Category Archives: Sheffield

Fascination with a date

I know that now, pretty much every day of the year is either an anniversary of something, or a something day, or sometimes both, or in the case of the subject on the other blog, a combination of both. But April 15th takes a bit of topping.

So for here, lets do the depressing pair, as this is supposedly the more British applicable one of the blogs, and one of these sad events is British, so… (In truth, over the years, both blogs now seem to be read more by American’s, but besides that…)

The last time Patriots Day, which is held on the 3rd Monday in April, was held on April 15th, was 2013. I presume this goes back to the early days of the Pilgrims arriving in the US, though please dont quote me on that, or shoot me down if wrong. However, given its a ‘New England’ thing, I’m assuming thats the case.

What happens on that day is that the baseball game starts at 11.00 at Fenway Park, and they race the Boston Marathon. Yes, the latter being the subject here. 2013 was the year of the bombing on the Marathon route, which led to 3 people losing their lives, and 16 more losing limbs, and more than 200 others being injured. I did (as I am now) see the game on TV, so I must have been off that day, but only later did I hear the awful news. My only additional concern was Kate, but was quickly told by her that she was fine, though as shocked as I was. Lets hope today is more peaceful, though of course, as is easier after the event, security is far tighter now.

The other anniversary is further back, as 30 years ago was the Hillsborough disaster in Sheffield, when sadly 96 football (soccer, for US readers) fans lost their life in the crush in the stands. Sadly, as is so often the case with the ‘it wasnt my fault’ attitude of the authorities, the whole matter is still only just being sorted out now! We will probably never know what inspired the head of the police to open all the gates, and let thousands of fans rush into a small area of the stands, but he did and history shows what an awful decision it was.

So, for April 15th at least, 2 events not to look back on with pride, and celebration, but definitely with mourning. RIP all those who passed away at those fateful events, and respects sent to all who lost friends and relatives.

Video time. Well, its got a Sheffield connection, its where the band came from, though this video was actually filmed in London, seemingly

Justice at long last, for Hillsborough

Yes, 2 blogs tonight, given I wrote the following for my other blog on Wednesday, and in truth, as I get more UK readers here, it seemed crazy not to post it across.

Given that the only soccer team I’ve ever followed was Bradford City, who suffered a tragic fire at their stadium in 1985, I know how awful it must be for the families of those who lose people in these tragedies. When I say, follow, it pretty tenuous, as I havent barely looked at any soccer in over a decade, apart from a couple of remarkable events. One of which was Bradford making a cup final, in recent times, but anyway…

What I do remember, was that in 1989, at an FA Cup Semi Final in Sheffield (they play these things at a neutral venue), 96 Liverpool supporters sadly lost their lives, as they got crushed to death, as the police allowed excess numbers of people into the stand. I can say that safely now, because yesterday, finally, after 27 years, an inquiry decided that South Yorkshire Police were to blame for these events, and not anyone else, as they opened the gates, and thousands of people literally flooded into one small area of stands.

To know that its taken this long for justice to be done, is sad. But given that most of the reason for that has been a police cover up, only makes it more shameful. Anyway, today, the current Chief Constable of the force has been suspended from duty, probably forever, as he was due to retire at the end of this year. You may be asking why he’s going like this, when he wasnt here in 1989, I hear you say? Well, because for the last 4 years, he’s been putting up a campaign to discredit the football supporters on that day, and blame them, and not his police force, even though all signs signaled that wasnt the case. The only shame, he continues to get paid for now, an injustice, for sure.

The only blessing for those poor families, is that it is finally over, and sorted. But isnt it awful that because of the Police, trying to avoid admitting the truth about events, its taken this long? But finally…

As to the video, some might say its not an apt choice, given the nature of the lyrics. But the idea of Police, singing about losing people, just seemed loaded with irony.

RIP, those 96 unfortunate people

I want to ride my bicycle

But no, in that sense, its not the obvious video. In another sense, its even more obvious than that!

This weekend, the incredible event that is the Tour De France, came to Yorkshire! And yes, I at least got to experience it, if not entirely in a good way.

Put it this way, back when I was a guy, I used to quite enjoy watching ‘Le Tour’, principally in the days of the legends that were Lemond, Fignon, Indurain and Pantani. Yes, a while back! I also remember watching Lance Armstrong, but lets say no more about him!

Now, like a lot of sports, since I’ve become a woman, I’ve lost a lot of interest in them. Yes, I know, its amazing what a gender change can do! Golf and Snooker seem to have suffered the same fate to be honest. Horse racing, now thats a funny one. I couldnt see me now going as a gambler (very modest stakes, even back then), but going out socially, all dressed up, just maybe?

Anyway, cycling…

The main man for me in those years was an Italian called Marco Pantani, who made going up very steep mountains look like a stroll in the park! In that very handy thing called hindsight, it seems quite possible that those climbs were ‘assisted’ by illegal substances, though nothing was really proved at the time, but anyway…his mountain climbing was a delight to watch.

As I said, this weekend, the Tour came to Yorkshire…starting in Leeds on Saturday. Yes, where I work! Lets just say the train that pulled into Huddersfield station at 7.45 wasnt the normal one. An ancient goods engine, pulling lots of carriages that hadnt seen public action in a long time. Hey, they were slam door stock, not the modern self locking ones, I’m sure Health and Safety would have had a fit! The train was busy, despite the large number of seats, hardly surprising given how many wanted to see the start of the race.

Clearly the train had seen better days, and it laboured most of the journey to Leeds, losing the best part of 15 minutes on a 20 minute journey! Painful was the word! Actually, getting to work through Leeds was easier than I feared, a bit of congestion crossing the route, but not that bad. By the time I cam home, it was all gone.

Today was stage 2, and it was passing through Huddersfield, my home town this afternoon, about 2.30. No, I avoided town, I was always going to see far more on TV, lets face it, though I guess I might regret not going in time. To be honest, I started watching earlier than expected, for a while, then switched back on about 30 minutes before it was due through Huddersfield, planning to switch off soon after.

Err, I didnt! Indeed, I delayed my bath until after the race was over, in Sheffield, it was that exciting! No, I dont think I’ll get heavily involved in Tour watching again, but it was fun today, and brought up a few nice memories.

The video, yes, a pretty obvious one in all honesty.