Tinsley Viaduct is interesting enough in itself, a double decker road bridge, built 1965-68, carrying the M1 (above) and the A 631 (below) across the canal, the river, the railway and the tramline.
When I worked in Huddersfield, before I had ever visited Sheffield, on the very rare occsaions I travelled by car I would look down from here at the city nestled in its basin of river valleys, and it was characterised by the glint of Meadowhall and the brutal, beautiful mass of what I now know to have been the Tinsley Cooling Towers:
|Photo: Tim Herrick (used under Creative Commons licence)|
Blackburn Meadows was closed in 1980, and most of the site cleared. The towers, however, couldn't be demolished without risk to the viaduct, so they stayed for nearly another thirty years. Shorn of their function, they became a landmark - towering, in a more literal way than many of their counterparts, over their surroundings.
|Photo: Sheffield Star|
One person described them to me as 'Sheffield's Angel of the North'. A Yorkshireman of my acquaintance, who, if not exactly taciturn, is certainly not given to displays of emotion, told us after a couple of pints how upset he was when they were demolished, saying that seeing them from the motorway was 'how you knew you were home.'