Superstar homecomings, a Starlight Walk and the resignation of the City Council leader... in 2011 The Star brought you unrivalled coverage of local, national and international news and events six nights a week and tonight reporter Erin Cardiff looks back on the issues and incidents that made it on to our pages in May and June
13.06.11, Page 3
It was a homecoming like no other when Sheffield’s Arctic Monkeys played to a 10,000 strong crowd right here in June.
Alex Turner’s ﬁrst words to the fans packed into Don Valley Bowl for the band’s biggest ever hometown show were the most Sheffield of greetings: “Now then.”
The four lads from High Green might, in 2011, be global giants. But over two June nights in a specially-built marquee, they proved they are nothing if not Shefﬁeld at heart.
From the frontman’s Don Valley T-shirt and his query as to who had come by tram, to the Kelham Island beer stalls selling local ale, there were so many nods to the city.
The band even walked on stage to Hot Chocolate’s Sexy Thing –a song most famous for featuring in The Full Monty.
“It was incredible,” said Emma Jepson, aged 24, a secretary of Millsands, Shefﬁeld.
“Just being there felt like being part of something really special. There was such a good carnival atmosphere, it was more like a festival than a gig.”
That festival feeling, then, was helped by several highly accomplished support acts –notably The Vaccines and Anna Calvi –but the good weather played its part, with many enjoying food and drink between acts while sitting on the grass in the bowl.
The band had decided to perform in the marquee in case of rain -“you need that like you need mustard on your index ﬁnger” Turner had said –but despite downpours on Friday and Saturday afternoon, the weather remained warm both evenings.
“Everything was perfect,” said Arthur Robbeo, a 22- year-old factory worker from Hillsborough. “The weather was good, the surroundings were spot on and the band were phenomenal.”
They started with The View From The Afternoon, the opener from their debut album and ﬁnished with A Certain Romance, the same album’s closer.
But, in between, there were 20 other songs from across their eight-year career, perhaps most delightfully a stripped down version of Mardy Bum which saw the crowd sing back every word to a clearly moved Turner.
“Shefﬁeld,” he said at the end of the ﬁrst night. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Alex, the pleasure was ours.
23.05.11, Page 3
In May, The Star bought you the news that St Luke’s hospice has successfully organised - and indeed completed - their first Starlight Walk, raising £60,000.
The event was organised as the main fundraiser in a year of celebrations to mark the charity’s 40th anniversary.
And organisers were thrilled with its success –as nearly 1,000 people of all ages from babies in pushchairs to hospice patients in wheelchairs, completed the 5km walk through Endcliffe Park to Forge Dam and back.
Leading the group through the lantern-lit park was St Luke’s mascot Fran Horsﬁeld - dressed as a silver star.
The 23-year-old, from Dronﬁeld, said: “I always seem to get the job of coming along and dressing up as one thing or another!”
James Cosgrove was another ‘star’ taking part –as a thank you for the support he receives at the hospice’s Therapies and Rehabilitation Centre every Wednesday.
James, who was joined by wife Janet and daughter Maxine Sorsby, along with other family and friends, has been attending for the past four months after being given a terminal diagnosis when the malignant melanoma he has suffered twice before returned.
He said: “Right from the ﬁrst day I went to St Luke’s they welcomed me with open arms –it was unbelievable.
“I’ve been going every week since then to receive various treatments and take part in arts and crafts sessions -it’s something I really look forward to.When I heard about the Starlight Walk I knew I wanted to take part and give something back.”
Many of those walking did so in memory of loved ones who had received care and support at St Luke’s before they died.
‘Trev’s Treasures’ –made up of Trevor Fairfax’s widow Jean, daughter Alison Beecroft and son-in-law Michael, daughter-in-law Tracy and grandson James signed up in honour of Trevor, who spent ﬁve weeks at the hospice before his death two years ago at 64.
Jean, aged 66, from Brincliffe, said: “We know he would think this walk is fantastic -and would be doing it himself if he was here.”
Former St Luke’s counsellor Andrea Pedley had also signed up, dressed in a T-shirt adorned with ribbons representing loved ones lost as well as those who had sponsored her in the event.
Although now living in Ashover, Derbyshire, the 54-year-old is still a regular supporter of the charity. “The hospice is still very close to my heart,” she said.
“Everyone is working to the same aim, to raise money to support the amazing work the hospice does.”
Elaine Thornhill –a member of the Big Star and the Twinkles team which has already raised more than £700 in sponsorship –was walking in memory of her sister Andrea Giblin, who stayed at St Luke’s before her death from cancer in 1989.
The 58-year-old from Shiregreen said: “The people and the place are just beautiful. Andrea was there for three weeks and it was the best place she could have been.” Many had turned out in fancy dress for the occasion –which featured a host of other attractions including live music, ﬁre-eating displays, a bouncy castle and face-painting.
Struggling with his costume during the group workout, Alistair Beverley –dressed a woman wrapped in a bright orange towel and full make-up –said he and the Escafeld
Brass Band were thrilled to be supporting St Luke’s, the band’s nominated charity for the year.
Shefﬁeld Central MP Paul Blomﬁeld was also there, taking part in a team which included his wife, MEP Linda McAvan.
He said: “What a fantastic turn-out!
“It just shows how people in Shefﬁeld feel about St Luke’s and the great job it does.”
10.05.11, Page 1&5
Earlier this year, The Star broke the story that former Shefﬁeld Council chief Paul Scriven had resigned his leadership of the Liberal Democrat group, four days after his party was swept from power in a resounding Labour landslide.
Coun Scriven refused to blame national party leader Nick Clegg for May’s devastating electoral results, and insisted Shefﬁeld “remains instinctively Liberal”.
He said: “I have thought long and hard about this decision but, after nearly a decade as party leader, it’s time to move on and pass the baton to someone else.”
The 45-year-old, who will remain a ward councillor in Broomhill, broke the news
of his resignation to party colleagues at a meeting on 9 May.
Coun Scriven said: “The Liberal Democrats remain a strong force in this city. The people of Shefﬁeld remain instinctively Liberal, and we will get there.
“Nick Clegg is trying to put out a ﬁnancial ﬁre started by Labour.”
At the time, he said he had not decided what to do next, but had interests in several businesses and public projects, including schemes abroad: “I will now focus on being a councillor in my ward, and I want to be able to pursue other interests.
“It’s also time for my partner, family and friends to come ﬁrst.”
He added: “I love the city of Shefﬁeld which I have come to adopt as my home.
“As the son of a dustbin man from an estate in Huddersﬁeld, it is hard to believe that I had the honour of leading this great city for a wonderful three years.
“The Liberal Democrats hand Shefﬁeld onto Labour as a city that is abetter place to live, work, invest, study and visit than it was three years ago.”
The last 12 months have been the most tumultuous of Coun Scriven’s 11 years on the council.
Last May he was just 165 votes off being elected to MP for Shefﬁeld Central and then his party’s popularity was hit hard as Mr Clegg became the public face of the Coalition’s cutbacks.
The elections in early May demolished the Lib Dems’ standing on Shefﬁeld Council, leaving them with just 32 seats to Labour’s 49.
Deputy PM Mr Clegg said today: “Paul is a good friend and I am disappointed to be losing his skills as group leader.
“Under his direction Shefﬁeld has made amazing progress, and remains a strong voice on the national and international stage.”
19.05.11, Page 5&6
May saw sensational results from an undercover police sting, as 27 drug dealers were netted peddling crack cocaine and heroin on the streets of Shefﬁeld near schools, children’s parks and places of worship.
Of the 27 men, women and children sentenced, 22 of them -the youngest aged 15 –were put behind bars for a total of 67 years and one month.
At the end of a special two-day hearing at Shefﬁeld Crown Court, during which dozens of police officers stood guard, Judge Alan Goldsack QC said “I have to pass punishments to protect the public from this blight on their community - in short, to try to clean up the streets.”
During sentencing some defendants shouted and swore at the judge on their way down to the cells. Relatives in the public gallery also hurled abuse.
The huge 18-month undercover operation - dubbed Operation Mach - was launched in August 2009 after worried residents complained drug dealers were blighting their communities and peddling their trade at all hours of the day and night.
The operation also came in the wake of turf wars in some parts of the city during which youngsters were seriously injured or killed.
Undercover officers were sent out onto the streets to infiltrate the drugs gangs and catch them plying their trade on video and audio tape.
Most of the drug deals were carried out in broad daylight, often near schools or in parks frequented by children.
Many of the dealers met their clients outside Springﬁeld Primary and Nursery School on Broomspring Lane, Broomhall, while others sold drugs in Mount Pleasant Park, Sharrow, as kids played nearby.
Other criminals plied their trade outside places of worship which included Shefﬁeld Cathedral and St Mary’s Church on Bramall Lane.
Sentencing the dealers, Judge Goldsack told them: “The police experience difficulties in bringing drug dealers to justice.
“Those to whom drug dealers are supplying will rarely tell the police who the dealers are or give evidence against them, partly out of fear of the consequences of doing so, and partly out of misplaced loyalty and not wishing to lose heir supply.
“Decent members of the community are reluctant to become directly involved, so the police have to use other methods.
“Plain clothes officers, often at considerable risk to their own personal safety, pretended to be drug dealers themselves, selling commodities in the area.”
Speaking after the hearing, Supt Peter Norman, who led the operation, welcomed the sentences and issued a warning to other drug dealers.
He said: “If you think you are safe to deal drugs in South Yorkshire you are not.
“If you think communities will tolerate you, they won’t. If you think people won’t tell us who you are, they do.
“We will arrest you wherever and whenever we can.”