PX Story A project by Ania Bas With contributions from 14 individuals
Contents Map of PX
Ania and Rachael
Trace and Suz Debbie
Gaz and James Richard Molly
Angry Parsons Ben
Abi and Sarah Nick
------------------------------Biogs Index of Locations
Ania and Rachael
from: email@example.com to: firstname.lastname@example.org date: 8 July 2012 14:16 subject: Writing PX Story
from: “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org> to: email@example.com date: 13 May 2012 09:01 subject: Stuck Dear Rachael, I worry that after 5 months of research there is still not much to share. It is clear to me now that I want to gather what I experienced in Parson Cross in some sort of a book. It won’t be a communal mapping type of book although I see it being a gathering of sorts. Giving myself till July to figure it all out and hope the PX Story events will be of use to start conversation and establish a core focus group who might be willing to work on it with me. Please bear with me whilst I question my own approach to avoid any ‘workshop-type’ settings whilst working on this commission. Best, ania
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firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 14 May 2012 09:45 RE: Stuck
Hi Rachael, Materials I collected to date didn’t make any ‘visual’ sense but I was sure it had potential. There is a lot of humour in the material I gathered and a lot of anger. I have decided to go to creative writing classes and see if this would help in any way. Within a couple of sessions this material started to link up. I have produced a few stories so far based on the collected data (attached). Feedback greatly appreciated Speak soon, A
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firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 9 July 2012 10:03 TEXTS
Dear Ania Please don’t worry; our meetings and conversations to date have satisfied me that you are ‘experiencing’ Parson Cross and that all this time spent in the neighbourhood talking/meeting/walking will not be for nothing. As I said when we last met these residencies are not necessarily about producing ‘things’ I have faith in you and how you work and respond to people and place. Also the reason for being able to spread this residency over the course of a year is to accommodate just this kind of extended research/thinking or ‘brewing’ time as you call it.
Thanks for the texts I enjoyed reading them but they raised lots of questions/thoughts and even issues (although don’t be alarmed by this). Can we meet to discuss them in more detail – I’m not sure how confident I feel critiquing writing, I’m a bit out of my comfort zone/not strictly within my visual art bubble maybe - I might be better able to get across what I mean face to face than in an email. Really busy with other work stuff next couple of days but how about Thursday night, I could pick you up around 8pm from where you’re staying and we could find the nearest pub? I’ve uploaded image BW Rachael
Keep me posted BW Rachael 10
from: firstname.lastname@example.org to: email@example.com date: 14 July 2012 22:20 subject: RE: what’s real?
from: firstname.lastname@example.org to: email@example.com date: 24 July 2012 10:34 subject: ASDA
Ania I’ve read some more texts – GREAT keep them coming, the more there are the more representative I feel they are.
Thanks for the feedback and a pint and I totally get your point. I am sure many people will enquire ‘what’s real -what’s made up’. The line is so fine though that I find it hard to tell myself. It is not a true story. I think it is fiction inspired by real location, people and situations. I am yet to work out how it all relates to my ‘visual’ practice.
A lot seem to be centered around ASDA, they’re not paying you are they? R
Till later, Ania
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from: firstname.lastname@example.org to: email@example.com date: 24 July 2012 23:02 subject: RE: ASDA
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 17 July 2012 10:15 RE: RE: what’s real?
Ania – further to our last and quite lengthy conversation about ‘what’s real’ another thought/question just occurred. Are we too hung up on ‘reality’ as being the only authentic vision/representation of life these days? And maybe I’m too close to the project but I just want to know who said what and where you get your ideas from?
Thanks for your comments, as always great to hear your views on these texts. I know stories are ASDA heavy, but this is simply because I feel ASDA is a new focal point for the community. It is more then a shop: it is a meeting place, parade, shelter, entertainment, work. I’m finding it hard to avoid it. Ax
from: firstname.lastname@example.org to: email@example.com date: 1 August 2012 12:43 subject: song
from: firstname.lastname@example.org to: email@example.com date: 17 July 2012 11:50 subject: RE: RE: RE: what’s real? Oh boy, not sure if I know myself. Anything can trigger it. Young mums arguing at the bus stop, or the shopping list I found, or the community notice board, or reading the forum, or my attempt to ‘do’ something at Fulmere Crescent. It all translates into narratives that could be written here and now by someone real.
Hi Ania, 1 or 2 of the latest texts again made ‘uncomfortable’ reading (or for me at least) but I have been trying to work out why. So on the one hand I think this is good that they challenge/are difficult, are not cosy/sanitised view however I wonder if they also highlight/reinforce stereotypes or even ‘clichéd perceptions of working class housings estates etc?
I also wonder if it’s to do with the idea of the ‘authenticity of the author’. Would I feel uncomfortable if the author was from PX even if their views were biased/stereotyped/bigoted? Does it matter if you are an outsider? Your texts are written based on your personal and direct experience and a not inconsiderable amount of time over many months.
from: firstname.lastname@example.org to: email@example.com date: 10 August 2012 17:11 subject: writing group in PX
I think I probably should feel uncomfortable – not cosy – or not all of the time at least.
I went to a creative writing morning at the library. Left with ideas for two stories! I worry people will soon avoid meeting up with me so they are not written about….
Yours still contemplating and musing.... Rachael
from: firstname.lastname@example.org to: email@example.com date: 14 September 2012 06:11 subject: car boot
from: firstname.lastname@example.org to: email@example.com date: 4 August 2012 21:14 subject: RE: song
This is a tricky one. I don’t want to keep away from edgy subjects and not sure how to talk about drugs or poverty without naming things. It is not about giving this area a bad name or maintaining it. Iit is more to do with the amount of anger and hopelessness that I have noticed. This is not unique to this estate, it is a wider issue, but it is easier to spot in a place that is deprived of quality jobs and sun.
I am getting the drafts ready to distribute at the Chaucer car boot sale. I am going to print 60 copies of 5 stories. I have established my bottom line: I would like to ‘sell’ (for a penny or two) at least half of them. I have also sent them to a number of people to read and comment on them, Kath from the shop, Louise (forum), Susan (post office), Anna and Dan (library), Steve the writer, Nick from the church, also Ruthie and Charlie as they have a local ‘art perspective’ and I am going to give copies to people living by the green too. Haven’t heard back from anyone yet.
from: firstname.lastname@example.org to: email@example.com date: 5 August 2012 08:45 subject: RE: RE: song Slept on it and have changed the ending.
from: firstname.lastname@example.org to: email@example.com date: 14 September 2012 10:23 subject: RE: car boot Morning Ania Have you got everything organisied for Saturday? Do you need any help with anything? I’m really looking forward to it…I love a bargain! Great idea to put your mobile number on the stories asking for feedback/
comments – hopefully an easy/accessible way to ‘critique’ let me know if you get any responses. See you soon
to call it? Will it have introduction? Would you like me to write something which might explain our programme and what you’ve been doing etc? Also how are you going to credit this work – are you the author or the community?
Let me know R
from: firstname.lastname@example.org to: email@example.com date: 29 September 2012 18:33 subject: RE: RE: car boot No one outraged, 5 text messages back including this comment: Ive lived on cross 34yr and have just read the short stories. I loved dorothys story best and Molly. Molly was born 40+ years too late ive done what she wants to do, I want to be where her gran is and I will read and re read dorothys story. Gaz and James I got bored with and didn’t finish but that could be I am a mother, will try again to read it.
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from: firstname.lastname@example.org to: email@example.com date: 2 October 2012 20:00 subject: RE: authors and other book questions Hello, In terms of the cover - I think I will simply avoid putting any name on it. Could it just have a title? I have my heart set on PX Story although The Parson’s Tales would make a nice reference to Chaucer… Also, could we avoid sophisticated text contextualising the project? I am no good at writing introduction panels and interpretation pages. Does it need any of that? And who this text would be for anyway? Maybe I can just draw a map?
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 29 September 2012 18:33 RE: RE: RE: car boot
I will of course include all the necessary logos, links and credits.
Wow honest feedback and inspiration/recognition from the stories. Well done
from: firstname.lastname@example.org to: email@example.com date: 1 October 2012 09:51 subject: authors and other book questions Hi Ania Just been thinking about the book – very exciting– what are you going 16
Part 1: Fiction
Me: Read it as you would read fiction. You: And what is this supposed to mean? Me: Read it like it never happened.
Don’t read into things to deeply
Be calm about Molly’s mischief
Don’t get upset about things
Be brave and walk confidently
Don’t feel frightened
Be understanding and let people make their own mistakes
Don’t stay up late
Be happy about small victories (proving Norma wrong)
Don’t leave the house without hand cream
Be kind to people even if I don’t enjoy their company
Don’t forget the house keys
Be kind to people even if they lack dignity
Be kind to people even if I disagree with everything they represent
Don’t tell my life story to strangers
Be kind to gay people
Don’t listen to Norma’s nonsense
Be kind to foreign people
Don’t lose patience
Be kind to black people
Don’t stare at youngsters or dogs Don’t drink
Don’t let Molly say rude words
Make peace (daily)
Don’t lose my self-control Don’t educate others in the post office queue Don’t shop at ASDA
Make cakes (weekly) Make Molly go to church (at least monthly) Make marmalade when oranges cost below 70p per kg
Don’t go out after dark alone
Make the bed first thing in the morning
Don’t respond to provocation
Make no noise during the mass (no sucking teeth or clearing my throat)
Don’t stop smiling Don’t feed the pigeons
Make Norma keep my secrets (in order to make peace)
Don’t go into town on Saturday Don’t let Molly discuss difficult questions with less knowledgeable people Don’t think about death
Make friends with the new neighbours Make the council pay for the smashed window Make good life choices
Don’t dye my hair Don’t believe in ghosts Don’t do things that cost the earth Don’t do things that cause headaches Don’t talk to myself
Forget list Forget about my weak bladder Forget about the debt Forget about the words that upset me during the last argument with Norma
Don’t stray from God’s word
Forget the worries Forget Fred 20
Look for list
Have a car to drive Molly to interesting places
Look for a final resting place
Have a car to help Molly grow up into an interesting person
Look for matching cream shoes and bag
Have a car to take Norma to the seaside
Look for appropriate novels for Molly
Have a £400 coffee machine (cream, vintage look, just like Sam & Dave’s)
Look for cheaper strawberries
Have a ball dress
Look for satisfaction from my daily activities
Have a nice coffin Have a porcelain set for 12 Have double-glazed windows
Bring list Bring happiness to people (compliment others on their good points) Bring no worries home with me Bring up Molly well Bring cakes to church more often (anything but fruitcake) Bring the washing in when The Clarks have a bbq Bring bones for the dog Bring happiness to the world (as recommended by the group)
Talk list Talk to Molly about any subject she brings up (to include difficult subjects) Talk to the doctor about my worries Talk only business at the post office Talk to Fred’s family at Christmas Talk to the neighbours Talk to Norma calmly Talk to the police about the dog
Trace and Suz
Gaz and James
Hitachi 26 Inch HD Ready Freeview Edge – Lit LED TV Customer Reviews Review this product
DON’T BUY IT!
28th June 2012 1:15 PM By James from South Yorkshire
It was a spontaneous buy. We needed a new TV for our spare room and I thought this would satisfy our needs perfectly and at £250 the price wasn’t too bad either. It was quick to install and blends nicely with the decor of the room. Mounting on the wall was straight forward – I did it with a bit of help from my 8 year old son. It has operational controls on the front of the set and the remote is a good size with many features. So far so good I hear you say. Don’t be fooled! The in-laws found it confusing to operate with all the remote control functions and could not see the tiny operational control buttons on the front of the screen - even with their glasses on. I have used it only once to watch Wimbledon and I thought that the apparent stunningly crisp visuals that this TV set is supposed to boast were a joke! The screen was blurry and dark at all times even with the brightness set to its maximum. I have been warned not to purchase equipment from non-certified retailers but you would think things can’t go wrong with something as basic as a TV. I would definitely not recommend it. I am actually considering putting it on ebay.
The best TV I’ve ever bought!!!
3rd July 2012 4:18 AM By Gaz from PX
I bought this TV in the ASDA sale last week. It was £150!! Theres nothing wrong with it. The screen is huge and the images are clear despite what the guy before said. You just have to know how to work the remote control to get the picture right. I bought this telly for my kids who watch TV all the time and they think its great. I had a tiny portable telly in my flat before but the kids would always end up fighting over the spot right in front of it cos this was the only place you could see it clearly. It was a nightmare. It took me ages to save up enough money to get a good sized TV and it was pure luck when I spotted this bargain in ASDA. The best thing I ever bought as now the kids sit together on the sofa and watch cartoons in peace. Its bang on!
Waste of money!
3rd July 2012 11:24 AM By James from South Yorkshire
Inspired by the above review I have decided to give you a fuller overview of the two faults of the aforementioned TV set: 1. Remote control’s buttons are small and laid out in a confusing manner. As I mentioned in my previous review my mother in law found it very difficult to use and missed all her favourite programs while trying to work it out and steady her hands to press the right buttons. My daughter (aged 5) had to help her in the end just to switch the TV on. Children develop technical skills early these days and use complex technical equipment with ease but TVs should also cater for the older generations and this is definitely not the case with televisions especially where the size and spacing of the control buttons are geared more for a 5-year old’s hands! I am considering starting an on line petition to force manufacturers of TV equipment to take into consideration the needs of older people seriously and do not release products that are not up to appropriate accessibility standards. These accessibility rules are already in place in many areas of society: architectural developments, websites, public spaces etc. I can’t see the reason why these rules shouldn’t go further. 2. I consider the quality of the image itself the most important feature. A lack of crispiness and blurry and dark images should be the nightmares of the past. I am concerned with the effects technology and TVs can have especially on young children who are brought up to spend their entire time in front of the TV. I am not talking here about the content that they consume whilst watching cartoons or general TV without appropriate supervision from an adult. One would hope no one is raising their children in the 21st century with TVs on ALL THE TIME. This is not however my main point here. I wonder what the effect a poor quality screen might have on their developing bodies, especially their eyes. My wife who performs daily orogolomistician surgeries would ideally not allow our kids to watch any TV. I am however allowing them 45min per day of carefully chosen material. This particular TV set is a pure waste of money. Avoid at all cost. Not worth it even as a sale buy.
5th July 2012 4:30 AM By Gaz from PX
Keep your hair on mate. whos rattled your cage? Maybe you shouldve thought about all this before you bought the TV in the first place. Anyway you can buy remote controls with big buttons so why don’t you just do that? I let my kids watch the tv yeah so what? I have to get stuff ready for them so I have to calm them down first otherwise it’s a nightmare. Don’t lecture me on how to be a good dad. Sounds to me you got to much time on your hands and you just like moaning about stuff. Yeah I bet that’s what it is. You writing your reviews in the afternoon. I bet you aint even got a job. You just live off your wifes money. She your sugar mommy is she? LOL!!!! Well mate you can take your complex technical equipment and shove it up your gradmas attic. I LOVE THIS TV AND STRONGLY RECOMMEND IT TO ANYONE – YOUNG OR OLD
6th July 2012 2:40 PM By James from South Yorkshire
By James from South Yorkshire Your language disgusts me! The sole purpose of my review was to give a proper overview of the TV set I purchased. We live in a society that is misinformed, fed with adverts daily and we take their truths for granted. I believe it is time to wake up. And I am not going to be threatened by the aggressive words of someone who writes his reviews clearly drunk and probably still drinking into the early morning hours! I would suggest you learn to conduct yourself appropriately on internet forums and respect other people’s opinions! This TV set should not be on the market at all. Sign my on line petition now.
Ur a joke
7th July 2012 4:28 AM By Gaz from PX
You are a joke mate. I wrote my review to get 5 quid off my next ASDA bill. I cant believe anyone would write a review about a TV just to make a point. You are so sad. You should get a life mate – or at least a job LOOOOOOOOL! I am not drunk at 4 in the morning. See unlike you I got a job and work night shifts. You got it on a plate with your big house and your fancy cars and a missus that hands out sweeties to you. Do everyone a favour and torch your PC …Oh sorry your MAC! LOL BUY THIS TV - DON’T SIGN THE PETITION! 40
Give me Tv
7th July 2012 11:14 AM By Elizabeth_19 from Sheffield
James from South Yorkshire, if your TV is spare and unwanted I’m happy to adopt it. It just occurred to me that I’m moving into a house with 4 others and we don’t have a single screen to entertain us. You would do us a huge favour! I live in Sharrow so I can drop by to collect??
Re: Give me Tv
8th July 2012 04:31 AM By Gaz from PX
LOL! Nice try Elizabeth_19 but he’l probably charge you twice what he paid for it!
Re: Re: Give me Tv
10th July 2012 11:32 AM By Elizabeth_19 from Sheffield
Oh I don’t have money for frivolities. I am a poor student! I am sure James’ wife can write it off her tax bill. James your gift would instantly improve the lives of 5 young people who need to relax after busy days studying.
Re: Re: Re: Give me Tv
11th July 2012 04:28 AM By Gaz from PX
A student - I shoulda known! Let me guess you were eating your breakfast at 11.30am when you wrote this. You dont have money for frivolities but you got loadsa time for em! Three years at uni doin nothing but getting drunk and complaining that Oh God, Im so stressed, Ive got an essay to hand in on Monday and oooh oooh I just dont have time and oooh oooh Im so over worked and so tired and oooh oooh what am I gonna do?. And when you spent your last penny on booze to help you deal with your oh so stressful life youl call your daddy and sweet talk him to send you some more dosh. And then while you wait for this to arrive youl go on the scrounge for a tv to watch as you cant afford to go out. Bloody freeloaders.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Give me Tv
11th July 2012 11:16 AM By Elizabeth_19 from Sheffield
Yawn Yawn Yawn I have heard all that working class hero crap before. It’s not my fault that you have decided to reproduce (‘now let me guess’… at the age of 16!) and never could taste the joys of student life that yeah, include nights out, shopping frenzies in Primark and shit loads of reading and writing. If I were you I would start saving up for a course with Open University or get one of your kids to train alongside Mrs James from South Yorkshire. Your child might be able to afford to pay for your place in a comfortable home with luxuries such as a colour TV screen!
11th July 2012 2:34 PM By James from South Yorkshire
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Give me Tv
Quite frankly Elizabeth, I’m a little sickened by your responses. Bringing children into the world is one of the most privileged and joyous experiences in life. At the same time it is extremely hard work. There is very little time to afford oneself any ‘frivolities’ and the costs involved can be an enormous burden to any family. I sincerely hope that you do well in your studies but at the same time perhaps learn some worldly truths about the sacrifices some people have to make in order to give their children the best possible start in life. I hope my children will not be saturated with this ‘I demand’ attitude you present. The world does not owe you anything and I presume you yourself owe a lot to your parents who are in a position to support you going to university. This is not a privilege granted to everybody. As far as your request is concerned I won’t be donating my TV to your new household. We are not a charity or do-gooders. However I am sure that if you consider taking up part time work you will be able to afford one yourself. Some people need to work nights to make ends meet.
11th July 2012 5:12 PM By Elizabeth_19 from Sheffield
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Give me Tv
Sorry, I thought this was an ASDA review page not a ‘how to be a good parent’ online instructor! I am in no need of any more lectures. It looked like your tv was heading for the nearest landfill and thought I might help you out by taking it off your hands. None of this parenthood crusade was necessary. You spend too much time with toddlers your brains are going mushy. You need some Zizek! So long fathers!
12th July 2012 04:25 AM By Gaz from PX
Thank god shes gone! What the hell is Zizek anyway? Sounds like some kind of vodka students would drink. James you sound like a bloke that would know what this is? Without the detail pls lol
I am educated to GCSE level. I gained three GCSEs in the most important subjects: math, geography and drama achieving strong Ds in each. But I am particularly proud of the Cs I gained in English and home economics which was my favourite subject of all. I am competent in numeracy and literacy as evident through my grades.
I hope this shows a high level of my commitment to ASDA and an importance the shop has in my daily life as well as highlighting my familiarity with its range of products. I have memorized the current position of the aisles – George, stationery, seasonal aisle, fridges (ready to go food, dairy, cold ready meals, fish, meat), freezers (vegetables, pizzas, ice cream), pasta, rice, tins, crisps, chocolates, teas and coffees, bread, cleaning products, bathroom products, baby products and alcohol. Already during my visits to the shop I feel competent enough to offer other customers (and I regularly do) help and assitance in locating items when they look confused.
ASDA beer glasses and an Elegant Living can opener. I must admit that recently I was fooled into purchasing a second hand white fine bone china coffee set for six (apparently collectable) as advertised on Roses Hardware window shop and then discovered your own range was far cheaper and of superior quality. It taught me a valuable lesson.
I was among the very first group of people that came to the shop and the complimentary box of chocolates kindly given out is still in my possession. I have been shopping at ASDA for all of my essentials since then and I particularly value your Smart Prize range – tinned tomatoes are the best ingredient for a perfect tomato sauce. I also own a selection of items from George – black socks, briefs, T-shirts and pullovers. I am a proud owner of a set of
I am writing to you because I am interested in your job offer Ref Number 1734/4B Cashier/ Part Time. Ever since your shop opened on the estate I have been an eager customer. I remember vividly the day the plans to situate ASDA by the roundabout were made public. This day was my birthday and I was celebrating with friends in the local pub and the bar tender informed us that in addition to a new shiny library there would also be a supermarket. Our joy reached another level when we discovered through Reggie that the supermarket was to be ASDA. We celebrated long into the night knowing that ASDA would bring wealth and respect to the area. After all nothing good has happened here for a long time.
Dear Sir/ Madam,
To: ASDA ASDA Junction, Parson Cross
From: Richard Price 356c Wordsworth Avenue, Parson Cross
I have been attending a number of courses as part of the Work Choice scheme. I finished a Windows Vista and a MS Office course. I have a very good understanding of computers and am a savvy user of the Internet. For 6 months I volunteered at the Herries Road community allotments on a building project. We have erected an eco lavatory and this was a very influential team building experience. I am a member of a local football team that meet every so often on the greens around Parson Cross. I am known in my community as an organizer. We throw the biggest bbq garden parties on Wordsworth Avenue sourcing all my food and drink from ASDA.
to become a plumber but my apprenticeship was cancelled. Due to the sudden arrival of skilful foreigners from Eastern Europe this area of work became less profitable. Afterwards I helped my mum look after the family home, my younger siblings (two brothers, Troy now 17 and Reece now 15) and our family dog Rocky. This experience taught me many lessons - patience being the main one.
Since finishing school sadly I wasn’t successful on the job front. I was hoping
The job of a cashier will be a first step for me in the retail sector. I never thought I would find myself in this situation applying for a cashier job at a local supermarket but with time I have realized that I am a naturally gifted shop assistant with the right skills and knowledge. The role will allow me to bring together all my passions: counting, computers and talking. I deal well with pressure situations and am capable of resolving conflicts peacefully. Just the other day I helped an ASDA security guard break up a fight between two young women and safely escorted one of them outside. Please ask your security guard Craig for further details. As a regular customer I understand the pressures others go through whilst shopping such as queuing at Christmas. Being able to see the situation from the customers’ perspective will allow me to maintain a relaxed atmosphere by the check out.
I am friendly and approachable. What I believe is critical though is that I am local and I know my community. I am able to make people feel welcome and my friendly manner will encourage them to return. I am 5ft 5in, lean, dark hair with brown eyes and a wide smile. I am presentable and have been told that green suits me.
I have a good theoretical and practical understanding of the checkouts. I use selfservice machines often and my average scan time is approx. 35 products per minute however my personal best is 39. I am quick, bright and eager to learn. I believe my efficiency would increase if I could scan items from a conveyor belt and not from a basket. I believe I could easily reach an average of 60 products per minute.
I am fascinated by human nature and believe that working as an ASDA cashier will allow me to study human behaviours whilst enjoying cashier tasks. I haven’t applied before as I was sure cashier positions were available to females only. I
SAVING YOU MONEY EVERY DAY
I am able to attend the interview at any time and am looking forward to the opportunity to present my skills and myself to you in person.
Finally I would like to add that I would wear with pride my staff badge and uniform should I be lucky enough to be appointed to this position.
I currently live a stones throw away from the shop premises on Wordsworth Avenue. I am eager to take on any task, I am always punctual and the proximity of my accommodation and hopefully future work place will be beneficial as I would be able to work extra hours at short notice to cover sick leave if necessary. I am also willing to work nights/ early morning shifts and to commute in all kinds of weather. I must say it was a disappointing experience when the shop didnâ€™t open last winter for an entire day due to bad weather conditions and a shortage of staff. I think locally based workers are a crucial element of a well-organized and reliable service.
have been informed by my advisor otherwise and decided to try my luck. I feel that it will be good to have a male member of staff on the tills as I will be able to sensitively deal with the requests of other men when they purchase intimate products.
Molly Burton, Year 5, 8 September 2012, Teacher: Miss Rockliffe
What have I learnt this summer? I spent summer at home. My grandma said that we cannot go away because we need to save for a car that will be taking us to many interesting places next year. Summer at home can be interesting if you make it interesting – Grandma said. Grandma knows everything best so I listened to her advice and learnt how to make the best summer ever with my friend Rosie. Rosie and me are neighbours. We live by the island and we are best friends because we like the same things: Angry Birds, pink, dancing, dugnuts and we go to the same church. We thought hard about all the things we can do and we decided to create a house just for us two. There is a green island in front of our houses and we thought it will be a good place to build our own house. In Parson Cross theres a place where you can find anything you like. People come here to leave things they don’t want anymore. Grandma Says that whats useless for one person can be usefull for someone else. Rosie and I found lots of things for our house here. Rosie brought a toaster and I took a computer screen. This is how we started making our kitchen and living room. We took grandmas shopping trolly to bring more things. We found lots of interesting things but some were too big to fit in the trolley (fridge, sofa, desk). But some things did so we had a plant pot and a shower curtain and two stools and a metal airer and one more computer screen. Rosie brought laundry bags from her house and I took a blanket and a sheet and pegs from Grandmas house and we started making the house on the green and it was great. We learnt how to make a house in one day. It was very good day and I enjoyed it very much and we did a lot of team work and a lot of thinking. When we finished we had a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom and we made a little front garden
as well. It looked very pretty. We went home for dinner really happy. We were going to move in the next morning so I packed my bag with my toothbrush and my favourite toys and a chocolate bar that Grandma gave me. We learnt something else the next day. This was hard learning as grandma said. We learnt that when you make something you want, other people might want it also and take it for themselves. Grandma said that we must not get angry because if we do it will upset us even more. She said that it means now we can spend another day doing something even more exciting. I know who did it but I’m not going to say. Rosie was crying and I told her what my Grandma said and she felt better. Then I had a great idea. I would grow a tree on the green and build the house in that. Then it would be safe because you would need a ladder to get to it and only me and Rosie would know where it was hidden. There are no trees on the island so we went to the park and found a baby one. We took a spade and a bucket from Grandmas shed and dug it up. We put it in the bucket and brought it back to the island on Grandmas trolly. We started digging a hole in the middle of the green to plant the baby tree. It was hard work and we learnt how to plant a tree. Mr Lovejoy was not happy though. Mr Lovejoy is Rosies neighbour and he said he would tell her mum we were upsetting him by digging up the green. Mr Lovejoy is really old and he said the island should be left alone and that it had been that way since he was a boy. He got really angry and started shouting. He made Rosie cry so I dug up the tree and filled in the hole. We took the tree back to the park. Grandma said we should have asked her first but that Mr Lovejoy was wrong to make Rosie cry. She said we should not be angry with Mr Lovejoy and we should try to be nice to people even if we don’t like them. She also said that waiting for a tree to grow would be boring and now we can do something much more exciting. I told Rosie what Grandma said and it made her feel much better but only till the evening when her mum came back home and Mr Lovejoy told her all about the tree. Now Rosie couldn’t play with me for a whole week. I learnt that you should be nice to people when they make you cry but if you are old you don’t have to be nice to anyone. Mr Clark from number 14 told me that people don’t build their own
houses these days. They save up and buy them when they are older. I wanted a house for me and Rosie so I decided I would sell things to get the money to buy a house. The market would be on the island. I called it MOLLYS MARKET. I asked Grandma first and she said it was a great idea but I would have to ask all the neighbours. I spent all morning making posters and Grandma told me she will make cakes for sale: carrot cake and lemon drizzle and chocolate muffins. I used up all my markers and made 3 posters about the market and I went to all neighbours and told them all about it. I said it like this: Good morning, I am Molly from number 16 and I am organising MOLLYS MARKET this Saturday morning and it is only 1 pound to come and sell your things. And I will be selling my grandmas cakes which are delicious. And if you want to come please do for 9 o clock and I will let everyone know about it and I made posters and am going to put them up everywhere round Parson Cross. I even knocked on Mr Lovejoys house and he said that I brought enough trouble to the area and he doesn’t need any more. Rosies mum didn’t allow Rosie to help or visit. But everyone else said:
so all the kids would see it when they play angry birds. I learnt a lot during this one day: how to make posters, how to attach them with double sided tape and how to talk to people who are older. Grandma and I baked all day Friday afternoon and we made lots of cakes. And I grated carrots and sqeezed lemons. I knew how to do these things before so I didn’t learn anything new. Grandma is always making cakes to sell at the church fetes and I always help. MOLLYS MARKET was a great success. The sun was shining and The Clarks, Mrs Small, Ms Cox, Suzie with her children and me all came to sell our things. Mr and Mrs Clark were selling their old bbq, Mrs Small was selling her hand made Christmas cards, Ms Cox brought a cage with a rabbit in it and lots of clothes and Suzie was selling old toys that didn’t work. I brought Grandma’s cakes. I took a pound from every person and put them all in my piggybank. Not many people came to the market but I sold all my cakes to the other market sellers. By the end of the day I had 14 pounds saved up. I was really happy. Everybody else loaded up their cars with their stuff and drove it away. Grandma said:
I am really pleased for you and you had done very well and what a shame your mum couldn’t see it.
Or: GREAT IDEA MOLLY.
Mr Clark said:
You will do well in life
See you on Saturday morning Molly. Or: GOOD LUCK MOLLY! Or: Sadly we are away. I told everyone about it. I went to the post office and put my poster there in the window because this is where everyone puts their posters and people can read them when they queue. And I took the second one to ASDA because there is a wall for everything that is going on and I took the last one to the library and I put it on the wall facing the computers
And Ms Cox offered me her cage with a rabbit half price but I didn’t buy it although I badly wanted to but my heart is set on the house. So on that Saturday I learnt how to sell cakes and organise a market and make money to buy a house and not spend it on anything else and how to make Grandma proud. I can’t buy a house with 14 pounds around the island and Grandma says when I buy a house it might not be round here anyway. I didn’t learn anything else this summer apart from beating my record at angry birds but I know Miss Rockliffe will not allow me to count it in.
Samantha Hi Debz, POST CARD It is the most romantic trip ever. Better than the peaks. My cabin is spacious and I have an excellent view through my port hole. I wish you could have made it here to share it with me. I would love you to fill the gap in my deluxe 4-poster. Long nights with good wine Are worth nothing while you are not mine! S.
You would love it! Food is great and company amazing. Everyone’s really friendly and kind. We had a welcome party to start with. Good tunes, free bubbly and dancing into the night! Today we are leaving Rome. It’s hot, sunny and I paid 3 Euros for a small bottle of water!
Mrs N. Farman 211 Chaucer Road Parson Cross Sheffield S5 6NW England
For your body I long Muscular and strong
Love you! Sammy
Debbie Cox 102 Fulmere Crescent Parson Cross Sheffield S5 2YY England
Miss you babes!!! Sam
Still missing you hon. Guess what, I am not the only one travelling alone! Made friends with my neighbour Buck. He’s quite charming actually, he’s bought me a couple of drinks and dances pretty well but don’t worry I’m not interested. I’ve told him all about you.
Image of Sea and Joy, by Jenny Gensu
Gary Cooper 174b Wordsworth Avenue Parson Cross Sheffield S5 8NH UK
This cruise sucks! You were right not to come. I’m spending most evenings with a bunch of senile OAPs who dribble at mealtimes. No one even young enough to shag! Hellish!! The first night I had to put up with sleazy old drunks wanting to slow waltz with me. At least it meant I didn’t pay for a single drink!! I’ve already finished my book and will have to start reading shampoo labels soon as everything here is in bloody Foreign! Hope you managed to flog the scooter and you’re keeping well. And before you ask, no I’m not pining over Gaz!
Gary Cooper 174b Wordsworth Avenue Parson Cross Sheffield S5 8NH England
Hey Debz, You won’t believe it - I was attacked! Mr Pervert lives two cabins down. Yesterday he grabbed my tits to ‘help him keep his balance during the rough crossing’. I smacked him but this just made things worse. Now he keeps buying me bubbly for each meal and calls me cupcake. He must be 110! Gross!!! Spent yesterday at a little town in Sicily. Good to have a break from the seasickness but the place is dingy and the stalls sell the same old tat. I wish you had got time off. It would be so much fun. Really missing you here x Sam Hi guys, I hope all is under control your end. I am sure Liz is looking well after you in my absence! I’m assuming the Chantrey job went well and you’re ready for the next one. I should be back before you start taking the Falstaff buildings down. Don’t relax too much I’m back in 10 days! Asta la vista!
Debbie Cox 102 Fulmere Crescent Parson Cross Sheffield S5 2YY GREAT BRITAIN
Finally arrived in Dubrovnik 5 hours late. We had a storm en route, it made me feel a little queezy but Bruce looked after me so I’m ok now. We’ve been sightseeing together today. I wanted to thank him for being so sweet and invited him along. I would love you to see it with your own eyes, if only your hip was better! Bruce is asking after you. He even bought you a tasteful jewellery set. He’s so easy to be with - I think he sees me as the daughter he never had. I am back shortly. Hope Dorothy is not driving you nuts yet! Love, Sammy
Stevens and Son Ltd 10 Bland Street Sheffield S4 8DF England
Cartolina The sea at night is rough, just as you like it. Every wave makes me think about all the fun we have. Buck, bless, bought me earrings and a tiara today. I am flattered I must say but not interested. He would make a lovely boyfriend for the right lass.
Sam Dear Mum, Just arrived at Messina. This place is amazing. There are lots of little cobbled streets to explore. All crowded with stalls. I love the hand painted figurines – so cute and colourful. I’ve befriended a lovely old man called Bruce on the ship. His wife passed away and he’s on his own too. Such an old fashioned gentleman, you two would get on brilliantly. Anyway, can’t wait to see you soon
Mrs N. Farman 211 Chaucer Avenue Parson Cross Sheffield S5 6NW England
Sun’s heat and sweet fruit Makes me dream for your manhood S.
Love you! Sammy 58
Mrs N. Farman 211 Chaucer Avenue Parson Cross Sheffield S5 6NW England
G. Cooper 174b Wordsworth Avenue Parson Cross Sheffield S5 8NH UK
Hi Babes, Hi Babes, Bruce is up to his old tricks again. Had a storm last night and it scared the crap out of me. I couldn’t stop throwing up and all I got was bloody Bruce hounding me – ‘you ok in there my love? You want me to rub your back for you?’ What a sleaze ball. I spent the whole day in Dubrovnik trying to lose him. He just won’t go away, it’s like having a stalker or something. He even bought me jewellery today. Creepy. It does look good with my red dress though lol! Love Sam
Debbie Cox 102 Fulmere Crescent Parson Cross Sheffield S5 2YY England
Three days to go. Can’t wait to get back. It’s been such a drag. Never believe Grazia that mobile-free holiday is going to do you good! Could really do with a proper night out on the pull. We could go to the Beagle. You up for it? Bruce offered me to stay on with him for another month travelling round Italy. He said he would pay for everything! He’s loaded Debz – retired banker or something. I was actually tempted. Found myself crying again this morning. Just want to meet a decent guy and start a family. It’s not much to ask is it? I mean what’s wrong with me? I either attract the unavailable or the ancient.
Debbie Cox 102 Fulmere Crescent Parson Cross Sheffield S5 2YY England
We are in Venice for the last weekend of the trip. What a charming place, just perfect for raising kids as there are no cars! You are constantly on my mind hunky boy. Will come to yours straight from the airport hopefully before this card arrives!
Dear Mum, We made it to the final stop - Venice. This is a truly beautiful city, not a car in sight. The whole cruise has been fabulous and it will be sad to leave Bruce. We had some wonderful times together. I got lost in the little streets of Venice and couldn’t find a way back for hours. Had time to think about what you said though. Mum, you are right, I have a lonely future ahead if I continue like that. I need to move on and I want to make you proud. You mean so much to me. Lot of love, Sammy xxx
Mrs Norma Farman 211 Chaucer Avenue Parson Cross Sheffield S5 6NW England
Just to see you quick, just to see you soon Before the next full and fat Venice moon
G. Cooper 174b Wordsworth Avenue Parson Cross Sheffield S5 8NH England
PX Summer PX Summer Fayre Fayre Raffle Unclaimed Raffle Unclaimed Prizes Prizes ORANGE ORANGE 491 – 495 491 – 495 Family day Family passday to Heights pass to Heights of Abraham of Abraham WHITE WHITE 6-10 6-10 £5 ASDA £5voucher ASDA voucher GREEN GREEN 426-430426-430 Teacher’s Teacher’s WhiskyWhisky GREEN GREEN 331- 335331- 335 Mercury48 Mercury48 mobility mobility scooter scooter PINK 16-20 PINK 16-20 Union Jack Union deck Jack chair deck chair PINK 211-215 PINK 211-215 TV - Hitachi TV - Hitachi 26 Inch 26 HDInch HD (with a(with remote a remote control control with extra with big extra buttons) big buttons) BLUE 76-80 BLUE 76-80 Milk Tray Milk Tray To collect To your collect prizes yourcontact prizes contact Judith on Judith 077 3150 on 077 9854 3150 9854
Money Money Management Management Course Course In PXIn PX Money Money Management Management Course Course In PXIn PX
Starting Starting 11th 11th September September 6-week 6-week course course 10 am 10till am12pm till 12pm FREE FREE The moneyThe management money management course willcourse teach will you teach you budgetingbudgeting skills and skills simpleand cash-based simple cash-based systems that systems that really work, really helping work, you helping get more youin getcontrol more in of control your of your finances. finances. The courseThe is run course by an is run experienced by an experienced facilitator facilitator and and entrepreneur. entrepreneur. Friendly atmosphere Friendly atmosphere guaranteed. guaranteed. Tea Tea and biscuits andprovided. biscuits provided. Places strictly Places limited. strictly limited. To enrol contact To enrol Mscontact HarrisMs - Mitchell Harris -on Mitchell on 077 3150 9854 077 3150 9854
ZUMBA ZUMBA ZUMBA
Mondays from 12.15pm to 1.15pm and Thursdays from 10am to 12pm in PX! Mondays from 12.15pm to12.15pm 1.15pmthe and Thursdays from Only £3 per session - it's likely value can get from in Mondays from to best 1.15pm andyou Thursdays 10am 12pm into PX! SouthtoYorkshire! 10am 12pm in PX!
PX Ramblers PX PX Ramblers Ramblers
We have a large and very varied programme of walks, on Saturdays and Sundays. Distances short walks to long ones (5 miles Werange have We afrom large very and varied programme of or of haveand a large very varied programme Ditch the workout and join the party! Class facilitated by a so up to 15 miles), and from workout and join the 077 party! Class facilitated by a Contact J. Ditch Harristhe - Mitchell for details: 3150 9854 walks, onwalks, Saturdays and Sundays. DistancesDistances on Saturdays andrelatively Sundays. qualified and fun instructor Harris. J. Harris. qualified and fun J. instructor easy to strenuous. range from shortfrom walks to long ones (5 miles range short walks to long onesor (5 miles or so up to 15 miles), and from relatively so up to 15 miles), and from relatively Contact J. Harris - J. Mitchell for details:for 077details: 3150 9854 - Mitchell 077 3150 9854 Creative Contact WritingHarris Group Many are intothe Derbyshire Peak District, but we easy to strenuous. easy strenuous. Blogs…Books…Poems…Short Stories… walk in most directions out of PX. We are keen Creative WritingWriting Group Group to support sustainable public transport inwe the but we Creative Many areMany in the Derbyshire Peak District, are in the Derbyshire Peakbut District, Whatever you enjoy writing, and for whatever reason you Blogs…Books…Poems…Short Stories… countryside, and so nearly all walks are planned Blogs…Books…Poems…Short Stories… walk in most directions out of PX. We are keen walk in most directions out of PX. We are keen enjoy it, why not come along and share your thoughts and to fit in with public transport from PX. to support public transport in the tosustainable support sustainable public transport in the ideas with who enjoyand writing too? Whatever youothers enjoy writing, for whatever reason you Whatever you enjoy writing, and for whatever reason you countryside, and so nearly all walks are planned countryside, and so nearly all walks are planned enjoy it, why not along and share your thoughts and enjoy it, come why not come along and share your thoughts and to fit in with public transport from PX. The Creative Writing Group meets every Saturday morning Great to company, countryside, good for fit in withamazing public transport from PX. ideas with others enjoy writing ideas withwho others who enjoy too? writing too? from 10am until 12pm at the library in PX. your heart and soul. The Creative Writing Group meets every Saturday morning morning Great company, amazing countryside, good for good for The Creative Writing Group meets every Saturday Great company, amazing countryside, From 10am beginners to expert there’ll space for you to from until 12pm at the library in PX. in from 10am until 12pm at the be library PX. your heart and soul. your heart and soul. Join us! It is FREE. work on developing your style and your skills with Only session - it's likely best value you can getyou in acan get in Only £3 per session it's likely the facilitated best value Ditch£3 theper workout and join the- the party! Class by South Yorkshire! South qualified and funYorkshire! instructor J. Harris.
others. From beginners to expert be spacebe for you to From beginners tothere’ll expert there’ll space for you to work on developing your style and yourand skills work on developing your style yourwith skills with others. £1.50 per session including refreshments. Group is run others. by a local blogger Judith Harris. £1.50 per session refreshments. Group isGroup run is run £1.50 per including session including refreshments. by a local blogger Judith by month a local bloggerHarris. Judith Harris. Only this sessions are co-run with a local poet Steve Mitchell. Only this month sessions are co-run a local Only this month sessions arewith co-run with poet a local poet Steve Mitchell. Steve Mitchell. To book a place call: 077 3150 9854
JoinContact us! ItJoin is Judith FREE. us! Itfor is FREE. further details: 077 3150 9854 Contact Judith forJudith furtherfor details: 3150077 9854 Contact further077 details: 3150 9854
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Kids are taught how to cheat, no one knows how to read Basic skills are smoking dope, drinking booze, snorting coke Getting kicks from smashing glass, painting walls and driving fast Telling girls dirty jokes, getting loads of facebook pokes Hanging out at the Tongue Gutter, counting pennies for your flutter Stealing cakes from church hall fetes, blaming it on your best mates Burning tyres in the park, mugging oldies in the dark, Partying hard until you faint, waking up by the Chaucer gates
‘Rotting heads’ lyrics
Rotting heads in PX Growing bored of an estate life Drugs, dole, dirt and a flick knife Rotting heads in PX How hard it is to believe The only dream is to leave
Burping lasses chewing gum, dirty pavements, human scum Rows of shops selling shit always prone to take a hit Local gangs of 10 year olds armed with stones and dirty words Empty houses farming weed, gardens filled with heaps of shit Television always on watching what you know is wrong Neighbours shouting turn it down, no one wants to give a damn Oldies buying smelly fish, just five pence per moulding dish Big fat faces in the aisles, young mums racing with a pram
Council grants, local groups, car boot sales, dancing troupes, Zumba classes, learning zones, grow your own, business loans, Coffee mornings, exhibitions, evening courses, free admissions, Cycle lanes, public phones, Soar Works centre, tea and scones None of these make a change, better buy new ASDA range You can hope to drive a lorry, to see a world that isn’t boring Whilst you’re sober and still sane sing about your PX pain Banging out tunes of glory to overcome the PX story
Rotting heads in PX Growing bored of an estate life Drugs, dole, dirt and a flick knife Rotting heads in PX How hard it is to believe The only dream is to leave
Rotting heads in PX I want a different estate life No drugs, dole, dirt or a flick knife Rotting heads in PX I don’t want to believe The only dream is to leave
(Vocal and lyrics: Darren Small, lead: Reece Price, bass: Troy Price, drums: Ben Stevens)
: This is Ben’s phone. I’m busy. Leave me a message. If it’s worth a call back you’ll hear from me soon. Beep
: This is Ben’s phone. I’m busy. Leave me a message. If it’s worth a call back you’ll hear from me soon. Beep Dude, where the hell are you? You said one oh two Collegiate Crescent but it’s a fucking castle standing here and fuck loads of cars. Is it the right place? Not sure where to park. Call me back. : This is Ben’s phone. I’m busy. Leave me a message. If it’s worth a call back you’ll hear from me soon. Beep Ben, stop fucking around. We need you here. All good for now. We knocked on the door and this smart lass said they were expecting us. We set up in the garden. You owe me mate, I lugged your kit and set it up for you! Listen, they have a proper stage here n’all. We’re sat in a green room but it’s actually a white room. On the right as you walk in. You are on your way, right? : This is Ben’s phone. I’m busy. Leave me a message. If it’s worth a call back you’ll hear from me soon. Beep Where the fuck are you? They dished out food. It’s pink. Daz thinks it’s lobster. Smells like cat poo. We are chilling on sofas. What a place. Plenty of chicks with plastic boobs. You’d love it. Mate, show up quick. We are on at nine and you know this set won’t work without you! : This is Ben’s phone. I’m busy. Leave me a message. If it’s worth a call back you’ll hear from me soon. Beep Smart lass says she knows you from school. Did you do her? Anyway we thought we were here for a proper gig but this looks like a sixteenth birthday party. Caaaaall meeee. 68
Ben get your lazy arse here or we’re not playing. None of us are that bothered anyway. Daz scanned the crowd and he says there’s no promoters here just an army of teenage pussies. Daz knows his stuff. Not sure why you were so desperate for us to play here for no dosh. Do you owe smart lass anything? She’s angry now. Daz told her he is not going to sing acapella but not sure she got it. : This is Ben’s phone. I’m busy. Leave me a message. If it’s worth a call back you’ll hear from me soon. Beep Hi Ben, it’s Fiona here. You better show your thin arse or your boys will have to do their magic without a drummer. I can always call your daddy to hurry you up. : This is Ben’s phone. I’m busy. Leave me a message. If it’s worth a call back you’ll hear from me soon. Beep Ben? Where are you honey? Your friends are looking for you. Remember our last conversation? I call, you answer, or you are back to pay as you go! Call me back. : This is Ben’s phone. I’m busy. Leave me a message. If it’s worth a call back you’ll hear from me soon. Beep I hate you Ben Stevens! H A T E Y O U ! You’ve ruined my party! I will ruin your life! : This is Ben’s phone. I’m busy. Leave me a message. If it’s worth a call back you’ll hear from me soon. Beep Daz says he doesn’t want to have anything to do with you any more. He says you’re a waste of space and we shouldn’t have taken posh boy on board in the first place. He actually started writing a new song: Ben-Hurt. Dude you fucked up big time. We are on our way back. Your smart lass friend is furious. She acted out a small drama just for our benefit. Tears, swearing, spitting, kicking the wall. Reece nearly hit her. She called him retard. It wasn’t pretty. You better have a fucking good excuse. 69
: This is Ben’s phone. I’m busy. Leave me a message. If it’s worth a call back you’ll hear from me soon. Beep
: This is Ben’s phone. I’m busy. Leave me a message. If it’s worth a call back you’ll hear from me soon. Beep
Ben, honey… don’t make me call all the hospitals again. Where are you? I don’t want to get your dad involved but you’re not giving me much choice.
Oh dude, this can’t be true. Not true. So fucking unfair. Daz is shocked. We all are. He finished the song for you - we kept the title. We would play it to you mate but they won’t let us onto the ward. You just hang on in there Ben, hang on.
: This is Ben’s phone. I’m busy. Leave me a message. If it’s worth a call back you’ll hear from me soon. Beep Hello Ben, this is Fiona’s mum. I am calling as it has just been brought to my attention that you and your friends were supposed to play at Fiona’s party tonight but you didn’t even show up. Fiona, as you probably can imagine, is very upset and hurt by it. I believe you should call her or better still come round and apologise. I must say I am very disappointed with your behaviour. This party was raising money for a very good cause and you let Fiona down greatly. You know how hard she worked to pull it all together. She is in a very dark place right now. Anyway I shall speak to you later, Ben. Good night. : This is Ben’s phone. I’m busy. Leave me a message. If it’s worth a call back you’ll hear from me soon. Beep Yo dude. You good? I stopped Daz from burning your kit. But now he wants Little Richie to play on it. You know you won’t get it back, right? Daz says this is payment for fucking up last night. We are at the foundry. Daz has gone crazy and we are practicing the full set again. Come in and let’s see if Daz will take you back. Daz heard back from this club in Leeds, we are playing there next month. Angry Parsons’ rule mate and all thanks to you sending out the demo! Mate you have to be there, Little Richie on drums is a bad joke. He can’t even keep time. : This is Ben’s phone. I’m busy. Leave me a message. If it’s worth a call back you’ll hear from me soon. Beep Hello Ben, this is Fiona’s mum. I spoken with your mum and she broke the awful news to me. Fiona is very upset by it all and so am I. She is not ready to call you just yet herself. I hope she will feel better soon and we will be able to visit you. We wish you a rapid recovery. All the best from us both. Bye bye 70
I Am Told
I am told I am too old
For certain pleasures of body and mind I am told I am too short
For reaching to the next level And in this space between one room and the next I find a trace of silence That is not occupied by my offspring who know better
Selection of poems from ”Please Call Me Steve” by Steve Mitchell
How to switch the e-life off and on I am told I am too bold
For letting my hair down I am told I am too cold
For passionate consumption And in this space between one aisle and the next I find a trace of silence To empty my basket of unnecessary objects That are supposed to change my life I am told I am pure gold
I won’t retire until I’ll die I am told I am fourfold
Husband and father, brother and son And in this space between one verse and the next I find a trace of silence When I can cast a loving look over my country
Which doesn’t care for people like me any more
My neighbour asked me to write a poem about him
If I had to explain myself I would start from the start
Not because he just lost his wife
With a weak heart and soft hands
Not because he was made redundant Not because he hates Thatcher
Not because he is an ex-steelworker My neighbour asked me to a write poem about us Not because we live side by side
Not because we drink the same beer Not because we share a car
Not because we married too young
I was born against my will
If I had to justify myself I would start from the middle In my first year in grammar school
I disposed of my working class accent If I had to clarify to myself I would start from the end I married twice: once for kids, once for love
My wife and my husband say to each other ‘hello’
My neighbour asked me to write a poem about here and now Not because we plan to move out Not because it rains
Not because it’s special
Not because human life should rhyme My neighbour asked me to write a poem Because no one else would
Deal of the week: South Yorkshire. 3 Bed Semi, South Yorkshire, For Sale This three-bed semidetached on the outskirts of Sheffield has been recently refurbished to the highest standard. It is a good size and comes with a large front garden, plenty of free rare off-street parking on a quiet residential road with great views. The only downsides are the overgrown back garden and a 5 mile drive to the city centre. However the property is situated at the heart of the regeneration area in North Sheffield and benefits from easy access to a large supermarket, new shiny library, enterprise centre and a couple of good public houses. The Peak District is only 15min drive away and there are no noisy students in ear shot! A perfect place to call home.
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for international exchanges. No one gives much attention to the musicians, poets and writers who grew up here. I haven’t come across a single article on how well kept our gardens are. No attention has been given to us as a community coming together to celebrate national and international events. Why didn’t you say anything about the Olympic torch passing through the estate?
I am writing because I’ve had enough. The recent news about the neighbourhood’s troubles made me very angry. I am sick of reading how fat, poor, ugly, racist and thick we all are. I am sick of reading how deprived, repugnant, shabby and destitute the area is. We are made to believe that we live on an estate which is a dumping ground and that we lack aspirations and ambitions, that we all want to be on the dole, that we serve drugs for breakfast, that we solve problems through fighting and shooting, that we don’t love our children and that we live on chips.
I’ve had enough of other people telling me what I should feel and aim for in my life. I have been here for 44 years and made this neighbourhood my home. Don’t tell me that I’ve wasted my time. I carry with me a sense of loss, as probably everyone else does who remember better times. There were times of worry but no one was attacking us
I keep asking myself why no one ever mentions how successful we are in raising money to send our kids from the local school to South Africa 80
our neighbours and we help each other out. And we come from different walks of life, brought to the estate by a number of reasons. Labelling us as ‘deprived’ and ‘needy’ is outrageous.
and shouting from the front covers of newspapers about how rotten our neighbourhood is. Currently we are under a North Sheffield regeneration programme designed to improve our wellbeing and boost our self-esteem as well as bring cappuccinos and organic cakes to the local cafes. And again I can’t help but feel frustrated. Someone in between the lines, in a clever way that I am not meant to see, is telling me that we are not sophisticated enough, that we should be aiming higher but not too high.
My son is going to turn eighteen next month. He is about to embark on his adult life and I keep asking him what he wants from it. He is a bright boy with big dreams and lots of talent that has been nurtured on this estate. I want the best for him, I want him to see the world and to live his dreams as any mother would. But I worry that he will take this talent away, that he will never consider coming back. Despite my best efforts he doesn’t associate living here with doing well in life. And I only hope he will never be ashamed of where he grew up.
During the last fourteen years I have been consulted by the local council as well as by your journalists on many occasions (on the need for housing, on the plans to build a new library and business centre, on the demand for a new supermarket) and on all these aspects I have voiced my opinions. But I still don’t feel heard and all I want is for people from outside the neighbourhood to stop judging us. If you don’t live here, you will never understand the complexity of the estate. It might not be a perfect place, but are there perfect places? We live decent lives and strive for fulfilment. We know
I want you to start taking responsibility for what you write, how you make people feel and what you make them believe in. Stop telling us what to think, stop telling us how to live, stop telling us what we need. What we lack is not dignity but a rightful respect towards us from others. Lisa Small, local resident 81
Part 2: Non Fiction
“Careless words cost lives”
- Wartime saying
Abi and Sarah **************************
What is Subvertise all about? “Physicality, inconstant conditions, the pleasure of potentiality in wild dreams and petty crime, the absence of husbandry, and an economy of the people’s own biography: freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose, ect.” Diedrich Diederichsen, People of Intensity, People of Power: The Nietzsche Economy Words, words, words. We are surrounded by them. An ever present visual in the landscape. Billboards and adverts everywhere telling us what we ʻwantʼ. But hey! How about we try and take control? Can we take the words from those advertisers and manipulate them to say something that is important to each one of us? There lies the challenge. We collected words from advertising in the area surrounding Parsons Cross and this what you REAdvertised: Something meaningful to you.
Ginger tea was not for me But trying it has brought me glee I tried a cup on Ania pleas And know I like my ginger tea!
Megan I put body spray on before I get in the house. That hides the smell! I feel sorry for him, plus no-one else will look at me. I’m so fugly. Amy Yeah, right, your mum can smell cigs off a mile away. She sends Gramps out to air before he even sets foot in your palace! You’re not ugly, has that cowbag Maisie been saying something to you again?
Amy Megs, r u there? Megan D’oh says so, doesn’t it? :p Amy Don’t get cranky with me! Has the dreaded Blob started? You get really nasty when that happens. Megan No, just annoyed, that’s all. And I don’t get nasty! Amy Hmm, never mind. What’s up anyway? Megan Mum stopped me from going to After Dark last night. She said since I’d been hanging around with that gang at Wheata Shops, she wanted me to start behaving myself. I’ve done nowt wrong! Was only talking to some lads. Amy What were they doing? Megan Not much, just talking and smoking. But Jason was there and I wanted to sort out going with him to the fireworks. Amy Did she catch you having a fag? Isn’t Jason about 15???? Megan No, she didn’t, I don’t smoke much! Yeah, but that’s only 2 years older than I am. He always talks to me on the way home from Ecco; that’s the only time when I have a cig. Amy But you said the other day that he’s a bit of a retard? No wonder Aunty Cath is narky with you; bet she could smell fag ash on you when you got in the house. :p 92
Megan No, but Mum keeps telling me to cut down on sweets and has started making me packing for school. It’s yucky; all she does is give me fakey meat and salad sandwiches and an apple and still water. Not even proper bottled water but yacky tap water in a Lidl bottle- I look like a right loser!! Jessie Rabbit gets better food than I do and her water is in a better bottle! At least Dad gives me money to get summat decent from the school canteen. Amy Hmm, I spose Aunty Catherine only wants you to be healthy, but she can overdo it. Plus, you said so yourself that money’s short, she’s probably trying to save money before Christmas for that huge list of presents you want. Has she stopped going to that slimming club? When was the last time you bothered with poor Jessie? Megan No, Dad says there’ll be nowt left of her. He dunt seem to cuddle her much now, but there’s not much to cuddle. Think she’s trying to get him to go too. It’s not that big of a list- biggest things on it are a new Blackberry, laptop and skates. I look after Jessie, although dad cleans her out and feeds her. I give her cuddles sometimes… Amy When you can remember. Wish I had a rabbit. Poor Uncle Joe, I miss living next door with Gramps and Nanny. I’d look after that poor bunny! Megan How can you miss living next door? You used to say it drove you potty with Gramps leaving the gas taps on and you checking them in the middle of the night. Amy At least there’s stuff to do there and the old folks let me be myself. I miss Parson Cross and all my friends.
Megan Yeah, right, you miss the endless amount happening round Parson Cross and your geeky mates! :p Amy I do, Mum’s picked a right one-horse town to move to. There’s no cinema, no leisure centre, no Holland and Barrett, no supermarket and I have to travel to the next town to go to school. I can’t understand most of the locals; they have weird accents and seem really stupid. Don’t think anyone’s ever seen a goth or an emo around here before! People keep giving me funny looks, although I wonder whether that’s because they’re all red-blooded meateaters and have never seen a vegetarian before! Megan You’ve only moved to Lancashire, it can’t be that bad! Nan wasn’t sure about you cutting meat out, she thinks you’ll get all ill and sickly. Amy Mum’s new husband is creepy and keeps looking at me funny. She only knew him a month online before they got married. He runs something to help married couples, don’t think it’s Relate though. Bet he has a sex shop in Manchester! Megan Hmm, she did marry him quickly. When’s the baby due btw?
Megan Oh, thanks a lot! I don’t do that all the time since Miss Edwards picked up on it when I handed that History homework in. She wasn’t impressed. You seem to be forgetting that crowd that were bullying you for ages on the way home from school for dressing in black. Amy That got sorted. Plus, I ended up friends with Scott and Lizzie. They’re alright really. Scott sometimes talks to me on here and lets me know what’s happening at school. Megan Scott and Amy kissing in a tree… Amy Shut up retard-lover! Megan At least I fancy someone in the same town as me! Amy I may come back. Anyway, Aunty Catherine says I can visit over Christmas. Just trying to nag Mum to let me. Sure she’ll give in; she’s too loved up with the hairy gorilla to bother with me. Anyway, when are you coming to stay?
Amy Not ‘til March. I’m hoping Mum can’t cope and she sends me back to live with Gramps and Nanny.
Megan Not sure that I’ll be allowed, since I’m in the doghouse with Mum. Plus, don’t think my Mum and Dad are too keen on your stepdad either. They were muttering something to Gramps and Nan the other day. Something about a custody order?
Megan Blimey, must be bad! You can’t miss the sights of Colley Park and the cider-swigging crew. Or the tosspots outside Asda!
Amy Mum won’t be pleased. Think I said too much on the phone to Nanny the other day. She didn’t sound happy when I hung up.
Amy No, but I miss being at Yewlands and having stuff to do. At least there’s places to go round Parson Cross and I could go into town and meet my mates along Division street. I liked going to the after school activities, they were pretty cool, and I could hang out in the LRC. There’s absolutely nothing to do around here- that’s why I’m always chatting to you on FB! The school here is so backward, we have to write instead of type! You’d never survive with your copying and pasting ways! :p
Megan Anyway, Mum’s back, better get off here before she confiscates the laptop. BFN.xx
Amy Catch you later when she’s at work?xx Megan Okies. xx
Angry Parsons • Angry and dark but in many ways a true picture. Well observed but through lenses clearly tainted by experience. Is this the future outlook for Molly?
• A summary of much that is bad and a criticism of what efforts are made by those trying to improve the area. In many ways, the line ‘Non of these make a change’ is probably true if the expectation is for instant transformation. The reality is that these things take time and impact is at the individual level. from: Marshall Dan <Dan.Marshall@sheffield.gov.uk> to: “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com> date: 20 November 2012 09:59 subject: PX Stories
• Perhaps made more powerful by the lack of hope and rejection of good news stories. The authors are not attempting to create balanced account of the area. But why should they, it would less powerful if they did. • I would challenge the line ‘The only dream is to leave’. My experience is that for many, dreams and ambitions rarely extend beyond the boundaries of the estate. • Quite tightly put together. Hope these comments are useful.
Hi, Just a few thoughts about the two PX Stories that I’ve read. I think they’re both great and like all good short stories/poems made me take a step back and think about certain issues or questions afresh or perhaps more deeply. What have I learnt this summer? • A convincing childlike voice (at least to a 30 year olds ears) with a sense of innocence, hope and optimism. • Well grounded in PX through use of images and descriptions - the green island, the discarded items, the local focus and mindset. • I think the attitudes of the different characters is reflective of the area. On any street there is real warmth and compassion, set against anger, lawlessness and most depressing perhaps, a sense of insularity, isolation and lack of hope or ambition. At first glance, Parson Cross is a bubble, far from being representative of society at large, however this story reveals the bubbles within the bubble, and highlights how they bounce up against one another. Sometimes they burst. • I think we’re left feeling optimistic about Molly’s chances. She has imagination, she’s likeable and she has loving family and friends. But also, there is sense of the difficult road ahead, the challenges yet to face, and of course her growing realisation of life’s potential harshness.
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Itâ€™s Good to Be â€ŚIn Parson Cross Families and community spirit Welcoming when you are new
Old fashioned sense of security Garden City houses
Improving houses, no tower blocks
PX Story: Autumn Plot
New buildings and things to do
Devised from Parson Cross folk who contributed to I like being in PX activity at Chaucer Car Boot on 29.9.12
Our Learning Zone and training New ASDA we love it too Parson Cross it changes
And yet it stays the same
Wildflowers, trees and gardens. Welcoming friendly faces
Walking, Yew to Wheel Lane
Watching children playing football on greens Scooters running, ramps for fun
Climbing trees and flowers growing Parson Cross it changes
And yet it stays the same
Wildflowers, trees and gardens. Welcoming friendly faces
Car Boot, bargains, free stories and art My sons did well at Parson Cross
The Greens, recovering, alcohol no more A new public square, children scooting Parson Cross it changes
And yet it stays the same
Wildflowers, trees and gardens. Welcoming friendly faces 104
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea A visit to Parson Cross SK368913
something before my IBS rumbles during my talk. The design of the building makes you think Cappuccino, Organic cakes and hummus wrap. But no, it is not. Sandra, who runs La Petite Café home cooks burgers, beans and eggs on toast. I just go for butter on toast for 30p. We have little time and this is just what I needed. Where else would you get that these days? Just in a kaff like this.
I am always excited to go to new places. I arrived this morning via East Midlands from Dublin where I had a meeting with a curator from Brazil yesterday who is really interested in socially engaged art. Rachael from Yorkshire Artspace picked Ania and myself up at Sheffield and took us to Parson Cross by taxi. I have never been in Parson Cross before. In fact I have hardly ever been in a housing estate before. Nor had I been to Sheffield before, in fact I have hardly ever been to any of the English middle cities before. Some famous people come from here, like David Blunkett, also an Olympic medal winner. I am excited, this is all new to me. I love travelling, seeing new places; last night I was in an old pub where we had Guinness, me and the Brazilian curator and his wife. Today we drive past the houses, they are all brick. I like brick, it’s much brighter, warmer, nicer than the grey granite that we get up north. The houses all have gardens; good size gardens. I like gardens. That’s where my little bit of creativity goes. I get a real kick out of a seed developing into something nice, maybe something edible, or flowers that I can pick for my vases. One of the gardens I see here has a palm tree. We arrive at SOAR Works, a flagship designed enterprise centre that features not only offices for all kind of businesses and services – such as IBS help centre and refurbished PCs but also artists’ studios! There is also a cafe in the atrium. With the early flight, I had no breakfast yet, so I am on the lookout for
Off we go to the second floor where some artists are waiting. We talk about my work with socially engaged artists in the small Aberdeenshire town of Huntly, and about Ania’s work here in the locale of Parson Cross. I had been given the PX Stories in preparation. We also talk about the work of the other artists that work here and elsewhere in a socially engaged way. One of them even lives here. It’s this discourse around social engagement that grapples us, that brings us together. We wonder like always) whether socially engaged practice is the right terminology or is it better to call it collaborative practice, or artists’ placement. Is Ania’s work/book socially engaged or is it observation? It’s also collaborative of course. Can our practices generate change, and if so what impact can we make? And how do we make it sustainable; and how do we measure it? How do we make sure that we don’t ‘use’ people? Can our work empower people, does that bring change? And what is the legacy? Or would money not be spent better for summer camps for children like Molly. Is it a middle class thing to try to bring change? And do you need to live there to understand? And if you don’t are you always an outsider? Or could one become an insider if one stays there and observes carefully? Just like Malinowski did among the Trobrianders. Would you ever belong? Even this little bit? He didn’t. I don’t think so. Should Ania have lived here? Lisa probably would think so. I am
After the discussion come the nice sandwiches. Lots. After that Ania and I go to explore the locale. I love going to new places. I have never been here. I have hardly been in an estate before. There is an interesting fence made of bamboo with bamboo shoots. I need to find out how they do that. I find fences often ugly, shabby, they pull the looks of a nice garden down. But this one is nice, different, very tasteful. It’s a windy rainy kind of day. We walk past the Heron Food shop (never seen this make of shop before, what do they sell?) to the Post Office, with its many little ads blue tacked onto the window. You can buy a hamster here, join Zumba classes, also writing skills are on offer. If I had had the time I would check out Debbie’s Bone China Set, it sounds like it would be perfect for Deveron Arts’ new kitchen back in Huntly. These things are really trendy now. Then we get to Kath’s shop, its brilliant. I love hardware shops anyway, anywhere, there is always something intriguing with them. A long time ago in a small town near Bilbao I once found a tool that would eject garlic or olives into the middle of your roast. Or in former East Germany even longer ago I bought these intriguing enamel plates that I’ve still got. Our own hardware shop in Huntly sells dried pig ears that came in handy once for an artist’s project. But this one of Kath’s is really eclectic. I wished I had bought that red ribbon for 40p a metre; it would have come in handy before long. Kath will sell Ania’s book soon.
And then we go past E. Suck’s butcher shop to St Thomas More Catholic church. Are people catholic here? Ania says, she does not think so. But this place is now anyway not about the church services really, it houses the PX community centre which offers Zumba, and parenting classes, cooking on a budget and gives debt advice. And much more. It’s all advertised here. Also Chairobics – I have never heard of this before, sounds fun. They also offer valuable services here like photocopying, typing and faxing. We say hello to Louise, who runs the place. Then we go to the Colley Working Men’s club. What a brilliant place. It’s warm and cosy, just what we need on this damp November afternoon. We get a beer and settle down. A soap is on the giant TV. A girl (could it be Trace or Suz?) switches channels. The retired working men cheer her with their beer. A boy called Steve comes past and tells us he has got a job for £85 per week at B&Q. He is happy. We congratulate him. The carpet is flowered with fire red chrysanthemums. I love it. It’s beautiful, almost trendy. In Glasgow or London they would pay a fortune to get this into their eateries. Also the furniture, really 50ies, stylish, cool. I love it here. I’d stay here all the time if I lived in Parson Cross. But Ania says the young people don’t come here. They go to the pub instead. Well, I am not young anymore, anyway. We discuss more of the things from before at the SOAR meeting. What are the social consequences of our artistic interventions? And how can we avoid that artistic engagement is merely tokenistic. What is the context? The people or the setting? And would the money not be better spent on more substantial things? How can Parson Cross be defined as a locale? The former working men cheer on our way out. We cheer back and go past the old fashioned fruit machine where a lady is trying her luck. Loads of broadcasts in the corridor: the club
not sure. All these questions… I am a self-effacing middle class person, one of the people here says. Bringing in my our own ideas of what is right for people. This class stuff always interests me. And now I classify myself. But maybe what we do can enable others to look at themselves with fresh eyes? Maybe that’s what it is, despite of what Lisa says.
organises trips to the Peaks, and further afield, cruises to the Mediterranean etc. Pink and Shiny posters of regional rock stars feature too, they perform here. I love it. Would be fun to go to one of those. I would come here all the time if I lived in Parson Cross. It’s so trendy and cosy at the same time. The place could be a real tourist attraction. We cross the road and make our way to ASDA. A really shiny brand new ASDA. It is built on stilts, so that all the cars can park underneath it. I have never seen this before. It comes with escalators, a 24 hour service, a café a. I am trying to spot Richard. Is he there? Did he get the job? ASDA has its own community zone, with A5 size plastic slots for people to announce what is going on over the coming days and weeks: Playgroup, Zumba, pets for sale, IBS self help group. There is also a trolley with some baby dolls still in their boxes, they are collected for Christmas for children who would not get them otherwise. It’s a really good idea. I have not seen this before. On the way out we make a detour to check out the Hitachi HD Freeview TV. After reading the reviews I became curious about them. Outside is a GEORGE boutique. I have never seen a GEORGE boutique before. We cross the road to the library which is also brand new. We go in, loads of kids are sitting around the computers, on the games. It looks very communal. Not like in other places where everybody hangs around them at home, individually, quite lonely. I spot some great upcycled jewellery made from metal scraps. Is it for sale? We meet the library assistant. She says, she might be looking for a new job, in a school. Something that is full time and better paid. She could do with the money, she says. She shows us a book by John Shepheard, a local writer who describes his childhood in Parson Cross. 110
Steve Bush’s book is currently lent out; he is also writing a biography about a local lass. They teach the writing skills here. There are wallpaper size images of the Peaks all around here. It’s nice, I have good memories of the peaks. I used to go walking there when I’d had enough of London, when I lived in London. Why don’t Londoners buy holiday homes here with their spare cash? In the Andrew chapter I saw one can pick up a three-bed semi for under 90k. The area should promote itself for its vicinity to the peaks, just a 15 min drive from the Peaks. The children have fun around the communal PCs with the Peaks in the background. I wonder whether one of them is Molly? We take the bus to the train station. I go back up north, Ania back down south tonight. We climb to the upper floor, so we have a better view. After all I have never been in Parson Cross before. And who knows when I will be back?
Information: Parson Cross Books: A book about growing up in Parson Cross in the fifities, “Get Thi Neck Weshed” by Graham Shepherd, was published in 2010 by ACMRetro, specialists in Sheffield’s post war social history. In 2011 “Gee’or Ruwerin” was published by Steve Bush, a similar account but based this time centred around a 1960s childhood. Both books are unashamedly written in the Parson Cross vernacular and contain a wealth of local idioms Radio: In June 2008, Radio Sheffield broadcast a play about the impact of this regeneration. Entitled The View, it featured four fictional characters and was used as a catalyst for an invited audience of Parson Cross residents to comment on the plans and to talk about the issues raised. Famous people: Parson Cross’s most famous son is The Right Honourable David Blunkett (born 6 June 1947), who, despite being born totally blind, carved out a successful political career, rising to the post of Education Secretary and eventually Home Secretary. Olympic silver medallist Sheila Sherwood (Long Jump, Mexico 1968) is also a native of the estate. 111
Film: The local cinema was The Ritz, situated at the junction of Wordsworth Avenue and Southey Green Road. It opened in 1939 and closed as a cinema in 1966. After that it continued as a bingo hall until 2001. The last double bill of films was Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, the originator of a long running TV series, and Mysterious Island. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is a 1960s American science fiction television series based on the 1961 film of the same name. Both were created by Irwin Allen, which enabled the movie’s sets, costumes, props, special effects models, and sometimes footage, to be used in the production of the television series. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was the first of Irwin Allen’s four science fiction television series as well as the longest running. The show’s main theme was underwater adventure. Voyage was broadcast on ABC from 1964 to 1968, and was the decade’s longest-running American science fiction television series with continuing characters. The 110 episodes produced included 32 shot in black and white (1964–65), and 78 filmed in colour (1965–68). The first two seasons took place in the then future of the 1970s. The final two seasons took place in the 1980s. The show starred Richard Basehart and David Hedison. Mysterious Island (UK: Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island) is a 1961 film based upon the like named novel (L’Île mystérieuse) by Jules Verne, the film was produced by Charles H. Schneer and Ray Harryhausen. Directed by Cy Endfield, it was released through Columbia Pictures. The film centers around Union soldiers escaping in a gas balloon from a Confederate prison camp during the American Civil War. They end up crashing in the ocean, only to find themselves washed up on an unknown island, where gigantic animals abound. They make shelter in the cave home of a marooned sailor who had hanged himself years earlier. It would later be revealed that the animals were the result of experiments by the presumed-dead Captain Nemo to end war by solving the problem of world hunger. He has been an unknown benefactor to the castaways as they struggled to survive on the island. The island’s volcano threatens to erupt. After a skirmish with pirates the stranded group manages to escape from the island on the pirates’ ship as the volcano destroys the island. The highlights of the film were Ray Harryhausen’s animation sequences. The different animated “monsters” that the castaways encountered included a monstrous crab, a giant flightless bird (a prehistoric species called a Phorusrhacos), giant bees and a giant cephalopod resembling a prehistoric ammonite. Source: wikipedia
Socially Engaged Art Collaborative Practice: The working partnership between the curator, the artists, the funder, and the community, with its many stakeholders. All people begin to be involved at a very early stage of the process. Socially Engaged Art: is similar to collaborative practice, but has a social (often political) agenda. Context: Where the project will be inscribed in terms of the physical, environmental, historical, architectural and social. Cultural Audit: Is a tool that allows to identify the essence of the locality through continuous analysis and participant observation, taking a community audit as a base line. Community Audit: Is the mapping of statistics of a town and a community, both physical (e.g. number of houses) and demographic (number of people, professions, employment statistics). Informal spaces / Found venues: Display, action and performance venues outside the gallery and art center context. Locale: Is a term coined by Lucy Lippard which identifies the essence of place as local. Mapping: This term, originated in cartography, is widely used in visual arts as a systematic analysis and articulation of information relating to the physical and cultural life of a town and its community. Participant Observation: Is a research strategy widely used in social and cultural anthropology. Its aim is to gain a close understanding with a given group and their practices through a close involvement with people in their environment normally over a longer extended period of time. Processes: The actions one undertakes to conceptualize and organize artistic projects. This can be ways of selecting an artist or a topic, or ways of approaching education or marketing. Project layers: Is the combination of people, context, processes and results in a project. Results: The results of a project are its outputs and outcomes: they can be physical and artistic (this can be events, books, seminars, the world is the limit), or social and cultural (a change in mind regarding a certain topic). White Cube: This term is used to described modern and contemporary art galleries, with while walls and grey floors, used solely for dedicated high-art exhibitions and performances. Artists working with socially engaged art/collaborative practice: Anthony Schrag, Jeremy Deller, Ania Bas (selection) Further Reading: ARTocracy, Art, Informal Space and Social Consequnce: A curatorial Handbook in Collaborative Practice. Nuno Sacramento and Claudia Zeiske, Jovis, Berlin, 2010
from: Mary Steele <firstname.lastname@example.org> to: “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org> subject: A Parson Cross Story
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Dear Ania This content has been removed
from: Mary Steele <email@example.com> to: “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com> subject: A Parson Cross Story
Thanks for your prompt response to my e mail.
Dear Ania Although born on Parson Cross and still living here I had no idea that a story was being developed around it in the form of a book. However, having recently picked up snippets of its content on the internet I am both intrigued as to the purpose of the commission and a little disturbed as to what impression your writings might conjure of its people. I realise you have converted real life experiences into fiction but I found the conversation between Suz and Trace rather disturbing. Was this a figment of your imagination or drawn from Facebook? Either way, I feel a great injustice was done to the educated young of Parson Cross who have gone on to university and gained degrees because it paints a scenario that adds to the negative vision, often created of the area by those coming in from the outside, which blights the lives of those having to live under such a shadow. I have attempted to get hold of a copy of the completed version of the book without success and maybe you strike a balance along the way but I fear the stunted, grammatically poor version of the Suz and Trace conversation might be the one that sticks in the minds of the reader and has the most impact. I would be interested in your comments. Regards
Having read your attachments I am most moved by the ‘Letter to the editors’ because the respondent, Lisa Small, hit the nail bang on the head and sadly, the conversation between Suz and Trace illustrates perfectly what decent people on the estate have had to contend with. Having watched from the outside since the SRB (regeneration) cash came into the area I realise that ‘deprivation’ is the buzzword that brings in the money but it also brings down the people (the people of the Manor, in Sheffield, had the same problem when their area was chosen for regeneration). Sadly, whilst the money may change the visual appearance of the estates in some way, once spent it leaves behind the stigma of ‘deprivation’ with all the images it conjures of drugs, drink, overeating etc. (all the things that bring in more money but again labels the areas inhabitants). Around Parson Cross there are many others who have attended university but ‘deprivation’ is the vogue - not success - and, sadly, these are the people who have to carry the burden of other peoples’ warped views. I wonder if your respondent, Lisa Small, would mind if I had her e mail so that I could offer a word of support and encouragement that might lift her depression? There are people on this estate who have lived here all their lives and many more who have left taking with them fond memories of the area in which they grew up. I am reminded of a wartime saying ‘Careless words cost lives’. This may sound dramatic but as you can see from Lisa’s letter, they can have devastating effect on some. Thanks once again for your swift response and your listening ear.
Regards Mary Steele
Dear Ania Having read your completed work I am asking you to remove the e-mails I sent and give me the right to respond, in the form of an open letter, to the lyrics ‘Rotting heads in Parson Cross’ in particular and the book in general. Dear Ania ‘Some artists paint in bright colours, in reds and yellows and blues But some put their souls onto canvas and paint in the darkest of hues’
I was taken aback at the level of contempt, expressed in your poem ‘Rotting heads in Parson Cross’, that you appear to feel for the area and its residents offering you hospitality over your time here. Disguised as fiction you vent your feelings in a manner for which my own would have been seriously chastised. Parson Cross is an area consisting of approximately 16,000 INDIVIDUALS yet it’s clear you failed to reach out much further than your comfort zone at Knutton Road observing life here through jaundiced eyes and embellishing your findings seemingly for effect. However, I feel your book reveals more about yourself than the people I know. All human life exists here and with a more open mind you would have found that creativity is not only the province of people like yourself because behind some of the doors on Parson Cross you will find writers, painters and musicians. Your commission appears to be to see how art can change us but why do we need to see the world through your eyes or change until we fit someone else’s chosen pattern?
Negativity screams through the pages of your book, positivity is negligible. Where, for example, have you given space for acknowledging the achievements of the people of this area? The young men and women studying and striving to forge a future in hard times? Those having already achieved, gaining degrees and moving on to study at Masters level. Where is mention of the people spending their lives caring for their elderly and disabled? Those looking after their neighbours in the way that Yorkshire people do? Where is your recognition of the number of people turning out to work daily and the struggle experienced by people unable to find any? Those who have worked all their lives and now cope with ill health following years in Sheffield’s factories? Problems exist all over the country and were not self-inflicted but the result of ever changing government policies and by painting the area so black you stigmatise the victims and not the perpetrators. The nature of a place cannot be determined simply by scraping the surface but, under the cover of anonymity, you claim to have done that giving yourself carte-blanche to write what you choose and classifying people as human scum without fear of redress. Sadly, the dark shadow you cast over us all will be a legacy affecting us in the worst possible way on your departure. Regards Mary Steele
A project by Ania Bas With contributions from 14 individuals Commissioned by Yorkshire Artspace Designed by Article Works Parson Cross, Sheffield, 2013 Do you have any comments? Send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributors Ania Bas
is an artist based in London. She is interested in testing methods and processes of collaboration. She first came to Parson Cross on 1st November 2011 to visit Yorkshire Artspace’s artist studios at Knutton Road. Parson Cross made her write. www.aniabas.com Lyn Carruthers
is a mixed media artist based in Sheffield. She is interested in interrelationships, the past, the natural world and its seasons. She first visited Parson Cross 10 years ago to run training on funding in the community. She enjoyed engaging with people about living in Parson Cross. Rachael Dodd
is Programme Manager at Yorkshire Artspace in Sheffield. She is interested in how art and artists can play a role within community development and become part of the everyday. She first came to Parson Cross in 2010 to develop projects that would help her, the artists and the organisation get to know the area. It has been a rewarding, surprising, challenging and friendly experience. Ben Dunmore
is an editor and designer based in Sheffield. He is interested in nontraditional publishing methods. He also works as Article Works. www.articleworks.co.uk Abi Goodman
is an artist, geographer, experimental thinker, dreamer, explorer, and charity 118
development worker based in Sheffield. She is interested in lots of things but particularly in exploring power relationships, how these play out in a local landscape and how information can be communicated especially through infographics. She first came to Parson Cross in 2005 to visit a local community based adult learning initiative. It was inspiring, challenging, welcoming and inspired her to go and pursue learning opportunities herself. More on Abi and her work can be found at: http://abigoodman.com Tom Fostervold
is a manufacturing consultant based in the midlands. He is interested in people and owls. He first came to Parson Cross in May 2012 to help Ossie the owl distribute leaflets publicising the event. Alasdair Hiscock
is a designer and publisher based in Sheffield. He is interested in creating publications that are specific to particular places. He first came to Parson Cross in November 2012. The bus driver on the way there wished him good luck. He works as Article Works - www.articleworks.co.uk Hannah Knights
is an artist based in Sheffield. She is interested in images. She first came to Parson Cross in July 2012 to participate in Ania Bas’ project. It was a day of being taught origami by 10 year olds. www.hannahknights.co.uk Dan Marshall
is a librarian working at the Learning Zone and other libraries. He believes in the power of libraries and other cultural organisations to inspire and
empower people of all ages and backgrounds. He first came to Parson Cross in January 2010 to help develop the Learning Zone. Anna Middleton
is a Library/Information Assistant and OU student based in Sheffield. She is interested in the journeys that people make through life and what can be learnt from our heritage. She first came to Parson Cross as an infant to visit her grandparents in the early Eighties, and with her family, ended up moving in with them in October 1988. It was a lovely autumnal day. Sarah Smizz
is an artist based in Sheffield/NYC. She is interested in power relations within infrastructures and systems to negate sustainability, social change and pedagogy. She first came to Parson Cross in May 2012 to collaborate with Abi Goodman and the Parson’s Cross community on the Re-Place project . It was an extremely rainy day but felt very welcomed. www.sarahsmizz.com http://readvertise.wordpress.com Mary Steele
was born on Fulmere Road when New Parson Cross was in its infancy and front windows of newly built houses looked over nothing more than countryside and farms. Since then she has watched the area become one of the biggest council estates in Europe. Infuriated by council plans ultimately leading to the demolition of hundreds of sound local council houses, freeing land for private developers, she later became secretary of Sheffield Defend Council Housing. Still living in the area she is sad at the reputation the area has gained 119
over the past 12 years and watches, with interest, the progress of an ongoing regeneration programme in the hope that the areaâ€™s poor public image will eventually be lifted and its people face a more secure and proud future Nick Waterfield
is community worker with the Methodist church based in Parson cross. He is interested in building relationships with new friends and neighbours and finding God in surprising ways. He first came to Parson Cross in 2010 to work with PXI -Parson Cross Initiative. It was the start of a whole new adventure. (http:// pxichaplaincy.wordpress.com/) Ian C Wragg
is a creative evolved bio-logical consciousness bearing entity based in space-time. He is interested in Buddhism, Taoism, reality hacking, visual arts, music, nice cheese, good coffee and books. He grew up in the area (1968-1980), moved back in 2005. Claudia Zeiske
is a free-lance curator and cultural activist based in Huntly in Aberdeenshire. She developed a unique curatorial interest based on a balanced approach between artistic criticality and community involvement through developing projects with artists from across the globe. The only time she came to Parson Cross was on Tuesday the 27th November 2012 to discuss the project with Ania Bas and write an essay for this book. The day at Parson Cross was dry but dark.
index of locations Dorothy
Asda Post office Church
Suz and Trace
Fulmere Crescent Cleethorpes James and Gaz
ASDA Sharrow South Yorkshire Richard
Wordsworth Avenue ASDA ASDA junction Herries Road allotments
Tongue Gutter Chaucer school SOAR Works ASDA Ben
Collegiate Crescent The foundry Steve
South Yorkshire North Sheffield Ted
Church Post office Asda Library Samantha
Wordsworth Avenue Chaucer Rd Fulmere Crescent Bland Street The Beagle (pub) Judith
Heights of Abraham ASDA Library
Drawing of Fulmere Cresent by a local resident
A project by Ania Bas With contributions from 14 individuals Commissioned by Yorkshire Artspace Designed by Article Works Parson Cross, Sh...