Saturday, 8 November 2008

Double Somersault

I've always liked this. It is a large sculpture that stands outside Sheffield Children's Hospital.

Double Somersault II

It's called Double Somersault and is by the artist William Pye. This type of tubular stainless steel structure is fairly typical of his work at that time (nowadays he is better known for his water sculptures).

Double Somersault was erected in 1976 by the Centenary Committee of the Children's Hospital (with some help from the Arts Council), but it has moved around a little since then. It originally stood on Western Bank, outside the main entrance to the hospital, but had to move along slightly when the entrance was altered. It moved again, as a result of more major changes to the hospital's entrances, around the corner to Clarkson Street, where it still stands today.

Double Somersault I

I remember stopping to look at Double Somersault during my very first week in Sheffield. I loved its simplicity, the slight asymmetry and the beautiful visual balance. Like many simple and elegant sculptures, it looks as if it was easy to design, but I bet it wasn't.

William Pye's website (I really like the favicon, but then, I would.)
A blogpost about William Pye by Stacy Alexander
A very brief biography of William Pye appears on this gallery's site

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Tuesday, 28 October 2008


Spirals Spirals 2

I was driving along Queens Road in Sheffield today when these caught my eye, so I decided it was worth stopping for a closer look.

This set of rather nice sculptures stand outside Screwfix. I've no idea who made them, or if other branches have something similar, I'll have to do some detective work there.

Spirals 4 Spirals 3 Spirals 5

I think they're rather nice - not to mention very appropriate. A small visual oasis in a part of Sheffield that is rather less than picturesque.

Spirals 6

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Monday, 29 September 2008

Transports Exceptionnels

Transports Exceptionnels VI

The new season of Danceworks started in style this weekend. We joined the crowd on the fairly recently revamped Devonshire Green to watch a highly unusual piece of dance.

Transports Exceptionnels, by French choreographer Dominique Boivin, was described by the Danceworks brochure as "a tender love duet for dancer and mechanical digger". Strangely enough, that's exactly what it was.

We expected the dancer, Phillipe Priasso, to be expressive, and he was - at times tender, at others playful, in a perfomance that included some highly acrobatic moves. However the most surprising aspect was the fact that the digger was not just a foil to the human dancer, it danced quite well itself. Hidden behind the mirrored windows of the cabin, the unseen, but highly skilled driver made his charge interact with its human partner in a rather amazing manner.

"Accompagnied by the dramatic voice of Maria Callas, this meeting between iron and flesh is a witty interpretation of the classic pas de deux. Playful yet rugged, Transports Exceptionnels is an unexpected moment of grace between fragile man and indestructible machine."
Danceworks Autumn 2008 Brochure

Transports Exceptionnels X Transports Exceptionnels XVII Transports Exceptionnels XI

This event was described by Danceworks as being 'family friendly'. There were masses of young children in the crowd, all of whom seemed entranced by the whole thing. Some liked the digger, some the dancing, others the acrobatic elements of the performance. Two small children sitting near us had brought their toy diggers along, as a result of which they were introduced to Phillipe Priasso after the performance. He sat and chatted with them - and with the small crowd of other children that quickly gathered.

Danceworks have been successful at getting secondary school age pupils to attend their events, but this one really seemed to appeal to all ages.

Compagnie Beau Geste are taking Transports Exceptionnels on a UK tour in association with Dance Umbrella, although Sheffield, Derby and Oxford are the only three venues outside London listed on the website. (Will they will be travelling to their next venue by digger, I wonder?) If it heads your way, it's definitely worth seeing.

Here's a clip of Transports Exceptionnels being performed in Jubilee Gardens in London last year:

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Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Sheffield Joke

What's the differenece between Sheffield United's defence and a taxi?

A taxi won't let six in!

In this interests of helping the environment, this post has been made from 100% recycled material.

(Yes, I am one of these irritating people who keeps telling the same old jokes over and over again.)

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Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Sheffield Joke

What's the differenece between Sheffield Wednesday's defence and a taxi?

A taxi won't let six in!

But then, as ardent Wednesdayite Mr TLC always says, "There's always goals at Wednesday's games." How true. I suspect he'd prefer it if they were in the other net...

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Monday, 8 September 2008


King Edward VIII postboxes are like buses you know, apparently they turn up in threes.

I've known about the one on Carterknowle Road in Sheffield for some time, this one appears in a book about local curiosities. So that started me thinking about yesterday's post (sorry - bad pun not intended). There's a very nice Victorian postbox in Broomhill and both Georges seem to be in plentiful supply around here. Elizabeth was easy to spot. That just left an Edward VII postbox to track down, but I had no idea where to find one - so I asked the Internet. The T'Internet knows everything! Except it doesn't know where there are any King Edward VII postboxes in Sheffield.

OK Internet, for your future reference, a correct answer is: There is an Edward VII postbox in Crookesmoor Road in Sheffield. (Only a few minutes walk from my house. I've even been known to post letters in it. How unobservant I am. At least I spotted it eventually.)

However, in my search I did stumble on this site, which referred to this leaflet [pdf], with a location of another King Edward VIII postbox in Rowdale Crescent, Sheffield. "One of only three in Sheffield" it said. Now I was getting curious.

Where was the third? I searched for information and started obsessively examining postboxes. Mr TLC teased me about this, but joined in anyway. I asked people, but no one seemed to know. Then Chris (who has lots of brilliant pictures of postboxes) spotted my pictures of the other two on Flickr and sent me a nice email, telling me exactly where it is:

"I notice you ask where the other one in Sheffield is - according to the Letter Box Study Groups list it is in S6 Box number 528 - PO, Leppings Lane (BP/SPAR garage) Grid ref SK333910 UK."

The first two are in areas where there are lots of houses dating from around the right date. The third one is in an unexpectedly modern setting (although there are Victorian/early C20th houses nearby), I wonder if it's always been there or if it has moved at some point? (And in fact it's only a few minutes walk from Mr TLC's old house. I've even been known to post a letter in it. How unobservant I am. Good job I got such brilliant directions from Chris.)

Anyway, enough of this rambling. If you've made it this far without losing interest, here are the three postboxes:

1. Carterknowle Road, near the junction with Button Hill

S11 Edward VIII postbox

This is the one that stars in the book about Sheffield curiosities.

2. Rowland Crescent, at the junction with Somercotes Road

S12 Edward VIII postbox S12 Edward VIII postbox insignia

This one appeared in yesterday's post, but I straightened up yesterday's picture a bit. It really is at this jaunty angle.

No offisher, of coursh I havn't been drinking...

3. Leppings Lane, Post Office at Law Brothers Spar/BP Garage

The Third Box Close Up
The Big Picture

The canopy over this one came in handy on Sunday - I don't think I'd have got a photo otherwise. Il pleuvait comme vaches qui pissent!

Of course, I've still only found one Edward VII box, so maybe they are the rare ones...

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Sunday, 7 September 2008


Victoria Edward VII George V
Edward VIII George VI Elizabeth II

One of these is rather unusual...

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