Thursday, November 16, 2017

A visit to Sheffield

We set out on Wednesday morning last week having seen that the weather forecast was good and drove through Leek, Buxton, Castleton and Bamford right into the city centre.  The sun was bright in the sky and lit our way through some beautiful countryside.  The drive down Winnat's pass was wonderful, we've travelled that way many times before but I'm always stunned by the beauty of it.


Sheffield was much as I remembered it, once we had got our bearings as it must be about ten years since we last visited.  It was a regular shopping venue when I was a child and teenager growing up in Derbyshire as the bus to the city passed through our village at five to the hour every hour and the bus stop was opposite our house.  It was quite a long journey, over an hour as the service bus visited every village on the route.

Henderson's Relish or 'Hendos' as it is known locally is one of the icons of the city. There was a whole section of souvenirs dedicated to it in the Millennium Gallery which was where we were headed. We always have a bottle in the cupboard. I've put this photo in for my friend Robert who wrote about 'Hendos' recently in one of his blog posts - link here

 We walked down towards the Cenotaph near the City Hall then round to the Winter Gardens and Millennium Gallery. 


You can see from the photo below what a bright sunny day it was.  Walking was quite hard as my eyes aren't good in low winter sunlight.  I get blinded so easily by it and am always concerned about walking into someone - or a lamp post!

Opposite the Cenotaph is the city hall and in front of the city hall is a fairly new sculpture

Women of Steel by sculptor Martin Jennings commemorates the women of Sheffield and South Yorkshire who worked in the city's steel and munitions works during both first and second world wars.

The statue was commissioned by Sheffield City Council and unveiled in June 2016 with over 100 of the women who worked in the factories present at the ceremony.   This bronze statue has just won a prestigious award, the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association Marsh award for excellence in public sculpture for the sculptor Martin Jennings who is also responsible for the sculpture of Sir John Betjeman at Kings Cross Station.

Into the Winter Gardens where we had a little wander around before going down to the cafe in the galleries for a coffee and sit down before we looked around the exhibition I had come to see.

I loved the light in the gardens streaming down from the arched roof.

I think the flowers above are Bromeliads, they were very colourful.

I was quite anxious to get into the exhibition whilst it was still quite quiet.  Cameras were put away as we wanted to concentrate on the things we saw.  I wasn't disappointed.


The exhibition, on tour from the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne, covers the work of Eric Ravilious and his contemporaries and friends from their first meeting at the Royal College of Art, where tutor Paul Nash commented that in those years there was a 'rare outbreak of talent ' amongst the students, to the time he was reported missing in Iceland in September 1942 where he had travelled as a government war artist for the RAF. The exhibition was collated and curated to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Ravilious's death.

Some of the group of friends eventually became known as the Great Bardfield artists.  Eric Ravilious and his great friend Edward Bawden are featured in this wonderful exhibition. There are also works from Helen Binyon, Barnett Freedman, Enid Marx, Thomas Hennell, Percy Bliss, Diana Low and Tirza Garwood who eventually married Eric Ravilious.  I was particularly struck by her wonderful interior works. The exhibition shows how the work of these artists could be found not just as paintings but in fabrics, wallpapers, book illustrations, woodcuts, book covers and end papers, programmes, newsletters, magazines and in ceramics too.  

It is a fabulous exhibition and well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Here are some links to see more

Millennium Gallery exhibition


25 comments:

  1. A looks like a fabulous city. Last time I visited I was probably six or seven. No doubt things have changed considerably. The exhibition looks good. B x

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    1. It has change such a lot since I used to visit as a child but it is still recognisable too:)

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  2. I love Sheffield and it's my city of choice whenever we need to go to a large store or something, as much for the journey and surrounding countryside :) I would like to visit that exhibition too but life is just so busy at the moment, I don't really have any free time! We never did get to see those dinosaurs at Woollaton as house renovations are so time consuming.

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    1. I like Sheffield too and I love that the countryside dips in and out of the outskirts, such a lovely drive up there. Shame you didn't get to see the dinosaurs, hope the house renovations are going well and that you will be moving in soon:)

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  3. There's so many cool things to see here!! I love it! Those sculptures are wonderful. I've never been to Sheffield!

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    1. There is a lot to see there and it's well worth a visit if you get the chance:)

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  4. What a fantastic day for your visit, the drive must have been glorious. I'd have loved that exhibition, I wonder if it will come down here. 😊

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    1. It's going to Compton Verney house in Warwickshire after Sheffield I think that is the last venue, the first was the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne so only three venues as yet. It is very popular though so I wonder if they might extend the itinery?:)

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  5. It looks a wonderful city - a place I have never visited. The "Women of Steel" sculpture is stunning.

    The exhibition looks superb. Just googled and it looks as though it might be visiting Compton Verney (about an hour from here) next year - if it is the same one. Hoping to visit Compton Verney soon as they have a "Lost Words" Exhibition on Robert MacFarlane's latest book which I would like to see so will see if I can find out more. You do have some interesting days out :)

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    1. Oh, I do hope you can get to see Ravilious & Co at Compton Verney it is a fabulous exhibition and also get there to see Lost Words too. Our days out seem to get less and less but we did enjoy our day in Sheffield:)

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  6. I'm pleased you got to Sheffield and you came through beautiful countryside to get there. The Ravilious & Co exhibition is excellent. I particularly liked seeing the woodcut printing, but all the exhibits were interesting. I'm fortunate to be near enough to go and take a look whenever I'm in the city. I don't think you can take any photos when visiting exhibits in the galleries. I didn't include the Women of Steel statue this time for my blog post, but will do another time.

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    1. How wonderful to be able to pop in to see the exhibition often as there was so much to see and concentrate on. I did assume that there would be no photography because of copyright issues, didn't see any signs and didn't ask as we'd decided to just look and enjoy. I did see a couple of people taking photos with their phones though. Women of Steel is a wonderful sculpture and I loved the allen key peregrine on your latest post, I need to visit again now to see it in situ:)

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  7. I have never visited Sheffield and it look like a place worth visiting! I've never heard of Henderson's relish either! I love finding out about regional food. As a child, pie mash and liquer was food local to me but the liquer recipe was a secret and I am glad that was never offered up in a bottle because it was awful!!! Have a great weekend Rosie. x

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    1. Henderson's Relish is a bit like Worcestershire Sauce but it's vegetarian. I think it is only sold in the Sheffield area and places close by, we always used to buy it at the Spar shop near my sister's house in Chesterfield:)

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  8. Both the city and exhibition look interesting and worth exploring. Henderson's relish is something unfamiliar to me.

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    1. It is a local delicacy to the Sheffield area and not sold across the whole of the country as yet. Sheffield is a great, vibrant city to visit:)

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  9. This is a fascinating visit, Rosie. The sight of a police box brought back memories of early childhood. I’m not familiar with Sheffield, but it looks like an interesting place to visit. You need to invest in some good sunglasses before you walk into something - I wear them all year, as we get lots of glare here on sunny days. Thank you for sharing your visit. Marie x

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    1. I have some sunglasses which fit over my normal glasses but I always forget them and leave them in the car. Having he start of cateracts doesn't help either, I've always found low winter sunlight hard to cope with:)

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  10. My years with an office base in Sheffield have left me with a love of the city and Henderson's Relish! We tried to buy a house there in the late-1970s, but were gazumped several times, so we moved to Nottingham instead (another great city). I like your urban stuff.

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    1. I remember you looking for houses in Sheffield before you moved to Nottingham, love both cities but Nottingham always feels a bit like home when I'm there:)

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  11. What a fascinating post Rosie! As soon as I started to read your blog, the statue of John Betjeman at St. Pancras sprung to mind! You can immediately recognize the work of Martin Jennings. I have to admit that Sheffield is not a city I know - another for the list!

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    1. Thank you. I've always liked Sheffield as it is quite a green city with lots of trees and open spaces, Both statues are great aren't they?:)

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  12. Thank's to your excellent piece on Sheffield I managed to fit in a trip to the Ravilious Exhibition. They had really managed to fit such a lot into what was a very small room. I really enjoyed it. Thank you
    I also realised just how important Henderson's Relish was and it cropped up all over, not just in the Millanium Gallery Shop.!

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    1. Hello John, I'm so sorry I have only just found your comment which had somehow gone into spam I don't know why. I'm so glad that you managed to to see the Ravilious exhibition is was wonderful wasn't it? Yes, Hendos is very important to the city:)

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