Saturday 24 June 2017

Shopping and Museum in Sheffield

Late last night we realised that the adjacent Straddle Warehouse is colourfully lit at night. The strange leaning effect on the left of this photo is actually a reflection in the die of the boat.

Today we stayed put in the basin at Victoria Quays, making the most of our 72 hours free mooring. After a slow start - after all we were going nowhere! - we decided to be practical and do the food shopping first. It seems that there are not many people living in this central part of the city and the nearest we could do was to return to the same Tesco that we went to last night. Since by now we knew the route it did not seem as far.

The weather turned out much better than forecast - here is quite a positive view of the older two buildings at the canal terminus, just behind the Straddle Warehouse.

By the time we had returned to the boat and stowed away the bags of food it was lunch time. Afterwards we set off to walk into the city centre.

Just before reaching the cathedral we turned down a road towards the theatre and gallery area, passing the well known Crucible and the older Lyceum theatres.

We then walked into the Winter Garden, a popular covered area with eating places, a few shops, charity groups drumming up interest and, which is where we were heading, the entrance to the Millennium Gallery. We really did not know what we might find - but at least it is free entry!

Inside there is a row of gallery rooms. The first is permanently dedicated to  Ruskin, the 19th century art critic, painter and promoter of various artists who later became very well known, including J W Turner. Ruskin himself spent a lot of time and money collecting all sorts of items that, as he saw them, reflected both natural and constructed beauty.

He was particularly fascinated by patterned stones, especially agates and others with intricate internal patterns.

He also studied and taught about colour and also the wide variety to be found in cloud patterns. The first painting is used to illustrate the important role of blue in religious images in the past.

The next gallery was devoted to a display of the history of cutlery made in Sheffield, one of the most famous places for generations. Many of the displays showed items by current master craftsmen. One ladle is designed so that when placed down on a table it rocks gently from side to side whilst another, much more ornate, punch bowl and goblets was the combined work of four smiths.

The final gallery had various  works by contemporary artists in various visual forms. This painting drew attention because of the face on the figure on the far left. It may not be easy to see in this small representation, and in the original it is almost overwhelmed by the context, but shows a person with some special - almost undefinable, yet intriguing - character.

After leaving the gallery we walked back towards the supertram stop, Along the way. in the Peace Garden we, were taken by several water features - here are two of them.

Outside the City Hall, a group of wedding cars was waiting for a party to emerge. No, the image really has not been elongated and the limo is that long!

The tram - a bonus was that our bus passes were valid on this route! - took us all the way out to the large shopping centre at Meadowhall. Slightly unexpectedly and after a bit of a search both of us bought some clothes items. Somewhat later than planned (did we really plan today?) we caught a tram back to the city centre, just a few minutes walk from the boat.

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