PHRA Residents' Meeting and AGM
Park Hill Residents' Association

Park Hill Residents' Association

Summer 2021 Newsletter
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Message from the Chair

This year, as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the opening of Park Hill, many of us are looking at its history, from Hugh Gaitskell’s opening to its current regeneration. The community represented by Park Hill Residents’ Association (PHRA) includes some who know that history from personal experience to others who come to Park Hill for the first time. We work for all residents, renting or owning leases, to help ensure that the physical environment, as well as the services that we receive, are of a high standard and to enhance our community. Currently PHRA is reviewing the mechanisms that are in place for these purposes. We hope that all residents will engage with us in building a good future for Park Hill that will be celebrated at the 70th anniversary and beyond.

Ernest E.

60th Anniversary of the Official Opening of Park Hill

[Image credit: Sheffield Star]

June 16th marked 60 years since our home, Park Hill, was officially opened by the Leader of the Opposition, Hugh Gaitskell.  Although sceptical of high rise blocks, describing them as “better than nothing, but not especially pleasant to live in or look at”, he praised how Park Hill overcame such perceived shortcomings to produce something of “beauty, dignity and harmony”. Conflicting views have prevailed over the last six decades and split opinion on Park Hill, but it remains a major Sheffield landmark and continues its exciting redevelopment which will secure the building for another 60 years. 

Today Park Hill is a truly 21st century community, where interaction now happens just as much online as on our famous Streets in the Sky.  If we compare the communities of the last 60 years and how they functioned, we still see neighbours offering to take in parcels for each other, donating unwanted items and rallying around causes.  Equally, the social activities documented to have been held in the past, such as the tombola and ladies club have been replaced with the more contemporary book club and litter pick.  This will only strengthen in the next six months as we welcome hundreds of new residents into phase 2 of the redevelopment.

A Park Hill Residents’ Association (PHRA) was formed when the first residents moved in and was well established by the time of the official opening.  While the early PHRA was assisted in its formation and running by social workers, caretakers and chaplains, today it is wholly led by volunteer residents and through our enthusiastic working groups, contributes to improving life at Park Hill for residents and ensures the estate meets their needs and is properly looked after. 

A number of articles have been written in the media about the 60th anniversary, however we particularly recommend this insightful piece written by Park Hill-based journalist Dan Hayes for the Sheffield Tribune.

Jonathan K.

The Restoration of Park Hill Mosaics by Olicana Mosaics

[Image credit: Olicana Mosaics]

We recently reached out to David James from Olicana Mosaics to see if we could gain some insight into the process he went through to restore the Mosaics at Béton House. The original tiles at Park Hill were installed by Hodkin & Jones Ltd (who were previously responsible for some of the interior work at 10 Downing Street!) and have a certain amount of historical significance attached to them, so it was fascinating to hear how David approached this challenge.

[Image credit: Sheffield Telegraph]

Olicana Mosaics is based in the UK providing unique decorative features and detailing and restoration for clients both here and abroad. Our clients include the RHS, Sir Roy Strong, Betty's and Taylor's of Harrogate.

In the summer of 2019 we were approached by the developers and architects to restore the retained mosaics at Béton House (Phase 3). At this time the mosaics were covered in paint and graffiti, and some were boarded up to protect them from the elements and damage. The mosaic areas comprise of the Goods Lift, the internal walls, the Gentlemen and the Parkway Tavern mosaics (the Crown and the Modernist).

[Image credit: Olicana Mosaics]

The original Italian 1950’s mosaics have an uneven surface which catches the light, and different shades and tints of the same colour tiles were mixed to give a pleasing dither of colour. This can be seen on the Goods Lift and the Gentleman. Although the mosaic tiles were initially installed on faced sheets, just before the cement set, individual tiles where slightly moved to hide any sheet joints, breaking up the rows and columns to achieve a more artisan look.

[Image credit: Olicana Mosaics]

The mosaics required a considered and careful approach. We began by identifying which areas of mosaic needed to be removed, and took rubbings of intricate areas, such as the Crown. Mosaic tiles with small cracks, chips and imperfections were left in place to retain the character and reflect the history of building.


Broken tiles were carefully removed and the cavities cleaned out to accept the replacements.

[Image credit: Olicana Mosaics]

We were able to reclaim, clean and reuse some original tiles which were dithered in with the modern equivalents.

[Image credit: Olicana Mosaics]

Modern Italian tiles were sourced to match as close as possible to the originals, however they were slightly bigger and needed to be modified to match the depth and profile of the originals.

[Image credit: Olicana Mosaics]

This involved a lot of time in the workshop taking the tiles off the backing sheets and shaping the tiles before fitting.

Although the graffiti was removed from the tiles, it is still visible on the grout which has been retained for authenticity.

Whilst working on the Goods Lift mosaic we discovered a buried piece of now redundant copper pipe above the stairway. This has been incorporated into the mosaic restoration.

The mosaics provided a key inspiration for the architects in using colours in the Crown and Modernist Parkway Tavern mosaics as the reference for the colour blocks on the apartment walls and indeed these strong period graphic designs have become rightfully iconic features of Park Hill. It’s been a privilege to play a small part in the long and continuing story of this important building.


David James from Olicana Mosaics and Joe D.

Residents' Photo Competition
Nikon camera

[Image credit: PHRA]

In May 2021 we launched the residents' photo competition to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Park Hill.  This is a great opportunity for those of you who live or work here to demonstrate your creativity and contribute towards the creation of a permanent record of Park Hill from 2021 which we will achieve through the publication of a photobook of the best entries.

The competition closes for submissions at 11:59 on Saturday 10th July, so there is still time to get your entries in!  Many thanks to those who have entered so far.

The winner and runners up will be contacted on 24th July and announced on our social media.  Look out for the winning photo on the digital billboards at Sheffield Railway Station on 19th August (World Photography Day).  All entries will also be displayed in a gallery on our website later this year.

Please find full details about the competition and how to enter here

Jonathan K.

Weston Park Museum Photo Exhibition

[Image credit: PHRA]

An exhibition displaying a selection of photographs from the residents’ photo competition will be held at Weston Park Museum from Saturday 14th August until Sunday 19th December.  We encourage you to take a trip up to the museum when the exhibition opens to have a look at the contributions from your fellow residents and take in some of the other exhibits.  You will find the exhibition at the end of the spine (main corridor through the museum), opposite the Joe Scarborough painting.  We would like to thank Sheffield Museums Trust for this exciting opportunity and their support in helping making this happen.

Jonathan K.

Communal Paint

[Image credit: PHRA]

One of the most common questions amongst our community is whether anyone has any white paint to touch up their paintwork.  In light of this, we have purchased a 2.5 litre tin of matt acrylic RAL9010 white paint for you to use for this purpose.  This is the paint outlined in the flat owners handbook (and Park Hill wiki) as used on the walls and ceilings of Phase 1 flats (doors and feature walls use a different finish).  Please note that there can be limitations in matching paint, so please consider this before using.

The paint is securely stored in the bike store next to the workbench, so you may need to contact a neighbour or the Building Manager to get access.  You will also need to supply your own paint brush.

Please remember that this is just for touching up your paintwork, so please be considerate of your neighbours who might also want to make use of this resource.

Jonathan K.

Bears of Sheffield

[Image credit: Bears of Sheffield]

Park Hill will once again be supporting The Children’s Hospital Charity (TCHC) by hosting two painted bears over the summer as part of the Bears of Sheffield trail.  We can’t reveal the artists, but keep an eye out during the first week of July for their installation.  Including our existing seated bear on the plinth, there will now be a total of 3 bears at Park Hill!  Did you know a group of bears is known as a ‘sleuth’?

Jonathan K.

The Unveiling of Pat Midgley Lane

[Image credit: Urban Splash]

A ceremony was held in June to rename Norwich Street (not to be confused with Norwich Row!) as Pat Midgley Lane, in tribute to the late councillor who was instrumental in the recent fortunes of Park Hill. The informal event, held on Wednesday 16th June to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Park Hill's official opening, was attended by representatives of the community as well as Pat's family and friends. 

Pat was born, raised and lived her whole life in the Manor Castle Ward of Sheffield. She worked as a Labour councillor for 33 years and in her role as ​​Chair of Housing in the 1990’s, she spearheaded the application to secure English Heritage Grade II* listed status for Park Hill. 

Pat was also a former Lord Mayor, magistrate and school governor for more than 50 years. In 2019, she was honoured with a W​​​oman of Sheffield award hosted by the Sheffield Star.

[Housing Management Committee minutes]
(Sheffield Archives: CA-HMC/1/1)

This is the first street naming at Park Hill since the Streets in the Sky were designated as ‘rows’ for the original development. Interestingly, the Housing Management Committee minutes for 17th July 1959 note that one street was originally going to be called Stafford Row, but this instead became Norwich Row! 

Victoria W.

Solar Panels

[Image credit: University of Sheffield]

The Green Group are in the early stages of investigating the feasibility of putting solar panels on the roof. If this were to go ahead, the costs for installation and maintenance would be met in full by a local social enterprise.

They would then sell discounted energy back to Great Places for the communal areas of the building (lifts, lights etc). This could potentially lead to either a lower service charge for residents or the money saved being spent elsewhere on the estate.

If you have any expertise that would be helpful for this project, we'd love to hear from you. Email us at

Sam G.

Grounds Maintenance and Improvement

[Image credit: PHRA]

For the last few months, the Green Group have been holding regular meetings with Great Places about improvements to the garden. There's a lot of work still to be done, but this has already led to:

  • the replanting of the herb garden, near S1 Artspace
  • hand weeding across the grounds
  • hand weeding of the wildflower meadows by their original contractor Pictorial Meadows
  • some mulching

We'll continue to encourage Great Places to maintain the grounds and landscaping to a high standard.

Sam G.

Litter Picks

[Image credit: PHRA]

Three successful litter picks have now taken place – these will continue monthly until at least September. Dozens of bags of litter from the roads surrounding the estate were collected each time by a team of enthusiastic volunteers. We've now got a stash of high-viz jackets and litter-pickers in the bike store. If you'd like to join the next litter pick, email us at

For dates and full details please see our events calendar.

If you'd like to get involved in the Green Group, or you have an idea for a new project, email us at

Sam G.

Park Hill Residents' Summer Party

[Image credit: iStock]

Following this last year without a residents’ social event, we can announce that a summer party will be going ahead this year on Saturday 31st July between 12 and 4pm.  Food, drink and entertainment for all ages will be provided.


We are also organising a selection of stalls hosted by residents to promote and sell their creations and products, for example artworks, crafts, houseplants etc.  If this is something you are interested in participating in, then please email


Keep an eye on our social media and the lobby noticeboards for more details in the coming weeks.

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Park Hill Residents' Association
Sheffield S2, United Kingdom
Copyright PHRA 2021