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There has been public outcry following the sudden disappearance of stairwells from public buildings across South Yorkshire. Library users, NHS patients and civil servants across the city were quick to report the unexplained absence of stairwells, complaining that the steps were a necessary method for travel between floors when lift access receives heavy usage.

Many critics of the stairwell removal, such as Sheffield Children’s Hospital Chief Andros Gleek, have been publicly vocal about the new renovations: “It’s completely unacceptable to have an unmarked 30-foot deep vertical shaft open and unprotected on a children’s ward. When unsupervised, some of our terminal patients have taken to standing on the lip of the stairwell entrance motionlessly staring down into the shaft, sometimes in silence or singing softly in unison.

"It’s only a matter of time until there is an accident. This move from the NHS Trust simply beggars belief. I cannot see why the stairs were removed or how they were removed in their entirety in one night."

Sources from within the South Yorkshire NHS Trust, who wished to remain anonymous, were more supportive of the move: "In all recent customer satisfaction surveys amongst those with severe or terminal illnesses, rarely, if ever, were steps, stairwells or staircases mentioned. Instead, patients emphasised a desire for improved overnight care and clean surgical equipment, areas we are now heavily investing in with funds generated by recent architectural divestment.

"For every two flights of stairs we can export into the single market, that’s another half a nurse in the intensive care unit. Those are the kinds of improvements I think we can all be proud of in the NHS."

Also this month, Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital has received new funding as a European centre for research into the treatment of serious injuries sustained from falling onto concrete.


Local school administrators are warning the parents and children of Springfield Primary School not to speak or engage with the voice emanating from a hole that has opened up in the centre of Headford Garden.

The new campaign, headed Holes Do Not Keep Their Promises, teaches children that the utopian visions outlined by the hole, or the creature residing within the hole, are just another distraction from schoolwork and unlikely to be realised with our lifetimes. )

Next article in issue 102

Andrew Hunt: Mester of Oil

We first featured Andrew Hunt’s oil paintings in Now Then in February 2012, so it was a real pleasure to see so much new work on his website…

We first featured Andrew Hunt’s oil paintings in Now Then in February 2012, so it was a real pleasure to see so much new work on his website

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