A couple of hours in Sheffield

One thing that I make a point of doing in any city that I’m in, is scouting out local independent businesses, and Sheffield was no exception.  I had a couple of hours to spare last Monday morning before catching my train back to London, so I did a bit of internet research to track down a place to buy handmade items in Sheffield.  Despite spending a weekend surround by designer talent at the Folksy Summer School, it still was not an easy feat to track down!  I found it incredibly difficult to find anything on the internet about where to find crafty/handmade shops in Sheffield.  It was such a hard task that when I wanted to search out the shop details in order to compile this blog post, I couldn’t even find the link again!  After much searching, I managed to track down a lovely shop called Bird’s Yard (although even the website seems to only mention the Leeds store, not the Sheffield branch, but you can find them on Facebook). It’s tucked away down a cheery looking shopping lane, Chapel Walk.


The shop stocks all sorts of handmade goodies by different local designers and crafters, ranging from jewellery, clothing, cushions, to gorgeous handbound books.  I can’t leave a city without a souvenir of some description, so came home with a handmade needle case, as I need just the right equipment for all that sewing that I do, right?

Whilst en route I also found the famous Police box, which is situation in Surrey St.  I walked past it the first time, went past two officers in the street, but didn’t dare ask them where it was!  Turns out it’s on a rather nondescript corner, and was hidden by a white van at the time.


Apparently the box is still in use, but a peek in the window suggests it’s something of a storage unit.

The plaque on the front gives a nice potted history, which I’ll include a few snippets of here:

This Police Box, which is still used operationally, is the sole survivor of 120 boxes which served the Sheffield City Police for nearly 40 years.  Introduced in October 1928, the boxes were sited on Police beats all over the City and provided a contact point for police officers and members of the public.  The boxes were visited by patrolling officers at hourly intervals when information was passed by phone between patrolling officers and supervisory staff at police stations.  A blue electric lamp, controlled from the local police station, was located on the top of each box and was used to indicate that there was an important message to be passed out.  Occasionally the boxes served as a temporary lock-up for anyone who had been arrested and was awaiting transport to a police station.

That’s all very well and good, by why is it green, and not blue?  Police boxes are always blue!  Haven’t they ever seen the Dr Who TARDIS?  Someone needs to get out a tin of paint and sort that out.