Sheffield FridayNightRide

we have nothing to lose but our chains

2013/07/19 Hawley’s, Pulp’s and Arctic Monkeys’ Sheffield

Ride report: 54 riders to start, one sound system, crowd of spectators at Fargate, a mild evening with cooling breeze, bold marshalling to get across roads round Castle St and the market, stampede (thanks Jerry for video below) across Manor Oaks Fields, great view and Hawley’s music at Sky Edge, Pulp at Leadmill, Arctic Monkeys at Hunters Bar, chill out in Weston Park, displaced street lady in Neepsend giving John a right earful of colourful invective for queering her pitch, Lady’s Bridge and Burngreave Cemetery in those crepuscular moments and food and drink at Mick and Donna’s for those remaining.

Thanks to Robin for his tireless towing and to Matt for adapting the sound system and getting it to us.

See you in the new season – more details soon

Friday 19 July
Hawley’s, Pulp’s and Arctic Monkeys’ Sheffield
Start 6.30 pm Cole’s Corner (now the HSBC Bank at the Fargate/High St corner – if you don’t know where it is see map)

SFNR’s own complementary alternative to Tramlines, which is some festival or other starting on the same Friday.
A ride curated and developed by Johnny Chapman – sincere thanks. John’s notes are below with videos of the songs we are playing embedded – enjoy the culchar, why doncha?


View Hawley’s, Pulp’s, & Arctic Monkeys’ Sheffield ( in a larger map

Heads up! all on roads and good condition paths; should suit any bike, some climbing up to Sky(e) Edge

Theme: This is a ride to places that are named or can be associated with the popular music artist Richard Hawley, and the two pop combos, Pulp and the Arctic Monkeys. (Whatever happened to sensible names, like The Beatles?)
The map has the POI along the route and if you click on each POI along the route you will read why that is a point is of interest and there is a link to the song that will be played at that point. Videos pasted in below. (You have to wait to skip ads sometimes -soz)

We will be riding and towing a sound system and we can stop and enjoy the song at the spot and hopefully play some inspiring stuff, like Common People, as we go.

Hawley Pulp Arctic Monkeys

Johnny Chapman writes: I’m not sure what he thinks about cycling, but Richard Hawley’s work certainly celebrates Sheffield. What else do you expect from the person who has said that the only other place he’d ever live is Rotherham, but only grudgingly and only if Sheffield had been destroyed in an apocalyptic disaster first?
But Hawley isn’t the only Sheffield musician who mentions places in their home city. His sometime associates Pulp and Arctic Monkeys have done so too. So this ride visits 11 places mentioned in song, playing each song as we get there (so there will be plenty of rests!)
Coles Corner (Richard Hawley)
Coles Corner
Coles’ Corner in 1905
Cole’s Corner, now housing the HSBC bank as well as Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse stores and a Starbuck’s cafe, was the original site of Cole Brothers store. The original brothers John, Thomas and Skelton opened the shop at the corner of Fargate and Church Street in 1847.
In 1919 the family sold the shop to Selfridge’s who in turn sold it to the John Lewis Partnership in 1940. In the early 1960s they decided to move to the shop to its current location in Barkers Pool.
By then Coles’ Corner had become had become a well-known Sheffield landmark, a place to meet your lover, old or new. A Rotary Club plaque now marks the spot.
Richard Hawley called his 4th LP Coles’ Corner, with the title track telling a story of would-be lover waiting there for a date that doesn’t turn up. The cover is a faked version of Coles’ Corner (it was actually taken outside the Stephen Joseph theatre in Scarborough), with Hawley explaining “I wanted to somehow create the vibe of Coles Corner, I have never seen it, it was knocked down two years after I was born, but I heard so many stories about it, it enthralled me all my life.”
The LP was nominated for the Mercury Prize for record of the year but the award went to the Arctic Monkeys “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not”. Alex Turner’s first words on accepting the award were “Someone call 999, Richard Hawley’s been robbed!” Hawley later commented “It became the most reported remark of the night – it was almost as if Coles Corner had won. Also, by the time they announced the winner, I was that pissed I’d never have come up with anything half as witty as that.”

Truelove’s Gutter (Richard Hawley)
Truelove’s Gutter is what’s now called Castle Green. There are no romantic connotations to the name; Thomas Truelove was an 18th Century innkeeper who owned a gutter with legal access to dump things in the river. The road dipped in the middle (the gutter), Truelove charged people to put their rubbish there and off it was carried into the Don.
For his sixth studio album, Hawley had thought he would move away from referencing Sheffield in his titles. “I felt I’d hammered the point home enough. I had actually thought of other titles for the album.” But then he found Truelove’s Gutter in a book of old street names, “The minute I saw it, it summed up what I was trying to say on the record. I quite like the fact that it’s not even from living memory, it’s from a distant time, because to me this record doesn’t really seem to fit in anywhere.”
Unlike Coles’ Corner, there isn’t a title track on this record. So we’ll play “Open up your Door”, a plea for reconciliation from a husband to his spouse. In 2009 it was used in a Haagen-Dazs ice cream advert.

The Markets (Inside Susan by Pulp)
“By now the bus is going past the markets.”

Castle Market is built on top of the remains of Sheffield Castle, which can still be seen via guided tours. The oldest part of the building is the Fish and Vegetable Market (where Jarvis himself worked in the 1980s), constructed in the inter-war period.. The remainder of the building was constructed by J. L. Womersley and Andrew Darbyshire between 1960 and 1965.
This song was originally on the B-side of single Razzmatazz. Is Jarvis the tall boy in glasses Caroline Lee pretends she is married to?

Skye Edge (Standing at the Sky’s Edge by Richard Hawley)
Skye Edge sits between Hyde Park and the Manor and offers a panoramic view of Park Hill, the City Centre & the Peak District beyond to the South & West, and to the industrial Don Valley, the Meadowhall Shopping Centre and Rotherham to the North & East.
Unsuitable for industrial use, in the 1920s it was home to Sheffield Razor gangs. The munitions factories that had supplied the arms for WWI had declined with the peace. This fall in demand combined with a global steel depression. For an industrial city dependent on steel production, the effect was devastating. Nearly 70,000 Sheffield men were jobless. What passed for a welfare system was, not surprisingly, utterly overwhelmed. For many, one small glimmer of hope in such depressed times was gambling. But only gambling on the horses was legal.
Huge sums of money were bet on the toss of a coin in a game called ‘Pitch and Toss’. With no equipment to set up and dismantle, it was cheap, quick and could easily escape detection. The number one site for games was on Skye Edge. Its location meant the gangs that controlled the game could easily see any approaching police. Hundreds of people would gather to take part. The main man in charge of the Skye Edge patch was George Mooney. But there was another gang, the Garvin’s, competing to control the city. To enforce their respective patches, violence, even murder, was employed. Between 1923 and 1928 Sheffield was known as “Little Chicago”. Then Percy Sillitoe was made Chief Constable and he is credited with cracking down on Sheffield’s gang culture, before doing the same in Glasgow.
Standing at the Sky’s Edge is Hawley’s 7th and latest record. Often louder and less tranquil than his previous offerings, he has described it as “an angry album”, describing how much he disagrees with the Coalition’s policies. “Sky Edge, it’s more a metaphor… we are stood on the edge, politically and socially…I suppose it’s time for us to decide which side of the line do we stand, and I will always stand with the people, always”.

The Leadmill (Wickerman by Pulp)
“Just behind the station
Before you reach the traffic island
A river runs through a concrete channel
I took you there once; I think it was after the Leadmill”
The Leadmill opened in 1980, originally as a Community Centre, in what despite its name was an old flour mill. A ragbag of volunteers, students, artists and unemployed came together with a vision of setting up a centre for the arts and music for people like themselves who had nowhere to go.
A few notable incidents from the Leadmill’s history…
Jarvis Cocker writing and directing The Leadmill’s 1982 Christmas pantomime for kids, which starred 50 musicians from a dozen local bands. He commented “We want to make a lot of cool people from pop groups look stupid.”
Turning down Madonna in 1983
The Happy Mondays getting their rider before their gig in 1988, getting too drunk too soon and going home before they played.
The Leadmill toilets winning an award for being the best in Britain in 1992

Of the song in question Jarvis said, “The kind of start point for The Wickerman was I got asked to write a piece for an English magazine called The World of Interiors, and they asked you for three things that had provided you with inspiration. And, of course, I was panic stricken ‘cos I couldn’t think of anything.
Then for some reason what occurred to me was this time when I went on an inflatable boat on a trip down the River Don. And it was really quite a magical day, because it was travelling through the city that I’ve lived in all my life, but seeing it from a different angle. And when you travel along the river and you’re going with the current you feel like you’re being taken somewhere, and I saw quite a lot of strange events.
And that’s always something that has really fascinated me: when you can find extraordinary events in very everyday circumstances. So I just got the idea of this river running through the city and the stories that had happened at various times, happening along the course of it. And also the river kind of providing a sense of continuity: a thread that runs through something.”
The song “Wickerman” actually contains a sample from the film “Wicker Man” – the first few seconds of the latter’s Willow’s Song appear as “the sound of that ridiculously heartbreaking child’s ride outside”

Hunters’ Bar (Fake Tales of San Francisco by the Arctic Monkeys)
“He talks of San Francisco, he’s from Hunter’s Bar”

Hunter’s Bar was named after a toll bar (built there in 1811) on the Sheffield to Chapel-en-le-Frith turnpike. The ‘Hunter House Hotel’ just past the roundabout used to be a farmhouse. The farmer, Mr Hunter had rights to charge a toll to pass through his land hence ‘ Hunters Toll Bar’. This got abbreviated to Hunter’s Bar and became used as a reference point when giving directions, until it was generally adopted as the name for the area.
Fake Tales of San Francisco was the first song the Arctic Monkeys recorded and pokes fun at a South Yorkshire band pretending to be from the USA. My mate Damian once told me who the song was about but he says now he can’t remember.

Weston Park (Do You Remember the First Time? by Pulp)
Weston Park was the first municipal park in the city and was developed from the grounds of Weston Hall, which the Sheffield Corporation purchased for £15,750 following the death of its owners, Eliza and Anne Harrison. The hall itself was converted into Sheffield City Museum.
The park, just over five hectares large, was opened to the public on Monday 6 September 1875. Seven years later the weather station was erected privately by the museum curator and is still the official climatological station for Sheffield. The bandstand was added in about 1900. It was one of a pair, the other being placed in Hillsborough Park, but that one has since been demolished. The one in Weston Park was repaired and refurbished in the last decade as part of the restoration of Weston Park funded by a £2 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“Do you remember the first time?” doesn’t actually mention Weston Park and indeed is not about losing your virginity, instead being an appeal from the singer for his lover not to return to her partner, no matter how much it “makes good sense” for her and her strait-laced partner to be together.
However this single’s release in 1994 was accompanied by a 30 minute promo video where various people (including John Peel, Jo Brand and Vic and Bob) talked about their first sexual experiences. Jarvis discussed his too and revealed that at 19 he and his then girlfriend had left the Limit to have sex outdoors in Weston Park, an experience he has since described as “necessary, something I had to do in order to move on to the next thing”.

Hillsborough (Red Lights Indicate Doors are Secured by The Arctic Monkeys)
“I said its High Green mate via Hillsborough please”

The name of the suburb comes from Hillsborough House (now Hillsborough library), built and named in 1779 in tribute to the Earl of Hillsborough (born Wills Hill, 30 May 1718 – 7 October 1793), who lived in Hillsborough, County Down. It is not clear if this Georgian politician ever visited Sheffield.
There was much devastation to the area due to the Great Sheffield Flood of 1864 and it only started to be built up again with the success of the steel and engineering industries in Sheffield creating a demand for suburban housing. The arrival of the electric tram in 1903 was a big boost to the development locally. House building continued until around 1909 when most of present day Hillsborough’s road infrastructure had been created.
Alex Turner once explained he wrote a song about a cab ride just to see if he could. But by 2011he was saying that the band no longer sing about “taxi ranks”. When I first heard the record I thought he was singing “Shiregreen mate via Hillsborough please”, which always made me wonder where he was travelling from to make that a logical route.

Neepsend Bridge (When the Sun Goes Down by the Arctic Monkeys)
“They said it changes when the sun goes down
Over the river going out of town”

The bridge carries Rutland Road over the Don. The three elliptical arches were built in 1854 and whilst the bridge survived the Great Sheffield Flood of 1864, a large amount of debris was piled up against it. The subsequent damage meant the parapet had to be rebuilt later.
Originally called “Scummy”, “When the Sun Goes Down” was the third single by the Arctic Monkeys. It tells the story of one of the prostitutes the band used to see near their rehearsal space (Yellow Arch studios on Burton Road) and the “scummy man” who is picking her up. It references Roxanne by the Police (also about prostitution) and rhymes “Mondeo” with “say owt”.

Lady’s Bridge by Richard Hawley
The original wooden bridge at this point was constructed close to Sheffield Castle sometime after 1150 under the orders of William de Lovetot, the Norman baron who had also built the castle.
In 1485 the Vicar of Sheffield, Sir John Plesaunce, and William Hill, who was a master mason, both agreed to build a bridge of stone. The bridge had five arches, and was 14.5 feet (4.4 m) wide. A small chapel, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was built close to the bridge, and the bridge became known as ‘Our Lady’s Bridge’. The chapel was converted for use as a wool warehouse in 1547, to prevent its demolition as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII, and was subsequently used as an Alms house
In 1760 the bridge was widened on the upstream side, and the Alms House was demolished to make way for the new structure. The bridge was widened on the downstream side in 1864, virtually obscuring the remaining original structure from view, and again in 1909, to allow trams to cross the bridge. It was restored in the late 20th century, and has been a Grade II listed structure since 1973. Like Neepsend Bridge, it survived the floods of 1864 and 2007.
In interviews at the time of its release, Richard Hawley implied Lady’s Bridge was also a metaphor for the crossing of a bridge in his own life. His father, steelworker by day, working musician by night and a great influence on his son, died of lung cancer during the making of the LP. Hawley has wondered if he would ever have finished it had it not been for the gruff advice emanating from his dad’s hospital bed. “One of the last things he said to me ‘You’d better finish that bloody record. Don’t get crippled by grief.'”

Burngreave Cemetery (Naked in Pitsmoor by Richard Hawley)
The music for this song was originally for an unrecorded Pulp track called “Happy New Year Baby”. Hawley grew up on Scott Rd opposite the cemetery and he and his sister used to play there when they were young kids. If it was very hot they would take their clothes off – hence the title.

Burngreave Cemetery was opened in 1861, covering an area of 27 acres. The local churchyards were rapidly approaching capacity and were becoming a health hazard due to the vile smells and leaking fluids which were polluting the already poor water supplies. The buildings comprised of two mortuary chapels, on the left, the Church of England Consecrated Chapel linked by an archway supporting the clock-tower and bell-turret, to the mirrored Non-Conformist chapel. At the Melrose Road entrance stood the Superintendent’s House and Cemetery Office and at the other side of the gate was a house for the Sexton.
Sheffield City Council took over responsibility for the Cemetery in 1900 and added a further nine acres to the site. This extension included a roadway to Scott Road where another lodge was built (in which Mick & Donna now live), and a small section for Roman Catholic burials. Burngreave Cemetery was a major facility for the City’s burials until the 1960’s, after which no new graves have been created. Burials are now only conducted for families who already own plots and where the grave still has space.