A Typographic Tour of Sheffield

I finally got round to sending off an SAE for a free copy of this. It’s a guide to the points of typographic interest around the city, starting from London Road and finishing on Devonshire Green. The tour takes in both iconic examples that you’ll recognise and some that need a bit more detective work to spot.

A Typographic Tour of Sheffield

A Typographic Tour of Sheffield

The guide is by the people behind the beautiful Our Favourite Places book. And for the price of a couple of stamps, it’s definitely worth getting your hands on: send Eleven an SAE and they’ll pop one in the post.

Oh, and if you’re into Sheffield typography then Sheftype is also worth following.

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Sheffield street art interactive map

Thanks to Ritchie for taking the time to do an interactive map of Sheffield street art. If you’re not sure where to start when exploring then why not follow one of the suggested walking routes? They’re perfect for a lunch hour:

A walk up Wincobank hill

Sheffield’s greatest prehistoric monument?

Over the bank holiday weekend I took the opportunity to explore what is described as probably Sheffield’s greatest prehistoric monument by University of Sheffield archaologists.

Wincobank hill is on the north east of the city. It’s the big one behind Meadowhall. The hill is surrounded by ancient woodland and its summit was once home to an Iron age fort. The shape of the fort’s ramparts are visible on this photo on the Friends of Wincobank Fort website.

It is a relatively easy walk up there. The route we followed was from the Walking South Yorkshire book by Rob Haslam. It starts at Firth park car park on Hucklow Road although I think you can probably park closer if you want.

Your ascent takes you through the park, meadows and woodland before you reach the top of the hill. The remains of the fort aren’t that obvious once you are up there but the views are superb.

On one side you look towards Keppel’s column and Rotherham. Walking along the ridge you can then look out across the lower Don valley:

Lower Don valley from Wincobank hill

Lower Don valley from Wincobank hill

(Lower Don valley from Wincobank hill – large size)

Don valley stadium from Wincobank hill

Don valley stadium from Wincobank hill

Keep going and eventually you can see a spectacular view towards the city centre and north west Sheffield.

City centre and north west Sheffield from Wincobank hill

City centre and north west Sheffield from Wincobank hill

(City centre and north west Sheffield from Wincobank hill – large size)

City centre from Wincobank hill

City centre from Wincobank hill

University/Hallamshire hospital from Wincobank hill

University/Hallamshire hospital from Wincobank hill

According to Wikipedia, the fort wasn’t Roman, but instead was constructed by the Celtic Brigantes tribe.

At the top of the hill you’ll also find the location of a gun turret from world war two.

World war two gun turret

World war two gun turret

If you’re interested to find out more about Wincobank hill and how you can support it then try the Friends of Wincobank Hill website.

Our favourite places Sheffield – second edition

Our favourite places: Sheffield, second edition

Our favourite places Sheffield, second edition

An expanded travel guide for curious folk

Last May the first edition of Our favourite places – Sheffield was released and it quickly became the guide of choice to Sheffield for not only visitors to the city but also the people who live here. It contained a hand-picked selection of fifty of our best-loved places, all lovingly packaged into a beautiful pocket guide with pull-out map.

Buoyed by its success, creators Eleven have set about expanding the guide to now include 75 entries in the new edition. Inside you’ll find recommendations for restaurants, cafes, pubs, shops, arts, parks, gardens and day trips, as well as a mini real ale trail and Sharrow vale road photo spread.

You can probably guess some of the more obvious favourites that appear in there, but it is likely that there will also be some locations you haven’t yet visited, as well as one or two off the beaten track. I gave a copy of the first edition to some relatives who had just moved back to Sheffield and they have loved exploring what the city has to offer.

At just £4 the original edition of Our favourite places was great value, and at the same price this expanded version is even more of a bargain. Get yourself a copy and discover the cherished bits of Sheffield that you’ve been missing out on.

Our favourite places – Sheffield

Our favourite places: Sheffield, second edition

Our favourite places Sheffield, second edition

Our favourite places: Sheffield, second edition

Our favourite places Sheffield, second edition

Sharrow lantern festival

Have you seen the lights?

The procession at Sharrow lantern festival

The procession at Sharrow lantern festival

Sunday night saw the annual lantern festival take over the streets of Sharrow. I don’t live in the neighbourhood but the reputation of the festival has been growing for a few years now so I decided it was time to check it out.

In the weeks leading up to it, workshops took place to help people craft a lantern to carry in the procession. On the day of the festival, crowds would then gather at dusk in Mount pleasant park before setting off and parading through Sharrow to Cemetery park.

This year’s procession was again led by the Sheffield samba band, who were brilliant. Everyone else followed: many people proudly carried ‘elements’-themed lanterns in all shapes and sizes, while some were dressed up and others had their faces adorned with face paints. It didn’t matter if you hadn’t prepared anything though, as everyone was welcome to tag along regardless.

As the carnival wove its way through the streets, residents gathered in doorways and faces pressed up against windows to catch a glimpse of the festivities and see what the noise was all about.

On joining London road, we turned left towards town and headed for Cemetery park for live music, fire spinners and the spectacular lantern release. And for those wanting to continue the festivities, bands and DJs carried on at the Cremorne pub until late.

It looks like 2011 will be the final year that organisers Creative action network will be managing the event. There is no suggestion that it won’t be going ahead next April though and they are inviting people to get involved with the organisation. Do get in touch with them if you fancy it.

I’d definitely recommend getting involved in next year’s event, whether you are eight or 80. I didn’t really know what to expect, and when the rain came down on Sunday afternoon – following a hefty mother’s day meal – it was quite tempting not to bother venturing out. But I’m really glad I did, as I got to not just see but actually participate in another heart-warming example of grassroots Sheffield culture and community spirit.

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On the waterfront event at Victoria quays

A family day out down the canal basin

If, like me, you don’t get down to Victoria quays as much as you should, then the On the waterfront event is a good reason to head there tomorrow:

Come and enjoy a fun family day out by one of Sheffield’s watery wildlife havens! Plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained, with live music, attractions and craft demonstrations. Find out more about the wildlife that lives along our waterways, or join a guided walk and look out for butterflies, fish and kingfishers.

The live music includes the Crookes and the Everly pregnant brothers, both of which are reason alone to go.

I’ve posted before about Victoria quays and how Sheffield’s canal basin never seemed to properly catch on as a place to spend significant time and money. More events like this can only raise its profile and give people an incentive to go.

On the waterfront Event Sheffield listing

On  the waterfront pdf (1.14MB)

Victoria quays, Sheffield by Paolo Margari

Victoria quays, Sheffield by Paolo Margari (used under Creative commons licence)

Sheffield – our favourite places book

An independent guide to Sheffield’s best-kept secrets

It still has a long way to go, but Sheffield’s reputation as a tourist destination is slowly improving. And as you would expect, there are some traditional guides available to help visitors find out what the city has to offer, as well as advertising campaigns plugging our must-see attractions.

However, the best recommendations often come from people who live in the city and are able to take the time to suss out just where its most cherished treasures are located. Every now and then, a blog post or article pops to pick these out, but they can quite easily get lost in the depths of the internet and finding a definitive list can be difficult.

The good news is that a selection of recommendations have now been collated in a beautiful pocket guide that will appeal to not only visitors to the city, but people who have lived here all their life.

Sheffield – our favourite places book (just £4) has been lovingly put together by local design agency Eleven. Described as an informed travel guide for curious folk, it lists over 50 of the places in Sheffield that they love including restaurants, cafes, pubs, shops, galleries, theatres, walks, parks, gardens and day trips.

As well as the more obvious highlights, I’m sure that there are places listed that even long-time Sheffield residents won’t have yet visited. And what won’t surprise you is that many of their recommendations are for the places that make the city the quirky, creative, independent and imperfect place that so many feel affection for.

Aesthetically, the pocket-sized guide is really pleasing and a far cry from some of the other local publications you can pick up around town. It includes plenty of photos as well as a pull-out map.

The guide’s introductory text admits that Sheffield – our favourite places isn’t trying to be definitive or exhaustive. It is simply an unhyped list of the places in the city that the people at Eleven love.

Pick up a copy of the guide and catch these locations before they become everyone’s favourite places and no longer Sheffield’s best-kept secrets.

See inside and buy Sheffield – our favourite places

Our favourite places - Sheffield

Our favourite places - Sheffield

New Brooklyn bridge in Sheffield – an update

The latest on the Don’s minature Brooklyn bridge

In November 2008 I wrote a post about the proposed New Brooklyn bridge across the river Don in Sheffield. The floods of June 2007 delayed construction but 2009 was expected to see at least the flood wall protection being built, after which the building of the bridge could follow.

I thought I’d get an update on where the project is at. Sheffield industrial museums trust says that construction of the flood wall is due to start imminently now that the tender for it has been awarded.

The changes to the flood wall meant the bridge itself needed to be redesigned and this is now underway. When complete, the cost of the new design will be assessed and the trust will then see if the original sponsors are still on board. They will then work out what the funding gap is and decide if money can be raised to fill it.

There are also complicating factors such as whether the current residents of Brooklyn works will be as supportive as those when the bridge was first proposed, and also whether the proposal to put a water wheel back into the wheel pit to generate electricity for the museum will be compromised by the tower’s affect on water flow.

So although the construction of the bridge is still some way off, the good news is that the project is still moving along.

Brooklyn Bridge Blue by Dave Kliman

Brooklyn Bridge Blue by Dave Kliman on Flickr (used under Creative commons licence)

Sheffield publicity department

Flying the flag for the city

Views from the seven hills of Sheffield and more are celebrated by the new Sheffield publicity department blog that promises to tell us about the things that make the place special:

We’re here to tell you about…the things that make Sheffield beautiful, and amazing, and unique. The hills, the people, the industry and the nature. The reasons we love the city. And what’s more, we’re going to show you how to find them. Maps to the best views. Guides to the most beautiful terraced streets. Postcards of the sunsets.

The view from Skye edge (‘as close as you’ll get to flying over Sheffield’) is first entry in the blog, where a red flag has been installed on the summit. I wonder if they’d get away with some guerrilla-style red plaques in the more urban locations?

They also provide printable maps so you know exactly where to find the free treasures.

I love this idea and look forward to seeing what things they come up with.

Sheffield publicity department

Art Sheffield gallery crawl

Free booze and art

If you’re not someone who is in the habit of regularly visiting galleries in Sheffield then the Art Sheffield gallery crawl on Friday might just be for you.

It’s a free and easy way to see art and enjoy some complimentary drinks while you take it all in.

I went to the last gallery crawl, which included a visit to the Graves gallery. Even though it is right in the middle of town, I realised that I hadn’t been to the Graves since school. Of course, being tucked away on the top floor of the central library doesn’t help – but it is well worth a visit and I now won’t be waiting that long before I go again.

Friday evening’s event starts at the Site gallery and then you’re invited to move on to the Persistance works before finishing at S1 Artspace. If it is the same as last time then you can enjoy a free drink at each location.

Art Sheffield gallery crawl – book your place

© Sheffield Contemporary Art Forum/Rich Linley – used with permission

 

© Sheffield Contemporary Art Forum/Rich Linley – used with permission
© Sheffield Contemporary Art Forum/Rich Linley – used with permission