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S teel

£3 Edition 001 June 2013

Sharp. Edgy. NEW Forged in Sheffield.

The Crookes Meet the band behind the faces A relic revamped Sheffield’s Park Hill is ready for its close up The STREETS ARE a canvas • Spray paint and urban art CELLULOID CITY • Directors putting Sheffield on screen PLUS • Food • Drink • Fashion • Music • Health


hello! from the editor...


heffield never ceases to surprise me. There’s always a new district, a new store or a new, fabulous restaurant offering to un-cork any bottle of decent plonk brought in by their diners (page 37). There are no hang-ups, everything feels easy here, even if sometimes I imagine I’m too familiar and refer to any Sheffield male I encounter as “love”. Having spent my life in the Midlands as a near-Northerner, now, if Sheffielders will permit me, I feel as though I’ve finally become one. That’s why our team created STEEL; a magazine designed by Sheffield Uni Students for you, Sheffield’s young professionals. Please don’t panic, we may be called STEEL, but no cutlery adverts are to follow. Sheffield may be Steel City, the UK’s most famous manufacturer of the stuff, but all we’ll be telling you is... well...where do we start? This month, summer is upon us in Steel City and in this, our launch issue, we’ll be showing you where to spend your weekends in the sunshine at Sheffield’s stunning parks (page 31) and Peaks (page 28). Every month, we’ll be scouring the landscape to find fascinating people to spark your imagination with their inspiring stories; in this issue we hear

TEAM STEEL Editors Andrew Tildesley Hadley Middleton Fashion Alex Yau Georgia James

Hadley Middleton @hadleymiddleton

from Sheffield’s very own eco-warriors (page 18), a doctor turned BAFTA-winner (page 15) and two ex-students turned Cocoa-making queens (page 34). Look out for our celebration of Sheffield’s surprising cinema screen history on page 50 (yes, the BBC did once blow up The Moor) and spend a bizarre evening with Mr P Dreadful, Sheffield’s premier ghost hunter (page 17). There’s a summer packed with events coming up and to lead you into it we have all the gossip from this year’s Doc/Fest from Hussain Currimbhoy (page 14), a guide to Sheffield’s break-out bands in the lead-up to next month’s Tramlines Festival (page 22) and a showcase of some of our best visual artists and theatre groups for you to get involved with (page 52). ....and if all this get’s you over-excited, we’ll help you unwind with the best of Sheffield’s spas (page . Shopping, Fashion, Food, Culture; we’re ludicrously biased but as usual, the Steel City has it all. Welcome to STEEL and welcome to your Sheffield.


Hadley Middleton, Editor

Who Would Have Thought? In 1913 the first stainless steel was cast in Sheffield. Its legacy can be seen all over the city. From Sheffield station’s Cutting Edge water feature to the knives and forks on our dinner table; including the recycled steel cutlery sculpture (pictured) which can be found in the Millenium Gallery. 100 years on, the first edition of STEEL will be cast into Sheffield. We only hope that someone is talking about us a hundred years from now!

Health Neeru Sharma Wei Fan Shopping Anna Jordan Food Maddy Potts Sarah Dawood Culture Sarah Dawood Coral Williamson Charlotte Brazier Places Yongjia Peng Xin Chang Jun Xie Neil Mannix People Hadley Middleton Ellen Atkinson Web Anna Jordan Sarah Dawood Designers Alex Forster Maddy Potts Alex Yau













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Turn back time and discover the history you never knew about the Peak District.


Fancy a spot of fishing or a lazy stroll? The ultimate guide to Sheffield’s best parks.


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There is a chocolate heaven and it’s in Sheffield.


Tantalise your tastebuds with our pulled pork sliders.


Sheffield’s latest dining craze.





‘My journey to becoming a money-making mehndi artist’


The Brazilian dance craze kicking its way through Sheffield.



Who says they belong in the past?


Guys and girls, there’s a spa for everyone in Sheffield.

PUT YOUR TRAINERS ON Brave Sheffielders take on the Trans Pennine Challlenge.

What fascinating finds will lie behind?



What’s tickling you on Twitter?



Meet the stylish ladies and dapper chaps on the streets of Sheffield.



From head-to-toe, style yourself with our favourite new-season trends.


What does the city next door have to offer on its high street?


Have you stood in the same spot as a movie star?


The very best of Sheffield theatre.

Myriad mosaics and eye-catching street art, meet Sheffield’s artists.

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Can you figure out where each of our Sheffield shots were taken? No cheating...











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Answers: 1. the Riverside pub 2. the tram bridge at Pond’s Forge 3. sculpture outside Macdonalds on High Street 4. High Street sign above Lloyds bank 5. water fountain outside Castle Market 6. pool by City Hall 7. park square 8. Town Hall clock tower 9. Castlegate sign

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The first phase of the renovated Park Hill estate


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view future of the


ominating the approach to the train station and looking out across a Sheffield that has changed immeasurably in the 50 years since it was built, Park Hill is more than just a landmark on the Sheffield skyline. A listed building, a textbook example of Brutalist architecture, an idealistic attempt to change how people live in the city, all of these things are part of what makes Park Hill what it is and what makes it so special. Park Hill has always been iconic, from its inception as an idea to the excitable news reporting that responded to its opening in 1961, it has been seen as a daring move both as architecture and as an experiment in social housing. It was to replace a dense warren of back-to-back, garden-less housing that had developed a reputation for crime and social problems. The architects who designed Park Hill, Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith, were inspired by the Brutalist school of architecture; designing buildings as ‘machines for living’ above any concerns for aesthetic beauty. They were followers of revolutionary French designer Le Corbusier; in particular Park Hill was modelled after his Unité d’Habitation in Marseilles. This Mediterranean housing block, designed with the intention of creating a self-contained community, had its own

gym, nursery, school and even a swimming pool on its roof. Adapted to a British setting, Park Hill had its own shops, nursery, fish & chip shop and school, alongside not one, but two pubs and many early residents spoke of it as being like a medieval village which residents never needed to leave. Park Hill was one of a number of high rise housing solutions that crept across the UK in the ‘60s and ‘70s but it remains a unique and iconic trailblazer. However, the stark concrete that turned a sun-bleached cream under Mediterranean sunshine, in the case of the Unité d’Habitation, endured the British climate much less well. Park Hill’s concrete exteriors absorbed rainwater which, in turn, corroded underpinnings and swelled internal fittings, bursting open the concrete façades. For years the high rise estate was left to the rigors of the British climate, the bold, stark concrete damp and crumbling. Yet many still found Park Hill beautiful, or at least important enough to be worth preserving, and in 1998 it was given grade II* listed status by English Heritage, as a prime example of 1960’s architecture. But it wasn’t just Park Hill’s exterior that was suffering. Inside the buildings many of the residents began to struggle too. From the era of thriving industry in


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SteelFEATURES which Park Hill was built, the nature and the fortunes of the British economy had radically changed. The manufacturing industry that had employed almost half the city’s workforce at the beginning of the ‘70s employed less than a quarter by 1984, the year when unemployment in Sheffield peaked at 15.5%. The estate was soon blighted by unemployment, poverty and many of the social problems that had been visited on the slum that had once occupied Park Hill. The estate began to develop a bad reputation at this time, being dubbed ‘San Quentin’ by some, though there are still many residents who said that the sense of community, for the most part, remained. In 2005 Sheffield City Council, in order to reverse Park Hill’s failing fortunes, put the redevelopment of Park Hill up to competition, tasking the winning company to update this slice of architectural and social history for the needs of twenty first century residents. The winners, Urban Splash, are a young and achingly hip company who have worked on redevelopment projects in Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Bradford and Salford, all cities carrying an industrial heritage worthy of regeneration and preservation. This sense of industrial history permeates

Urban Splash’s attraction to, and approach towards their redevelopment of, Park Hill. Park Hill’s development manager, Tom Lawrence says the plan was to “Keep the essence of the original Park Hill but just have it refreshed.” Working closely with English Heritage to negotiate the balance between preserving the best of Park Hill, and renovating and improving where possible, the process has been costly, technically demanding and very, very time consuming. Tom likes to think the time invested has been a learning process of making mistakes and starting again. Now, he hopes, they can replicate the best parts of what they’ve learned and dismiss the mistakes and false starts. To him, as to English Heritage, Park Hill is “a huge, significant jigsaw piece in the history of social housing.” From an architectural standpoint Park Hill stood out for its use of the peaks, maintaining a constant level to the rooftops, even as they rise from thirteen story blocks to four story blocks, the difference in height being absorbed by the slope as the estates climb the towering hillside. The crescent of flats is criss-crossed by wide, spacious walkways designed to be large enough to accommodate a milk float.

Park Hill timeline 1930s Park Hill replaced a slum known as ‘Little Chicago’ due to its high crime rate. Each ‘street in the sky’ of Park Hill preserves a street name from the 1930s slum

1957 Work begins on Park Hill. Park Hill was designed to resemble the Unité d’Habitation housing development in Marseilles. 1961 Park Hill opens. The street decks were designed to be large enough to accommodate a milk float.

A splash of urban colour on the approach to the estate

1998 English Heritage give Park Hill Grade II* status making it the largest listed building in Europe. 2005 Urban Splash win competition to redevelop Park Hill. Jan Residents moved into the first 2013 phase of redevelopment.

The relective spiral staircases reflect a commanding view of Steel City


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Now The next phase will open in the coming months.

Floodlights help create a more welcoming route into the transformed entrance to the estate

Each floor of Park Hill was originally intended to represent and act as a street, each marked out by colour coded external brickwork. Open to the elements but also to the stunning peak district views, these streets in the sky were originally intended to maintain the sense of community of a normal street, with shared thresholds for residents to chat over. The colour-coding has been maintained in Urban Splash’s redevelopment, as have the street names and the open aspect, the faded bricks replaced with anodised aluminium panels (which have been stress-tested to 120 years’ worth of UV exposure without showing any loss of colour). The renovated apartments now stretch across two floors each, making a maximum use of space to create light, modern and airy living spaces. Each looks out, through vastly expanded windows, both into the courtyard-like interior of the estate and, on the other side of the building, out to the commanding views of Sheffield and the peaks beyond. The first phase of housing opened in January and the first tenants are already well settled in. Catherine Fletcher, a lecturer at the University of Sheffield, is one of those pioneering residents and owners. She looked around and thought

SteelFEATURES film set for a movie called 71, set in Northern Ireland,” Catherine says, “it’s kind of fun watching a film set from my living room!” The next phase of development, made up of 185 flats, will be opening in the coming months. The next phase and the next after that, with over 600 flats still to be renovated, remain to be seen. It’s taken over five years to reach this point but Tom Lawrence insists that Urban Splash are “committed to keeping a constant momentum.” The first phase is being treated as a test case for the popularity of the scheme in general. By and large, according to Catherine Fletcher, the response to the regenerated Park Hill has been good. “Visitors are generally pretty impressed. I had one who really couldn’t deal with the glass lift, and the height does get a few people, but on the whole they like it. And friends from the south can’t believe how little the flats cost.” But her highlight of living in Park Hill is something far more personal, “Looking out at the view from my desk. Every so often we get an amazing rainbow. They’re tough to photograph but I keep trying.”

ANDREW TILDESLEY hard before choosing a home to buy when moving to Sheffield. “Park Hill combined a lot of different things that were important: space, price, location, and of course the fantastic design was a huge bonus,” she says, “It reminded me of flats I stayed in on school exchange trips to Villeneuve d’Ascq (the twin town of Stirling, where I grew up). That was the first time I had ever seen flats on two floors, or where you could go in the front door and then go downstairs to a living room.” “I was keen to live somewhere walking distance from both work and the station. Living at Park Hill I don’t need to run a car – there are City Car Club vehicles parked nearby if I need one occasionally. I’m also walking distance from Pond’s Forge sports centre, the theatres and the Showroom cinema, so there’s plenty nearby.” As Park Hill’s fortunes are reviving there is a growing sense of community amongst the long term residents as well. Coralie Hopwood, secretary of the Friends of Sheaf Valley Park says, “There is a strong sense of identity within the area with many people having lived their whole lives between the old housing, Park Hill and then up to Skye Edge or into Norfolk Park, but not

having gone far away. It’s a unique part of the city with strong community roots and we have begun to celebrate it every year in a festival that takes place on the amphitheatre in South Street Park on the first Saturday in September.” Of the over 260 apartments in the first phase, 58 have gone to housing associations for use as social housing, many for residents of the old Park Hill, evenly distributed about Park Hill, to avoid any sense of ghettoization. As residents from all backgrounds begin to populate the revived Park Hill, slowly the sense of community that designers Lynn and Smith had originally tried to design is reawakening. “We’re gradually getting to know one another,”resident Catherine Fletcher says, “I think once we get a café on site it’ll be a bit easier to meet socially. Some of the residents have moved over directly from the older parts of Park Hill so we meet in the lifts! Everyone’s mixed in so you don’t necessarily know who’s moved across from the old blocks and who’s bought, unless you actually see inside the flats, the private ones have a standard interior décor but the Housing Association flats don’t.” Much of Park Hill remains undeveloped, though that has an appeal of its own. “A lot of the older blocks are boarded up now. At the moment they’re being used as a

With local artists bringing colour to the empty flats of the old estate, Park Hill is still smiling

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CHANGING DIRECTION STEEL meets two film-makers, outsiders and success stories forged in Sheffield’s creative scene.


rom the 12 - 16th of June denizens of Sheffield and beyond will converge in our city for the internationally renowned documentary festival, Doc/Fest. This year, the festival is organising an interactive feature which will allow us, the viewers, to act as directors and plot the narratives of the films, letting our minds wander and taking the plot to where we see fit. The Showroom’s cinema, located in Paternoster Row, will be the main HQ of the festival, with a host of other venues being used to premiere the talents of directors from all around the globe. Hussain Currimbhoy is the festival’s curator and hails from Canada but, with a name like Currimbhoy, he says, people often assume he must be from the Middle East or somewhere equally exotic. When Hussain was 15 his family relocated to Toronto. He first got into filmmaking through an unusual source. “When I was a kid I used to watch baseball, which was weird for me because I hate sports, especially baseball, but it was the movement of the camera – the way the camera would track the ball then cut back to the crowd – it was really engaging and I thought, hold on here, this is really interesting. Then I found Star Wars and lost my shit. I knew this was what I wanted to do”. When Hussain was old enough to travel without his parents he took off to Australia and commuted between the two countries over the next five years. He enrolled in Perth’s Curtain University and studied filmmaking. “In the beginning I really wanted to be a sketch writer and concentrated all my efforts into making comedies, shorts, skits and short one acts. As I got more and more into the course I needed to expand my

“Sheffield?! Of all the places in the world to be offered a job in movie-making. I never imagined it would be here” Hussain Currimbhoy

portfolio so I tried my hand at personal movies, about religion and myself and they were very dry and boring”. After his stint in Perth, Hussain moved to Melbourne and entered the prestigious Victorian College of Arts to undertake an MA in filmmaking. It was around this time that he came into contact with underground filmmakers.

“Then I found Star Wars and lost my shit. I knew this is what I wanted to do” “At first yeah, I was into Scorsese and Coppola but then I started to see all these different movies and got really hooked into the more obscure scene”. By chance, Hussain walked into a documentary festival and was approached by Heather Croall and offered a job in Sheffield. “Sheffield, I mean Sheffield?! Of all the places in the world to be offered a job in movie-making I never imagined it would be here. It was a six month stint and that was six years ago. I love the place. It’s so political and intimate.” Hussain credits Sheffield’s open mindedness and location as the prime reason

for why Doc/Fest is so popular. “London is far too big. Things get lost down there, Sheffield acts as a hub for filmmakers and the press to get together and talk, I mean there’s like, what, two bars and a restaurant? It’s easy to form bonds and forge a working relationship that will be very beneficial.” The festival originated more than 20 years ago and when it first began it mostly had English directors producing English films. As time moved on so did the diversity of the festival line-up. “This year we have Abbas Kiarostami, an Iranian director who’s been censored in Iran but still manages to make pictures. He uses ancient poetry and art as a code to voice his discontent at the current regime. A really far out guy. I’m really looking forward to people watching his film.” As well as indulging in art house type documentaries, Hussain is also responsible for curating the final pictures that will appear in the festival’s line-up. “I generally tend to lean more toward docs that are unique and different and emotionally engaging. The audience has to relate to the story in some way or they’re lost. You live in someone else’s eyes for an hour so it should be a unique experience.” Doc/Fest runs from June 12th to the 16th. Check out their official website for the final line up or hit them up on Twitter/ Facebook.



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TINGE KRISHNAN In 2004, BAFTA award winning director Tinge Krishnan, 43, grappled with severe post traumatic stress disorder that threatened to derail her career. She speaks to Hadley Middleton about how she faced her demons and found success directing 2011 edgy Brit film, Junkhearts.


alf-Thai, Half-Malaysian and a native-Londoner, it’s hard to believe that award-winning director Tinge Krishnan spent thirteen years of her life in Steel a doctor. From 1993, the Sheffield University grad spent her days at Royal Hallamshire Hospital. But at night, still wide awake and wired from walking the wards, she imagined herself as a film director. At school she had always wanted to write and direct films but being academically bright with a natural aptitude for science, her teachers pushed her towards

Tinge Krishnan on set


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a medical degree. She agreed because her favourite author, George Orwell had studied as a doctor before he started writing and so it “seemed to fit.” After years of hard studying and two even harder years as a junior doctor, she was working in perhaps the toughest environment of all, A&E. Yet amidst the car crashes and broken legs, she still dreamed of being a film director. She drew her inspiration from cult classics such as Wem Wenders’ Paris, Texas and Chen Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine. “It was amazing being at medical school in Sheffield, but everything changed when I watched those films. Under the Conservative Government it felt as though health care was very much under attack. I’d always wanted to write and direct, but it all came to a head during a shift on A&E,” she says. As she watched the gentle rise and fall of an elderly patient’s chest, her nose and mouth covered with a nebulizer, Tinge realised her ambitions to write and direct could no longer be ignored. “I was sitting with another nurse. We were both complaining we’ d rather be somewhere else and I realised this elderly woman had no choice. I suddenly had an image of myself, really old with nurses putting me to bed saying ‘she used to be a

doctor.’ It came to me that there were other things I’d like to try before I die.” In 1995 she enrolled in New York University film school and used her savings to set up a film company, Disruptive Element Films, with creative partner Daniela Zanzotto.

“I’d always wanted to write and direct, but it all came to a head during a shift on A&E”

A series of video shorts, commercials and experiments in short film were to follow, but none as gripping as her BAFTA-winning short film breakthrough, the hypnotic drama Shadowscan (2001). The story of two highly pressured A&E doctors, the film is a dark journey through a night shift involving self-harm, injected drugs and moments of personal connection before

SteelFEATURES quiet is disturbed. As one doctor saves a life, another colleague is abandoned, succumbing to his own depressive tendencies. Tinge admits that her short film is inspired by one of Royal Hallamshire’s tragic episodes: “A friend of mine committed suicide and at his funeral someone said to me ‘why don’t you talk about this, why don’t you go do a film about it?’ I felt like I finally had a medium to communicate his experience.” With the BAFTA on her mantle, Tinge was commissioned to write feature films for emerging UK production companies Working Title, Film Four and the UK Film Council. The BAFTA was the stamp of approval set to finally make her career in feature films possible. But in 2004, she took a holiday to visit her mother in Phuket, Thailand, where everything was set to change. When an earthquake devastated the Thai Coast on Boxing Day 2004, Tinge was out of harm’s way. As the wave hit, she and her mother ran to higher ground, feeling the earth tremor beneath their feet. In the aftermath, they both helped to manage an International Victim Co-Ordination Centre, documenting the thousands missing in the aftermath. Acting as a translator between doctors, patients, nearby hospitals and desperate families, masses of unclaimed bodies haunted Tinge. Confused but co-operative, she left Thailand carrying a greater burden, the psychological impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). “It was mainly nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts and panic attacks. When I first got back to the UK, I was having at least two panic attacks a day. Travelling to work on the tube would trigger it. It became exhausting.” Tinge spent a year visiting trauma counselling three times a week. “I had feature projects lined up, but they couldn’t go, I had to re-build my career. The most important thing as a filmmaker is to keep going and keep filming.”

As Tinge worked through her disorder, a first-time British writer was circulating a script that mirrored her experiences. Set in the council flats and cafés of London’s Brick Lane, Junkhearts (2011), explores the strange, emerging relationship between a lonely army veteran named Frank with PTSD, and the brash, homeless woman he foolishly takes in. With a new baby at home, Tinge received a copy of the script imagining she wouldn’t have time to commit to a feature film. But as her baby slept, she retreated into the bathroom, gripped by the script as she envisioned bringing these tortured characters to the screen. Featuring performances by Tom Sturridge and Romola Garai, Junkhearts won Best Film at the Moscow International Film Festival under Tinge’s direction.

“When I first got back to the UK, I was having at least two panic attacks a day” “It was a healing process but the kind of PTSD you get from being in warfare is more intense. Frank’s trust in humanity gets shaken, I’m lucky enough not to have faced that. The move to long-form is a big jump in terms of stamina, but I’d filmed so much before it felt like an organic next step.” Nominated for Best British Newcomer at the London Film Festival, Tinge’s work on Junkhearts cemented her status as a feature film director. Her next project, developed with the BFI and Revolution Films, will see her returning to Sheffield to adapt Elizabeth Haynes’ breathless female-centric thriller and New York Times Best Selling Tinge on Film novel, Into The Darkest Corner. “The people make Sheffield,” Tinge Groove on a Stanley Knife (1997) says, “just the way people are so Her debut short film featuring two down-on-their-luck young considerate, polite and warm. The women on the run from their drug dealer. creative scene is amazing and they were Shadowscan (2001) the things I loved. There was always BAFTA award winner: a frightening journey into the ups something going on and Sheffield and downs of working in A&E. doesn’t have any London ‘hang-ups’, it’s Honey and Razor Blades (2007) all about authenticity here.” A backpacking couple find their love is tested when they meet Tinge Krishnan’s BAFTA still sits on a sexually precocious pair. her mantle and with more feature film Junkhearts (2011) projects to follow, Steel City may just An ensemble of British acting talents battle post traumatic help bring her another one. stress disorder, poverty and drug addiction around London’s Brick Lane.


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Heads snap round to ogle our guide, decked out in black and lurching along through the city’s winding side-streets, turning his head to throw back snippets of supernatural information our way.


’m on Sheffield’s one and only ghost tour. Ghosts in photographs turn out to be the last of my concerns when my friend’s fully charged camera inexplicably refuses to turn on. “That doesn’t surprise me,” says Dreadful chirpily,“It happens on most tours, camera batteries drain, phones turn off.” My iPhone remains on. It must be ghost-proof. Mr Dreadful, or Darren Johnson-Smith, runs the popular Steel City Ghost Tour. Born in Doncaster, his knowledge of all things Yorkshire is mindboggling and I’m repeatedly left wondering how he manages to cram so many obscure facts into his head. Stories are painstakingly double and triple checked before they can be added to the walk. Three researchers work full time to verify each submission. The process is surprisingly rigorous and if a story is disputed, it is soon expunged from the tour’s itinerary. The seriousness with which Dreadful investigates each lead is impressive. He tells me that he has been chasing one particularly elusive ghost for no less than seven years. Are there stories that even the clairvoyant and medium doesn’t believe? “Of course – there are some so fantastical

that I couldn’t tell them with a straight face.” He tells me in a very matter of fact way that he has been able to see ghosts since he was a child. “I’ve always been able to see them, I thought everyone could. When I told my mum what I was seeing she told me that I was being morbid and to shut up.” Dreadful recounts the story of how the Ghost Walk came to be. “It was a joke at first,” he admits. He was unemployed and informed the Job Centre that he was going to start a ghost tour. Dismissive, they sent him to business school. Nine years and 42,000 customers later, few people are still laughing.

“It happens on most tours, cameras drain and phones turn off” For history buffs, the tour offers a bewildering amount of arcane knowledge about Sheffield. I learnt that several of my favourite haunts in the city, are quite literally, haunted. The Museum Pub formerly served as a morgue, and is

supposedly home to the ghost of a twelve year-old girl who died an agonising death in the 1800s during an unfruitful attempt to cure her of epilepsy. The Peace Gardens are eerily built on top of an old graveyard. Recently, construction workers unearthed the charred and bitten bones of several girls who were sacrificed by a Satanist cult of prominent Sheffield gentlemen. Dreadful comes alive when recalling the especially gory details of the city’s history. Tales of body snatching, prostitution and violent Irish gangs are recounted with relish. We are informed that the Sheffield, which I’ve always felt so safe in, was actually England’s most dangerous city until 1925. Fast-forward to a rather ordinary looking car park. Here we’re treated to a long and slightly fantastical story about two rotting corpses who shamble around at night, the former inhabitants of St James Church’s crypt. “The workers won’t stay here once it gets dark,” Dreadful tells us solemnly. He informs us that security guards from the adjacent building have footage of the two, who have a penchant for chasing locals, complete with maggots and entrails flying off in every direction. I’m left shivering, but only from the biting cold. I ask if Sheffield has any especially haunted spots. He shakes his head. “Sheffield is haunted everywhere with over 3,500 ghosts.” “Still, I can’t compete with York or Edinburgh,” he laments. We take a turn down a narrow alley off Paradise Square. He tells us the restless ghost of a court runner regularly races up and down it, and that we shouldn’t be alarmed if we feel him sprint through us. We arrive at the final stop on the tour, an apartment block. A female ghost swinging from a noose can often be glimpsed in the upstairs window, but tonight she’s a no-show. “Can you breathe?” he asks. “Several tour-goers have experienced choking during this part of the tour.” Nobody seems to be in any difficulty, although a woman heading into the building looks suitably concerned. And with that Dreadful bids us all a farewell, turns tale and heads off into the night. I was disappointed not to have encountered any of the thousands of ghosts who lurk in the city’s darkest corners, but I did learn a lot about Sheffield and thoroughly enjoyed Dreadful’s excellent showmanship. For under a tenner, it’s an unusual and fun way to spend an evening.


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are we


Meet Sheffield’s Eco-Warriors Sheffield may be the greenest city in the UK, but what are communities doing to sustain it? Sarah Dawood speaks to Steel City’s diverse community of environmental groups.


heffield is renowned as being the greenest city in the UK. A third of it lies within the Peak District National Park and we’re home to over 2 million trees, 400 hectares of woodland cover, 80 parks and 650 other green spaces. But just how green are the people of Sheffield? The Sheffield Conservation Volunteers, an environmental charity, are leading the way in helping to manage the city’s woodland. With 360 permanent volunteers, they spend their time planting trees, placing fences, laying hedges, building ponds and foot paths and clearing trails. Sue Pearson, the Business Development Manager of the Sheffield branch tells us: “The voluntary sector in Sheffield is very strong. We have a wide variety of work, it’s good to keep the volunteers interested.” She goes on to explain that their services aren’t only limited to helping out trees and shrubs, but they also benefit the local community. “Last year, we conducted a garden project at Nether Green Junior School, where we built a tree canopy so the kids could have an outdoor classroom, and the kids designed art and play features.” “We also paved a path at the Burton Street sensory garden which is used by adults with learning disabilities. The planting is designed around the 5 senses, with colourful plants, aromatic ones, spiky ones, water features and wind chimes. We have about 20 projects like these in Sheffield


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each year.” They are currently working on The Big Tree Plant, a scheme aiming to plant 150,000 trees across England over the next 3 years. Sue Pearson explains that it’s a big job: “You need to plant 100 trees to make sure 50 will grow.” While charities like The Conservation Volunteers are busy building and planting, campaign-driven organisations such as Friends of the Earth are helping to raise awareness. The charity’s Green Film Festival runs throughout May at the Red Deer Pub showing a series of environmental films. John Wilson, Joint Coordinator of the group, tells us why he thinks retaining Sheffield’s green space is so important: “It creates more biodiversity, but also brings more happiness to the community. You don’t want to only see bricks.” Sue Pearson adds: “If people on the street are asked whether parks and green space or education is more important, green space will always be near the bottom of the list. But research has shown that high quality local green spaces can improve people’s quality of life.” The Ethical and Environmental Committee at Sheffield University also gets students involved in environmental campaigning. They have recently liaised with Friends of the Earth on their project E&E Presents, a trio of events that involved discussing renewable energy, film screenings

and a foraging walk, which Jacob Hebditch, Chair of the Committee, describes as “Helping people discover tasty things that grow all around us.” To encourage people to grow their own food, they’ve also recently set up an allotment in Endcliffe Student Village, helping students to become more conscious of the environmental and ethical impact of their food choices. But growing your own food isn’t the only way to eat eco-friendly. Thumbs Up, a Sheffield-based Fairtrade delivery company, gives the community the opportunity to buy food more ethically, alluring buyers with their exceptionally low delivery charge of 25p for Sheffield postcodes. June Bingham, Owner of the company, tells us: “I’m hoping to make more people aware of Fairtrade and the real difference we can make to the quality of life of some of the poorest people in the world.” “The quality of the food is usually excelA new allotment at Endcliffe Village

SteelFEATURES lent because of the teaching of organic growing methods that are part of the Fairtrade ethos.” Whilst Thumbs Up focuses on food, organisations such as Sheffield Renewables work on keeping down CO2 emissions in the city. They provide local people with ‘green electricity,’ by creating renewable water, solar and wind energy sources. Jean Tinsley, Company Secretary of the organisation, explains how it’s a great opportunity for people to help their community: “People can get involved in renewable energy projects by volunteering, and we also offer green investment for local people.” “These are community shares, where people can invest £250-£20,000 in an ethical way. Recently we raised £200,000 from people who wanted to invest in ethical energy schemes.” She explains how the money raised was going to go towards a hydroelectric scheme at Jordan Dam but this has temporarily been put on hold and the group are instead focusing their efforts on solar panel schemes. These will be used for community buildings such as charities or non-profit organisations, to provide them with cheap, eco-friendly electricity. Just like locally producing food, Jean says that Sheffield Renewables believe in localling producing electricity. “It’s about de-centralising energy. You lose less when you don’t have to transmit it along great long wires. If it’s produced locally, you keep more of the energy that you produce.” “You also have greater energy security by producing it in this country rather than having to import fossil fuels from abroad. The main thing for us is not to use fossil fuels. They’ll run out, but you won’t run out of the wind and the sun!” Transition Sheffield are another group focused on promoting renewable energy sources, and are particularly frustrated by the effects of pollution caused by climate change and the use of finite resources such as peak oil. Susannah Diamond, Coordinator of the group, explains that they regularly meet with Sheffield City Council to ensure that sustainability stays on the agenda. They campaign in favour of wind turbines and against the re-opening of coal mines, and present their case for other issues, including creating community resources for

young people rather than making more outlets for consumerism. Susannah tells us: “Our culture is clearly on a collision course with the finite provision of the planet.” “We don’t have a national plan for how we’ll survive without the oil we currently use in food production, transport, electricity, or medicine. Oil prices will rise as supplies are more expensive to extract. It’s time that we planned for well-being, not for profit.” Finally, it’s organisations such as Sheffield Environment Weeks which bring all of these community groups together. Their website provides the opportunity for voluntary and community groups to promote themselves and their activities. Pat Barsby, the Chair of the committee explains: “It helps to raise the profile of groups (small and large), and gives the people of Sheffield the opportunity to join in and see what groups do in a friendly and informative way.” As we well know, environmental issues affect each and every one of us. Jacob Hebditch of the Ethical and Environmental Committee says: “Climate change and resource depletion are happening and their effects will be felt by everyone.” “We’re rapidly depleting most natural resources, and it’s completely unsustainable. There’s no getting around the fact that eventually we’ll run out of coal, phosphorus, clean water, lithium and lots of other resources we depend on, and the loss of some of these will be devastating to the human race.” It may sound a little bleak, but there’s a plus side. Sheffield is clearly a city thriving with people wishing to make both their local and national community a more ecoconscious place. Pat Barsby says: “I think the dedication of individuals to the city and their commitment to improving the environment is tremendous. The city ranks very highly in the passion people have for their Green Spaces.” Whether focusing on greenery conservation, energy, food resources, or simply building footpaths, all the organisations have the same vision: that the future of the city needs to be looked after.

“The main thing for us is not to use fossil fuels. They’ll run out, but you won’t run out of the wind and the sun!”


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From Fanta cans to fuel cans:


SUCCESS Ellen Atkinson caught up with Lewis Bowen, managing director of Geco Industries and Young Business Person of the Year at the age of 25.


ewis Bowen has always had a thirst for business. Which is ironic given he started out, at the age of 12, quenching other people’s thirst; selling fizzy drinks to his school friends and making a tidy profit. “I was just at the local supermarket when I spotted a buy one get one free offer on a six pack of Fanta cans. I bought the cans for 15 pence each and sold them for 45 pence each, undercutting the school canteen,” he says. “I would take a sports bag to school, filled with cans and blue ice blocks. I even sold them to the teachers, until my parents found out and said I should stop selling.” Despite his early business being curtailed, Lewis always had an eye for an opportunity. “I have always been interested in starting a sustainable business, then my Dad introduced me to a South African lady who ran a shark diving business. She was using ethanol gel and ethanol stoves. We met and that’s how my business Geco Industries began.” Lewis saw the potential in ethanol gel, and it has become Geco Industries Fuel4, a bioethanol fuel that is a smokeless, nontoxic and non-explosive alternative to gas: “We are going to run out of fossil fuels,” he asserts, “Fuel4 is cleaner, and doing something that’s sustainable and saves the environment just makes sense.” His business motto is, “We don’t give anything away, we invest,” and Geco

my exam to celebrate, but when I got home I pushed the button online to make Geco Industries an official business.” Sheffield has been a big part of Geco Industries, and it’s important to Lewis to give back to the community. With a huge camping industry in Sheffield, and the Peak District a few miles away, it’s the perfect place for Fuel4 to thrive. “Sheffield as a whole has supported us and helped us to grow,” says Lewis. Geco have reduced their carbon footprint by using local manufacturing companies to make Fuel4 and using environmentally friendly materials and processes. “It hasn’t always been easy finding a balance between supporting local companies and trying to get the right price,” says Lewis, “but we’ve stuck to our guns.” In February this year, Lewis won the award for Young Business Person of the Year. “I thought I might as well enter, but I While most of us would be happy to never expected to win,” he says. “The award be a Managing Director of a successful may be for Young Business Person of the company at the tender age of 25, Geco Year, but the team at Geco do so much Industries is actually the fourth business work that it’s really an award for all of us, Lewis has been a part of. After his Fantayou don’t get here on your own.” fuelled success, Lewis started his next There is little doubt that Lewis makes business venture aged 15 when he and personal sacrifices to make Geco a success. a team of seven others started selling “I went to bed at 3.00 a.m. last night. People sweatshirts. Somerset-born Lewis then headed to Sheffield Hallam University for a talk about having a work life balance, but I degree in Business Studies, unsurprisingly, think that if you’re running a business, the and in his second year at Hallam, he started business is your life. It’s your passion.” a telemarketing business to help out his If someone had told a 12-year-old Lewis, school bag stuffed with Fanta cans, how friends who were looking for jobs. far his business acumen would take him Balancing business and academic work in a short time, he would, no doubt, have has always been his skill. Geco Industries expected nothing less. was founded on the same day as Lewis’s last University exam. “I was just buzzing to You can’t help but wonder, how far does get going. I went out in the evening after he still have to go? Industries is currently creating factories in Africa that will be completely selfsufficient. A community will grow the raw materials to make Fuel4, assemble the product and use the waste to power the production process and create power for the surrounding community. “If someone in Africa wanted to have a business to produce the ethanol gel and stove, we would subsidise them, but alternative fuels are important all over the world, not just in Africa.”

“Doing something that’s sustainable and saves the environment makes sense”

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The Crookes, Sheffield’s most exciting and edgy band, are on the lips of every music lover in Sheffield. Now calling the city their home, STEEL caught up with these soulful chaps.


f you’ve never heard of The Crookes, now is the perfect time to become a fan. Having spent the early part of this year touring with the likes of Sheffield legend Richard Hawley and rock trio Little Comets, the four-piece have also just headlined London’s Scala, put out two new songs, and have been announced to play Sheffield’s Tramlines Festival. And they don’t seem to be taking a break any time soon. “We like the idea that there’s a work ethic to The Crookes,” George explains, “and we knew there wouldn’t be an album out this year, so we wanted to release something.” That something turned out to be ‘Bear’s Blood’, their latest single. A week later, a video appeared for ‘Dance in Colour’, the other half to their new single. Both songs are dramatically different from one another, as well as from last year’s album, Hold Fast. George says: “The video for ‘Dance in Colour’ was very involved, and Daniel (guitar) and Russ (drums) spent an awful


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lot of time getting it sorted. “It’s a really, really good video, and a lot of effort went into it, and we came to the realization about three or four days before ‘Bear’s Blood’ was going to radio, that we hadn’t come up with a video for the A-side of the single. So we sat around Russell’s front room one Sunday morning, with five cups of tea each, and hammered out a few ideas. And that was the least ridiculous idea we could come up with.” Daniel dryly explains one of the rejected ideas: “We wanted to burn a piano, as a symbolic thing, on some train tracks. But then our Manager said we didn’t have the insurance to do it. Our insurance just about covers our gear.” He describes the two new songs as “transitional”, and reveals that they’re not sure whether they’ll be on the

“People think of us as a Sheffield band” next album or not. “It’s all a bit of an adventure at the moment; we had a clear idea with the last album of exactly how we wanted it to sound. With this one we have vague ideas that we don’t want it to sound like things we’ve done before, but when pressed on how that will sound, it’s difficult to answer,” says George. As the band’s singer, he’s the automatic frontman for the band, but it’s the quieter

Daniel who writes the lyrics, and also wrote the script for the short film that is the video for ‘Dance In Colour’. When we discuss how many songs are ready for the next album (which, it turns out, is nowhere near completion), guitarist Daniel notes: “There’ll always be a song on every album that’s inspired by Sheffield. I think that’s a rule we’ve come up with, and we’ve got an idea for the third album. We’ve got a story, we just need to put it into song.” Previous songs have included ‘The Crookes Laundry Murder, 1922’ and ‘The I Love You Bridge’, so it’s exciting to hear that they’re continuing the tradition. Daniel adds: “There’s something about Sheffield, I don’t know what it is.” Despite the fact that none of the band members are from Sheffield, they seem proud to be considered a Sheffield band. “None of us are from Sheffield, but we always consider the band as ‘from Sheffield’, because we were formed here, we’ve stolen the name,” George laughs. “The support we’ve had over the years - and it just keeps growing - is really nice. Like, we were at Record Collector for Record Store Day, and to have that many people turn up, it feels like...we’ve always thought we were a Sheffield band, but now other people think of us as a Sheffield band as well. We’re not just fraudsters.” The love goes both ways too, as the band are equally fans of Sheffield’s music scene. George admits: “I think in the last

SteelCULTURE year, it’s gotten a lot better. There was a while where we sort of felt like loners, there was nobody else we could really relate to in Sheffield, and now...Since getting friendly with Hey Sholay after going on tour with them, we’re really big fans of theirs, and we’ve got a couple of things coming up with them over the summer.” “And High Hazels, we saw them last night. I think that was the second time we’d seen them in less than five days, which is a bit stalkerish, actually! Hopefully, Sheffield can kick on. It’s scarily coming up to 10 years since Arctic Monkeys first came along, so surely after 10 years we can start to forge our own identity.” Sheffield, admittedly, doesn’t have a particularly cohesive sound; even label-mates like The Crookes and Hey Sholay (who are both signed to the legendary Fierce Panda) don’t especially sound alike. But it’s surely a good thing that Sheffield isn’t overrun with Arctic


Monkeys-wannabes, and instead nurtures the talents of bands like Drenge and Wet Nuns, as well as the more accessible indiepop of The Crookes. Daniel pipes up: “There was a really good article by Steve Lamaq, and Sheffield was listed as one of the places that it’s just not fashionable to like a band from. But I kind of like that. As a band we’ve always been like that, I’d much rather be the underdog than have people build you up. And I think Sheffield’s like that, you’ve got to fight against people’s preconceptions, and do it on your own. That’s the good thing about Sheffield bands; they’re doing it for the music’s sake, not for any other reason. Which I think produces better music.” Whatever the reason, it’s definitely true that Sheffield produces some excellent music. And it’s impossible to talk about Sheffield’s music scene without touching on the Tramlines Festival, which takes place in the third weekend of July. Both George and Daniel remain tight-lipped about who they know is playing, with Daniel simply teasing:

“I only know the headliners for our day, but they’re good.” For now, we’ll have to take his word for it, but it’s bound to be an excellent weekend if the previous years are anything to go by. Recalling their show at The Shakespeare last year, George laughs: “I don’t think Russell made it through the last couple of bars of the encore. I just turned around, thinking that was a bit of a sloppy ending, and he wasn’t completely passed out, but he wasn’t responsive.” Daniel adds that he saw a girl get carried out, and describes watching the tragedy unfold. We wrap up our chat so the boys can head over to their practice room on Bailey Street, “and start work on another song.” It’s clear to anyone who sees them that The Crookes have one of the best work ethics around. Like other Sheffield bands, they do what they do for the sake of the music, and as Daniel says, it makes them sound that much better for it.

Jarvis Cocker, courtesy of Pixelwitch Pictures

somewhere in the city pretty much every night of the week. I think the city has a strong sense of pride in its reputation for music. We’re even finally starting to shout about it a little.” When it comes to giving examples of the scope in Sheffield music, Jo almost can’t contain herself. “Sheffield just keeps on producing more and more talent... I like Hey Sholay, the Payroll Union, Canyon Family, Blessa, Screaming Maldini, Blood Sport, Dead Sons, Riders, Algiers, Magpies, L’Amour Des Rêves, Woolly Mammoth, Harley Likes Music, Death Rays…How many am I allowed?” “I think musicians are at the forefront of the city’s DIY culture. There’s a stubborn independence in much of what we do and there is a huge infrastructure of people ‘making’ music. That’s one of the reasons why we have a theme this year called History in the Making, to reflect that there are so many people going about their work and creating amazing music, often in relatively mundane surroundings.” Sheffield is special, but it’s not just the people making it so. As one of the greenest cities in the UK, with more trees per person than anywhere else in Europe, the geography surely plays a part too. Jo says: “I also think the city influences music in many ways. The sights and sounds of Sheffield are all around us. The number of open, green spaces and great views can’t hurt for flashes of inspiration either. There is a lot of great song writing talent here.”

Jo Wingate is the director of Sensoria festival and Uncommon People. STEEL speaks to her about her projects and the musical heritage of the city.


celebration of Sheffield music and culture, Sensoria festival is by no means a standalone project. Jo explains: “Sensoria festival set out in 2007, in the most part to celebrate local music and creative talent, and our first festival took place in April 2008. Uncommon People is our online project which aims to be a part of this. It started out as an online family tree – showing all of the connections between bands, literally like a giant family. “We largely work on it in our spare time as a labour of love and it now features over 500 bands. The designers, 10th Planet, also put a lot of effort into it with no real return for them; they are very committed to the project.” She adds: “Sensoria also delivers free business support days for local musicians, commissions new work by local artists and has an education programme, Resonator, to encourage young, local talent. We have instigated delegations to the likes of SXSW festival and we’ve just started a sync agency that

currently includes all Sheffield bands. So Uncommon People is one cog in a whole hive of activity, but all with the same aim: promoting the wealth of musical talent in the city.” There’s definitely a wealth of musical talent in the city. Jo mentions the Human League, Pulp, Clock DVA and Cabaret Voltaire among some of the bands she considers iconic or influential, noting: “We even named our festival after one of the Cab’s songs.” But why is Sheffield so special? “I think Sheffield is the UK’s first city of music – its heritage is interesting on many levels and across many different genres. Lots of cities have had household names but the sheer breadth and scope, quality and influence from Sheffield put the city at the top of the pile to my mind.” Jo continues: “I often wonder if there’s something in the water – there’s so much talent in Sheffield, there’s an interesting gig


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s Helen Goodrum drives over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, she can feel the wave of dread building inside her. At 26-years-old, she knows that she should have conquered her vertigo by now, but tall buildings and bridges like this one still give her the heebie jeebies. Yet if Helen was swinging sky high in the air from the Golden Gate’s arches or teetering on stilts across the bridge, then there wouldn’t be a problem. As a professional acrobatic stilt walker, Helen spends half of her life suspended from a trapeze, strapped into stilts and somersaulting through hoops. So how is it possible that she still hates heights? “I know it sounds strange, but I feel in control when I’m holding onto my aerial equipment, or when I’m on stilts,” she explains. “But I definitely don’t feel safe when I’m climbing tall buildings or crossing bridges.” Aerial acrobatics have catapulted Helen around the world. She’s cartwheeled her way through Berlin, into Denmark, where she worked with renowned physical theatre company Odin Teatret, and then to Italy, where she taught in a theatre in a traditional village in the mountains of Umbria. Helen has even started learning Colombian after she lived in Carmen de Viboral for two months, training and rehearsing with the Colombian stilters Nemcatacoa Teatro. What’s the perfect way to celebrate Chinese New Year? If you’re an aerial acrobat then it’s performing on stilts at Hong Kong’s International Night Parade in front of 1.3 billion people, and that’s exactly what Helen did. “Being a part of this huge celebration was awe-inspiring,” Helen recalls, “I felt so blessed to have been in Hong Kong during this time.” Sheffield-born Helen’s alternative career began just aged three, when her parents took her to dance and gymnastics classes. Dance soon became her passion and she moved to London to study it at Norton College and from there to Roehampton University. Helen’s childhood dream of becoming a dancer became a reality when she moved to Canada after she graduated in 2008, to work with the Crimson Coast Dance Company. Canada provided the setting for a chance meeting with Jay Ruby, director of The Carpetbag Brigade, a physical theatre company based in San Francisco. Six months later, Helen’s life changed dramatically when she returned to Sheffield and got a job at Meadowhead School as a performing arts teacher. But meeting Jay Ruby inspired her to start training at Greentop Circus School in Sheffield, and


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Helen Goodrum performing on a beach in Canada



Sheffield’s Helen Goodrum is the only professional acrobatic stilt walker in the world. Amazing, right? But she still hasn’t cured her fear of heights... luckily she had a natural talent for physical theatre. You can’t help but be jealous of Helen’s ability to turn her hand to anything: “Having already been a gymnast, a dancer and a trampolinist, the move into aerial acrobatics wasn’t too hard,” she admits, “It all started with a beginners trapeze class, but before long I found myself to be an aerial

silks, hoops and trapeze artist!” With her dancing days well and truly behind her, Helen’s first aerial performance was in Leeds with the Urban Angels Circus. “I was relatively calm and enjoying the atmosphere. I walked onto the stage, got into my starting position and waited for my music cue,” Helen remembers, “But there


were technical problems and the music never came! So I performed in silence. It was magical, everyone’s attention was on me, listening to my breathing and my body floating amongst the tissue silk.” In 2009, Helen was back in Canada and attended a two-week workshop with The Carpetbag Brigade. “I impressed them so

much that they invited me to join them during the holidays.” In April 2011, when Jay Ruby invited Helen to perform in their newest stilt piece, ‘Callings’, she knew it was too good an opportunity to miss. “I resigned from my job, became a full time freelance performer and headed off for a sixth month adventure.” Since then, Helen has spent half of her year touring with the Carpetbag Brigade internationally, and the other half in the UK as an individual freelance performer. “I still miss Sheffield when I’m away,” Helen says fondly, “I love to go for walks in the Peak District and the theatres in Sheffield are fantastic as well. But most of all I miss our culture’s quirky way of life. Actually I’m often misunderstood because of my dialect and my very British humour.” But who wouldn’t be slightly jealous of Helen’s whirlwind tour of the world? “Stilts have allowed me to travel and I love seeing new places,” she says, “I’m really lucky because I get to experience the country not as a tourist, but living life as a local. I often find myself in small, off the map towns, sometimes in places where the local people rarely see blonde hair, eyes “of the sky” and skin “like milk”, so I’m classed as exotic!” In the last two years, Helen has spent a lot of time in Colombia, experiencing the luscious green mountain ranges and washed out roads. Even the guarded check points and a letter of interrogation, telling her that she had to leave or suffer the consequences, hasn’t put Helen off. “Colombia was one of my most memorable trips abroad. I met so many people and performed in world renowned festivals.” Her trip to Mexico, however, was a very different experience. “When I arrived, the front page of the newspaper featured five women found hung from a bridge,” Helen recalls, “It was one of the toughest places I have visited. I was staying in a hotel, but it was unsafe to leave after nightfall.” It was also an interesting cultural experience. Helen was working with local artists Pura Vibra, who don’t normally allow women to perform with them because they are seen as too distracting. “It was a new experience for them to have two of the strongest female stilters amongst the collaboration,” Helen says proudly. As the only acrobatic stilt walker in the world, Helen’s daily routine consists of double and solo cartwheels, backward walkovers, pirouettes, candlestick balances, back handsprings and shoulder stands. She is currently training in trampoline stilts, rehearsing trampoline moves with stilts on. “Acrobatic stilt walking is quite hard to describe,” Helen muses as she decides how to explain it to me, “It’s pushing the

boundaries of both acrobatics and traditional stilt walking and fusing the genres together to create one form: acrobatic stilts. It works well as a group performance, allowing the stilter to roll to the ground and in one sweeping motion hop back to standing up, and then roll up the torso of a second stilter, as if defying gravity, to end towering above the lifter, supported only by their shoulder in a balance.”

“I was invited to join a theatre company. I handed in my notice and headed off for adventure” What’s Helen’s biggest fear apart from heights? “Injury scares me,” she confesses, “I’ve been very lucky and so far I’ve only had minor bruises, although on one occasion there were a few days where I couldn’t sit down!” Another challenge is the ever changing shape of her body. “My shape now is completely different to the dancer’s body I had before. In aerial acrobatics you have to build muscles, particularly your upper torso and arms.” But Helen’s passion for aerial acrobatics is still burning strong. “I still get a buzz from executing a new move for the first time,” she says, “I train every day and it can become monotonous, but the pleasure and excitement I get when I accomplish something new and then perform it for the first time makes it all worthwhile.” Helen qualified for the Extraordinary Abiliy in the Arts Visa in February, and is about to embark on a seven month tour around America, visiting Arizona, San Francisco, New York and Texas, calling into the famous Burning Man festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert on the way. “I have a US visa to perform with The Carpetbag Brigade for the next three years,” says Helen, but who knows where she will be after her tour. The 26-year-old has no plans to stop aerial acrobatics anytime soon. “I will have to see where my performance takes me,” says Helen, enigmatically.


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Landscapes Vistas Parks Streets Communities Buildings Follies Dwellings Homes Scenery Settings Urban


Forg Below: Farmhouses are fused with rolling hills to give the Peaks its unmistakably English aesthetic. This shot was taken just beyond Castleton Castle and offers the visitor a keyhole view of the farmhouses and sheep farms.

Above: Venturing down towards the farmhouses, Percy the sheep stops to check out the foreign visitors who wander past his trail.

Left: Built in 1080 by William the Conqueror for his son, William Peverel, Castleton Castle (once named Peverel Castle) has a high eastern wall, which would have proved too demanding for any opposing force to storm.

Right: A stunning scene. The mountains in the background dwarf the dilapidated house. It had stood for hundreds of years but finally succumbed to the owner’s absence and the ferocious weather of the Peaks. Now all that remains is a beaten ash tree.


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otten majesty of the Peaks

Castleton was once home to ancient settlers and a stronghold for the son of William the Conqueror. Today, it is as beautiful and wild as it was a thousand years ago.


slow steady trek through the city centre brings us past the Winter Gardens and upon the bus terminal. We sit patiently and wait for our bus to arrive, excited at the prospect of what our venture will bring. If we’re fortunate we will walk through trails once traversed by ancient Celts and experience the wild unfolding Yorkshire hills where farmhouses and abandoned houses share the same piece of land where settlers from the Ice Age took refuge and built their homes, many of which can still be seen today. As the bus rolls out of Sheffield the concrete structures of modern man slowly begin to fade from view and the raw nature of the Peak District opens up. We pass small villages where people, possibly strangers, nod hello to each other on the streets. A sense of community is evident in their everyday way of life, perhaps not unlike ancient settlers who once called Castleton their home. We depart the bus after an hour’s trip and stand and look in awe. Castleton is beautiful. A stunning pocket of history crystallised in time with treasures to experience far beyond what the eye

will detail. It’s nicknamed the ‘Gem of the Peaks’, and little wonder why when you gaze upon ancient castles built by men from a time long forgotten. Soon after William the Conqueror laid waste to much of England, he began to gather resources from a conquered people and construct castles the length and breadth of the country. In 1080 AD he turned his attention toward Castleton and built an impressive castle for his son, William Peverill, where he became custodian of the castle and its surrounding lands. The inspiring structure still stands today. The castle was both a beacon of safety and dread. It lies high above on a ridge overlooking Castleton village and offered the defenders of the north a superior fighting advantage. The castle today is a shadow of its former self. At the height of its power it was inaccessible and easily defendable. The tall Norman walls can still be seen today and its intimidating presence has not been depreciated by time nor weather nor man. It struck such fear into opposing armies that many poets dedicated sonnets to its power. The castle is borrowed as a character in the Domesday Book and renamed ‘Pechesers’.

Today meandering hill paths, perhaps once climbed by William the Conqueror, lead the visitor up the steep climb to view the admirable castle. Four walkers are taking that same path to view the surrounding lands where Perverill’s men were directed to stand and watch and wait. No matter their purpose, the view still remains immense. There are several tracks to take and not enough time to travel them all. They vary in length from two to six hours. Depending on the heart and fervour of the walker, the Peaks can be trekked by serious ramblers or viewed by the casual walker but everyone will be enthralled by the sights and smells that this magical place has to offer. It’s situated at the western end of Hope Valley and today there’re settlements still standing that sheltered Ice Age men, women and children. The name is apt for this place. Rolling hills are coupled with shallow streams and all laid out on a tapestry of beautiful and lush Yorkshire greenery.


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Xin Chang and Jun Xie pick four of Sheffield’s parks that you definitely shouldn’t miss on a lovely summer day. Whether you want to look at flowers, take a stroll, or have a play with water, we can take you there! People relax by the River Sheaf

MILLHOUSES PARK Where: Abbeydale Road South, Millhouses, S7 2QQ Best for: Having fun in the water, boating on the park’s lake, sporting activities including cricket, bowling, tennis, and basketball. Description: Green and watery. In 2010,a £350,000 water play facility was built, making it a perfect summer park. It includes dams, pumps, an Archimedes screw with a water scoop which brings the water from up the pump, so perfect for you to have a splash about in! Fascinating facts: Two-time winner of the Green Flag Award celebrating the UK’s best parks and green spaces.

CROOKES VALLEY PARK Where: Crookes Valley Road, Crookesmoor, S6 3FG Best for: Fishing, reading, walking, getting lost in your thoughts Description: Quiet and secluded from the hustle and bustle, Crookes Valley Park sits in a low lying position, making it an oasis of serenity. Fascinating facts: Dam House Bar and Restaurant is one of the oldest buildings in the area dating back to 1780. The Elliot statue in Weston Park


Bashful flowers bloom in Crookes Valley

Where: Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TP Best For: A taste of art. Weston Park Museum, located just near the park entrance holds several permanent and changing exhibitions including Sheffield Life and Times, which tells the story of Steel City through its people. Description: A small park boasting museums, galleries and the beautiful Weston Lake. Fascinating facts: In 1905 the park was visited by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra as they opened the nearby University of Sheffield.

BOTANICAL GARDENS Where: Clarkehouse Road, Sheffield, S10 2LN Best For: Flower watching. The Botanical Gardens will be in full bloom this summer. Don’t forget to visit the Pan Statue and the Asia Garden, filled with exotic flowers including Indian Primula Capitata and Japanese Pieris. Description: Originally designed by 19th century horticulturalist Robert Marnock, the Gardens boast 15 different areas featuring collections of plants from all over the world, including Mediterranean, Asian, American prairie-style, woodland and rock-and-water plantings. Fascinating facts: The Botanical Gardens have recently been restored at a cost of approximately £6.69 million.

The Botanical Gardens Pavilion

Steel JUNE 2013




Suppers Ales Roasts Cocktails Nibbles Restaurants Chefs Reviews Wines Produce Gastronomy Recipes Platters Delicious



COCOA WONDERLAND “I guess you could say we were blinded by our love of cocoa...”

From students to the sweet treat goddesses of Cocoa Wonderland


t’s rare to open a café door and feel as though you’ve stepped into someone’s home. Amongst the striped red awnings, fine china and shelves packed with truffles, teas and chocolates, two young women step out from the kitchen wearing kitsch aprons, decorated headscarves and smiles. Eight years ago, Kate Shepard and Anne White, 28, were two students waiting behind the counter of a chocolate shop about to go bust. Today they are the successful owners of Cocoa Wonderland, Sheffield’s only shop turned boutique-café that locks in chocolateenthusiasts with a selection of sweet treats after closing time. Cocoa Wonderland on Ecclesall Road had been open for just a year when Owner Rachell Burton decided that due to falling profits, she’d have to sell the business. Struggling to find buyers, she extended

the invitation to part-time staff members; 21 year old Sheffield Hallam University students Kate and Anne. Suddenly the girls’ plans to move into primary school teaching were put on hold; instead the idea for a new café, and a new education in the art of chocolate making emerged. “We were blinded by our love of cocoa! We were only 21 and so inexperienced,” Anne remembers. “At the time it seemed a bit silly but the owner encouraged us to do this. Because the business wasn’t making any money it didn’t look good on paper, but to me and Kate it looked like an opportunity.” As new visitors are greeted by the smell of rich, melting chocolate, old fashioned sweet jars, hanging paper butterflies, antique armchairs and a cosy upstairs boudoir, it’s difficult to imagine that Cocoa Wonderland was once a one-room shop

selling high-priced chocolate truffles from behind a glass counter. Today the counter is still there but fortunately the girls had a very different vision for their new café. After learning the technical intricacies of ganaches, moulds and tempering at the Chocolate Academy in Banbury, the labour of love that became Cocoa Wonderland began to take shape with borrowed money and fresh ideas. The café’s downstairs lounge was put together piece by piece, opening in 2007 with hand-picked furniture to reflect Anne and Kate’s quirky tastes. “When we took over the shop it was quite serious and not very welcoming, I think people found it quite intimidating,” Kate recalls. “We’ve tried to inject a bit of fun and silliness into it, the whole concept of the child in a sweet shop. We want to put across the message that we’re like little

Images clockwise from left: Cocoa Wonderland’s famous ‘custardy’ hot chocolate; Kate and Anne holding the chocolate they travelled to Grenada to see produced; Chocolate and tea - natural bedfellows in Cocoa Wonderland.


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SteelPEOPLE Cocoa Wonderland’s... TRY THIS!

1 Black forest gateaux tea

A best-selling blend of black tea made with coconut, chocolate pieces and truffle oil.

2 Grenada chocolate bar

A rich, dark chocolate made from organic Grenadian Trinitario beans. Sourced and produced by the co-operative Grenada Chocolate Company in the Caribbean.

kids that have never grown up.” However, sourcing products for Cocoa Wonderland is a serious business. As well as buying in loose chocolates from local businesses in neighbouring Bakewell and specialising in wonderfully strange tea blends infused with banana, coconut and crème caramel, Cocoa Wonderland’s leading import can be traced from cocoa bean to bar in Grenada, an island nation bordered by the Caribbean Sea. In January 2010 the girls packed their bags to watch the process unfold at the Grenada Chocolate Company, a solar-powered, co-operative cocoa plantation and the world’s smallest chocolate factory. “It was always our dream to visit the supplier and we saved up for that trip for years. They make and grow the chocolate all in one place which is really unusual. We fell in love with the idea of it. It’s meant to be the most politically correct chocolate in the world,” Kate adds. Back at home, what distinguishes Cocoa Wonderland is the array of community events the girls have built up over the years. After converting the upstairs office into a butterfly-themed boudoir, new events were held after-hours. At night-time chocolate lock-ins, Kate and Anne decorate the boudoir laying out a lavish sweet feast with unlimited pink lemonade, tea and hot chocolate for hen parties, expectant mothers and work-dos. Meanwhile, for the more serious chocolate lover, detailed histories

and chocolate tasting games take visitors around the world in tasty little cocoa morsels. Not forgetting the shop’s monthly knitting and book clubs that continue to prove so popular that guests left without a spare chair are sometimes forced to sit on the floor! “I do believe that if we were just a shop and we hadn’t done anything new to involve our customers we wouldn’t be here,” Anne asserts. “I think you have to try and be so much at once. It’s sad but often we’ll see other shops closing and I’ll think that could have been us if we hadn’t have been always trying to introduce new things. You’ve got to adapt.” The girls would like to invest in making their own chocolates this summer, a process which should be made easier now that booming trade has allowed them to take on five students to work weekend shifts. With running the café’s online shop, bespoke ordering service and regular events, Kate and Anne admit that it’s been difficult working towards everything they’ve imagined for Cocoa Wonderland. But Kate reveals their next big plan is set to be even more of a surprise, involving Sheffield and a certain high-end, national department store. “We don’t want to open another shop, we like this one too much. Shops are expensive and a lot of work, our hope is to supply Sheffield theatres, museums and shops and get into wholesaling. Our dream is to wholesale to Selfridges!”

“It’s sad when you see other shops closing. I think ‘that could have been us.’ But you’ve got to adapt”

3 Spanish chocolate block

Melts in a pan of hot milk to create a thick, dark hot chocolate with a custardy texture, flavoured with maize flour, cinammon and spices.

After years of working seven day weeks, it’s clear that making Cocoa Wonderland a success may not have always mirrored the enchanted narrative of student-turnedshop-owner that Kate and Anne imagined eight years ago. But with weekend staff and plans to make their own chocolate collection, the students who stayed in Sheffield finally have the time to begin creating, with a truly unique business behind them.

Hadley Middleton

Steel JUNE 2013



One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well

Virginia Woolf A Room of One’s Own

Pulled pork sliders with chilli and lime coleslaw Feeds: 6-8 Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 4 hours For the pork

2kg pork shoulder Oil for greasing Salt, pepper 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard 1 tsp chilli flakes 200ml cider vinegar

For the coleslaw:

1 red cabbage 1 white cabbage 4 carrots 4 spring onions 200ml olive oil 80ml balsamic vinegar Juice of two limes 1 red chilli


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1. Grease a baking tray with oil and sit the pork in the centre. Season pork well with salt and pepper, and rub in the wholegrain mustard. Pour the cider vinegar into the tray around the pork. 2. Cover the pork loosely with foil and place in a preheated oven at 170°C for three hours. Remove foil and roast for a further hour. 3. Using two forks, pull the pork apart until it is finely shredded. You may have to discard a layer of fat from the top, depending on the cut you bought. 4. For the coleslaw, grate the carrots and finely slice the cabbage and spring onions. 5. Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and juice of two limes. Finely chop the chilli (leave the seeds in for more heat) and add to the dressing. 6. In a bowl, add the dressing to the shredded vegetables and toss until combined. 7. Slice breadbuns and warm in the oven (or on the barbeque). Serve piled high!

Get it locally Take a trip to Castle Market to pick up everything you need for your southern-style brunch - get there early to have your pick of that day’s fresh produce. Pick up a piece of pork shoulder from Castle Meats butchers, to be found at Stall 22 in the meat & fish section. Head up to Bingham & Browne family greengrocers for your vegetables at Stall 41. Get your buns from Turners Bakers on Machon Bank Road, who’ve been supplying the Steel City with the freshest bread in town for over fifty years.



STEEL’s Sarah Dawood tells us why we should be reclaiming the ‘bring your own bottle’ restaurant.

oing to a ‘bring your own wine restaurant’: a concept once scoffed upon by many a highflier envisioning a homeless man dragging a brown paper bag behind him into the local chippy with the word ‘BOOZE!’ emblazoned on it. All that needs to complete the image is a hipflask filled with a lethal concoction of White Lightning and Lambrini. But why should there be a stigma attached to going to a restaurant where you can, after much careful thought and consideration, take your own bottle of wine? Am I destined to be forever branded a ‘cheapskate’, just because I want to choose exactly the red I want? I don’t want to pay £2.25 per sip for an ominous purple liquid that I don’t even like but feel far too awkward telling the waiter. I don’t want to regretfully gaze down into a possible concoction of balsamic vinegar, grape juice and soy sauce, feeling instant regret and anger at my choice. “Would you like to taste?” he says. “Um yes, okay sure.” I say. What I mean is, “Yes I will taste but at no point in this whole urbane experience am I going to spit this quite expensive wine out into my goldlaced napkin, scowl at you through my monocle and top hat, click my fingers and say, ‘This merlot is awful garcon, bring me the shiraz!’ So whether I like it or not, I’m stuck with the bottle. But yes, for tradition’s sake, I’ll try it; Mmm, delicious!” So what better way to avoid this situation than to go to a restaurant that allows me to make the laborious and pain-staking discovery of the wines I actually like in the comfort of my own home, before visiting? Besides, who says that ‘bring your own wine’ restaurants aren’t nice? Sheffield hosts a range of highly acclaimed independent, bring your own restaurants, most of which don’t charge for corkage, from Chinese to Indian, Italian, Japanese, Moroccan, Mexican, you name the cuisine. Just because you bring your own wine, it doesn’t mean

you’re expected to cook your own food ‘connoisseur’ more than rocking up to a (with the exception of the Chinese Fonrestaurant, and saying to the waiter: “No due restaurant I mention later). Nor does thanks, I wouldn’t like to see the wine it mean that your local, quaint-looking, menu. I’ve brought my own Pinot Noir. family-run, traditional Indian restaurant Would you like to taste the wine, sir?” is suddenly going to morph into East End Vindaloo as seen on ‘The UK’s Worst Restaurants’, as soon as you step over the threshold brandishing your own booze. And by bringing your own, you also avoid the astronomical mark-up prices used by many restaurants to flog their vino. Okay, so that does make me sound like a cheapskate, but we’re all thinking it. As soon as someone mentions getting a “few bottles of Pinot for the table”, you break out in minor sweats and palpitations as you BB’s – authentic Italian with an swiftly glance extensive menu at the price. 75cl: £2 gaOtto’s – Morroccan and French with jillion. (You can traditional dishes such as falafel never over-do and zaalouk. Corkage: £2 per bottle hyperbole). Your brain is Rajput – Indian specialising in thinking “I can definitely fish curries get this Pinot Jabu Café – Chinese fondue: drop morsels Grigio at my of food into a hot broth and eat the result local Co-Op for half that price, Kito’s – Italian with a superb seafood this is a rip off,” calzone but your heart is saying “If you don’t join in, you’ll look like a total stingy fun-sponge.” And that’s how consumerism gets you (in a nut-shell). So why not indulge in the ‘bring your own wine’ craze sweeping the nation? It just makes sense. You can pick what you want without the pressure of the waiter hanging over you, pay a reasonable price for a good wine, and most importantly, still enjoy a nice meal. Plus, nothing screams

Our BYOB favourites


Steel reviews...



111 Arundel St, Sheffield, S1 2NT 0114 270 6160 •

his summer it will be five years since the failing Runaway Girl was transformed for the nation’s viewing pleasure on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, and the sleek Silversmiths concept was born. In that time, it has shaken off its former image as a slightly shabby live music venue, taking its rightful place among the cream of Sheffield’s restaurant crop. If there is criticism to be made, it is that the influence of the restaurant’s Michelin-starred fairy Godfather has been slightly derivative. The brand concept of traditional-meets-contemporary is not earth-shattering, from the silver hallmark-inspired logo to the leather and stripped wood interior, to the quaint local suppliers listed on the menu. Nevertheless, the list of awards and mentions Silversmiths has racked up since its makeover is not short – ‘Best Yorkshire Restaurant’ in the White Rose Awards 2010, runner up in the Observer’s ‘Best Restaurant in the UK’ in 2011, and featured in the Good Food Guide in 2012. But the most intriguing award by some way is surely being ranked fourth in the Times’s ‘Sexy Places to Eat in the UK’ in 2012. It isn’t difficult to see where the Times critics were coming from. The small, intimate dining space with its industrial light fittings and vaguely voyeuristic raised platform at one end (a stage for live music in the restaurant’s former life), create an intimate space, seemingly a thousand miles from the student pubs and block of flats outside. The food itself may be predictable, but it is


Steel JUNE 2013

not pedestrian. There is the achingly trendy combination of contemporary cooking methods - sous vide, purees, foams - and rustic, ‘unlikely’ ingredients - pig’s head, hogget, the ubiquitous celeriac. On the surface there is nothing here that cannot be found on the square plates of a hundred ‘concept’ restaurants around the country. Ground-breaking it may not be, but despite this - or perhaps because of it - Silversmiths has stepped up to the (mericfully round) plate, and manages to deliver each dish on its menu with care and precision. You may have had a celeriac puree in every restaurant you’ve visited in the last year, but this one will be one of the smoothest and most subtly seasoned. You may not find braised pig’s cheek edgy, but you will find this one cooked to tender perfection. For stylish surroundings, charming staff and fashionable dishes cooked really, really well, Silversmiths is certainly worth discovering.


Kelham Island Beer Battered Fish Cake with chip shop style curry sauce Yorkshire Sausage, mashed potato, bacon crisp, Henderson’s onion gravy Chocolate ‘’Eccy Road’’ Terrine, chocolate cast rice, honeycomb, marshmallow

Price £35/head for three courses and wine


Meanwhile, on our tablet edition...

the magazine for Sheffield TOP STORIES STEEL Reader Photography Competition This month we want to see Sheffield through your eyes. Submit your best shot of the Steel City to be in with a chance to win ÂŁ1,000 worth of photography equipment







Looks Boutiques Styles Trends Catwalks Shoes Outfits Coutouriers Previews Tailoring Gowns Designers




{ .

Our fashion editors wandered through Sheffield and found a heap of stylish folk. Here are their picks of the most stylish ladies and dapper chappies and what they’re wearing.



Kim, 22, Legal Advisor She wears: 1) Necklace from Barcelona 2) Jacket from Etsy 3) Bag from Mind 4) Shoes from Converse


4 1


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3 2


Moe, 25, Freelance Journalist He wears: 1) Blazer from Sa-kis 2) Shoes from Kurt Geiger

Sophie Carefull, 21, Student. She wears: 1) Jacket from Bliss. 2) Dress from Bliss. 3) Shoes from Amsterdam.




Lizi, 23, Shop Assistant at Lush. She wears: 1) Shoes from Size? 2) Jacket from Etsy

1 1


22 2


Timi, 19, Student. He wears: 1) Jacket from Freshmans 2) Shoes from Size?


Steel JUNE 2013




Jacket - £250 Shirt - £80 Waistcoat - £99 Pocket Square - £25 Chinos - £79 All Ted Baker

Create a look that is debonair by starching collars, pressing ties and clashing prints

Two button peak blazer REISS £235



Floral tie Vivienne Westwood £58 Nick Hart Airforce Notch Lapel Waistcoat Austin Reed £99


Cassius Derby brogue Ted Baker £130

Tag Heur Carrera Calibre 1887 Ernest Jones £1,875


Steel JUNE 2013

Barberry slim chino Jack Wills £235


Bertch court shoe ALDO £60

Rose earring ASOS £15

Boucle collarless jacket TOPSHOP £55


Floral print dress Warehouse £36

BEST Cape - £229 Dress - £159 Both Ted Baker


Ziegfeld Collection Tiffany £385

Ballet Flats French Sole £95


SUNDAY BEST Slip on your peep toes and polish your pearls, because summer fashion has gone all ladylike

Mini bowling bag with zips Zara £39.99

Steel JUNE 2013


On your

.. oorstep.




The ornate Victoria Quarter

with high s r e ld u o f bs sh bination o ashion ru m f o d c n e e u h iq t un Hig es, with a lls and independen it r u o v a f t t sta stree es, marke r o t s . ip h s flag boutiques

Trinity Leeds Best for: Late night shopping This newly opened colossus is the size of 13 football pitches and contains 120 shops. Home to high street favourites including Warehouse, Hollister and Mango. Editor’s pick: Opening soon - the first Victoria’s Secret outside of London. The modern Trinity shopping centre

Bird’s Yard Best for: Vintage hunters A new addition to Leeds’ shopping scene, the Bird’s Yard threw open its doors in July 2010. Located on Kirkgate Street, the three-story building specialises in vintage and handmade fashion and is open every day except Sunday. Editor’s pick: Take a break at The Marvellous Tea Room.

Corn Exchange The galleries of the 19 century Corn Exchange th

Victoria Quarter Best for: Label lovers Home to the first Harvey Nichols store outside of London, the picturesque Victoria Quarter features a dizzying selection of designers including Ted Baker, Vivienne Westwood, Karen Millen and French Connection. Designed by architect Frank Matcham, the Victoria Quarter is one of the North’s most beautiful places to shop. Editor’s pick: Check out the largest stained glass window in England.

Best for: Boutiques The spectacular domed roof of the Grade 1 listed Corn Market is one of the most impressive sights in Leeds. The 19th century trading floor was lovingly restored to its former glory and now houses a whole host of trendy boutiques and market stalls. Editor’s pick: Keep an eye out for special events like the Unique Gift Fair on the 8th-9th June.

How to g et there A return train tick et from S field cos hefts from £ 1 0 time is a round 40 .30 – journey minutes Leeds is . just und e r an hou from She r ffield by car. Park cheap a ing is nd plent iful.

Next mo

nth: Ma


Steel JUNE 2013





Art Film Architecture Dance Galleries Theatres Museums Poetry Music Literature Philosophy Photography Sculpture


From cities being devastated by nuclear war or unemployed steel workers stripping off, Sheffield’s film history has something for everyone.


lmost 30 years ago, Threads (1984) hit TV screens with its graphic portrayal of nuclear war and its effects on Sheffield. Many later broadcasts were heavily edited to remove some of the more traumatic footage. The film was nominated for seven BAFTA TV awards, winning five, including Best Design, Best Film Cameraman, Best Film Editor, and Best Single Drama. Areas of Sheffield being destroyed in Threads included various streets in Hillsborough and The Moor (although looking at it today, it’s not exactly clear that this destruction was purely for dramatic purposes). Long before the Threads nuclear apocalypse, Sheffield was used by Ken Loach, the first patron of the city’s British Federation of Film Societies. His 1969 classic Kes was filmed in and around Barnsley, but he came to steel city for 1981’s Looks and Smiles. The drama, based on the novel of the same name, focused on Mick, a young adult looking for work in


Steel JUNE 2013

Thatcher’s Britain. It also won Loach the Young Cinema award at the Cannes Film festival that year. With Sheffield having once been an industrial hub, big on mining and steelworks, there’s been more than one film focusing on the unemployment crisis of the ‘80s. Unlike Loach’s work though, Oscarwinning classic The Full Monty (1997) has a lot more jokes, although it does still touch on serious topics of working class culture, homosexuality and depression. Areas of Sheffield used in the film include Crookes Cemetery and Bacon Lane for the canal scene, as well as Shiregreen Working Men’s Club. Although set in Thatcher’s Britain, The Full Monty was released in 1997 and the ‘90s were a great time for Sheffield to feature on the screen. It’s hard to think of a film more typically ‘Sheffield’ than When Saturday Comes (1996), a football flick starring Sheffield’s finest export, Sean Bean, as Jimmy Muir, a brewery worker

The History Boys

who enjoyed too many tipples after hours. As well as featuring Sheffield football staple Bramall Lane, the film also took a trip to Broomhill’s Balti King – an Indian restaurant and takeaway, particularly popular these days with the student population. Watering holes visited include The Wentworth House in Attercliffe and The Shakespeare, just off London Road, which was renamed The Fox House during filming. Carrying on our ‘90s theme, comedy Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? (1999) explores the film’s titular character becoming an instant celeb when he suddenly develops psychic powers. At the same time, there’s a romantic subplot, involving his disco-loving son Vince and his punk-rock workmate Joanna. Though not critically lauded, the film is good fun, boasting big Brit names Stephen Fry and James Corden. A few of the areas used in the film have vastly changed though, with Campo Lane now sporting trendy

SteelCULTURE apartments and a few pleasant eateries rather than bog-standard DIY stores. A few years after Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? Corden came back to Yorkshire, to star in the film adaptation of Alan Bennett’s critically-acclaimed play ‘The History Boys’ (2006). All right, we confess, it wasn’t actually made in Sheffield – but both the play and its film adaptation are supposed to be set in a boys’ grammar school in a Steel City suburb. Rumour has it that Sheffield had become too modernlooking (which is no bad thing!) for the film’s 1980s setting, so the production team used areas of Halifax and Elland for the outdoor scenes, and headed to Watford to find a school instead. This year, Sheffield Theatres brought ‘The History Boys’ back to Sheffield, with a production at the Crucible which finished this month. Clearly not everyone thinks Sheffield is ‘too modern’ though, as the city features in various scenes in Channel 4’s gritty, socialrealist series This is England ’86 (2010). As well as the odd, not-too-distinctive street, Royal Hallamshire Hospital and Castle Market have been used, and the famous Park Hill flats also feature. This is England and its TV sequels are all products of Warp Films, an independent production company based in Sheffield, so it’s easy to see why the city has made the perfect substitute for the show’s Midlands setting. One of Warp Films’ biggest successes, the hilarious dark comedy Four Lions (2010), was also made in Sheffield. Following the exploits of a group of wannabe suicide bombers, the film documents their practice attempts in Sheffield before the

The Full Monty

bombers move onto their main target, the London Marathon. The scene in the kebab shop was actually filmed in Kebabish on London Road and shopping area The Moor also makes a return to the screen, with a chemists being blown up (again). And, although it might not be the most glamorous location, Phones4U in Fargate shopping precinct also makes an appearance. If you’ve been down to Park Hill flats in the last couple of months, you might have bumped into an actor or two as Warp Films latest production, 71, was being filmed there. Starring Richard Dormer (Game of Thrones) and Jack O’Connell (Skins) among others, the plot follows a young and disorientated British soldier, who is accidentally abandoned by his unit

following a riot in Belfast in 1971, at the height of conflict in Ireland. 71 is being funded by BFI Film Fund, Film4, Screen Yorkshire, and Creative Scotland, so steel city might have a bigger part to play in the coming months.

Four Lions

With such a wealth of Sheffield places cropping up in so many big and small screen classics (even a scene of Oscarnominated The Princess Bride (1987) was filmed in the beautiful Peak District), it’s worth having a night in to see if you can spot anywhere new – you never know, you might even spot your street. Or if you want, keep your ear to the ground and see if anything’s being filmed in the future. It’s always fun bumping into a celebrity – not that we’ve been trying to bump into the very handsome Jack O’Connell over the last month or anything. When Saturday Comes


Steel JUNE 2013



STEEL the Show STEEL talks to the Dilys Guite

Players, Sheffield’s leading amateur theatre group who are professional in all but status.


ot just notable for its steel industry, Sheffield has long boasted a vibrant and diverse theatre scene. The most famous theatres -the Lyceum and the Crucible - are well known for attracting top name actors and directors, however the city is rich with amateur thespians, and while they may not demand the star billing or big bucks of the A list, they are every bit as passionate about their acting. Although relatively unknown and generally under-advertised, Sheffield has long been home to a vast and eclectic array of amateur theatre groups who not only perform for the public, but actively encourage them to get involved in the production too. If you fancy being in the limelight, you can audition to become an actor. If you don’t have the confidence to get up on

stage but love the theatre, you can help with set building, hair and make-up, sound and lighting, advertisement, sales, or even (in some amateur groups) have a shot at directing. Companies like the Dilys Guite Players (DGP), one of the biggest and best cultivated of the amateur theatre groups in Sheffield, rely on new members to join their ranks. And while TV shows like Glee and Smash! may have increased the popularity of the performing arts for a generation who have long forgotten Fame (‘I want to live forever’), DGP have been performing in Sheffield for over half a century. Drama teacher Dilys Guite founded the company in 1957, after buying the dilapidated Chalet Theatre and transforming it into what is now known as the Lantern Theatre. This cosy, 84-seat theatre now resembles a fairytale cottage, shrouded in green and tucked away in a pocket of Nether Edge. When Guite died, she left the Lantern theatre to the DGP, which according to

Don’t miss... DGP will be performing Tennessee Williams’ play ‘The Night of the Iguana’, a gripping drama about an 1940s missionary who, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, travels to a dilapidated hotel in Mexico. Accused of rape, locked out of the church and faced with a community determined to bringhim to justice, Shannon is forced to find a way to carry on, even when all hope seems lost. The play runs from 20th – 25th May at the Lantern Theatre, and tickets, which cost £8, are available from or on 0114 2551776.


Steel JUNE 2013

Annie Bethell and other DGP members in their production of Jimmy Chinn’s ‘Straight and Narrow’ last October

board member Kevin Jackson, “effectively means any member of the Players owns a little part of the theatre”.

A place for amateurs and professionals


nnie Bethell, 29, a programme manager for the National Trust, had limited experience directing youth theatre projects when she joined the DGP five years ago. Since then, she has acted and directed and is now Membership and Community Development Director for the group. “When I arrived the DGP felt much more amateur, but over the last three years, it has become quite professional,” she says. “We now put more care and hard work into our productions, and the venue itself has become more professional. While we are still an amateur group, we also host many professional acting groups, along with music and comedy.” Annie feels that members of the DGP are part of a thriving am-dram community. “Aside from putting on our own shows, we go to other companies’ shows to show support, we have a handful of parties and workshops and we’ve even started having an awards night each year. If people want to be part of a theatre group in Sheffield


where they don’t just get up on stage and act, but develop themselves in other ways, then the DGP is absolutely the place to be. We don’t turn anyone away”. At the DGP, everyone (even those with no experience whatsoever) gets a chance to act and direct. If members don’t manage to get a part in one of the larger productions, they can be cast in shorter, more manageable projects which run with a different cast and director each night. Some of these productions will be showcased this month at the company’s annual summer festival, New Directions, from 26th to the 29th of June. Annie says: “We don’t have divas in the DGP; everyone’s in it together. It’s a community. Everyone gets a chance to try something different and be supported in that”.

of students and retirees) have day jobs. By day, board member Kevin Jackson edits and writes copy for learning courses at high-street banks, but he has always been passionate about going to the theatre. He dreamed about acting, only he’d never attended drama class in his life, and didn’t really know how to proceed. Finally a few years ago, after getting a promotion and finding himself with a lot more time on his hands, he joined the DGP. “I started out volunteering, delivering flyers and doing front of house jobs when plays were running,” he says. “Then as time went on I got more and more immersed and invested and confident. Last year I auditioned for a season as an actor here, then did some directing and then got involved with the general running of the theatre on a day to day basis, and then at the beginning of this year, I got a nomination to the board. “Before getting involved with the DGP I went to shows at the Crucible and the Lyceum, but not to amateur shows because they really aren’t well advertised in Sheffield. Hopefully we are changing that.” Though the majority of Kevin’s spare

“Everyone’s in it together. It’s a community”

Nurturing a passion


embership at the DGP can fluctuate anywhere between 80 and 200 people, and members range in age from 16 to 92. Like Annie, the majority of them (with the exception

time is spent on the DGP, he admits he is an extreme example. Members can be involved as little or as much as they want - from all the time, to the six to eight weeks it takes to produce one show. It can vary depending on whether they act, direct, do lighting and sound, build sets, do wardrobe, hair and makeup, distribute leaflets, serve at the bar, or work in the box office. Or DGP members might take the whole season off to enjoy the discounts and perks specific to their membership. For his part however, Kevin wouldn’t dream of putting in any less time than he does, as he finds he consistently gets back more than he gives: “I’ve been able to live out my dream of acting, do so with a company that takes the work they do very professionally, and meet people with similar interests to mine. It’s also given me confidence and a sense of achievement, not just for myself, but that we as a community theatre have pulled this off together. And I’ve learned skills I never thought I had, or even considered before, and pulled off things I never thought I could”. The group is also in the process of setting up new members evenings when prospective members can come to the Lantern Theatre and meet the actual members of the DGP, the board and find out what’s going on. So if you fancy yourself as the next Keira Knightly or Eddie Redmayne, or even fancy your hand at directing like Kevin Spacey, email at Membership is restricted to age 16 + and costs £20


Fancy Treading the Boards? Try One of Sheffield’s Other Amateur Companies The Company

Membership: £20 annually Rehearsals: Sheffield University Drama Studio Visit:

Embers Theatre Company Membership: Optional £1 weekly fee Rehearsals: Art Space, Crystal Peaks Visit: emberstheatre/Home.html

Totley Operatic and Dramatic Society (TOADS) Membership: £10 annually Rehearsals: St John’s Church Hall, Abbeydale Road South Visit:

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saac Hall is many things: a freelance designer, a street artist and a parttime usher at Odeon, but Sheffield is at the heart of everything he does. “There is such a vibe here,” he says when we meet at The Rude Shipyard, a charming little café on Abbeydale Road in Sharrow. “Everyone knows each other. There is an amazing art and music scene, and everyone is so chilled out.” It seems fitting then that his first major piece – a striking mural at a construction site near BBC Radio Sheffield – is right back at the place where it all began. After completing an art foundation course at Chesterfield College, he studied graphic design at Lincoln University before working for design consultancy Dig for Fire for four years. It was during this time that his passion to create his own pieces took over, and he hasn’t looked back since. Isaac admits that it hasn’t been easy, even joking that he is currently working from his kitchen floor in Sharrow, but he certainly has the drive (and the talent) to succeed. Describing his approach to his art, he said: “I like to play about with shapes, forms and colours. I break down faces into simple shapes to find out how they work against each other. “It’s all about experimenting with the medium. My favourite materials are spray paint, canvas and acrylics, but I plan to start using oils in my works. I also try to restrict the colours that I use, which forces me to use what I have more creatively. “You should never get complacent. I am always evolving the way that I’m working so I don’t get caught in a pattern of using the same things again and again – I always want to have something different.” To create his impressive pieces, Isaac first finds an image such as a face or


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shape to work with and then redraws the image using vector computer software. Following this, he creates a stencil which he then prints and cuts out from cardboard or acetate. He then uses spray paint or acrylics on a canvas background to create the shapes and colour blends that will form his piece. For his mural at BBC Radio Sheffield, Isaac, who also works under the name ‘Bousche’, had to work outside his comfort zone. To create the stencil, he had to tape 24 A3 sheets of paper together, including old film banners from Odeon. The sheer size of the project was confounded by the nakedness of the location – as he states wryly, there was nowhere to hide. “It’s been brilliant to get my work out there,” he said. “To be honest, I am never fully satisfied and always want to go further and learn more, so having my work in such a public space was daunting at first. The response has been fantastic though: I’ve even seen my work shared on Instagram!” One of the biggest influences on his work is the street art scene in Sheffield, which he says has united people from all walks of life. He talked warmly of the graffiti crews in Sheffield and the ways in which local people are changing the landscape of the town. Isaac is currently working on another art piece near Delaney’s Bar on Cemetery Road and is in the process of setting up his own design business, which he hopes will enable him to use his formal training and design experience to offer a range of services including graphic design, logos, advertisements and letterheads. He noted: “Growing up I wanted to be an artist and then decided on graphic design because there were more jobs. It’s a cut-throat industry and the pressure is always on, so sometimes you can feel like you’re just churning out the designs. It’s strange how I’ve gone full circle to what I wanted to be when I was a kid.”




City of Steel, Paint and Pot


Isaac Hall’s BBC mural, alongside two wildlife murals.

From 19th century landscape painter Thomas Creswick to the famous ‘Group of Seven’, Sheffield has a long and proud history of producing talented artists. The city now celebrates a wide variety of art initiatives, including: Art in the Park, the Great Sheffield Art Show and the Sheffield Contemporary Art Forum. This month in STEEL we explore the very best artistic talent that Sheffield has to offer. Paintbrushes at the ready!



aroline Gaytor has come a long way from playing with the buttons in her grandma’s tins. Since graduating from the University of Leicester in 2003, the Community Arts Practitioner has delivered a wide range of projects with children, teenagers, adults, families and disabled people in the Sheffield area. Working with groups like Doncaster Community Arts (DARTS) and Art in the Park, Caroline works across a variety of different disciplines, including mosaics, textiles, print and weaving to make art accessible for everyone. “I love my job,” she grins as we meet at the Old Junior School’s cafe in Sharrow. The

Sensory mosaic art by Caroline Gaytor


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location is particularly fitting, as Caroline is due to start her most exciting project yet: an open art exhibition with Sharrow Community Creatives, which will take place at the school in May. “The Old Junior School is an important hub for the community and for creative opportunities in Sharrow,” Caroline explains. “What I love about the school is that people actually use it; they are taking part in all of the different activities, so there is a really exciting community vibe. “There are so many amazing events in Sheffield, such as the recent Lantern Carnival and it’s brilliant that somewhere like the Old Junior School can help bring people of all ethnicities and abilities together. The exhibition will allow everyone to get involved with the art scene in Sheffield.” Whilst Caroline works across a range of disciplines, her specialism is mosaics. Citing playing with her grandma’s buttons as a child as her first real taste of art, she says that mosaics appeal to her because she “likes the concept of putting things together.” In a recent project with the Heatherwood School in Doncaster, Caroline worked with young children to create a colourful mosaic using sensory materials like glass, stones and mirrors. She believes that it is important to select materials that people can respond to; a concept she also implemented when working with the Broomhall Visual Improvement Project and the British Stammering Association. To create a mosaic piece, Caroline and her helpers will first decide on a colour scheme, design concept and material palette. Following this, the marine ply board base is sealed and then scored to create a surface that the tiles can be attached to. Once the tiles have been glued on, grout is applied over the top and then removed in layers with

a damp cloth to reveal the piece beneath. For Caroline, inspiration can be found in the simplest of places. “There is an endless source of inspiration that can be drawn from the things that we see every day, whether it’s freshly painted graffiti or the graphics on the back of a cereal packet,” she says. “One of my favourite pieces is ‘Field for the British Isles’, by Anthony Gormley. It’s made from thousands of tiny clay figures that are stood together and seem to be staring at the viewer, and is just such a clever idea. Strong design ideas appeal to me: I think that’s why I like mosaic art, as it is essentially made of individual elements that fit together to make a complete design.” “When I’m in a workshop, I know I’m in the right place when people say they can’t draw or they’re not creative enough. My work is all about offering a wide range of creative opportunities that think outside the box and don’t necessarily rely on drawing skills. I believe that artistic ability can be learnt; it’s all about your perception of it.” As part of the Sharrow Creatives Project, Caroline will be installing a series of mosaics for an open art exhibition at the Old Junior School. The free event will showcase and promote artists of all backgrounds within the Sharrow community. There will be an opening night on the 18th May from 7.30-10pm where there will be entertainment, refreshments and the opportunity to meet the artists. The exhibition will be shown on Sunday 19th May from 11am-3pm. If you would like to be part of the Sharrow Community Creatives exhibition, contact Luisa at or on 07854983197 by the 10th May.

“Artistic ability can be learnt: it’s all about your perception”




Spas Treatments Products Relaxation Fitness Gyms Reviews Wellbeing Pampering Indulgence Classes Therapies Detox

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Money Making Mehndi It was an inauspicious start - a few simple strokes with an old henna tube on the palm of a hand. But from those simple beginnings, 26-year-old Sakina Badani has created a lucrative business painting brides from across the country.


er journey began ten years ago during a family visit to India. “I was lounging around on my own, bored, when one of my relatives decided to keep me occupied by teaching me how to apply henna - or mehndi as it’s traditionally known,” she says. Suddenly fascinated by the intricacy of each and every swirl, Sakina spent the hot sunny days by practising forming those delicate flicks and fine lines with an old henna cone.


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Even when the holiday ended and Sakina travelled back to Sheffield, she kept at it. Having learnt the basics, her sisters and friends willingly allowed her to draw all over their hands and arms and gradually she began to refine her skills. “My mum did henna when I was young, so it’s always been in my family. The irony is that I hated it when I was a kid, I use to run away when it was my turn to have it done, I hated the smell and it took hours to dry.” Whilst studying Biomedical Science at Sheffield Hallam University however, Sakina soon realised she could put her artistic flair to professional use, with the encouragement of friends and family. She was accepted to train at the prestigious ‘Ash Kumar Academy’ in London and attended monthly classes where she sharpened her craft. It wasn’t easy. Up until then henna had been a hobby, now it was a vocation, but not one that was profitable enough to pay her rent. She started a full time job in a bank to fund her studies and spent the next decade juggling both until she was able to launch her own business ‘Indian Ink’. With a steady hand and an eye for precision, her portfolio boasts hundreds of clients. Though she is Sheffield-based, Sakina’s creative and stunning designs have made her sought after nationwide. Commonly applied to brides before wedding ceremonies, henna has been an Asian ritual spanning centuries. And it’s this cultural aspect which Sakina enjoys the most. “It’s amazing being involved in someone’s big day. Asian weddings have a whole evening dedicated to a Henna party, usually the night before the wedding and the atmosphere is so good.” A typical henna session can take up to four hours for just one bride, though Sakina’s longest took seven! “There’s a lot of concentration involved but I find it

therapeutic to just draw for hours on end,” she explains. And there is no ‘one-size-fitsall’ design either, as she offers both Indian and Arabic styles of henna. A rigorous consultation with each bride means Sakina is constantly seeking inspiration to ensure her work remains fresh.

“It’s amazing to be involved in someone’s big day. The atmosphere is so good” Whether its eye-catching fabrics, bags or ornaments, she makes use of everything in her surroundings. “Sometimes I look at a bride’s outfit and a piece of embroidery will catch my eye. Once I just saw a pattern on a Coca-Cola advert and instantly an idea formed in my head. I love it for the art aspect,” she says excitingly. Not only does she keep up with the latest designs, but she creates them. So much so, that she’s even launched her own book, ‘Mehndi Designs by Indian Ink’, which is full of sketches of henna patterns she’s created over the years. “It was a case of trial and error but it took me six months to hand draw all of the designs for the book. It’s selling really well to other henna artists and brides too.” Yet, Sakina’s henna talents extend beyond just hands and feet, as she regularly fulfils requests to create art for any area of the body. “I’ve even had requests for wedding cakes too!” she adds. Using a piping bag and sugar icing, she is able to replicate

her elegant patterns and embellish them onto cakes of all different sizes and even for paintings. The process and challenges involved in making something so creative continue to fuel her artistic flair. “It’s great when you can do something for someone and they love it. There’s a great deal of job satisfaction involved in what I do.” Sakina has come a long way from the inquisitive young girl in India, sat outside experimenting with a henna tube as she soaked up the sun. “It makes me cringe now, because my techniques were so wrong. I didn’t hold the cone correctly and my patterns never joined together,” she says. Testament to the strength of her success, impressively she has now formed her own training academy. Her intensive henna courses offer one-to-one tuition for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of training. “I get a lot of requests from people who want to learn, so I thought why not? The private workshops function much better than a classroom environment and it takes me right back to how I was taught in India,” she explains. As her business continues to grow, Sakina serves to exemplify that pursuing a hobby can pay off, quite literally! “For anyone who has a creative interest or a hobby, I’d say keep practising and persevere and you never know, you might just surprise yourself,” she adds. Sakina is quite content with the size and growth of her business for now, and luckily, henna is one tradition which is here to stay. Indian Ink is priced at £7 and available to buy from Sakina’s website:


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Why not try...

Capoeira? CDO Sheffield in action

This month STEEL brings you a unique fitness class celebrating the official sport of Brazil – Capoeira!


aught by Sheffield’s CDO ‘Cardoa De Ouro’ group, this spectacular mix of martial arts and dance is entwined with Brazilian culture and heritage. With its origins in 16th century Brazil, Capoeira was developed by African slaves who wanted to practise fighting without their masters knowing. Shortly after, it was picked up by tribes and soon developed into a martial arts form. Today, Capoeira is characterized by gymnastic style movements such as cartwheels and headstands, performed with the fluidity of dance. Played as a game between two Capoeristas (or players) you are taught to use skilled and evasive movements in reaction to your opposing player. Capoeira lacks the monotony of regular exercise classes and offers an exhilarating way of harmonising your physical strength and your mind in unison. Whilst making waves across the UK with their group, Keith Wan, 27, and Devon Francis, 28, are two of five instructors who have been taught by group leader Tatanka since 2004 and now teach in Sheffield. Each class begins with a rigorous warm-up, involving squats, jumps and press-ups.

“The warm-ups are work-outs themselves, but they’re tailor-made to suit the style of the game played,” says instructor Keith, whose Capoeira nickname is ‘Ninja’. Encircled by the entire class, the instructors perform a martial arts sequence before pairs take it in turn to emulate these moves. Each routine involves an explosive movement or a static hold to help improve stamina, coordination and balance. “It’s hard to say what part of your body it doesn’t work. For example, when you hold a handstand; whilst trying to keep your legs and posture straight. Or when you go for a kick, you learn how to connect your whole body to that one move,” he adds. The moves also help to develop your spatial awareness, but Capoeira is more than just a workout. It brings together physicality and mental stability. “Similar to when monks talk about Zen, when I play Capoeira everything else falls away, you become so focused. It’s almost like meditation,” says instructor Devon, whose Capoeira nickname is ‘Pelé’. “I used to be incredibly shy and didn’t do anything social but, through Capoeira, I’ve learnt to be bolder, try new moves and willingly make mistakes in an incredibly safe environment,” he adds. Culture is an integral part of Capoeira;

“Everything else falls away. It’s almost like meditation”

Classes: Mon & Thurs – 7PM-9PM Victoria Hall, Chapel Walk


Sat – 2PM-3:30PM Goodwin Sports Centre, Northumberland Rd

the Brazilian music sets the tempo of the game and dictates the rhythm of the movements. Percussion based instruments are used including the signature instrument ‘berimbau,’ one of the oldest string instruments in the world and a ‘pandeiro,’ a hand drum, both of which are played by a ‘bateria’ (musical orchestra), in the outer circle. The songs recite old tales of Capoeira history, ingraining the culture into the minds of the players, as everyone is encouraged to clap and cheer. Occasionally classes will be lucky enough to have renowned Capoeira masters flown from Brazil and other parts of the world to impart their expertise and encourage players to sharpen their craft. Not exclusive to gymnasts and martial arts lovers, Capoeira is open to anyone who wants to improve their fitness or sample the Brazilian culture! Class sizes range from 15 to 30 and classes are open to any sex and any age. No experience is necessary, just come in comfortable clothing.


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Do you fancy a soak in the world’s oldest Turkish baths? Or are you craving a Swedish massage that will leave you stress free? If you think spas are all about fluffy robes and facials, think again. Here is Wei Fan and Ellen Atkinson’s guide to Sheffield’s best spas for both men and women



he elegant Victorian architecture of the original Glossop Road Baths at SPA 1877 provides the perfect place to retreat from the stresses of everyday life, and amazingly, SPA 1877 is home to the world’s oldest Turkish Baths. Ailsa Turner, business development manager at SPA 1877 said: “The Turkish style is all about having cold and hot experiences, so that the body benefits from different temperatures.” Bathe to your heart’s content in the ornate, mosaic-tiled Hammam area before choosing your temperature! For those who fancy a steamy sauna there’s the aroma steam room, infused with essential oils to help to clear your mind. Or if you’d prefer an even hotter experience, the high temperatures of the larger steam room will boost your metabolism. Starting to get a cold or a cough, or even just a spot? The dry heat of the sauna is great for your skin and your immune system. When you’re ready to chill out, dip your toes, (and maybe more if you’re feeling brave), into the cold plunge pool and wait for the rush of endorphins! Stepping it up a notch, SPA 1877 even has an Ice Cave, where massaging granulated ice over your skin will boost circulation and handily exfoliate at the same time.

SPA 1877 67 Victoria Street Sheffield S3 7QD Tel: 0114 221 1877


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Mercure Sheffield ST. PAUL’S hotel & Spa 119 Norfolk Street Sheffield S1 2JE Tel: 0114 4512800


et in the beautiful Mercure Sheffield St. Paul’s Hotel, it’s no surprise that this luxury spa is Sheffield’s most popular, with 650 members. But don’t worry; you won’t be fighting for room. The 22 spa professionals are waiting to smooth out your rough skin, deal with your dimples and brighten your complexion. Mum-to-be? This spa is the place-to-be. St. Paul’s Spa offers exclusive treatments during your pregnancy. Nurturing treatments are specifically designed to pamper pregnant women and preserve skin tone, reduce the risk of stretch marks, soothe aching muscles and nourish your skin. Never fear guys, there’s something in it for you too. If you’re comfortable enough with your masculinity to visit St. Paul’s Spa, then you’ll be spoilt by the range of choices for men. Pamper with a partner with the spa’s exclusive couple’s day in a couple’s spa suite, complete with a spa ritual, massage, a facial and a spa lunch for if you get peckish. Need some alone time? The ‘Best Man’ experience is perfect for any man who wants to look good and feel great.

rom Sweden to Sheffield, the best masages from around the world are on your doorstep. Medi Spa specialises in Swedish massage, which relaxes and balances the body. Massage has been a popular treatment for thousands of years and comes from the Arabic word meaning “to press softly.” Swedish massage involves manipulating the body by applying pressure to remove aches and pains. The lucky receiver will have their tissues targeted, muscles massaged and tension taken out of their tendons. Medi Spa specialists say that their Swedish massage will maintain muscle tone, stimulate blood flow, improve skin texture and eliminate toxins. But if a Swedish treat isn’t right up your street then why not try Watsu, Medi Spar’s unique therapy treatment. Still very new in the UK, Watsu is a form of Zen Shiatsu and involves the body being immersed in the water until it comes under the influence of two opposing forces, gravity and buoyancy. Watsu was developed in the 1980s and is an unusual but very effective water massage treatment. Being in the water takes the weight off the vertebrae and relaxes the muscles, allowing the masseuse to move the spine far more effectively. Perfect for anxiety and stress!

MEDI SPA Hall Park Barn Roscoe Bank Sheffield S6 5SA Tel: 0114 231 2725


WOULD YOU RUN AN ULTRA-MARATHON? The brand new launch of the Trans Pennine Challenge is happening on the 22nd-23rd June 2013. Walk it or run it, 100 km or 50 km, as a team or an individual, the choice is yours!


unners couldn’t ask for a more picturesque route. Beginning in Didsbury, Manchester, the Trans Pennine trail winds through the beautiful surroundings of the Pennines and the Peak District National Park and the finishing line awaits at Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium. Over 190 charities will benefit from the challenge, including Alzheimer’s Research UK, the NSPCC, Battersea Cats and Dogs Home, and local charities like Sheffield Wildlife Trust.“This is the first year we have run the challenge and we are hoping to raise £500,000 in fundraising,” said organiser Elizabeth Anderson from Action Challenge. As the countdown to the challenge continues, STEEL speaks to two brave Sheffield runners attempting the 50km.

Jack Swindells Lucky number 13 Thirteen may be an unlucky number for some, but for 32-year-old Jack Swindells from Wadsley, Sheffield, that’s not the case. Jack is running the ultra-marathon as one of 13 challenges he is completing in 2013 for Sheffield charity, Sophie’s Wish. “My target is £3,000 and so far I’ve raised £1,316 for Sophie’s Wish. The charity was formed in aid of Sophie Burchill, who was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour


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when she was 11 months old. Sophie and her family live locally to me. In fact, Sophie used to attend the same playgroup as my two little girls. It’s always nice to support local charities, but this one has a bit more of a connection. “I’ve always been a keen runner but I’m really pushing myself this year. I’ve done a marathon and a half marathon in the past, but nothing like this. When I see celebrities taking part in extreme challenges I always wish I could do the same and play my part. But I haven’t got the money or the time to travel the world so I figured I would create my own challenge.

near the Peaks. I work as a postgraduate medical advisor supporting trainee doctors at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. I’ve been working there for a long time and when I saw this race I was looking to give something back.

“When I see celebrities taking part in extreme challenges I always wish I could do the same”

“The Trans Pennine Challenge is the sixth in the long list of runs that I am taking part in this year. I’m doing the 50 km run on my own, but my family and friends will be there to support me. I’m hoping there will a bit of a party to celebrate with me at the finishing line. My family will come and meet me, and I’ve got friends who live in Penistone where the finishing line is, so they’ll be there too. “I might have a bit of a rest after this year, but I don’t have any plans to stop running to raise money for charity. I’ve actually just signed up for next year’s London Marathon!” Recovering from knee surgery might lead some ultra-marathon runners to worry, but not Jon Bryan, 33, from Deep Car, Sheffield, who is taking on the challenge for the Children’s Hospital Charity. “Sheffield is all I’ve ever known. I’ve lived here all my life and it’s great being so

Jon Bryan Recovering runner “Working there I see what a good job the staff do every day: we have a responsibility to help where we can. I’m hoping to finish the 50k in five or six hours, it will be a bit difficult to do more than that with my injury. I’m more nervous about whether it’s going to rain. Depending on the conditions I’ll do a split of walking and running. “My wife Leanne and my six-year-old daughter Isabelle will be there to support me. I think Isabelle is quite happy I’m doing the race, she’s told quite a few of her friends! I’ve always been a keen footballer, but after my second round of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery last October, I need a new focus and the Trans Pennine Challenge has helped me to find it.”




Antiques Bespoke Markets Vintage Books Porcelain Boutiques Collectables Gifts Unique Bargains




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rom the outside, the world of antiques is a mysterious one. Furniture from the Chinese Liao dynasty, an ancient earthenware bowl, a fine regency stool; it can all seem a bit daunting to the curious onlooker. Luckily, a recent revival has brought antiques back into the fray for young people who are searching for unique items that last longer than an IKEA flatpack cabinet. Perceptions are moving away from The Antiques Roadshow enthusiast; antiques are becoming more desirable for younger people. In essence, an antique is an item that is 100 years old or more, or something that is quite literally ‘out of date’. As time has moved on, antiques have also been re-classed as collectables that are ‘possible antiques of the future’. Items span from brooches to telephones to dessert forks: it’s all in the history. Antique aficionado George Johnson looks for aesthetics and rich tales in an antique: “Both go hand in hand; the items are pieces of history. They come alive and tell a story. You can see what they’ve lived through.” George, owner of Lady Kentmore’s Antique and Collectable shop, speaks fondly of a chest that he found from the mid-1750s: “there is a fascination in owning items that have been around for a lot longer than any of us have.” The resurgence of antiques means that there are now more places to go and seek out great finds, mostly in the form of markets and antique centres. These centres house pieces from a number of sellers and often make their money by renting out cabinets and display units to them. They allow customers to browse and investigate goods much like other shops; but the people in the centre can’t always be knowledgeable about all of the goods that they are selling. On the flip side, markets sell from traders directly so you can ask them about any pieces that catch your eye. But beware: even though haggling is expected, sellers at larger markets who have travelled from further away will charge more and may not be amused by ambitious bartering. For those who are not so seasoned in antiquing, look out for ‘datelined fairs’. The dealers at these fairs are only allowed to sell goods that date back before a certain year; they’re often vetted by experts too. A good example is the Antiques for Everyone Fair at the Birmingham NEC, which is datelined to the 1950s or earlier. The best place to start off is at a smaller fair: they’re more friendly and relaxed, plus there is the opportunity to meet the experts who you can consult with in the future and who knows, you may just find a bargain.

SteelSHOPPING In tough economic times, Sheffield has embraced the revival by combining 35 different businesses to create Sheffield Antiques Quarter, which came together just over a year ago. This close-knit quarter offers arts, retro, salvage, vintage, antiques and militaria goods, all based in six centres and 20 independent stores. Hendrika Stephens, the Chair of the Antiques Quarter, believes that a reprise of antiquing will change the way we consume for the better: “as a result of the downturn in the economy, we are looking at how we purchase,” she said, “people are fed up with consumer culture and are now recycling and putting money back into the local area.”

“The items are pieces of history. They come alive and tell a story. You can see what they’ve lived through”

idea.” Young Guns appeals to the eco-aware market by promoting the green credentials of antiques and encouraging recycling: “It’s the most traditional way of recycling and can be a lot cheaper than High Street goods because the items last longer”, said Johnson. The winner of this year’s Young Guns award, Timothy Meadhurst said: (Timothy M interview to come) Panellist George admires Timothy’s grit and determination: “He wasn’t from the trade; he just had a love of antiques from a young age.” The Young Gun Award winner says that anyone who wants to get in to antiques should get involved and meet owners of antique shops: “they’d be over the moon to chat to you” he said. As far as auctioneering goes, he advises finding work experience: “go to an auction house for two weeks and attend viewing days. Just get involved as much as possible.” Fancy giving antiquing a go? First things first, do your research: read books, speak to experts, subscribe to a magazine like BBC Home and Antiques or join a local antique group. Next, get yourself to as many centres and markets as possible and network with like-minded buyers and traders. Finally, if you’re in doubt about anything, always ask an expert. There is a real community feel in the antiques world, and the Young Guns in particular encourage camaraderie among young antique fans. George Johnson advises not to be disheartened if something doesn’t go your way at first: “we all make mistakes and all learn positive things. Seek out the Young Guns and we’ll all help out.”

Part of antiquing’s comeback stems from the growing popularity of the burlesque movement. It’s not all about stripping, contrary to popular belief: for fans of the movement, so much of burlesque’s appeal is in the glamour, humour and the style of the scene. This compliments 1940s and 1950s fashion, hence why retro and vintage has made such a roaring resurgence. LangThe Sheffield Antiques Quarter is based in ton’s Antiques, Sheffield’s largest antiques just off Broadfield Road. centre, has a wide range of 40s, 50 and 60s collectibles which appeal to a younger ANNA JORDAN market. Their shop includes a Antique china tea set 1950s fun house selling vintage cards with racier themes. To encourage young people in to the sphere, a band of antique buffs in the UK have started up the Young Guns Awards. This annual award is aimed at traders aged 39 and under as young people “hold the future of the antiques trade in their hands”. The group is made up of five judges who found each other on Twitter. Panel member George Johnson said “we’re a loose collective who are flying the flag for trade. Kind of like a Three Musketeers

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Through the window...

The Lovely Little Gift Shop

If you fancy a browse around The Lovely Little Gift Shop then better be quick - it can’t stick around forever...


he bold teal paintwork frames window displays of candlesticks and cushions, ornaments and trinkets. This pop-up gift shop is a one of a kind in Sheffield, and is proving popular with the locals. With bright patterns reminiscent of a ‘60s pad, the Lovely Little Gift Shop has a warmth that has been somewhat lost in larger chain stores. It’s cluttered; but in a cosy, makes-you-feel-at-home kind of way. Behind the small wooden till stands Mike Fitzgerald: a 61-year-old Londoner with a navy blue fleece and an eye for detail. As a fashion photographer in the 1970s, Mike was often caught up in the action: whether he was snapping the trends of the time or capturing a bustling Rolling Stones gig from the front row. For all the time spent working in black and white in his photography days, he makes up for it with the vibrant colours found in the Lovely Little Gift Shop. Adorned with


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Where? Lovely Little Gift Shop 496 Glossop Road Broomhill S10 2QE

pinks, reds, polka dots, space rockets and all manner of kitsch, the shop is a reflection of his lively persona. Looking at it from the outside, it’s not immediately clear that this is a pop-up shop. The white interior offsets the bright tones of the cushions, cups and bags; all vying for your attention. Parts of the dreary dark blue paint are peering through from the card shop that was there before, a reminder of a previously unpopular business venture. At one point a customer comes in and points out how dark the place used to be, which is no surprise considering how little natural light is able to shine in through the windows. The lighting is key in creating a positive ambience in the shop: “I like uplighting, downlighting is too harsh” Mike says. The Lovely Little Gift Shop’s dynamic appeal is all down to its stock and customers. Housing international names such as Rice, Green Gate and Disaster Designs,

SteelSHOPPING Mike buys stock that just has something about it: “I like things that are niche and different” he says. The owner picks up various items, introducing them while reciting sayings like “give a gnome a home.” He wants to avoid “looking like a lemon” while getting photographed. The shop itself attracts people of all ages from different parts of the world. The owner recalls a Dutch girl who had been in Sheffield for five months and bought a coffee cup. It is this interaction and conversation which fuels the popularity of pop-up shops. Dispirited by the High Street and retail in Sheffield, Mike firmly believes that popup shops are the way forward for himself and the Steel City: “They’re a good idea. They bring colour to the city. People don’t really understand pop-up shops; but if you make it interesting, people will talk. Now all the shops look the same, even people look the same. It’s Clonesville. Drab, drab, drab.” For Mike, the change to retail would

have to come from higher up, namely landlords and the council: “They should offer shorter contracts of 18 months or two years with a much reduced rating, to help the business get established. That’s why a lot of businesses fail within the first six months: they’re not established yet. And the council seem keen to make business owners sign life sentence leases. Shorter ones would get some movement going.”

Shopping LIST Journals

“Pop up shops bring colour to the city. If you make it interesting, people will talk”

Much of Mike’s business is web-based, which he doesn’t like, as he enjoys customer interaction. Ideally, he would like to think bigger and combine a gift shop with a coffee shop back in London. In the meantime, he is unsure of what will happen next: “we’re always looking for new premises, if anyone can help out.” Otherwise, the shop owner takes a fairly casual approach: “if in doubt, do nowt” he says, shrugging his shoulders. And so in the next month, the Lovely Little Gift Shop may vanish as spontaneously as it appeared. As we leave, a customer’s attention is caught by a delicate, pearly pink beaded necklace with a 25 per cent discount. She tells him she’ll think about it. “Don’t take too long” he replies with a chuckle “we might not be here next week.”

Shirley Bassey vinyl notebook £10

Tea Towel Cover Solo Gallery £17.50

Paris notebook Lovely Little Gift Shop £6.95


Inside The Lovely Little Gift Shop

Secret Agents I Met And Liked Kuji Shop £7.50

Steel JUNE 2013




You’ve been filling up Instagram and the Twittersphere with your love for the Steel City. Here are some of our favourites... @afowler0: On route to sunny Sheffield today #secondhome

@kec1979 I love these woods! #sheffield #peakdistrict

@bankstreetarts Hannah Corbey #exhibition at #bankstreetarts #sheffield

@kateboanas: Found the cutest falafel salad bar on Glossop Road in Sheffield today!

@jessabroome Hello sunshine! #sheffield #train #station

@querkydude101: Soaking up some culture at Sheffield Art Museum! GET IN TOUCH Online at: Email us: Facebook us:

@cartridge88 #graffiti #streetart #sheffield 72

Steel JUNE 2013

Tweet us: @steelmagazine Follow our boards at pinterest. com/steelmagazine

@rewkysoprano: Days like these were great at university in Sheffield... Weston Park, Bar One, Nursery Tavern beer garden... @usmanahussain Breakfast! #sheffield #peace #gardens


Steel JUNE 2013


Steel Mag