One of Sheffield’s most successful cultural exports returns to his childhood haunt to lead its inaugural #InspiredBySheffield day in October.
Human League founder and Heaven 17 star Martyn Ware still remembers trips to Atkinsons department store with him mum in the 1960s being “a big treat”.
The star was still a regular at the store even when he first hit the big time with the Human League and singles like ‘Being Boiled’ in the late 1970s.
He said: ‘I used to live in Broomhall flats, so the centre of town, and in particular the Moor, was our stomping ground. In the ‘70s Virgin Records had a store at the bottom of the Moor, and we would regularly pop into Atkinsons to visit the café, or even sometimes to buy records and clothes.”
He returns to the city centre’s oldest department store on Monday, October 14th, for its #InspiredBySheffield day.
He will be joined by Neil Anderson – author of the ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide’ books that celebrate different decades in the city – and renowned Sheffield artist Matt Cockayne who has produced scores of popular local nostalgia products.
The event is raising funds for Atkinsons’ charity partner Weston Park Cancer Appeal.
Neil Anderson says Atkinsons has been part of his life for as long as he can remember. “I still remember my Grandma recounting the splendid Christmas displays prior to the Sheffield Blitz. And her pride when the present store opened to great fanfare in 1960 – a full 20 years after the original store was flattened by the Nazis. The store is a true survivor and it’s a true honour to have my own products on sale there.”
Matt Cockayne, whose art celebrates many of the city’s most iconic places, actually worked within the store in years gone by.
He said: “My first job at 17 was working as a pot washer in Massarella’s within Atkinsons. I like the store and the fact it is a part of Sheffield’s fabric.”
Atkinsons store manager David Cartwright added: “#InspiredBySheffield day is all about celebrating what’s fantastic about our city. We’ve been lucky enough to be part of the fabric of Sheffield for the past 147 years and I want to say a big thank you to our customers – old and new – that have been part of that journey. I also want to extend my thanks to our staff, who have played such a big part in our success story.
“The store has been inspired by the fantastic improvements to the Moor and have been updating and improving our store a result. We’re delighted to offer the best names in domestic appliances, cookshop, furniture, beds and other departments and we’re constantly checking out new trends so that we can add more to the store. Make sure you come in to see what’s new.”
The event will take place from 12 noon until 2pm.