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|The Shopaholics Guide to 1970s Sheffield  [Book]
The mere thought of a Meadowhall in the seventies would have been laughed off the high street. It wouldn’t have stood a chance.
Sheffield city centre’s retail heritage is remembered in the book that celebrates the forgotten era when Steel City was renowned as the North’s shopping capital.
The book is compiled by the producers of the celebrated Reel Monty – the 1972 Sheffield promotional film that shot to fame following its inclusion in The Full Monty - in conjunction with The Star.
Peter Wigley, Sheffield’s first publicity officer that started at the Town Hall in 1969 has fond memories of the seventies and said:
“Sheffield and Leeds had always been enemies in terms of who had the best of everything and things came to a head in the early 1970s when the BBC TV did a programme to find out which city was best.
“We were always trying to get one over on each other and in this particular year I had some carrier bags made which said ‘Shop In Sheffield This Christmas’.
“Our plan was to sell them to local retailers in the city centre. We had 10,000 printed but only ended up selling 9,000 so we had 1,000 left.
“Then we had a brainwave and decided to take them up to Leeds and distribute them there.
“We got a couple of girls from the office in mini-skirts and packed them off to West Yorkshire and they were literally swamped with people wanting the carrier bags.
“The same day we were contacted by Bob Langley from the Nationwide programme who asked if they could come up and film Sheffield’s illuminations. I said no problem and also told them what we were doing in Leeds and they decided to extend the programme to fit that in as well.
“Our friends in Leeds were not best pleased as you can imagine! It’s fair to say Sheffield won that Christmas!“