Sheffield: An Introduction. Or, My Love Letter To The North.
Hello hello, this is Sheffield calling. I’d like to be able to make some grand statement here about how much a part of the Sheffo landscape I am myself, bleeding Henderson Relish and whatnot, but I must confess early on that I am a fairly newcomer to the city. Having lived in the North West all my life I upped sticks about a year ago, crossing to the dark side of the hills, and experiencing something close to mild panic about being a Lancastrian in White Rose territory. Not just being in Yorkshire mind, but Sheffield: The People’s Republic of South Yorkshire. Yet they accepted me, with something close to open arms. And do you know what, I have totally fallen for this city.
When the fine folks at ‘Northern Spirit’ approached me to write about what Sheffield means to me it gave me a timely chance to recap on what my feelings for the place were, and where they have come from. Shifting from the city centre bustle of Manchester (where I had been based for the best part of decade), here I found myself in a city which has four trees per person, green space, hills, valleys, the Peak District, modernist beauty, pop music, art and ale. Lots of ale. All of these things are facets of city living which mean a lot to me, and having spent a year getting to know some wonderful people, who have shared the city which they care about so much with me, I can honestly say that I love this city. Sheffield has very much become home, and no that doesn’t mean that I have turned my back on the North West – it is more that I have a broader appreciation of just how blooming great The North is.
With that, I’ll get on with telling you just what Sheffield means to me, and how it represents itself through two of the things which are inescapable wherever you go in the city – the landscape and the architecture which has been sited within it. I’m no architect or urban planner, the following week is an account of someone who just loves walking around city centres and getting wrapped up in the way that space is used. If you enjoy these posts then wander over to my blog in a town so small for more words on Sheffield, Manchester, Cardiff, Portsmouth, and anywhere else that I’ve been moved by the way that space, building and people combine to form a sense of place.
Oh, and before I get started, HUGE thanks to Natalie Bradbury for her terrific foody trip around the Greater Manchester region last week. Admittedly there were a huge number of meaty treats which she missed out by necessity, but some of those recipes looked terrific, and will be making their way into my kitchen soon enough!
I’m also going to be using this week to introduce you to some of my favourite new bands from Sheffield. So you might want to start each of my blogs by popping to the bottom of the page, hitting play, and then dashing back up to the top to start reading. To kick things off, may I present Oxo Foxo. Here we have some of the most interesting music coming from one woman in the city, all of this is a series of pedals and loops and brilliance. Take this as the starting point of realising that there is way more interesting music being made in Sheffield than ‘The Reverend’ and his bunch.