MICHAEL Jackson wasn’t the first superstar to dangle his child from a height as fans looked up in horror – a famous Sheffield visitor was just as controversial.
Charles Blondin - ‘the Great Blondin’ – caused uproar by pushing his seven-year-old daughter across a tightrope in a pram, 180 feet up. And when the world’s greatest tightrope walker visited Sheffield Botanical Gardens the following week, back in June 1861, some 32,000 people turned out to see him.
That’s just one of the fascinating days in the history of the city which features in JP Bean’s book, The Sheffield Chronicles.
He will give an illustrated talk as part of a Highlighting History series of talks and walks organised by Sheffield Council’s Off The Shelf literary festival team, from today to Sunday.
JP Bean, who also wrote Joe Cocker’s official biography and a book about Sheffield’s Gang Wars, is promising an entertaining approach to history at The Sheffield Chronicles – An Illustrated Talk, at the Millennium Gallery on Sunday from 11.30am to 1pm.
Other highlights include local historian David Templeman’s illustrated talk on Lady Arbella Stuart – The Queen That Never Was (Millennium Gallery, Sunday, 3pm to 4.30pm); Tudor and Stuart Sheffield with Ron Clayton (Town Hall steps, Pinstone Street, Saturday, 2pm to 4pm); and poet Rob Hindle Tracking The Sheffield Gangs: An East End Poetry Walk (Princess Street, Attercliffe, Sunday, 2pm to 3pm).
n See www.offtheshelf.org.uk