The Fat Cat

The Duplicitous of life, as the ebb n flow of humanity commutes into oblivion, i find art in the urban fragments of the post industrialisation. As time stands oh so still, you can hear your heart beat, once a jewel in Sheffield’s crown, a magnet for the former giant of the steel industry gives over a new form of art. With the removal of water and gas, the heating system, which for decades had kept the leaky buildings warm and dry, was dead.

The interiors cooled down slowly and the persistent, encroaching moisture, damp and drips from leaky roofs found itself unopposed, becoming art I now like to call urban fragments of of the post industrialisation.

As the ghost of the past stands still waiting for demolition, however if the grand old lady has the good fortune she will breath a new life, apartments await her fate as this city becomes just another moralistic urban paranoia, the shadows of people are eaten by the concrete as the feet echo on past in the search for a better tomorrow that never comes.

It isn’t just the old buildings which raise ghosts, real or imagined. Some of the external areas, particularly in that leaden Spring weather, put me in mind of the sort of place you’d expect to stumble upon the speech-denyingly horrific scene of some child-murder, cold flesh and clothes scattered amidst the muddy leaves behind the concealing buildings.

Having wandered round this old Sheffield, one is often amazed at just how…dead it all now seemed. I was used to it being such a vibrant place, a place I always looked forward to visiting. Now, it was like looking at the corpse of a dead family member. It resembled the place I knew so well, but was cold and silent, the only noise is the plague dogs of humanity scurrying onwards to unknown future.

It was quiet outside but, no sound penetrated in here. I could hear every thump of my heart, and it was almost a relief when I entered a back room to be faced with a bank of still live telecom routers, all flashing LEDs and humming relays. It was like finding life on Mars. Outside that room, there was a post-apocalyptic feel about the place, as if everyone had fled in the face of a zombie army or a plague of Black Death proportions.

Welcome to urban exploration, if you ever played any of the ‘Silent Hill’ computer games? This is urban exploration just like being in a real-life version. I some how expect to be menaced any moment by split-headed dogs or lumbering mutants. What makes it all the more poignant were the messages which departed workers had scrawled on the walls, the day they left… The half drunken milk, a bag of sugar stand at the side of an empty tin once full of chocolates, no doubt given at Christmas in a time of hope happiness and prosperity, now desperation has taken its place.

This The Duplicitous nature of life in Sheffield as I lurk in the hidden dark underside of Sheffield with the tools of my trade, steel toe caps, a torch, a fully charged mobile phone and of course the camera to capture all of this along with a friends. And, every so often one is told of their past, how it connects, you can never hide from the ghost of yourself, it will follow, neither can we ignore our past, it has created the problem we are now.

As we walked to The Fat Cat she was there, Donna the Crack Whore, a lost daughter of a Social Worker in the decaying ghost of yesterday, the prostitution of life goes on, even on a Sunday, as the weekend dads look for salvation. The papers are half read, now be truthful in a weeks time will you remember the content of The Sundays? I’ll remember my Sundays of youth, there was much the same as what I do now, creeping about in old empty buildings in those days it was just joyousness play i’d be not telling a truth. If I said it was not the same for myself now, the rush as we walked, all right climbed into, the former Sheffield Crown Court, the images are there to tell us how much we like to forget, or would that be neglect, our past.

This is just Duplicitous of my life, it has not moved on, the reminders of what I would desire to be my former self are there sat drinking tea in The Fat Cat, the circles are never sixty degrees of separation in this village just another day in Sheffield then… But I know I can escape into the the past, where time has stood still it shall always be with the first time we walked into George Barnsley and Sons it was as though one night the workers had left, over in Oldham there is a Old Mill, the power is still on and when we was there the phone was ringing, we spoke with the former workers yes they was told it was the end could the last person lock up and post the keys through the letter box, six years on the place is just as they left well almost aside the decay of time that is. This could be why there is a growing movement of people going out exploring the empty abandoned past, it reminds us how fragile all of this edifice is.


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