10 Things You Need to Know about Sheffield…


Steel City News have come up with a list of 10 things we think you should know about Sheffield….enjoy! 

Picture from: beddy.com


  1. Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough of South Yorkshire.

2. Its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city.

River Sheaf. Picture from: wikimedia.com

3. During the 19th century, the city gained an international reputation for steel production.

4. 61% of Sheffield is green space, and a third of the city lies within the Peak District National Park.

5. Sheffield has two universities: Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield. The two combined bring about 54,000 students to the city each year.

Picture from:juliahailes.com


6. Sheffield has along sporting heritage, with: two football teams: Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United, a ice hockey team: The Sheffield Steelers, and Sheffield also hosts the World Snooker Championships each year at The Crucible.

7. The city is also home to some of music‘s most well-known bands, including: The Human League, Def Leppard, the Arctic Monkeys and Pulp (to name a few!)

The Arctic Monkeys. Picture from: clashmusic.com

8. There are tow large theatres, the Lyceum Theatre and the Crucible Theatre, and together with the small Studio Theatre make up the largest theatre complex outside London.

 9. Sheffield has two newspapers: The Sheffield Star and The Sheffield Telegraph, both published by Johnston Press PLC.

10. The Full Monty, The History Boys and Four Lions are all set, or partly set in Sheffield.

So there it is, our list of amazing and interesting facts about the City of Steel.

By Laura Browse.

Posted in General News | Tagged | 1 Comment

Tuition fees soar in Sheffield

www.indymedia.org.ukSheffield is to become one of the most expensive UK cities to study in when tuition fees rise in 2012.

The city’s two universities have pledged to raise their fees after the government announced an 80% cut to higher education teaching grants.

The University of Sheffield has planned to charge the maximum amount of £9000 per year, but has also agreed to increase financial support to students from its current £6.7m, to £10m in 2012. 

Sheffield Hallam is charging slightly less at £8500 per annum, and said it had carefully considered the fee in order to “set a level that will deliver high quality education”.

Professor Philip Jones, Vice-Chancellor at Sheffield Hallam said: “We understand that the changes to fees means that choosing a university is a serious decision, but we believe that it is a choice that will pay financial, social and personal dividends throughout each student’s life.”

Almost 75% of universities have opted to charge the maximum amount possible, with the average cost standing at £8,678.36.

According to research carried out by High Fliers, more than half of current final year students said they would not have gone to university if they had to pay the maximum amount of £9000 per year to obtain a degree.

A third said that they would have been turned off by fees of £6000.

It is also thought that Sheffield’s student population could half by 2020 if expensive tuition fees force people to live at home, or pick a university nearby, according to research by LV.

This is expected to hit many university towns and cities in England, including Newcastle and Lincoln.

Last November, over 200 students marched to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s constituency office in Sheffield, to protest against rises in tuition fees.

During the run up to the last general election, Nick Clegg publically stated that his party would not raise tuition fees if they were elected.

The Liberal Democrats continuing poor performance in the polls has raised speculation that they could lose half of their councils, and around 700 councillors, in the upcoming local elections.

The Green Party are now the only group in Westminster who say they would abolish tuition fees if they gained power.

Sheffield Green Party Councillor, Jillian Creasy, said: “We would abolish tuition fees completely and pay for university education from general taxation.

“The fact that Sheffield Hallam has set their fees almost as high as Sheffield University means there is no real choice for students wishing to study in Sheffield. So much for marketing higher education.”

Listen to what some students think about the rise in tuition fees.

By Phil Corker

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Svengali comes to Sheffield…

Last night there was an air of mystery in Sheffield as well known illusionist Derren Brown took to the stage in his new show, ‘Svengali.’

I caught Lewis McPherson on his way into the theatre, Lewis was more than happy to give us a few words on his expectations of the show.

Over 2000 people took their seats in The City Hall waiting in anticipation to see what was in store for them. Being part of the 2000 strong crowd was an amazing feeling; the whole theatre was abuzz with incredible atmosphere as Derren took his place centre stage to a standing ovation. I could see from this that he was clearly a crowd favourite.
As this was my first time at a show like this I was rather clueless as to what to expect. I had watched the Derren Brown programmes on TV but I knew a live performance would be something spectacularly different, and I was not disappointed.

Throughout the show, Derren worked well at continuously interacting with the audience, keeping that certain suspense and finishing with the unexpected. Audience participation was rife and you could clearly see the camaraderie Derren would have with anyone he connected with. The fact that there was always that interaction with the audience made the show that much more enjoyable as you constantly felt in tune with the man himself. He controlled the audience impeccably as whilst he spoke the theatre was silent; the audience were clearly keen to not ‘miss a trick’.
The show consisted of a lot of humour as Derren brought a lot of laughs to the audience, those of whom were willing of course. I honestly don’t know how he does what he does, all I can do is encourage everybody to go and see a show. As the line goes, ‘You won’t believe it till you see it’. I know I didn’t, but I can honestly say my mind was boggled, what I was seeing was unbelievable.

One attendee, Tom Millington said of the show, “Simply my mind was blown, everyone was saying that he couldn’t possibly come up with anything new after so much variety in the past but I think it’s now obvious to never doubt Derren Brown to pull out a 5 star show”.
I will defiantly be attending more of Derren Brown’s live shows; they are truly something not to be missed!

I won’t give anything away I’ll just say, look out for the ending, one word a-mazing. Derren Brown, a must see for the curious.

After the show I caught back up with Lewis, I was interested to know what he thought of the show and if it met his earlier expectations. As you can see from the clip below, he too had nothing but praise for the fabulous entertainer.

By Margaret Repton.

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Galvanize Sheffield

Galvanize Sheffield

Blacksmithing at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

The last month has seen the forth Galvanize Sheffield festival hit the city, featuring nearly sixty events to celebrate Sheffield’s steel heritage.

Thousands of people have joined in the events, which aimed to celebrate contemporary metal design and showcase the city’s metal trades. 

The festival, which ran from 24th March – 24th April, included events such as Pewter Live, which was held at The Cathedral, showcasing the work of skilled pewtersmiths from around the country.

There was also a Jewellery Exhibition at Bank Street Arts, a Kinetic Water Sculpture at the Winter Gardens, and a Metal Walk, which toured the famous work places of the 18th and 19th Century, including Kelham Island, and Beckett’s Saw and File Works.

Festival manager Sara Unwin said: “The tour side is incredibly popular. People want to go in to factories to see what happened. They also want to go into artist studios and talk to them face to face about what they do and how they do it.

“This is part of what we do, we try to demystify a bit of that, and show the processes and techniques people use.” 

One of the festivals biggest events was the blacksmith forge in at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, which saw forty members of the British Art Blacksmith Association working together to produce a piece of public art.

The event gave children and adults the opportunity to have a go at blacksmithing, and help contribute to the final art piece, which will be displayed at the Winter Gardens in the summer.

Spectators also had the opportunity to go on a guided tour, in which living historians took on the roles of people based in 1851, and told the story of the famous site.

“You could go on a tour of the hamlet with an actor, being either the owner of the place, or the other was a worker,” Sara said. “So depending on which tour you went on you got a different perspective.

“It was fantastic. It gave it a nice lively edge and animated the place hugely.”

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet specialised in the production of scythes from the mid 19th century up until the 1930s. It was one of the first places where virtually every step of the manufacturing process was undertaken on site, from melting crucible steel, through to the grinding of the cutting edge.

Local historian, Chris Corker, said: “The site provides an ideal backdrop for the festival’s blacksmiths event. Virtually unchanged since the mid-nineteenth century through to its final closure and donation to the city in 1935, the site offers a unique glimpse into the history of the steel industry in Sheffield.”

The festival is now preparing for 2013, which marks 100 years since the invention of stainless steel by Harry Brearley.

Sara said: “Galvanize has got to come back in 2013 with an all singing and all dancing celebration of all things steel, and we have some great ideas for that.”

Learn more about Galvanize Sheffield with festival manager Sara Unwin as she talks about the months activities, and the event at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet.

By Phil Corker

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Pot luck for Higgins?

After an intense snooker final it was John Higgins who reigned supreme. The majority of avid snooker fans had their eyes glued to the screen yesterday as Higgins came from behind to beat 21 year old ‘sensation’ Judd Trump in a heated game at Sheffield’s Crucible.

Trump had been in the lead throughout but a slight mistake saw Higgins jump into the lead and take five straight frames. “The finale was amazing to watch”, says Charlotte Hunt, fan of all thing snooker. “I wanted John Higgins or Ali Carter to win; I support them both every year. Higgins won so I was very happy”.

Higgins , after returning to play in November 2010 from a six month ban has now won three tournaments including three ranking events – the UK championship, the Welsh open and now this the world championship.
Charlotte, who has found herself watching more or less every match of the tournament, says she has always been a fan of snooker as she grew up watching it with her grandparents; however she found a new passion after attending the Crucible to watch a live game. “The atmosphere at the crucible is brilliant. It’s a totally different experience from watching it on the TV”.

The snooker final which took place on May 2nd brought in a record number of viewers. Viewers which are surprisingly and vastly becoming part of the cities younger generation. “My favorite thing about snooker is the camaraderie. No
Matter where you are from or who you support, everyone becomes friends for two weeks. It’s difficult to go out for a drink and not bump into someone who is in town for the snooker. Unlike any other sport, all the fans will support someone right into the final after their favorite has left”.

The Guardian reporting on the tournament throughout published the following statement; ‘No one can argue with his quality as a snooker player, particularly in a match play situation when his back was against the wall. Despite never truly finding his A-game throughout the tournament, he stubbornly refused to lie down.’

Congratulations Higgins, well deserved.

By Margaret Repton.

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A Royal Affair To Remember…

Picture from: celebrityplanet.com

The Royal Wedding: 2011’s most talked about, and eagerly anticipated event of the year….or is it?

The Royal Family has been an integral part in British history and culture for centuries.
Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne in 1952, and her reign has witnessed unprecedented scrutiny of the monarch’s role and her family’s private life. And the Royal Wedding is no different.
Rumours and speculation about the guest list, Kate’s weight loss and the wedding dress have all coincidently added fuel to the fire, and made the general public even more excited about the big day.

Across the country communities will be closing their streets and celebrating the royal wedding. Sheffield will be joining in on the festivities by holding a number of street parties.
Sheffield Council have nine confirmed street parties, with three in Millhouses on Sterndale Road, Endwood Road and Pingle Road. More celebrations are taking place on Norton Park View in Norton, Fossdale Road in Nether Edge, Cardoness Road in Crosspool, Bromwich Road at Meadowhead, Beauchief Rise in Beauchief and Ringinglow Road in Bents Green. There could be up to 25 events in Sheffield by the end of the month.

Mandy Proudfoot, 47, from Sheffield said: “I’m really looking forward to watching the wedding, I’m holding a small tea party for family and friends to celebrate.”

Wedding merchandise and memorabilia including: key rings, china and toilet seat covers can be purchased in remembrance of the big day.
Eva Middleton, 68, from Sheffield said: “I’ve already bought a key ring and a coin so that I have a souvenir of the big day. I’m really looking forward to it.”

With the Royal Wedding quickly approaching, it seems that some people can not get enough of the big day, while others are not interested at all.

Jessica Browse, 19, from Sheffield said: “I’m really not fussed about anything to do with the Royal Wedding. The only thing I’m excited about is having the day off work!”

Whether you have already picked out your outfit and your wedding hat for the big day, or are opting to sit in a darkened room on the 29th April, you really can’t escape the buzz and excitement.

Will and Kate fever has well and truly hit Britain and the Steel City.

Check out what other people from Sheffield think about the Royal Wedding in the vox pop below….

By Laura Browse.

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It’s a scream!

Picture from: geekyrant.com

Scream 4 was always going to receive heavy criticism, as most sequels and horror films do, but surprisingly, the film is a worthy sequel, and is certain to land a few scares, and a few laughs along the way.

The fourth instalment of the groundbreaking slasher franchise sees Sidney Prescott, now the author of a self-help book, return home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale (Courtney Cox), who are now married, as well as her cousin Jill (played by Emma Roberts) and her Aunt Kate (Mary McDonnell).

Unfortunately Sidney’s appearance also brings about the return of Ghostface, putting Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, along with Jill, her friends, and the whole town of Woodsboro in danger. The newest instalment in the acclaimed franchise that ushered in a new wave of horror in the 1990s is written by series creator Kevin Williamson and directed by suspense master and director of the first trilogy, Wes Craven.

Scream 4 does, what the first and second film (maybe not the third!) did, and challenge the horror genre, whilst making their characters well aware of “the rules” of how to survive a horror film. This technique is what made the scream franchise a success, and the fourth film does not disappoint.

The film stars an array of young, new talent which adds a breath of fresh air to the script. Stars including: Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Anthony Anderson, Adam Brody, Kristen Bell, Anna Paquin, Lucy Hale and Shenae Grimes.

Whilst it’s true that Scream 4 will not be winning any awards, who can argue with a film where at the end, when the credits begin to roll, people start cheering and clapping? Bet that didn’t happen at the end of The Kings Speech…

By Laura Browse

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Cartoonist Ian Baker showcases his work back home

ExhibitionIan Baker, one of Britain’s best loved cartoonists, has brought his work back home to show Sheffield his global skills.

Famous for his celebrity caricatures and gag cartoons, Ian, from Sheffield, is showcasing some of his most loved work across four venues, including the Showroom Cinema, the Workstation, the Rutland Arms, and the Red Deer.

His illustrations are known across the world after being published in Private Eye, Nickelodeon, The Spectator, People magazine, and hundreds more.

The Showroom Cinema, on Paternoster Row, has hosted nine of Ian’s caricatures, including local film star Sean Bean, Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Larry David and Cheryl Hines, and movie character Austin Powers. The exhibition also features Blofeld, part of his now infamous James Bond collection.

Ian Baker, aged 41, said: “I nearly got in to trouble with an American literary agent after MGM studios threatened to sue me. I’d started to draw characters from the James Bond films, and was posting them on different sites on the internet, where one of the producers saw them. They told me I had no right to draw them, but my solicitor explained there isn’t a law saying I can’t. They soon backed down.

“It made a minor news story, which made the drawings popular, and they have become the biggest sellers of my work. I’ve made the decision to make a substantial collection of over sixty James Bond drawings, and I keep getting requests for more characters.”

The Workstation and the Red Deer are also showcasing Ian’s celebrity caricatures, as well as selection of gag cartoons. The Rutland Arms is purely his James Bond collection, which are also scattered in the other three venues.

“These exhibitions have been great. I’ve drawn about 9000 gag cartoons, so it’s given me the chance to show off some of my older work which hasn’t been published, but stuff which I like and are proud of.”

Ian was first published in 1985, aged just 15, when he and school friend, Mike Gorman, produced a book titled Professor Pickle and the Amazing Jelly Machine for the Education Authority. He then spent the next four years studying graphic design at Norton College before beginning work as a freelance.

His professional debut was in 1990 when his gag cartoons were featured in Squib magazine. There were only six issues, but he got to work along side Monty Python’s Terry Jones, and the author of the Adrian Mole books, Sue Townsend.

In the late 1990s Ian became the first British cartoonist to be published in the American Reader’s Digest. “I was spending time in New York working for Nickelodeon, Cracked and Penthouse, and I knew people at the Reader’s Digest. I contacted the editor, who was familiar with my work through the British version, and was offered a job. Out of all my work this has had the biggest circulation, and has a readership of about eighty million.”

Ian’s work has also been seen on Calendar news’ sport section, in advertisements for William Hill and Phillips, and in national newspapers. He has also been an illustrator and gag writer for a number of greeting card companies. 

Recently, he’s started to make a move into comedy writing, and wrote for the final series of ITV’s Hale and Pace. He also has his first book, The Codger’s Kama Sutra, coming out in September. “It’s a comedy book which basically makes fun of the Kama Sutra.

“It’s the first time I’ll be classed as an author, and is something I want to do more of. Cartoons don’t have the same longevity as a book does.”

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By Phil Corker

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Sunny Sheffield….

Great Britain, known for its Royal Family, fish and chips and bad weather.

children playing in the peace gardens

But over the last few weeks, the latter hasn’t been the case, as Britain has enjoyed some glorious sunshine…

The mini-heat wave began just as the school holidays did. And in typical British style, the population made their way outdoors to bask in the unseasonal outbreak of sunny weather.

The north of England, which usually receives the short end of the stick, where British weather is concerned, has not missed out, and has experienced sunshine which has rivalled the temperatures in Ibiza and Rome.

the peace gardens

Sheffield has been seeing temperatures reach 24 degrees C, and many wasted no time in making the most of the uncharacteristic British weather. The peace gardens have been extremely busy since the hot weather descended on to the Steel City. Many people taking the opportunity to sun bathe, whilst others opted to cool off in the peace garden fountains.

The sunny weather has coincided with Easter bank holiday weekend, the Royal Wedding, and the Snooker World Championships that are being held at the Crucible in Sheffield.

people relaxing outside The Crucible

Natalie Hare, 32, said: “It’s wonderful that the weather has been so nice over both of the bank holiday weekends. I can’t believe how sunny it is for the time of year.”

The Continental market has returned to Sheffield, and will be here until 2nd May. The market, which has a variety of different products, gifts and food on sale from around Europe, is a perfect way to spend a sunny day in the city.

The warm weather has also seen the sale of BBQ’s rise. Holly Mottershaw, 21, a check-out attendant at ASDA, Handsworth said: “Over the past couple of weeks, BBQ’s have been flying off the shelves every weekend. It’s very strange to see this happening in April!”

groups of friends relaxing in the Sheffield sunshine

The sunny, spring weather is a stark contrast from one of the worst winters Britain encountered last year. The harsh snow and freezing temperatures sent the country into panic.

Tony Gurnhill, 20, said: “The snow we saw last winter was horrendous; it’s great to see the weather has finally picked up. I believe we are all enjoying the weather while it lasts because we all know how quickly the English weather can change!”

the peace gardens 2

The population of Sheffield are basking in the sunshine, and taking what the fantastic weather has to offer. With temperatures reaching heights of 20 degrees C in the Steel City, many are wondering what the summer months will have to offer, as we all remind ourselves that it is only April!

By Laura Browse.

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Podcast 3

This week we cover email scams, Big Brother, and Laura takes on Margaret in the Sheffield Quiz.

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