Sheffield circus

There is currently temporary exhibitions, about circus at Western bank (within Sheffield university) and Western Park Museum.

As this extract from article about Western bank exhibition explains, this year marks the 250th anniversary of what is considered to be the birth of circus in Britain.

n 1768 in London Phillip Astley unveiled a show which, for the very first time, combined equestrianism, clowning and acrobatics within a now iconic circular ring. This ground-breaking performance marked the birth of a global phenomenon; 250 years later, circus continues to amaze and astound audiences, showcasing the talents of legions of impossibly skilled performers in shows around the world.

Western bank circus

I have been to the Western Park exhibition. There is circus posters, exhibits about different performers, stuffed circus animals and a canal skeleton. There are two screens, showing films. When I was there one screen was showing acrobats and other women with circus connections discussing circus. Additionally there are dressing up clothes for children. I have pictures on my Wonderwall360 instragram of a couple of the exhibits.

In a slight derivation to circus, Kelham Island Museum has archive of fairground memorabilia.

Sleeping out to raise awareness of homelessness

I ‘slept’ outside Sheffield cathedral to raise awareness of homeless, so writing this post to share that awareness.


We started with a meeting about the sleepout / Archer project. Then went outside about 8pm to set up. About 10 we had a tour of the facilities the Archer project has at the cathedral; kitchen, laundry and showers. Then I went out for the night.

Of course, this was not an authentic experience as we could have gone inside cathedral at anytime. Really on streets at night, would have no access to toilets or running water to wash hands. I had my house keys in bag and could have jumped into taxi at anytime and been in my bed in 15minutes. Also got to sleep in a group, so I did not feel scared. We laid in row against cathedral wall to shelter us, between two places where wall jutted out either side of stained glass window; it was cosy! It was my first time sleeping directly under stars. Looking up could see architecture of the cathedral and stars. Therefore for us this really was about an experience rather than real hardship.

The biggest discomfort for me was the hardness of the floor. I had a camping mat, which could feel concrete through. The zip of borrowed sleeping bag would not connect so, did not have a bag to get in. Most of night bag was on top, skewed to side of me. After many hours I did try, putting sleeping bag underneath me for extra padding. I was wrapped in cosy fleece blanket. Then had a plastic sheet over to keep it all dry. I was so uncomfortable, that constantly wanted to change position. Rather awkward as sandwiched between two people and when moved plastic sheet rustled, so did not want to disturb people. We were lucky not colder and barely rained. People sleepout in much worse conditions. I may have felt like could have had better equipment, but people sleepout on cardboard with no sleeping bag.

I did not feel vulnerable as we were in a group, with people awake keeping an eye on us. We had our bags between the cathedral wall and sleeping bags. As we were all in a row in front of bags; no one could get to them without stepping over us. Whereas on the street alone, it would be much harder to protect belongings.

There is not necessarily a shortage of accommodation, but people can not always make use of it. People may feel safer on the street than in a hostel. There were some spice users around who, were up all night rather than being in accommodation. Rules in accommodation surrounding being sober; are a barrier to addicts.

It was not as noisy as I had been dreading; but, it was never quiet. It was mainly the discomfort that kept me awake. At about 6 we were all forced to pack up. A message that the Archer project was keen to get across was how tough dealing with life is when sleep deprived. We all the next day did not feel very motivated to do anything; therefore organising things like benefits is a really difficult task for rough sleepers who are sleep deprived. Of course the more sleep deprived, get harder it is to function. This is where the Archer project comes into support clients in contacting the people they need to, completing forms, allowing them to use the address to receive post, phone access, access to electric to charge mobile if have one, along with more basic services like food and washing facilities. On the tour we also saw medical room where doctors, dentists, chiropodists etc… come to on different days, giving time for free to treat people.

In summary, it was an enlightening experience. However despite this and my research into homelessness for lent posts in 2017, it is still a complex subject.

Tramlines 2018 photos

The park was transformed.

Predictably I still adore Noel Gallagher.

Loved seeing Shed7 and Stereophonics again.

Stereophonics Wanna Get Lost with you’

Shed 7 Chasing Rainbows 🌈

I went in the park each of three days of festival as evidenced by getting a bag check tag for every day.

Sure the fringe would have also been enjoyable, but the only bit of Fringe that got to was seeing PJ One Drop on Saturday at the Horse and Jockey in Hillsborough.

As never left Hillsborough the tram strike was not a problem.

Ate tempura prawns 🦐 and chips 🍟 in the Park. Saturday in the park had Frenchie Poutine; from Gravy train. Sunday night an excellent curry in newly reopened, under new management Indian in Hillsborough behind Hillsborough Park tram stop.

Plenty of sun but, not intense heat of recent weeks which may not have been pleasant to sit in for extended periods.

All, in all a fantastic weekend in Hillsborough.

Sheffield City of Seven Hills: Annual July Culture

In addition to Tramlines in July, for the last 4 or 5 years, local aspiring performers have come together to perform in Sheffield’s theatres a specially developed play with Sheffield stories. The show that I saw tonight, will be performed tomorrow and Saturday night.

It is a rich story. Possibly a little too ambitious, with all that was crammed in which distracted from it’s coherence. In echos of Everybody is Talking about Jamie there was a Transgender character in addition to a vicar, a ghost and asylum seekers. In all but name the opening of Sheffield’s Ikea store was commentated apart from it was called, Skandi.

There annual plays are certainly interesting and a great opportunity for locals; making it a worthy July tradition to continue.

Sheffield Tramlines and trams

Tramlines gets it’s name from the city’s teams. This year Tramline’s main stages are further from the city centre than they have ever been, in Hillsborough Park. Teams run across the front of the park. At one corner of the park there is Hillsborough park tram stop and at the other corner Leppings Lane tram stop. Teams provide a smooth journey. They are reliable. They are more direct than the buses and you can get from Hillsborough Park to the city centre in 15 – 20minutes. The fringe stages in Devonshire green and Peace gardens are just a couple of minutes walk from a tram stop. There is a tram stop at the train station for anyone arriving by train. Other fringe venues are the pubs along West Street, which the tram runs down.

It is a great weekend to showcase Sheffield’s trams. On the other hand taking industrial action (striking) this weekend really highlights the cause. There is due to be strikes on all 3 days of the festival by members of the Unite union who would like pay to rise by 50p per hour. Currently the offer is 26p per hour raise.

As it is just one union involved with strikes them between 7am and 7pm on the three days there will be a limited service serving some stops at intervals of about 30minutes rather than the usual 5-10minutes. Often to accommodate special events like big concerts and at Sheffield arena, extra teams are provided and the workers manage to efficiently get thousands of people from the arena back to the city centre, using well established processes. Instead at the end of Tramlines anyone wanting to get back to the city centre has to find a taxi or face the unknown quantity of buses laid on by the council. The journey back to the city centre will cost £3 and no passes will be accepted so everyone adult or child has to pay £3. Bearing in mind normally, a day tram saver costs £4 and for that you can if you want spend all day on trams.

Luckily on the Saturday, to be sure of seeing Noel Gallagher perform, I do not intend to leave Hillsborough and I’m in walking distance of home at the end of the night.

Rocco, Sheffield

The courtyard is beautiful in the sun. When I was in the sliding doors were open; their size means that when shut the cafe will bright.

I have walked past many times and the rooftop garden sounded very glamorous. Perhaps I was too hyped by the rooftop garden and that caused disappointment. It was big and looked too empty. There were plants but, I think it needed more foliage; more like the rooftop garden at South bank that I recently visited would be better. Also, it was not as high as I expected from walking past the front of the building. The garden is at the back of the building and this being, hilly Sheffield the back is not as high up as the front of the building.

Good hot chocolate and Turkish delight cake.