Lasting memories by design in Sheffield

Keith Hayman
Keith Hayman

When the eight category winners of the Sheffield Design Awards are announced next week, Janet Hayman will be there to present a prize which keeps the memory of her late husband alive.

Environmentalist, artist and retired town planner Keith Hayman died suddenly just over three years ago aged 69, after collapsing cycling home to Southgrove Road.

The first Keith Hayman Award – for public art and cycling projects – was presented at the biennial Design Awards in 2014, honouring the Friday Night Ride, a cycling initiative which brings people together for fun, non-competitive, social rides.

Next Wednesday there are four nominees on the shortlist:

l Grey to Green, the council’s urban design scheme aimed at reviving West Bar with flowers and plants

l The Sheffield University Bike Hub

l The Herd of Sheffield elephant sculpture trail

l The Women of Steel statue in Barker’s Pool

Janet said: “I was proud of Keith – he touched such a lot of people’s lives. It’s nice that his name is remembered – he was such an alive person.”

Keith came to Sheffield in 1983 to join the council’s economic regeneration team, which was responsible for the creation of the Cultural Industries Quarter.

He was also a founder member of the Sheffield Civic Trust, and played a prominent role in the campaign to keep the footbridge open at the railway station.

In retirement, the father-of-two concentrated on practising as an artist at his studio in Heeley, but also organised arts events, including the Sheffield city centre art markets and the open studio weekends.

His paintings often reflected his concern with the tension and mayhem of city life.

“He wanted art to be for everybody, which is the whole concept of this award, really,” Janet added.

“He had lots of ideas – I’ve still got lots of his paintings and sketches. He told me he had ideas for the next 10 years.

“Keith was always somebody who got involved in things.

“He felt people were important and he thought art was important for people.”

The awards are part of the Sheffield Design Week, which runs until October 30. The ceremony is at the old Head Post Office building in Fitzalan Square, now Hallam University’s Sheffield Institute of Arts.