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Sheffield is:

  • A city in The People's Republic of South Yorkshire

The City of Sheffield


Sheffield yesterday

Famous for the production of steel, Sheffield still has a substantial steel industry. However, as cheaper production facilities opened overseas, Sheffield has concentrated on more specialist steels such as stainless steel (invented / discovered in Sheffield). The Iraqi "supergun" was being built in Sheffield in the 1980s and early '90s, until it was discovered and stopped during the Gulf War.

The decline of the steel industry in Sheffield created much unemployment which was exacerbated by the effects of the mine closures in other parts of South Yorkshire. The film "The Full Monty" examines the prospects of former steel workers who try to make a living as male strippers. See also "Films involving Sheffield"

Sheffield has three well known football teams: Sheffield FC is thought to be the oldest club in the land (raising an interesting question of who they might have played against in early matches) but is now an amateur club. The other two teams are Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United.

The Owls are so called as they play at Hillsborough stadium which borders the Owlerton district. The Blades are called after one of the historic products of Sheffield, cutlery. Their real nickname, the Pigs, comes from their red & white striped strip, rather like a pice of fatty bacon. And they smell of pigsh1t.

There was recent talk of amalgamating the two clubs. The plan would be to take the "Sheffield" from the Blades name and the "Wednesday" part from the Owls, making Sheffield Wednesday. The strip would use the white stripes of the Blades and the blue stripes of the Owls, giving a blue & white strip. Rather like that of the mighty Wednesday in fact.

There is substantial rivalry between the two clubs and their fans, which has lead to families not talking to each other, fighting in the streets, at least one death, and the largest 3rd Division crowd ever (73,000 at Hillsborough in the early '70s).

Sheffield has a long military history being one of the arsenals of the Empire. During WW1, the "Sheffield Pals" were raised as part of the Kitchener Army. Of the 500 or so that went over the top on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, only 56 (check?) were not casualties. I used to know one who lived next door to my Grandad. I was too young at the time to understand why he didn't want to talk about it. The book by John Harris, "Covenant with Death" is very much based on the Sheffield Pals. During WW2 the city was bombed on several occasions as a centre of heavy industry.

Films Involving Sheffield

Probably the best know is The Full Monty, described in short above. Starring Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson and Mark Addy, it introduced some native Sheffield expressions to the World.

Another relatively recent film was When Saturday Comes. A football film starring Sean Bean (Sheffield native & Blades fan), Emily Lloyd and Peter Postlethwaite, it is the tale of a waster who is a great footballer, piddling his life away until given a chance to play for SUFC.

There is more info about Sheffield here:

HMS Sheffield

The "Shiny Sheff" has had three incarnations.

The first starred as HMS Ajax in the film "The Battle of the River Plate". The second was sunk in the Falklands conflict.

Some more info is here:

Sheffield and South Yorkshire area was also an area of great musical creativity in the early 1980s and spawned bands such as The Human League (in various incarnations), Heaven Seventeen, Pulp, The Thompson Twins, Comsat Angels, Def Leppard, Saxon.

The 'Shiny Sheff' is also the name of a pub in Sheffield which is full to the brim of memrobilia. It's actually a shit public house and is in the process of shutting (Cheers).