Sheffield – City of Peace

City of Peace - Photograph and Sculpture by Richard Bartle

Next time you are in the Peace Gardens look up at the chimney over the Ha Ha Bar 8-12 St Paul’s Parade.  You’ll see a stainless steel sculpture, by Sheffield based artist Richard Bartle, which features seven life-size doves.  Richard’s work is inspired by Pablo Picasso’s visit to Sheffield for the Second World Peace Congress held at Sheffield City Hall in November 1950.

During his visit to Sheffield, Picasso arrived at Sheffield Midland railway station carrying a bouquet of chrysanthemums and wearing an old raincoat and blue beret. He was welcomed by members of the local communist party, the press, and the public, and taken on a tour of the city. He ate a bacon sandwich at Thorpe’s cafe in Fargate; had his hair trimmed at Peckitt’s barbers, and drew a ‘dove of peace’ on a napkin in Butler’s Dining Rooms.

The Congress was to be a special debate on the Korean War, but the Government at the time refused to allow important speakers into the country and it was abandoned. However, Picasso gave a short speech at the City Hall, recalling that he had learnt to paint doves from his father, and ending by saying “I stand for life against death; I stand for peace against war.”

Later whilst returning to London he drew another Dove of Peace on a napkin, which he gave to the bodyguard who had accompanied him around the city. This drawing is part of Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust’s collection and is on permanent display at the Weston Park Museum.

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Sheffield Tap – best conversion to pub award winner!

The Sheffield Tap has been awarded the “Best Conversion to Pub” award by CAMRA and English Heritage.  

This prestigous award follows hot on the heels of last years National Railway Heritage Award, which was presented by Pete Waterman OBE at London’s Guild Hall.  A plaque now adorns the entrance to mark this well deserved award.

Why not call in next time your down at the station to sample the delights on offer and  fully appreciate this wonderful restoration project.

Sheffield Tap wins best conversion to pub!

 

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Sheffield Station – Pedestrian Access

Seems like East Midlands Trains (EMT) may have had a change of heart about the introduction of barriers to prevent pedestrian access through Sheffield Station.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive‘s (SYPTE)most recent annual survey (October 2010) on use of the station footbridge suggests that 60,000 pedestrian trips take place through the station each month by people not making train journeys.

We understand that Sheffield City Council Officers are in talks with EMT about a Voluntary Walkway Agreement  which would recognise pedestrians right to use the footbridge through the station without carrying a rail ticket.  Significantly, EMT’s operating franchise expires in 2015 and the next round of franchises will be awarded for a 20 year period.

In the meantime, it’s important that people continue to express their right to walk across the station footbridge when travelling between Norfolk Park, Park Hill, Sheaf Valley Park and Sheaf Square.

There are no Compulsory Ticket Areas at Sheffield Midland Station and therefore, according to the Railways Act 2005 and Rail Bye Law 17, you are free to walk through the station to and from town without a ticket provided you are not intending to travel by train.

The footbridge, which is open throughout the day and for much of the night time, is a vital and valuable public asset that provides a safe route to and from town.  There are not many issues in Sheffield that can be said to have united public opinion so effectively!  Nearly everyone save for EMT recognise the fact that closure of the footbridge to pedestrians would be a retrograde step.

Remember it’s our station and our bridge!

Demonstration Against Station Closure!

The Residents Against Station Closure (RASC) group are planning a further demonstration at Sheffield Rail Station at 4.30pm on Friday 24th September 2010.  Everyone is welcome to support the demonstration, which has all party support, with speakers including Labour’s Paul Bloomfield MP, Paul Scriven, the Liberal Democrat Leader of Sheffield City Council and Jillian Creasy from the Greens.

The demonstration has been prompted by East Midlands Trains (EMT) increasing the frequency of “human barriers” to block the pedestrian footbridge through Sheffield Rail Station and are provoking local residents, who are increasingly frustrated by their antics.  RASC were appalled to learn that 45 people who were “cautioned” trying to cross the bridge at Sheffield Station on 2nd September.  Press Officer Graham Wroe commented, “EMT’s behaviour is completely outrageous. They have no authority to stop pedestrians crossing the bridge, as Sheffield Station is not a Compulsory Ticketing Area.  It is EMT that should be cautioned for obstruction.

Keith Hayman, chairperson of RASC commented, “We will continue to peacefully assert our right to cross the footbridge. We do not condone abuse of EMT staff, neither do we feel they should abuse the public. Many reports we have received over the months indicate that the abuse has come from EMT staff. We question the role played by British Transport Police who supported EMT staff rather than the public and their rights. We will be writing to them to ensure that in future they take account of the rights of the pedestrians.

The bottom line is, EMT must not be allowed to continue to obstruct our footbridge!”

Sheffield Civic Trust recently made representations to the City Council to support the protection of this vital pedestrian link between Park Hill and the City Centre.  RASC are also lobbying Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, to instruct the Transport Minister to change the franchise agreement with EMT so that the Sheffield footbridge is permanently open to pedestrians.

On Thursday 9th September, the City Council’s Transport Sub committee decided to set in motion the establishment of a Public Right of Way.  Both RASC and Sheffield Civic Trust fully support the City Council’s resolution to permanently protect this vital pedestrian route through the city which has universal support of local residents and, indeed, all other key stakeholders.