Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

As wide as the Wicker Arches

The Wicker Arches is a railway viaduct on the edge of Sheffield city centre. It was built in 1848 and the 41-arches span the Don Valley. Most of the arches are now blocked, with various businesses occupying the spaces, but the main arch across the Wicker, with decorative pedestrian arches to either side, remains a busy route into the city, and Effingham Road also passes beneath the viaduct further east. The arch beneath which the River Don passes now forms part of the Five Weirs Walk with the route taking the form of a suspended metal walkway named the Spider Bridge (it’s even decorated with large silver arachnids with illuminated eyes).

Passenger rail services across the viaduct ceased in 1970 when Sheffield Victoria Station, which was situated atop the viaduct, closed, and all rail traffic had stopped by the 1980s.

The phrase “as wide as the Wicker Arches” has been regularly used by people in Sheffield to denote someone who was a bit crafty or a smartarse.

When I was cheeky
“Wide as the Wicker Arches!”
Would come my mum’s cry

As wide as the Wicker Arches

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 9 May 2021

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