Picture of the Day: Sheffield’s Wheelie Good [2010]

Instead of tripods it was big wheels that the Martians used to invade

Evidently in 2010 I was in Sheffield. Can’t think for the life of me why although I was living in nearby Barnsley so it is possible I was there for commuting purposes or for meeting friends. 

I’ve been to Sheffield many times in the past. I lived there in 1992, visited again in 1997. It a damn good place to get the train from if you’re visiting the south coast. The people are ace and there was so much to do of an evening, at least when I was young there. 

One place I used to visit regularly was the world famous Frog and Parrot which was a legend in its own right. Beers as strong as Buster Crabbe and an atmosphere so dense with cigarette smoke they’re probably still scraping it off the paint work.

 When I visited again in 1997 the city had changed so much since my student days. A great deal of the buildings I was familiar with had been bulldozed and even the Frog and Parrot had begun to drop in popularity. I guess it was around this time that I began to realise, time does not stand still when you leave a place and cities and towns evolve. Indeed, Liverpool, my home town, is a shade of the place I remember leaving nearly 15 years ago — new shopping centre, new hotels, old pubs closed and new places opened.

Picture of the Day: Sheffield Hallam Amateur Dramatics Society (1992)

Three Students

Not all of my photos have exact dates of when they were taken. In the old days, only really fancy cameras recorded the date when the photo was taken. Not only that, a lot of photos I have are of people I still know and I don’t really want to be posting them online without permission in case they have a privacy issue. I am a considerate blogger these days.

So to fill the days where I don’t have photos I can post on the day they were taken I thought I’d post pictures that don’t have exact dates or people I don’t know anymore.

Today we have three chaps I met when I was a student in the then newly formed Sheffield Hallam University back in 1992-3. I was there “studying” HND Chemistry, still unwise with the world and very broke. As a way to meet new people and on the advice of the student guides I had read, I had joined the Sheffield Hallam Amateur Dramatics Society. It was a fun thing to do, lots of drinking and lots of mucking about.

Todays photo shows three of the funniest guys I met there. The name of the bald guy at the back I have no idea, but the guy dressed as a Mexican in the middle went by the name of Paul Brewster-Davis and the guy in the tartan was a chap called Gareth Tucker. I have tried to track them down in the past but have not been successful and I doubt they would even remember me now.

Gareth and I got on really well and we would often talk about common interests like Viv Stanshall, weird 1960s sci-fi films and obscure comedians. We also both dressed in black shirts one night with white dog collars and went round student bars pretending to be priests. What a laugh! It was sad to lose touch with him.

Friday Night

Friday night took a surprising turn. Jill, the wife’s-ex-bosses-wife called to offer us 2 tickets to see Toby Foster ( from Phoenix Nights) and some other stand up comedians at the Comedy club in Sheffield. So, without having anything to eat we jumped into the car and headed through the rain to the one way roadwork system that is Sheffield.

Sheffield is where the British Empire made knives and forks. Without knives or forks most of the colonials would be still eating with their fingers (a practice they still insist on doing in Kentucky I believe). Nowadays it is a maze and warren of closed streets, one way systems, tram only roads and rain. This maybe to stop the invading armies from finding the cutlery factories and bringing the New British Empire to its knees. Well I got news for you mate, we’ve cunningly moved them to Korea so that’s going to thwart your plans isn’t it?

Anyway, I’d not been to a comedy club in a while. The last one I went to was in the now boarded up Nelson Mandela Building which was the student union of Sheffield Hallam University. That was in 1992. Times and Sheffield have changed. So, it seems, has stand up comedy.

The first two acts consisted of both comedians (Toby Foster and some Irish bloke with a beard) insulting or ridiculing members of the audience. Not my idea of comedy. The third act was trying to use IT humor which, as you know, is only funny if the person understands the story behind the gag. So we left. Midway through the third act we got up and left. Not only were the acts crap but the drinks were extortionately overpriced, the food was junk and there were too many intervals. I’ve never walked out of a place in my life. Normally I’m too tight to do that and want to get my moneys worth. But this was one of those occasions. We also made a quick get away because the parking was limited to 2hrs. But there you go….