Nice walk to the shops

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BY coincidence, given today’s main Diary piece, I actually spent a happy hour or two walking down the canal just the other weekend.

Apparently, its charms are a bit of a secret and not many people know there are footpaths stretching the full four miles. Lovely it is, too – although it’s something of a shame when you emerge from the tranquillity at Tinsley to be met with a panorama of Meadowhell.

Truly, it’s nickname has never seemed more appropriate.

Actually, that’s not true. It seems more appropriate every time you end up in there. But you know what I mean.

TYPICAL, isn’t it? The Steel City Beer Festival has been held in a field in Sharrow for the last two years, and it’s poured down. In 2011 organisers decide to go mud-free and host it at Ponds Forge – and we get the hottest start to October on record.

It meant the cask ales were being stored at temperatures way above the optimum.

“It wasn’t ideal,” says Dave Williams, spokesman for Sheffield’s CAMRA branch. “But each year is a learning curve.”

Still, optimum temperatures or not, anyone there will have been proud to note there were plenty of South Yorkshire heroes willing to force the ale down.

AND while we’re talking CAMRA, nice to see The Ship Inn, in Shalesmoor, is their October pub of the month.

The place holds particularly fond memories for yours truly after it offered an early insight into the Sheffield mind shortly after I moved to the city.

“Give me a pint,” said one drinker, entering the bar. “I’ve had an awful day.”

“Why’s that?” asked the guy serving.

“I’ve been to Leeds,” he replied, and with that it seemed, not one more word of explanation was necessary.