Patrons at a Sheffield pub are huddling under the glow of a neon sign - the origins of which were worthy of a TV soap opera.
The sign has been installed on a wall at The Riverside, in Kelham Island, and is visible from the ring road out of the city centre. It carries the message ‘Don’t do all the talking, let love speak up itself’ - lyrics from Let Love Speak Up Itself, a song released in 1990 by The Beautiful South.
But Kane Yeardley, managing director of the True North Brew Co - formerly the Forum group - which has just taken over at The Riverside, said there was a tale of heartbreak behind the sign.
“It was designed and purchased by a guy who was going to use it to propose to his girlfriend, as they both liked the Beautiful South,” said Kane.
“He had the sign erected in the garden for his girlfriend. He surprised and showed it to her, and then declared he wanted to talk to her about some thing very serious - to which she replied that she did too. She was moving out and splitting up from him.”
Consequently the sign was sent back to its maker in Wakefield. “Because of its size and the fact nobody else wanted it, I managed to acquire it at a very reasonable price,” Kane added. The sign remained ‘a nice romantic thing to put up at Christmas’, he said.
Meanwhile a change of use application has been submitted to the city council to set up True North’s own brewery behind the Forum on Devonshire Street.
A 10-barrel kit has arrived, and there are plans to roast coffee and distil gin too.
Kane said he hoped the new venture would be up and running ‘within the next month’.