Friday, 12 September 2014

Sheffield Cathedral (2): The Yorkshire Festival 2014 Woolly Bikes

Hello everyone! I've borrowed a laptop until mine is fixed so I'm back blogging again although my posts will be less regular until late October.

Commissioned by the Yorkshire Festival 2014 textile artist Cassandra Kilbride worked with groups of craft enthusiasts earlier in the year in villages, towns and cities throughout Yorkshire to create a set of decorated bikes using Yorkshire yarns and textiles.  Each bike depicted an aspect of Yorkshire with many iconic details and were on show to the general public in different venues, including Sheffield Cathedral, during July and August before being returned to the communities where they were created.  They will form the Woolly Bike Trail which can be viewed during the next 12 months.

Off t' Coast (above) represents the Yorkshire coastline and includes the fishing industry and a puffin  from the RSPB (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) Nature Reserve at Bempton Cliffs between Bridlington and Scarborough.

Yummy Yorkshire  The Wakefield area is well-known for liquorice products and rhubarb so it's not surprising that the group chose to decorate their bike with liquorice 'all sorts' (sweets) and sticks of rhubarb as well as other well-known foods such as Wensleydale cheese, Yorkshire puddings and, of course, Yorkshire tea!

Sporting Heritage This bike (below), made in Sheffield, pays tribute to Team Yorkshire who won 12 medals in the 2012 Olympics and 14 in the Paralympics with particular reference to athletics, cricket, darts, football, rugby and snooker.

Landscape and Literature  Made in the Bronte Parsonage, Haworth, this bike celebrates the work of Yorkshire writers. There are extracts from poems, plays and novels pinned to the front wheel and two books with further literary texts. Roger Hargreaves' popular Mr. Men characters decorate the handlebars and pedals.

Multicultural Yorkshire The colourful decoration of the bike from Halifax (below) celebrates the diverse cultures of those who have come from overseas to settle in Yorkshire.

Yorkshire's Industrial Heritage  The bike shows Yorkshire's industrial past; canal transport, mills and the coal mines of  'the pit towns' and was created by craft groups in Bradford, Halifax and Huddersfield.

Historic Yorkshire was made by a group in York.

The White Rose The Leeds group created a variety of white roses, each one unique.  Cassandra Kilbride's design on the front wheel depicts the York Rose emblem.

Flat caps and a whippet - plus a ferret  Holmfirth and Hepworth groups created a whippet called 'Compo'.
(Compo is one of the much-loved characters in the 'Last of the Summer Wine' television series which was filmed in Holmfirth).  Freda the ferret was included, but was hard to find since it moved around from time to time! It was good to meet a lady who had been part of the group. She had travelled to Sheffield to take a look all the bikes in the exhibition. (I told her that I would be blogging about her and she was quite happy to have her photo taken).

Yorkshire landscape The group in Hebden Bridge was inspired by the colours of the landscape - green rolling hills, the brown hues of the moorland and the farmland enclosed by drystone walls where sheep graze.
This was my favourite.  I wonder which is yours?

As well as the exhibition of bikes there was a display of decorated wheels made by local school children and a kinetic sound sculpture by an artist who had formerly lived in Sheffield.

Sheffield Cathedral is a beautiful and inspiring place to spend time in as I often do.  Tomorrow is a National Heritage Open Day and the cathedral will be taking part. The theme will be '1000 years of Sheffield history' in which the building has played a part as a place of worship and I hope to go to the event.
Have a good weekend!
Linda :)

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Another break from blogging

Hello everyone!  Just to let you know that due to computer problems I need to find a replacement computer. As this will have unfamiliar programmes that will take me a while to learn to use I shall be taking a break from posting anything new for the time being.  
I hope you have a good week!
Linda :)  

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Sheffield Anglican Cathedral (1): an update

Summer 2014  

For the whole of 2013 and the early months of 2014 Sheffield Anglican Cathedral went through a major reconstruction process on the forecourt and interior called the Gateway Project. Up-dating some facilities such as heating and lighting and better access for all around the building was needed. As a consequence, the areas around the main entrance forecourt, the nave, chancel and two side chapels were boarded up and out of use to allow the construction work to be completed. Over the months I've recorded some of the work that has taken place from early in 2013 until the middle of this year.

This was the forecourt and main entrance before the present reconstruction work took place. Now the pathway up to the main entrance has been levelled and this has been re-arranged and glazed to provide a reception area and small shop.

This was the site outside during 2013 when some of the walls of the main entrance had been demolished (later to be built up in places using some of the stone). The floor and pavements were lifted stone by stone and then levelled and the Victorian gateposts returned to the south-east corner of the forecourt.

Early on the furniture in the nave was removed and stored away, some heavy duty glass doors removed, meshing was fixed to stained glass windows and the monuments were boxed in for protection.

Work on the nave could be viewed through windows in the temporary wall that separated the main part of the cathedral from that to be used by visitors, clergy, office and other ministry staff.  Services took place in the St. George's, Holy Spirit and Crypt Chapels.  Gradually the old floor was removed using water-cooled saws to keep the dust down.  Finally the concrete flooring underneath was lifted revealing the bare earth. New foundations were needed to strengthen each of the columns in the nave. The next phase of work was the renewal of the electrical, boiler and under floor heating systems before the layers of flooring could be replaced together with the installation of a new loop sound system and some new lighting.

The St. George's Chapel where many of the services took place during the reconstruction work.
  A special lift was installed for those who were unable to use the steps up into the chapel.

During the Heritage Open Day in September 2013 visitors were given a guided tour of the nave and heard about the work in progress.

The Shrewsbury Chapel (below) was built early in the 16th century as the Earl of Shrewsbury's family chapel. On the left is the tomb of the 4th Earl with his first and second wives. The monument on the right depicts George, the 6th Earl, who guarded Mary Queen of Scots for the 14 years when she was held prisoner in Sheffield by Queen Elizabeth I.  The Earls of Shrewsbury were Lords of the Manor of Sheffield for 200 years.  The family name was Talbot so their emblem was the Talbot dog, a medieval hunting dog, which is also depicted on the tombs.

The Shrewsbury Chapel 

During the excavation work on the foundations there was an opportunity to open up the entrance chamber to the Talbot vault underneath the chapel which had not been done since the early 19th century. Seventeen members of the family had been buried there during the Tudor period. However, the 19th century archive of the investigation of the sealed crypt mentioned that the 4th Earl and 14 of his relatives had vanished from their resting place along with the lead coffins. This has intrigued present day historians and archaeologists who are working on the mystery of what may have happened to the bodies. One theory would be grave-snatching, but since the lead coffins are also missing it's possible that they've been taken to another location. However, experts are now exploring the possibility that the vault contains a secret wall behind which is the location of the missing members of this important Tudor family.

The medieval chancel and sanctuary with the Shrewsbury Chapel beyond

The Six Sheffield Worthies Window shows 6 people from the city's past history
who also had connections with the Cathedral, formerly Sheffield Parish Church before 1914.

Throughout the upheaval of the reconstruction work the life of the Cathedral continued in the north side separated by the temporary wall. By Easter 2014 the work was almost complete and the Cathedral could be fully used once more. It's inspiring to know that the building in its various forms has been in use for hundreds of years and will be in the future.

The West End Crossing (July 2014)

St. George's Chapel and The Holy Spirit Chapel and Crypt is beyond it. (July 2014)

Stained glass window in The Holy Spirit Chapel

The Nave (July 2014)

Stained glass window (south side of the Cathedral)

The South Aisle leading to The Shrewsbury Chapel (July 2014)

Not only is the Cathedral a place of worship, the Community there hosts concerts and other events that reflect the heritage of the city and the county of Yorkshire. In July there was an exhibition of decorated bicycles specially created for the Yorkshire Festival and the Tour de Yorkshire.  Nine bicycles from different areas of Yorkshire were brought together and exhibited in the Cathedral and I had a good time looking at the crochet and knit work as the detail on each one demonstrated some aspect of Yorkshire life and heritage.  Next time I'll share what I photographed of the bicycles, other related artwork and some more of the beautiful Cathedral setting.
Until then, have a good weekend!
Linda :)