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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Tuesday, 2 September 2008

A Bad Sign

In fact many bad signs. I've seen a lot of them lately, but in the last couple of weeks there have been an unbelievable number. A Great British institution might be under threat here.

To Let. Lease For Sale. Could YOU run this pub?

These aren't the sort of pub signs I'm used to seeing.

The number of licensed premises in Sheffield that are up for grabs is amazing. Then there's the large number that have simply closed. I suspect that the Sheffield of the near future will have a lot fewer local pubs. These aren't all tiny backstreet boozers; some big, previously very busy and popular places have been on the market for so long that the "Lease For Sale" signs have weathered and taken on an air of permanence.

It's not surprising, we've noticed the dwindling number of customers for quite a while now - a trend that started long before the ban on smoking came into force.

Is it just here, or is the same thing happening everywhere?

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