City antiques market on the road to success

Sheffield Antiques  Centre 'The Antiques Roadshows Adam Schoon
Sheffield Antiques Centre 'The Antiques Roadshows Adam Schoon

ORGANISERS of a vintage street market that launched the Sheffield Antiques Quarter said this week they are planning to hold more events in the light of the initial success.

Crowds flocked to more than 30 stalls on Broadfield Road and to neighbouring shops last Sunday, and the response from traders and the council is also encouraging the organisers, who were relieved to avoid the wind and rain that swept much of the country, despite early worries.

In the event, the sun shone some of the time on the canvas stalls selling antiques, crafts and other collectables that lined the riverside road.

“We think it went magnificently,” said Hendrika Stephens, who runs The Corner arts and crafts gallery in Queens Road. “All the traders seemed delighted, and people seemed really happy.”

Current thinking is to have three or four street markets a year, the next in the spring to coincide with an antiques week.

One of the first steps is to look at the organisational structure, both to try to spread the heavy workload and to look generally at ways of improving the area. One early idea is to give a vintage twist to the street lighting and furniture that will be installed as part of the city-wide highways repairs programme.

There were also teething problems which need addressing next time, said Hendrika.

Congestion built up on Broadfield Road, between Abbeydale Road and Heeley Bottom, and there may be a case for restricting it to one way traffic. Better signs for the car parks are also on the agenda.

All in all, though, the vintage market, and its raising of the profile of the wealth of related businesses around Abbeydale Road, Broadfield Road and London Road, was declared a resounding success.

“It was a real pulling together of all the businesses, and I’m proud of what we did,” said Hendrika. “We wanted to put the Sheffield Antiques Quarter on the map. We wanted to tell everybody it was here and for the council to give us an official designation. The council gave us its time and expertise and I admire that it jumped at the chance to help us from day one, given the cuts and job losses that are being made. Kelham Island Industrial Museum also gave us a lot of information.”

The market was opened by Antiques Roadshow presenter Adam Schoon, who lived in Sheffield as a child and gave valuations in return for donations to the Children’s Hospital, which he credits with saving his life.

Support came from everybody from the Lord Mayor, Coun John Campbell, to singer and antiques enthusiast Dave Berry.