Memories of life at the Leadmill

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Your article on Martin Bedford (July 4) brought back memories of my own part in the Leadmill’s early days: using the ’mill’s original sack hoist to lift the engine out of the Leadmill’s first vehicle (‘The Leadmobile’), meeting Leadmill workers at the old Royal Hospital on West Street as I took photos just before its demolition and how they recovered emergency lighting equipment for use in the Leadmill as the wrecking ball swung nearby

I also played, with long-standing Sheffield band Earth Tales, at the Leadmill’s first weekend in May 1980.

As well as Artery, 13 other bands played over two days. I used to have the posters but they disappeared in a house move (tish!). On the other hand, Artery did give rise to my favourite review of Earth Tales at a ‘Save the Whale’ gig at the University’s Bar 2, also in 1980, featuring Artery, ourselves and a folk/rock outfit called Long Lankin, who also played at the Leadmill’s first weekend.

An ardent Artery fan wrote a review for the Union magazine (Darts?) which covered most of a page extolling the virtues of Artery’s performance. In what was undoubtedly an even-handed approach to journalism, the review ended: “Long Lankin were folk and Earth Tales were awful.”

Musical tastes differ, but 33 years after its formation, 32 years after my joining and a year after the death of our very dear bass-player, Myke Barritt, Earth Tales is still going strong. We’ll be playing ‘Myke’s birthday bash’ in Rotherham on July 27, just as we have done in many different venues for 32 years.

Nick ‘Prof’ Parsons