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Above: Park Hill residents visit Tent City, Photo taken by Anthony Cunningham/Donations from Park Hill residents to Tent City, photos by Fiona Finley-Barbereau
A group of residents in Park Hill’s Urban Splash development are speaking out in support of ‘Tent City’ – a local homelessness project with tents pitched next to the derelict old flats on South Street behind the Train Station, highlighting the need for more social housing and provision for homeless people in the city. Residents of Park Hill have collected food, clothing, bedding and toiletries for the people in Tent City and visited the tents, with many more in support.
Tent City aims to highlight the existing street homelessness in Sheffield, and demand proper housing and support. Residents of the Urban Splash development have come together to support that aim, feel that all of the residents of Park Hill – those in the flats and those who use the old flats for shelter – should be part of a safe community where everyone has a right to a roof over their head. The vast majority of the flats in the Park Hill complex will not be completed for years according to Urban Splash’s plans, and many homeless people have been taking shelter in the empty balconies and walkways- it’s about time people stand up and take notice of that and stop hoping it will go away.
Residents noted, in response to The Star’s article: http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/homeless-camp-divides-the-community-at-park-hill-1-8217999 that they had noted no increase in anti-social behaviour or drug use and were surprised these concerns had not been raised with the local Neighbourhood Watch or on the active residents Facebook group. Those who have visited the camp will know many of the people there have been sleeping rough in the old flats anyway. In contradiction to the previous report, Tent City residents have actually been cleaning up the existing rubbish and waste in the balconies and the area is spotless and much better than before they moved in. Tent City is also organising a ‘Park Hill Clean Up’ on 20th November, and we’d encourage residents to join us from 10am to improve the whole area and address these problems by speaking to people face to face.
Some residents are currently making plans to cook breakfast for Tent City on Saturday morning in the flats to deliver in person.
Quotes from Residents:
Rosie Huzzard “Homelessness should not exist in a society where money is diverted to things like war and bailing out the banks. It’s really clear that vulnerable people are last on the list of the government and local council’s priorities. I feel like they’re more interested in a gentrified new development full of student flats, but with so many people sleeping rough here with a lack of social housing, it just smacks of social cleansing. What’s been amazing this week is that Tent City has really brought the residents of Park Hill together for a common purpose – I’ve met loads of my neighbours who I’d never even spoken to before – it’s certainly a force for good”.
Monika Kostera “We need a structural solution to social problems, we need policies putting citizens first, like in the country where I grew up, Sweden. Until that happens, we need to spread awareness and do whatever we can to help our fellow citizens. ”
Rachel Sharp “Having worked in Sheffield for the past 7 years and recently become a resident here I have noticed the unfortunate increase in the homeless community in the city. The work which Anthony and his team are doing here is inspiring and needed to protect vulnerable people. The project seems to be run by a person who has a full understanding and knowledge of the issues surrounding homelessness and also takes consideration of the wider community outside of Tent City. Homelessness is something which could affect anyone, at any time and in any circumstances. This is why I offer my support. This project raises the important question as to why more isn’t being done to address this and that is a question which has been left unanswered for too long.”
Jan Dobbernack “Park Hill is a symbol for previous attempts to create a just society, with decent living conditions and housing for everyone. It is shameful that we need the tent city to remind us of this history.”
Residents in Support
Rosie Huzzard (Tenant)
Lucy Huzzard (Tenant)
Jan Dobbernack (Owner)
Monika Kostera (Owner)
Andrew Smith (Owner)
Mick Hawker (Owner)
Victoria Lynn El-Nayal
Krzysztof Nawratek (Owner)
Parveen Afsar (Tenant)
Jerzy Kociatkiewicz (Owner)
Matty Halton (Tenant)
Catherine Fletcher (Owner)
Fabienne Colignon (Owner)
Many more residents have also donated supplies and lent their support for Tent City but have not been contactable in the past 24 hours before publishing for their names to be published.
Thought I’d let you all know about a fantastic group I’ve recently got involved in, and our biggest event of the year which is coming up real soon!
The LaDIYFest weekender is a once-a-year gathering (though we are active throughout the year as well, putting on gigs and things) of feminists of all stripes where you can come to meet other feminists, learn about different feminist perspectives, or even learn for the first time if you’re just feminism-curious.
Sheffielders should expect a packed weekend of lively discussion, new ideas, and plenty of thinking, ranting, plotting, joking and dancing.
This year the event is raising money for two important local organisations: Survivors of Depression in Transition (SODIT) and Young Women’s Housing Project (YWHP). SODIT helps women who have suffered from depression and mental health illness to move on in their lives. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from depression, so LaDIYfest Sheffield believes that mental health is very much a feminist issue. YWHP provides safe accommodation for young women who have been affected by sexual violence, as well as supporting women survivors living independently, and leading activities and workshops to help women to recover. We put a lot of consideration into choosing our charities and are proud to be fundraising for two groups that do such valuable work.
The LaDIYFest programme is coming together a treat, with a crossover event with Off The Shelf festival on Friday night at The Harland Cafe (https://www.facebook.com/events/163730467098116/?fref=ts) where Juliet Jacques (from ‘My Transgender Journey’ as featured in The Guardian), will be giving a talk on media representations of trans people. There will be time for question and answers and Juliet will be sticking around afterwards too. Saturday daytime (https://www.facebook.com/events/393012127435174/?fref=ts) sees a whole host of workshops at the Quaker Meeting House including, ‘Why Disability Matters to Feminists’, ‘Making Sense of Consent’, ‘Women and Working Class Struggle Politics’, ‘Hollaback! Sheffield: Anti-Street Harassment’, ‘Body Mapping and Body Image’, ‘Feminist Craftivism’, ‘Confidence and Assertiveness: Making a Start’, ‘Why Women Travel: Abortion and Ireland’, ‘LGBTQ: Writing For Our Lives’, ‘Mindfulness’. There will be distros and stalls from a range of local groups, including: Archives of Activism ● Young Women’s Housing Project ● Survivors of Depression in Transition ● Feminist and Queer Zines ● Hidden Perspectives: Queering the Bible.
We will have a children’s space supervised by volunteers with activities scheduled throughout the day, including: Pom-pom making ● Firework pictures ● Leaf rubbing ● Animal masks ● Play dough monsters ● Rocket making ● Hand drawing.
Saturday night brings a party at Penelope’s with live music and DJs, (https://www.facebook.com/events/201888899944491/?fref=ts).
And if you’re not completely knackered, there’s still a full day of awesomeness back at The Harland on Sunday (https://www.facebook.com/events/124716097676563/?fref=ts) including music from Izzy Isgate, Oxo Foxo, and Nancy Richardson. Spoken word from Cassie Killah and Mightyy Kerri Leigh + Sam Catbear will be doing crafty things! Other activities to be confirmed are: feminist quiz, short film screenings, more poetry readings!
I thought I’d reblog this post by a friend of mine – Edd. He’s a Sheffielder who’s recently moved back to London for a job and is feeling kinda homesick. I know we have a lot of ‘ex-pats’ who read this, so this is for you, and of course, for Edd – whose poetry is sublime and you can catch more of it here: http://eddmustill.wordpress.com/.
I recently left Sheffield, here’s a barely completed piece I’ve worked on, posted because I’m feeling homesick.
From Steel City
“The bottle’s half empty
And the glass is half full
The people outside us
They never understood.”
Harrisons, Blue Note
“If it hadn’t rained so much
That the seven hills became seven seas.”
Monkey Swallows the Universe, Sheffield Shanty
“And you can pour your heart out at around three o’clock
When the two-for-one’s undone the writer’s block.”
Arctic Monkeys, The View from the Afternoon
“Everything you want to be
And even everything that you dream of
Is inside you.”
Bison, You Are My Smile
“How was London? How was Crete
How was Amsterdam and gay Paris
How was Barcelona and Sicily
And did you spare a little thought for me?”
Little Man Tate, European Lover
“So I’ll see you when I see you
Yeah I’ll see you again.”
Milburn, Last Bus
With every footstep
I’m scraping towards a vantage point
Because before I leave
I want to see all the streets
I’ve never walked down
And before I leave
I want the bellowing hammers of the Don Valley
To bowl me over backwards
And before I leave
I want the shaking sound of a five-string acoustic
(because the b-string broke before payday)
To rasp up above the arts tower
From every bar on Division Street
Tell me you’re not letting me go for good
And I won’t be so sad
Tell me you’re not letting me go for good
That you’ll see me
At Christmas and I’ll tag
Your trees with a nonsense signature
That you’ll help me ring in the new year
With snowballs and whiskey in Meersbrook
With heavy ale cannonballs across
Tell me you’re not
Tell me I’ll be back
That I can come back whenever
Whenever I need you
That I’ll drink in the Lescar
The Sheaf View The Fat Cat
When I’m boxed into winter’s corner
Sometimes I think this is
A mess of dirt tracks in the wilderness
Sometimes I think this is
The centre of the world
If the scarred and crapped-out
Paths of my youth are
Visible under the tarmac
Scratching their way past
UNITE blocks and the shuttered-up Boardwalk
Where the metal string ghosts
Hum their grateful two-pounds-on-the-door tunes
Down to the griping traffic at Lady’s Bridge
If they empty out into the Don like a sewer
I’ll pick through the waste
I’ll tip over your bins
And tickle your underbelly
Like we all used to do
And I’ll never leave
I’ll never leave
If you were to ask me for three qualities that make a perfect cafe I would say amazing cake, lovely staff and the observer newspaper with a proper home made breakfast on a Sunday. Oh and a unique charm, and tranquil atmosphere…and new and interesting music every time you visit…and hundreds and hundreds of books! OK, I got slightly carried away there, the reason being is that The Rude Shipyard possess all of the above in abundance!
There is nothing as special as an independent local bookshop. The selection of books there is vast and varied with each one deserving an appreciative home. For me, its a ‘home away from home’ as I’m there almost every other day. No other place in Sheffield has such a relaxed ambiance with the most genuinely lovely staff. They make every visitor whether young, old, strange or curious feel like a valued friend.
This oasis of bookish tranquillity also hosts regular live music gigs (including the incredibly popular cupids in nooses anti valentines festival), free wifi, a book club, whiskey and drinking songs nights and Thursday supper to name a few exciting happenings.
Back to the food…not only do they serve self proclaimed hugs made of cakes, they also do a amazing breakfast on a Sunday with local sausages and bacon and home made soda bread. In the week you can find varying delights always including unusual sandwiches, soups and salads, plus the greenest hummus and more substantial meals such as burritos, curries and tortillas. Vegan and gluten free options are available.
If that wasn’t enough they also have a delicatessen where you can purchase home made dukkah or hot chocolate with mahlep, as well as aubergine pickle, hazelnut oil, smoked salt and paprika and much more.
The Rude Shipyard feels like one of those undiscovered gems that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserves. I want to keep it to myself and yet I feel it is only fair to share it with you. It never fails to intrigue, inform and refresh me with every visit so I’m sure you’ll love it just as much as I do. Go check them out!
Well hello blogosphere, long time no see.
Komal, Aurore and I have been super busy over the last few months. That hasn’t really subsided but I still thought a bit of blogging might be a good thing.
Saturday gone was Sheffield Pride, the second one I’ve been to, and the first that charged on the gate (three English pounds, as I recall).
The best thing about this year (for me at least) was that it was the first year that there was a Pride march (rather than just the festival), starting around Pomona Street (I would say ‘at the Pomona’, but apparently it’s been renamed) and finishing up in the park. I was running late, after viewing a house (I’m moving soon), and was dashing down past the DVLA when the most gaudy, balloon-covered, drag queen-filled party float I’ve ever seen (but then, I haven’t been to San Francisco) came round the corner. I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear, and as it slowly went past, everyone gave me a wave. The float belonged to Affinity, a relatively new gay club in Sheffield (apparently it’s a blast, though I haven’t made it down).
On a whim, and knowing I was running late, I shouted ‘Can I have a lift?’ and to my surprise, they all shouted ‘Yes!’ and helped me on to the back of the float. So off we went down Ecclesall Road, dancing to the Cheeky Girls. We soon went past my friend Heather, who couldn’t help but laugh, but I pulled her up too, and we had lots of fun dancing all the way up, whilst also thinking we should probably be marching with the trade union contingents tailing the float.
Once we got to the park, we hopped off and carried on our day. I’m really not convinced by the Pride committee’s decision to start charging for the event, but I can imagine it keeps things under control. There were lots of stalls, mostly from liberation groups, political campaigns and various charities around, though I was extremely disappointed with the range of food on offer (burger, hot dog or hog roast anyone?) – with the brilliant range of mobile food available in Sheffield (where were Yabba, the Street Food Chef, etc?) it was very disappointing that I ended up with a cheese and onion panini.
There was a pretty funky looking inflatable bowel (warts and all), which you could climb inside and take an STI test and get some free condoms. Pretty clever though god knows where that idea came from!
Music was the usual, awful cover bands that seem to please noone. I’m not sure why gay events always put on this stuff, does anyone actually enjoy it? Surely some Sheffield-based bands (of which there are many) would be better? Most people seemed to head down the DJ tent pretty sharpish.
I think it is fair to say that Sheffield’s ‘gay scene’ (yuck, hate that term) is pretty young still compared with, say, Manchester and hopefully it will keep getting better year on year.
The following photos are very gratefully taken from my friend Emily Hammerton-Barry (affectionately known as ‘Hammertime’)’s collection. She’s a very talented photographer and filmmaker, now based in Sheffield, though these photos were taken on her phone!
Emily and some other friends and I made a beeline for the LaDIYFest tent which was hosting a discussion on gendered language, swearing, linguistics, and more specifically the ‘C word’. The discussion was very interesting although I don’t feel my analysis was particularly well thought out (despite my militant feminism, I have a filthy mouth and say a lot of things that aren’t particularly progressive).
LaDIYFest, if you don’t know, is a Sheffield based initiative started in 2011 building towards a day event (the first was last Autumn, the next is in November). The LaDIYers describe themselves as ‘LaDIYfest Sheffield is an inclusive, DIY, anti-capitalist, community-based feminist collective’, but for my mind queer feminism seems to sum up the whole thing, with a smattering of anarcho/socialist feminism too. We went down to one of their events – a pre-pride special – on Friday at the Harland Cafe (what a lovely place – another write up coming soon I’m sure!) on John Street.
It was a night of Queer centric poetry, music, and spoken word, with some great little ‘zines on sale and some CDs too. I had a big fat chip butty (nice chips, Harland) and some raspberry lemonade, though they also had ales and wine on sale and a full bar.
I arrived quite late, but in time to see some pretty funny spoken word from Chella Quint, about marriage and gay partnerships. My views on gay marriage are probably a little more ‘anti-all-marriage’, rather than spending a lot of time and energy on making an innately problematic institution queer-friendly, but I am still in favour of marriage equality. I didn’t get a chance to have a chat on these views but maybe she’ll be around soon to have the discussion?
It was a great evening all round, and we rounded it off chair dancing to 90s house in the Cremorne.
If you fancy a bit of Urbexing (and I do, at some point), but don’t have the guts for it, spend an afternoon, like we did, snooping around Castle Market.
In my mind, from the exterior, Castle Market is something of a monstrosity. A ridiculous hodge-podge of ugly concrete and faded signage, closed walkways and bridges and dingy staircases. Plenty of dark corners bring to mind a place you don’t want to spend much time after dark.
Go inside then, and it’s another world. A bustling labyrinth where even regular visitors like myself struggle to find a) the toilets or b) the way out, it’s pretty clear that Sheffield City Council gave up on this place a long time ago. For every thriving small shop there’s an empty unit or in fact, a whole closed off section. The entire block upstairs from Wilkinsons is completely blocked off, and yet a peek through the window from this upstairs walkway:
Shows all the frontages are still there. This place, though it looks derelict, is right next to a still open hair salon (though one where not one of the appliances looked less than twenty years old).
The ever vibrant ‘SPAG’ – Sheffield Pensioners Action Group, who have been heavily involved in Sheffield Anti Cuts Alliance and the Trades Council, have their office up there. The Credit Union next door is now closed, and has moved to Commercial Street. I love their sign, and their motto.
Also dead keen on this sign for Sharon’s. It really is a bit of a time warp. Horlicks, Dripping cake and boiled ham. Yorkshire phrases like ‘pop’ also go down a treat. I’d love to bring one of my American friends here to see if they could decipher it…
I liked this little guy, guarding the ‘nanas.
There’s a much more comprehensive write up of the market, and lots more pictures too, check out this great article over at ‘Nothing to See Here‘ or the photos of the same author on Flickr. Edit: For a great review of the food market (brilliant by the way, and MAHOOSIVE pumpkins for just £2.49!), see this great post by Clare Tollick, aka FeastAndGlory.
I’ll be going back soon for more pictures and snooping around.
Rosie @ LS