Sheffield exhibit appeal attracts debate across the region

Two options are Hendos Relish and a relish jug
Two options are Hendos Relish and a relish jug
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It’s the upcoming exhibition that’s got all Sheffield talking.

The story of the city is to be told in just 10 objects at Weston Park Museum next year.

And after curators asked for suggestions of what should make the final list it seems everyone in South Yorkshire has an opinion.

MPs, city historians and gallery owners have all contacted The Star to put their own personal favourites forward.

Dozens of readers have been in touch via email and Twitter.

Even Deputy Prime Minister – and Sheffield Hallam MP – Nick Clegg has joined the debate.

Perhaps, unsurprisingly, steel features highly. So does football. Phil Oakey’s hair circa 1982 even makes an appearance on one wish list.

Mr Clegg said: “Sheffield is synonymous with snooker so I would include a snooker ball, albeit a yellow one rather than a red or blue.

“Since 1977 millions of people from around the world have tuned in to watch the Snooker World Championships hosted at the renowned Crucible Theatre.”

David Blunkett, MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, wants Sheffield’s industrial heritage to be remembered.

He said: “For me it has to be the Shepherd’s Wheel or the River Don Engine.

“They both show the craftsmanship and the power which Sheffield has been renowned for down the ages.”

And Karen Sherwood, owner of Cupola gallery in Hillsborough, asked for art to have a place.

She said: “There used to be a huge steel sculpture at the bottom of The Moor – people nicknamed it the stiletto – which I think should be included because it combines creativity and industry.”

Readers came forward in their droves too. “A football, cutlery or steel,” said Paul Gillott. “Henderson’s Relish is a must,” added Steve Rhodes

“The most obvious one which made Sheffield the steel city of the world is Benjamin Huntsman and the artefact to display would be a crucible pot,” offered Melvyn Roberts.

Now curators say they want to build on the excitement already generated to ensure the exhibition – which runs for six months from May 10 2014 – is a hit.

Amanda Wade, of the Sheffield Visual Arts group which is behind the project, said: “It’s fantastic it’s had such a positive response. The whole point was to get people talking.”