Sheffield Local Customs

  • Handsworth 'Mummers'
    Handsworth 'Mummers'
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  • Terry Gorman Picture of 'Coles Corner'
    Terry Gorman Picture of 'Coles Corner'
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  • Hendo's
    Hendo's
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Most Recent Local Customs in Sheffield

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    Crozzle

    by suvanki Updated May 20, 2014

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    Crozzle wall topping

    Crozzle (Crozzil) is the hard burnt cinders from (or waste cement, used to seal) furnaces.
    This hard material had to be chipped out of the furnaces after each firing.

    For some reason, this crozzle was/ is used as a decorative topping for garden walls around Sheffield

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    Tramlines - The Urban Glastonbury Festival

    by suvanki Updated May 13, 2014

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    Balkan Bandits - World Stage 2011
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    600 artists playing in various outside and indoor venues over the last weekend of July (22-24th in 2011).... and it's all for free!
    This was the first time that I'd managed to get to 'Tramlines' and I was so pleased that I did this year, as the weather was perfect, and Sheffield became one huge party venue for all ages. There was a real friendly buzz about the city centre.
    This 'Free for All Music Festival' originated in 2009 to celebrate Sheffields 'diverse Musical community' It was such a success, that it doubled in size the following year, with over 125,000 visitors seeing acts at 50 venues.
    Why Tramlines? Well, the venues of pubs, clubs and open squares/gardens and parks were located on or near to the Sheffield Tram route.
    It has now spread beyond 'the tramlines' to Heeley City Farm and Endcliffe Park - still reachable by bus services.
    Over the weekend there are 'unlimited' Supertram tickets £8 for the weekend/£3.70 for a day (2011) Traveline - Tel. 01709515151 www.supertram.com.
    Two buses - The tramlines Busker Bus and The Blues and Ale trail run on separate routes over the weekend - although I had difficulty finding the times that they ran - which was disappointing as I needed to get from the Peace Gardens to Kelham Island, and the Blues and Ale bus would have been perfect - in the end I jumped in a taxi.

    I spent Saturday in the Peace Gardens at the World Stage, where I was blown away by the acts that I saw. It made me quite proud of 'my city'
    Besides music, there were dance acts performing.

    The main stage is on Devonshire Green, which gets quite busy, with queues of upto 90 minutes - on the Saturday, Pixie Lott, Olli Murs and Nerina Pallot were the headliners - Not local artists though. On Friday night, local heroes Heaven 17 played on the New Music Stage in Barkers Pool.

    On Fargate, the Continental Market offered a variety of cuisines and a bar. A few food stalls were located by the Peace Gardens - I enjoyed a taste of Japan - teriyaki chicken noodles. There was a bar in the Peace Gardens too, but I noticed that the supermarkets nearby were doing a roaring trade too!

    UPDATE - TRAMLINES 2012 Once again, I had a Great time! Even more artists and venues this year. I spent a short time in the Peace Gardens watching artists playing the World Stage, before heading to Tudor Square, where I came across a very entertaining juggler/fire eater. How often do you come across a chain saw juggler? In Fargate, there was a selection of imaginative food stalls and 'Beach bar'
    Next stop was the City Hall Ballroom (Vintage Market and more artistes), before heading up Division Street - Buzzing with crowds enjoying the entertainment, and to The Hop, to catch the free Blues and Ales buskers bus to Kelham Island. I met up with Phil at the Kelham Island Tavern, where we enjoyed a pint. There had been an act on here this afternoon, but no more music here today, so we headed to the Fat Cat. It was packed to the rafters, so we headed to the Riverside, where we enjoyed another pint (and people watching)! Across the road is The Harlequin, where we enjoyed a group playing a selection of rock favourites.
    Again, the weather was kind, which added to the party atmosphere.
    It was good to see the huge number of people attending this event - all ages, from babes in arms to some very senior citizens!

    Here's to Tramlines 2013!
    UPDATE 2013 - this year, the organisers have had to introduce admission charges - £6 for the weekend to some of the main arenas such as Devonshire Green, although there are still many free venues such as The Peace Gardens.
    Despite the charges, it was still a great turn out, and again the weather on the whole was kind!
    Afraid that I didn't get to Tramlines this year. Instead Phil and I went to 'Hammered in Sheffield' run by Sheffield Scooter Club.
    A weekend of Ska and Northern Soul Music etc.

    UPDATE 2014 -July 25-27th- Public Enemy, The Wedding Present and Ms Dynamite are the headline acts at the moment. Good News for me - Hammered is the weekend of 18-19th July, so can hopefully participate in both festivals this year :-)

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    Fright Night- Biggest Halloween Party in Europe

    by suvanki Updated May 13, 2014

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    Phil wearing his mask - for this pic at least!
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    Fright Night is now Europes largest Halloween Party - held on the last Sunday in October since 2000, between 15.30 and 20.30. Crowds of over 40,000 was expected.
    I finally got around to visiting this event in 2011. Luckily it was an unusually mild night, so the crowds were out in force! (The previous year there had been heavy rain)
    The centre of Sheffield is closed off to traffic, as Fairground rides are installed on the centres streets. Market stalls, kiosks selling masks, flashing devils horns/light sabres etc, food stalls etc.
    I was expecting that the food stalls would be the same as the usual Continental markets, with dishes from Spain, Germany, France etc, but it was mainly burgers and hot dogs, though I did spot a German bratwurst van - The queues for food were massive!

    In the various squares (Orchard, Leopold, Tudor) as well as The Moor, Pinstone Street, Surrey Street, Fargate, Barkers Pool, Peace Gardens and the Winter Garden are attractions for all ages.

    There was the GhostBusters Car, an American Hearse, Zombies, a Giant Frankenstein (who apparently got attacked by light sabre weilding children), people sitting in baths of maggots, a fire breathing horse, dances and animations. In the Lyceum Theatre, there was a performance of Sing-A-Long-A-Rocky-Horror-Show.
    Mr P Dreadful led one of his famous Ghost Walks.
    I didn't get to see all of the attractions.

    For me, the best part was seeing the various costumes.
    Travelling into Sheffield by bus (public transport is encouraged*, as Parking is difficult at busy times, plus the city centre is mainly closed) Most of the passengers were dressed in costume - from babies to teenagers - We had witches, black cats, a baby frankenstein, pirates, schoolgirls covered in scars and blood streaked clothing. I was dressed in black and had a set of devil horns in my bag, plus a mask for Phil, which he wore for all of 2 minutes, so that I could take a photo of him!

    Arriving in the city centre (at around 16.30), we even spotted a couple of dogs dressed as devils! It wasn't long before night fell, and the atmosphere increased. We shuffled up Fargate, dodging pushchairs among the large crowd, and headed into Orchard Square, where there were some imaginative groups in Fancy Dress.

    Phil and I escaped to Leopold Square and took advantage of Happy Hour in La Forete for a cocktail each - surprisingly we were among only a handfull of customers (Last time we had visited, it was packed full)
    Dutch courage worked, and I put on my Devils Horns (which I kept on all night)

    Back into the throng, we mosied on around the squares and streets, enjoying watching the sights and soaking up the atmosphere. I think I enjoyed it more than Phil - he wasn't so happy with being jostled about in the crowd.
    Feeling hungry, we adjourned to All Bar One, where we relaxed over our meal and a drink, before heading back down Fargate to catch our bus home, where we were accompanied by more passengers in costume.

    I quite enjoyed Fright Night - There was a Great atmosphere, with all ages having fun.
    If you don't like crowds, it might not be so pleasant, and there were long queues for the rides and food stalls.

    *First Bus Group offered bus-goers a discounted FirstDay Group ticket, which gave up to five people (maximum of two adults) unlimited travel around South Yorkshire on First buses for the whole day for just £5
    Public Transport: http://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/fright/ or call the Travel South Yorkshire Traveline on 01709 51 51 51.

    UPDATE - 2014 - This year, there are no plans to hold Fright Night - something to do with the costs of policing this event - the organisers are stating that there will be other Fright Nights in the future, and likening to Glastonbury Festival, which has a break every now and then - so 'Watch This Space' for updates...

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    Hen Nights/Stag nights

    by suvanki Updated Jul 28, 2013

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    Stag Party heading up West Street

    Traditionally held the night before the wedding i.e Fri night, but hangovers etc, meant a move to Thurs night. Nowadays for some reason, these pre wedding "last night of freedoms" are held at least a week before the nuptuals, some being held abroad, Barcelona, Prague, Amsterdam being popular destinations.
    However, In Sheffield, on Thur/Fri/ Sat nights be prepared for groups of women , headed by one,attired in bridal veil, and adorned with a nylon nightie covered in condoms/L plates/porno pics/messages etc etc, followed by a gang of shrieking mates, wearing devil horns/Beware Hen Party on the lose sashes etc.. wielding bottles of alcopops, or dubious looking cocktails!

    Stag groups, although not usually dressed in a similar way, can be spotted, again downing vast quantities of beer, lager etc etc.
    Well, some stag parties can be seen in 'Team shirts' with their 'nick-names' or recently I've spotted stags wearing Onesies in various designs, and some where the groom is in 'drag' etc.

    Usually frequenting West Street, Division Street, Carver Street areas, with their many 'cheap' hostelries catering to the 'drink as much as you can, special offers' ....Again to be spotted at chucking out time, weaving an unsteady route to the nearest taxi.

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    Sheffield By The Seaside

    by suvanki Updated Jul 28, 2013

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    Peace Gardens - Sheffield By the  Seaside
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    Well Sheffield is about as far away from any of England's coastlines, as it is possible to get! However, for most of August (Thursday 2nd to Saturday 25th August 2012}, Sheffield City centre is converted into a 'seaside resort'.

    It's probably more fun if you are a child, or have children with you, or if the weather is conducive to 'Happy Seaside Memories'
    This isn't anything like I imagine the stylish Parisian 'beaches' etc to be, which is a shame, as Sheffield has had some great events/Festivals in the city centre recently.

    The Peace Gardens, has a beach area (large sand pit), while 'the sea' is courtesy of the fountain!
    Despite the rain, children were having fun playing in the water.
    Nearby was a small disco with stage area, where small girls were 'gyrating' to 'I'm Sexy and I know it'!!! Hmmm -

    Fairground rides such as a helter skelter and swing boats provide more entertainment!
    I think there were dodgem cars on Fargate.

    Stalls with fairground/seaside favourites such as 'Hook A Duck', Crazy golf, candy floss stalls, and even sticks of Sheffield rock!

    Free beach, free entertainment etc Daily from 10am to 6pm. Attractions and rides etc have admission charges.

    For me, it was a depressing reminder of 'tacky seaside resorts' on a rainy midweek day - but as I said before - the children were enjoying it.

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    Made in Sheffield - Benjamin Huntsman

    by suvanki Updated Feb 17, 2013
    Attercliffe Cemetery, where Huntsman's tomb is
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    Apart from a Weatherspoons pub in the city centre and a ward at the Northern General Hospital named after Huntsman, there is no monument to this person who was responsible for the Industrialisation of the City and its prosperity, which imo is a great shame.

    Born in Epworth, Lincolnshire to German parents, who were Quakers. Huntsman earned a trade as a skilled watch and clockmaker. He had begun an apprenticeship at the age of 14, then moved to Doncaster, where he set up business as a watch and clock maker
    The German steel that he used wasn't upto his standards - he needed a better quality of steel for the springs of his time pieces. It is thought that he began experimenting with steel production at this time.

    He moved to Handsworth, outside Sheffields boundaries in 1740, where there were many artisans providing charcoal etc, to help his smelting process. There is a blue plaque (pic 3) on a house on Handsworth Road opposite Asda, which is the site of his cottage and workshops.

    To be continued...

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    Kelham Island Victorian Christmas Market

    by suvanki Updated Nov 16, 2012

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    Traditional Fairground ride
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    Now in it's 20th year (although 2010 was cancelled due to the unseasonal early snow) 2011 was my first visit to the Victorian Christmas Market which is held at the Kelham Island Museum. 16,000 visitors attended that year - I guess there would have been more if the weather had been better.

    After visiting many Christmas Markets over the past few years in Manchester and Germany, I was looking forward to the chance to buy some local goodies for presents and to stock up on local cheeses and meats etc, enjoy a hog roast butty and a cup or 2 of mulled wine.
    Well, it was bitterly cold and pouring down with rain on the Sunday when we visited. Despite the rain, I'd enjoyed walking part of the Upper Don Valley walk, which led to Kelham Island Museum.
    £5 was the entrance price (accompanied children free) which also allowed us admission to the museum (which I'd wanted to see for a long time) paid to a woman in Victorian costume in a kiosk, who gave us our tickets and a map/ guide to the market.
    2012 is the 30th anniversary of Kelham Island Museum (as well as being the 200th 'Birthday' of Charles Dickens)

    We walked upto the Market entrance past information boards and industrial relics. The rain was quite heavy, so we darted into the first room, where there was a demonstration of a wood working saw, plus craft stalls.

    We wandered around the various rooms and stalls, and enjoyed some musical entertainment as well as spotting 'local celebrity' Bobby Knutt, who was signing copies of his book.

    I was looking forward to seeing the museums exhibits, but the pleasure was diminished somewhat by the many push chairs and prams that were being pushed around the narrow spaces.

    I was really looking forward to a glass of mulled wine and the Hog Roast, so decided to brave the elements and visit the outside food stalls ..... Well, there weren't as many stalls as I'd expected, and despite being a couple of hours from closing time, there was no mulled wine left, and no hog roast either - I settled for a burger (beef from a local farm), which was pleasant enough, but difficult to eat in the rain. I eventually hunkered down in a doorway, which wasn't ideal due to the never ending stream of people passing through.

    The River Don Engine was well worth seeing, and I was fascinated by the exhibits that I did get to see - plenty of information boards too, but I certainly need to make a return visit when it's less crowded.

    Besides the craft stalls, there were stalls selling local history books and gifts etc. I enjoyed visiting the stands of local groups such as 'Friends of Manor Lodge' and the River Don.

    So, would I visit the Victorian Christmas Market again? Maybe - but I'd be prepared for the crowds and hope for a dry day.

    We adjourned to the nearby Kelham Tavern, hoping to find some mulled wine, but as it was packed to the rafters, we carried on to The Harlequin, where they were selling Mulled Cider - worth the wait!

    Kelham Island Museum, Alma Street, Sheffield, S3 8RY

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    Golden Post Box

    by suvanki Written Sep 8, 2012
    Newly re-painted Post Box
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    In recognition of Gold Medal winners of the 2012 London Olympic Games, a post box in the winners town/city/village was painted gold by the Post Office.
    Sheffields own 'Golden Girl' Jessica Ennis was honoured by this post box near the City Hall.

    Benson35 (Hayley) was visiting Sheffield a few days after this post box had been painted (and re-painted, due to some *** adding their graffitti) READ ALL ABOUT IT

    We therefore went along to see it. There was a steady stream of people waiting to have their photos taken, still basking in the excitement from 'Super Saturday' when there had been a trio of Team GB gold medal performances including Jess's final heptathlon performance of these games.

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    Media in Sheffield

    by suvanki Updated Aug 30, 2012

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    Get your Star here......Read All About it....
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    Radio

    BBC Radio Sheffield I'm afraid that these days, the only time that I listen to this station is when it's snowing, as they give regular updates as to which buses have stopped running etc.
    www.bbc.co.uk/radiosheffield
    The 2nd Local radio station to be aired in the UK. Formed in 1967

    Hallam fm
    www.hallamfm.co.uk/

    Wikipedia on Radio Hallam

    Newspapers

    The Star Sheffield Telegraph (Weekly -Thursday) and the Green 'Un (Saturday) are published by Sheffield Newspapers Ltd
    Their offices are on York Street in the City Centre. Here at the reception you can purchase back copies of these newspapers, as well as a good selection of books/leaflets and DVD's of local interest.

    Copies of these newspapers are sold in shops around the city, as well as South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire.

    Around Sheffield centre, you can spot small kiosks where you can purchase a copy of The Star. I remember that these sellers used to wear white coats, with a red star printed on the back. Some used to have a distinctive shout.
    Terry Gorman, a local artist, was famed for his brightly coloured paintings of local scenes. Each of his paintings had a 'hidden' Sheffield Star newspaper seller, a Sheffield United Supporter and a black cat.(pic 2)

    The Sheffield Star a daily newspaper (Mon-Saturday),
    Founded in 1855
    www.thestar.co.uk
    Read all about it!

    The Morning Telegraphnew edition appears on Thursday morning - plenty of local news, what's on and Property guide.
    Founded in 1855
    www.sheffieldtelegrapgh.co.uk

    The Green 'Un (or more properly The Sheffield Star Green 'Un)
    So named, as it is printed on green newspaper, The Green 'Un is a sports paper, published on Saturday evenings (after the local football matches have finished)

    to be continued.....

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    Made in Sheffield - Four Lions

    by suvanki Updated Aug 28, 2012

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    Kebabish in t'Wicker - a key spot in the film
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    This is one of my favourite films - a low budget production from 2010, shot in Sheffield - a Black comedy, based in Sheffield - Some memorable great comedic lines and visual comedy, which I fully enjoyed, as well as spotting the locations around Sheffield city and outskirts.

    Four Lions was the feature film debut of Chris Morris (Director) It was written by Morris, Sam Bain, and Jesse Armstrong

    Quite controversial, as it is a 'jihad satire'- based around the lives of a group of would be Yorkshire Islamist suicide bombers. This was at a time when the UK and beyond was still recovering, 5 years later, from the terrorist attack in London on 7th July 2005 (Now known as 7/7), by 4 'home grown' Islamist terrorists/suicide bombers - 3 of who lived in Yorkshire (Leeds).

    After the success of The Full Monty, another low budget film , that was about a group of Sheffielders, that went on to gain international success - Four Lions hasn't reached the levels of Full Monty fame, but it is a film that I can watch time and time again. I've lent my DVD of this film to friends with mixed reactions!

    The UK premiere took place at the Bradford International Film Festival on 25th March 2010, with its Nationwide release on 7th May 2010.
    This is what Wikipedia has to say

    Part of the film action, towards the end of the film, takes place in London, for the London Marathon - errrr No! The Marathon shots were filmed in Sheffield too.

    Recently, while doing the 5 Weirs Walk on the River Don, we came across another film location - the flat, which features in many scenes, next to the Tinsley Viaduct. We were amused to see a quite vociferous black crow (Brother Crow) on the tile ridge!
    I guess if you haven't seen the film, this won't mean anything to you!

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    Made in Sheffield - Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey

    by suvanki Updated Aug 20, 2012
    Gravestone of Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey
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    Well up until recently, I wasn't aware of Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey, nor that he was born (and buried) in Norton.

    During a walk around Graves Park, we came across the nearby church of St James in Norton, and I was attracted to a large tomb, with two inscribed rectangular granite tombs, which contained the body of a sculptor and family members.
    The tomb is raised on a chamfered plinth, and is enclosed by cast iron railings. It was Grade 11 listed on 28th June 1973



    Later, reading about the church, and this particular resident, I was surprised to find that I had admired one of his pieces, each time I've visited Manchester - The statue of John Dalton in the entrance of Manchester Town Hall Manchester Town Hall

    Chantrey was born on 7th April 1781 in the rural setting of the Parish of Norton (which was then in Derbyshire) His father Francis, was a tenant farmer and carpenter, who died when Joseph was 12 years old. His mother Sarah, was the daughter of a Derbyshire joiner.
    As a child, Joseph, would take dairy produce and eggs to Sheffield by donkey.

    Aged 15, inspired by a wood carving he'd seen in a shop window, Joseph entered into an apprenticeship with a Sheffield carver and gilder Robert Ramsey. His artistic skill was recognised by the eminent painter and mezzotint engraver Raphael Smith, a house guest of Ramseys, who gave Joseph drawing lessons.
    In 1802, six months before his apprenticeship was due to be completed, he paid off his master and set up a portrait painting studio, at No 24, Paradise Square in Sheffield.

    He earned enough money to move to London, where he lodged with his Aunt and Uncle, while often returning to Sheffield
    While in London, he discovered a talent for sculpting busts.

    He was awarded his first public commission in 1805, His first work in marble - a bust of the Rev. James Wilkinson, Vicar of Sheffield, which won him immediate local fame.

    He continued his painting too, exhibiting in the Royal Academy until 1807. In this year he married his wealthy cousin Ann Wale at St Marys Church, Twickenham Her dowry of £10,000 enabled Chantrey to purchase properties and a studio. He made the decision to concentrate on sculpture only.

    The following year, he exhibited a bust of Satan at the Academy, which resulted in commissions for some prestigious works Some of Chantreys works

    His talent for sculpture, procured him continual work, and much wealth. He was made a member of the Royal Academy in 1818.

    He was knighted by William IV in 1835

    In his will, dated 31st December 1840, having no children, he bequeathed that his fortune, following the death of his wife (or her re-marrying) be given to the Royal Academy to enable the purchase of British paintings and sculpture, and to create a national collection of British art.

    He died suddenly in London on 25th November 1841. His body was returned to Norton, where he was buried in the family tomb at St James Church, Norton, which he'd completed earlier in the year. (Lady Chantery died in 1875, Two years later £150,000 was received by the Royal Academy, founding the Chantrey bequest.)

    The tomb is located near the former site of the 14th Century Preaching Cross, which was moved (to the opposite side of the path leading to the church door), so that the tomb could be constructed here.

    Inside Norton church is a seated statue of Sir Francis Chantrey, which was created after his death, by John Bell of the Royal Academy, along with a wall monument. Near his tomb is 'The Chantrey Memorial' obelisk.

    Other interesting gravestones can be seen in the church yard and there are some particularly ancient ones in the porchway, dating from 1655 - One is the stone of a parliamentary commander from the English Civil War named William Blythe.
    Another is inscribed with the name Barbara Lee, who was buried in 1670, near the altar. Unusually, in an upright position!

    St James Church, Norton Lane, Norton, Sheffield S8 8JQ.

    MAP

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    Made in Sheffield - The Full Monty

    by suvanki Updated Aug 14, 2012

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    Near Bacon Lane Bridge - scene of car and girder

    Internationally acclaimed film (1997), and recent stage show, based in Sheffield - the story of 6 unemployed men - the majority being ex steel-workers, who, having reached 'Rock Bottom', with no prospect of honest work, are inspired by the popularity of male strip tease acts, at this time, such as the Chippendales. They form a striptease act, with the intention of going further than these other acts- they'd do 'The Full Monty' - A full strip!

    Bittersweet comedy, another film that I can watch time and time again, due to its great script, cast and spotting locations around Sheffield.

    When the film was released in Sheffield, cinemas were overwhelmed with locals wanting to see this film. I remember turning up midweek, at my 'local' cinema at Crystal Peaks (no longer there), without booking, and being turned away - We purchased a ticket for the following evening.
    I was amazed to realise that this soon to become 'blockbuster' had been filmed around Sheffield, with no mention in the local press, and no sight of cameras etc, even in our local Asda supermarket at Orgreave (again, no longer there).
    To think that Robert Carlisle was so near to my home!

    Picture 1 - Near Bacon Lane Bridge, Attercliffe, where Robert Carlisle and others were seen with steel girder and balancing on the submerged car.

    Photos to follow

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    Made in Sheffield - Hendersons Relish

    by suvanki Updated Aug 11, 2012

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    I've got the T-Shirt!
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    Hendo's or Hendersons Relish has been manufactured in Sheffield since its creation in the 1880's by Henry Henderson, to 'spice up' poor cuts of meat.
    A Family run business, now headed by an ex Liverpool GP (through marriage), Dr Kenneth Freeman, who has had to 'roll his sleeves up' and learn the 'Secret Recipe' of this Elixir of Life. The factory has been at its present location 41 Leavygreave Rd Sheffield S3 7RD, since the early 1960's

    Arriving in Sheffield in the late 1970's, I soon became aware of this tasty condiment, as its distinctive black glass bottle and orange label adorned every local shop, cafe, fish and chip shop and student accommodation. The labels haven't altered too much from their original hand drawn labels.

    In 1993, Hendersons produced bottles with red and white (and blue and white) striped labels, to commemorate Sheffield United and the other team in the city playing in the FA Cup semi-finals - I'm afraid that I can't remember who won this Steel City Derby ;-)
    These bottles are still available through their respective Club shops.

    The bottle is no longer topped by its red sealing waxxed cork though.

    The black bottle/orange label may look similar to another condiment - (better known, but not nearly as adored) Lea and Perrins' - Worcestershire Sauce (That's Wussturshire Sauce for any Americans)!

    Hendo's scores points over L&P's though -It doesn't contain anchovies, so is suitable for Vegetarian and vegan diets.

    The ingredients are ; Sheffield Water, sugar, spirit vinegar, caramel colouring, syrup, salt, Tamarinds, Cayenne Pepper, cloves, Saccharin and garlic oil.
    Now, whether anyone other than the present owner and 'one other' knows the 'secret recipe' is unsure. Rumours abound regularly, that Hendos is closing due to the good doctors imminent retirement - which results in 'panic buying'

    The small factory is closed to the public - except for the small 'front room' office/shop. Though from the pavement you can inhale lung fulls of the vinegary and spicy aroma - gratis.

    (I'm sure that one of the reasons that Hendersons has such a loyal following 'From the cradle to the grave' is that it is located nearly opposite the old Jessops Hospital for Women - was the Relish scented air inhaled in a new borns first breath)????

    The factory stands alone, and looks quite shabby. I visited the factory one rainy day last year to purchase T-Shirts for an ex-pat Hendersons fan living in Australia. I rang the bell and waited 'for ever' until I was finally let into the office/shop - bottles of Hendersons from over the years stood on a mantlepiece, while T-shirts were stacked in boxes strewn around the room - it wasn't quite what I'd been expecting, but then again, I liked the haphazardnesss, rather than a slick 'polished' operation.

    I held out my card to pay for the shirts, but was told that it was cash only- I left 1960's Sheffield, stepped into the downpour, and back to 2011 as I negotiated the traffic and a nearby ATM, before returning. Ringing the bell again, I had as long a wait again, while rain dripped down my neck - I was beginning to wonder if the recipient of the gift wouldn't have preferred a soccer shirt, or if I should have queried if cash only was pre- decimal? when I was admitted back to the 'unswinging sixties' and made my purchase.
    I had to buy another shirt later - this time I nipped into The Milennium Galleries.

    Local celebrities extoll the virtues of Hendersons Relish -Singer/songwriter/musician/presenter/All Round Good Sheffield Bloke - Richard Hawley had specially printed 'Hendersons Relish' labels for his 'Lady's Bridge' tour - he'd previously used the iconic bottles in promoting his Coles Corner Album.
    Sean Bean 'splashes it all over' and local legend has it that he purchased 2 gallons of Hendos, in response to the above retirement rumour.
    Peter Stringfellow is another addict - It's often mentioned that the amount of Hendos he consumes is in proportion to the depth of his tan :-)

    I tend to use it for adding flavour to stews and meat dishes, but many locals are reported to sprinkle it on their fried breakfasts or even fish and chips.

    In the late 1990's as Sheffielders became more interested in dining out and eating good quality food, Hendersons decided to promote its Relish as a 'cooking ingredient rather than a garnish'
    A cooking competition was arranged between Sheffield Chefs, and a book 'Recipes to Relish' was published containing the winning recipes, also anecdotes from Well known Sheffield fans of Hendersons. 50p from each book sold went to the Sheffield Childrens Hospital charity.

    Hendersons Relish is becoming more popular outside the city bounderies - thanks to the internet, the factory has a mail order service for ex-pats.

    It's iconic design has been recognised recently (or more likely its marketing value)- T-shirts and aprons bearing the bottle are sold from the factory (cash only) or other outlets including The Milennium Galleries Shop and The Sheffield Shop on Surrey Street

    Local artists such as Joe Scarborough and George Cunningham have painted scenes depicting the brew, while more contemporary artists such as Kid Acne and Jim Connolly have limited edition prints of a different genre.

    Made in Sheffield for over 100 years! Sheffields Best Kept Secret ...........Hendersons Relish!

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    Handsworth Sword Dancers

    by suvanki Updated Sep 1, 2011

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    Handsworth Sword Dancers
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    For over a hundred years, this intricate sword dance has been performed in Woodhouse and Handsworth , in South East Sheffield.

    Every Boxing Day (26th December), the dancers demonstrate their skills first in Woodhouse, then at around 12.00 they arrive at Handsworth, outside the parish church (pic 2) (and next to the Cross Keys pub). This is where I watch them, as it's very close to my home.
    Sheffield is the only city in England to have two longsword teams Handsworth (South East)and Grenoside ( North West)

    "Handsworth Sword Dance is performed with each dancer holding the sword point of the dancer at his side, (on his left), forming a circle.
    The dance lasts about 9 minutes and is made up of a fast paced set of complex figures, finishing with the swords linked together making the ‘Lock’. The lock is then held aloft by the captain."

    Please check out their website (see below) for more info about the dance and history of Handsworth Sword Dancers.

    Besides the dancing, there is traditional carol singing, and a satirical play, which is based on the tradition of Mummers.
    Afterwards, everyone adjourns to the local pub for more singing and drinking. The last time I was here, the usual venue of The Cross Keys, was closed, but as it has since re-opened, I guess this is the pub of choice.

    Incidently, Handsworth Parish Church is the only one of its kind to have a public house in its church yard - The Cross Keys!
    It's original purpose was as accommodation for the chaplains and lay clerks. It is thought to date back to the mid 13th century

    I particularly enjoy the traditional version of 'While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks by Night' or Sweet bells, which is sung here every year.

    Check out Kate Rusby singing Sweet Bells to hear this version.

    It's a nice part of Christmas for me, but I'm afraid that I've missed seeing this performance for the past few years, as I've been away for Christmas.

    Come along, but wrap up VERY warm - it's usually quite nippy! Bring your camera, and a few coins for the donations bucket.

    26th December 2011 falls on a Sunday, so this will be performed on the Monday instead

    11:15am at Market Square, Woodhouse, S13 7JX. (next to Cross Street)
    12:00pm at Handsworth in front of St. Mary's Church, S13 9BZ.

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    Street Poetry

    by suvanki Updated Mar 12, 2011

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    Ian McMillan poem at  Sheffield Station
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    Although Ian Macmillan is the 'Bard of Barnsley' one of his poems can be seen near Sheffield Train Station (pic 1).(On the wall by the steps leading off of Paternoster Row to the Fountains/Water feature etc)

    Recently I've spotted more examples of local poetry adorning the walls of buildings.

    A few steps away (heading up to Hallam University) is a poem by Andrew Morton. (pic 2)

    My favourite is one by Jarvis Cocker over by Bramall Lane on the wall of student accommodation

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