logo Burngreave Messenger Issue 33 - August 2003.
page 1 of 3    

Woodside demolition begins...


...but people are still living here
by Rob Smith, photographs by Carl Rose

The bulldozers and workers were already dismantling what was now half of one maisonette, while wire fencing and warnings of the danger surrounded others...

There has been the burning of vehicles, and years of unchallenged destruction to the area. Complaints have been recorded daily for well over two years while residents say pleas for Police assistance have been ignored. Now with the demolition, there is clear evidence that this orgy of vandalism is worse than ever before.

Having introduced myself to a worker wearing a hard hat, I proceeded to walk around the fencing surrounding a maisonette, to be warned that the place was unsafe and not to walk on the inside of this fence. I heard what the man said but was stood looking at the front door of what seemed to be a property still occupied and situated no more than a metre away.

I gazed over the shoulder of Mrs Stanley, who’d answered the door, and could see her furniture stacked, packed and lined up around the passageway. I realised to my horror that Mrs Stanley was not the only one still here – two or three up and down houses were still visibly occupied along that pathway.

I returned the next day with New Deal Partnership Board member Aisha Special K. We discovered an unattended skip on Andover Street marked ASBESTOS, with its lockable lid left open.

“This is absolutely disgusting. Any child could have access to that asbestos skip and I will bring this and many other things I’ve heard to the attention of the next Partnership Board meeting.”
- Aisha Special K

“We asked to be re-housed in Ecclesfield but the housing office doesn’t see my family fit enough. I have a son you see, who has been a problem, but he’s growing up now and we deserve a chance to have a clean start.”
- Jan Hodgson of Gray Street