Athol Road, where the footpath has become too narrow for his buggy. Vehicles flank the street that was once relatively open. Athol Road is not particularly busy, unlike Little London Road which is popular on weekends. Many come to the post office, the climbing works and children’s dance lessons. It also seems to receive a lot of through traffic, maybe acting as a passage or short-cut?
There are many factors to consider when making these comparisons. Cars have become more affordable, Norton Hammer now offers a place of leisure not only employment, the time of day the photograph was taken in 1966.