Climbing Stairs – The Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield

“The hospital was designed by Adams, Holden and Pearson and built in two phases; the first phase, a three-storey out-patients department was completed in 1971. The second phase, the main building, was opened by the Prince of Wales in 1978.

The main building was designed as three main interlinked buildings, the most significant being the monolithic 21-storey concrete structure, which remains the third highest in Sheffield after St Paul’s Towerand the Arts Tower. It was designed with the rear part of the building overhanging a service road.” – Wikipedia

All I know is that this building feels sad. It sighs. Long sorrowful sighs that travel up and down the elevator shafts. The people who work here work hard long hours. They care. The building doesn’t seem to help. It’s constantly under repair or being added to. It feels like a building site where some of the work has been left for someone to come back and finish later.

I take the stairs, yes it’s good for my health but mainly I take them because the dilapidated and currently, seems like always, being updated suite of elevators is a nightmare. The stairs are cool, cold even and full of unseen footsteps. If you’re physically able I recommend them. Speak to people you meet on the way up and down. It’s impolite in Sheffield to not at least say hello to absolute strangers.

The coffee shop on Level D, through the main self-service serving area serves good coffee. They have a loyalty card. Buy nine drinks get one free. I’m thinking about cats and lives and wondering if I’ll still be visiting this hospital by my ninth life or for my tenth coffee.

climbing stairs
the lactic acid kicks in
on the fifth floor

Paul Conneally
December 2019

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