It was 20 years ago this year

Back in the summer I attended a conference in Sheffield, and it was very good. With it taking place on a Saturday and at Hallam University, which for those of you not in the know is next to Sheffield train station, I had deliberately booked a late train back home on the Sunday to allow me time to do something on the Sunday.

That “something” was to be determined on the day: do something in Sheffield, visit Meadowhall, sleep….or visit a town I’ve not been to for 18 years. Between the years of September 1996-June 1998 I did my HND in journalism at Barnsley College, and it set me on the way to the career I am enjoying now. Since then, I’ve not had the opportunity to get back to Barnsley so with a free day and only a 30 minute train ride from the town, I decided to make a visit.

There were numerous reasons for going, and one of the main ones was would I still remember my way around. The simple answer was yes, and for the most part, the town was a lot more green and pleasant than I had recalled. The areas around the college, court, and streets where I and friends lived were quiet, leafy and with some lovely brickwork that I guess I never really appreciated at the time.

I realise for the majority of people this will have no interest, but for me and the people I shared my education and socialising with in that time, the town will always have good memories. So let’s start with leaving (a massively improved) train station:

I spent about an hour in Barnsley. The town centre looks like the recession had hit it hard and a number of high st chains had gone, which is a shame as it was always pretty good during the week. On the Sunday I visited there was a street market going on, but it did feel like the town had seen better days.

Overall it was great to revisit, and while I didn’t get to the other end of town where I lived in the first year, it was a good trip down S71 Memory Lane.