The sign on this building shows Castle House with a defunct Sheffield Co-op logo high above. It was designed by Hadfield Hawkwell & Davidson in 1962, constructed alongside the Brightside & Carbrook Co-operative Society’s new department store alongside.
It was occupied by Horne Brothers, men’s outfitters, who commissioned this glass fibre and metal sculpture, eight feet in height, in 1961.
The withered male figure represents Vulcan, patron of smiths and other craftsmen who use fire, and carries a bundle of metal rods in his right hand.
It was Boris Tietze’s second commission after leaving the sculpture department of the Slade School of Fine Art, metallic in appearance and supported on a ‘light and stable’ metal armature.
Tietze ‘decided to use the god of fire – Vulcan – as being representative of Sheffield.’ Although we know that Raggio’s conventional statue of Vulcan has stood on top of Sheffield Town Hall since Victorian times.
According to Sheffield City Council, Vulcan was removed in the 1980s, but was rescued by the Council’s Public Art Officer and subsequently restored to its rightful position.
The Co-op occupied a large part of the building, later using the ground floor as a Post Office, but it was closed in 2011. (The bulk of Castle House had been shuttered up four years earlier). The block is now part occupied by the The National Videogame Museum.