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World Snooker Championship – 2 days to go!

13 Apr

The World Snooker Championship is the highlight of the snooker calendar. Held at the legendary Crucible Theatre in Sheffield since 1977, the event draws the best players from around the world to compete, in front of sell-out crowds, for the most coveted prize in the sport. The world’s top 16 seeded players are joined by 16 more that have battled through the qualifying rounds.

Officially starting on April 16th the Wold Snooker Championship is ready to be hosted at Crucible theatre in Sheffield. Tudor square is being prepared to translate all games outside the theatre for those who didn’t get a chance to get their tickets. It is an annual event in Sheffield, and it attracts a lot of different audiences – not only snooker fans, because it puts Sheffield on the map and draws lots of attention during the whole tournament.

Theatre’s management keep preparing their staff for the busy times: “Everything is ready to host the tournament. We have some improvements and we want to make this championship highly serviced and professional,” says Andy Cooper, the senior operations manager.

Tudor Square, Sheffield

By Tanya Andrejeva


Leader of Sheffield City Council tells Castle Market store holders to: “downsize or go.”

29 Mar

In an interview today the leader of Sheffield City Council, Paul Scriven, was calm and well practised in answering questions about his support for the government and Nick Clegg’s vision for this country. But, when questioned about the locally controversial Castle Market his composure faltered and his answers had an undertone of irritation.

Essentially he held his morals in the right place and emphasised the council’s focus on saving social care services. He said: “Stall holders at Castle Market have been subsidised by the tax payer since 1993” and made it clear that they were not top priority in this city.

He saw it as unfair that they are expecting special treatment when shop owners from elsewhere in Sheffield may also be struggling and services such as Sure Start were at risk of being cut. He asked if he should put money into business or social care.

Mr Scriven claimed his powers are limited, “I can’t change the habits of shoppers and we’ve already invested huge amounts of money to get people into the city centre. Castle Market has been in a difficult position for years and we have helped promote it.”

The issue has come about prior to the new £18million market being built in The Moor where current stalls are expected to relocate in 2013. Since 2008 Castle Market stall holders have had a 40% discount on their rent which is going to be taken away and many are concerned they will not be in business to see the new development.

The council hopes the new market will bring in a more diverse range of customers but essentially Mr Scriven swept the subject aside and said: “They’re either going to have to downsize or go.”


By Sarah Walters

R.I.P Dame Elizabeth Taylor

23 Mar


The entertainment industry suffered a great loss today with the passing of Dame Elizabeth Taylor. She died in Los Angeles at the age of 79.

One of the few true Hollywood icons, Dame Elizabeth was arguably one of the world’s greatest actresses and most beautiful women. Since finding fame at the age of 12 she has never been out of the spotlight.

The peak of her film career came in the 1950’s and 60’s. She was nominated for four Oscars in a row from 1958 to 1961, and didn’t take the gold statute home until her fourth attempt in 1961 for Butterfield 8. She won her second Oscar in 1967 for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Just as famous for her marriages as she was her films, she married 7 times. Her most famous husband being actor Richard Burton, who she met on the set of 1963’s Cleopatra- notorious for being one of the most expensive films of all time. Taylor had already been married four times – to Conrad Hilton Jr, Michael Wilding, Michael Todd and Eddie Fisher – before she wed Burton in 1964.

They were one of Hollywood’s greatest romances, starring together in 12 films, divorcing and remarrying in 1975 before she moved onto husbands number 6 and 7, John W Warner and Larry Fortensky.

The double Oscar winning actress had a history of health problems which began with a fall whilst filming her first hit film, National Velvet.  A rare strain of pneumonia almost killed her in 1961 and she also battled addictions to alcohol and painkillers.

In the 1990s, she endured two hip replacement operations and another near-fatal bout of pneumonia and survived surgery for a benign brain tumour in 1997.

In 2004, it was revealed that she was suffering from congestive heart failure, with symptoms including fatigue and shortness of breath, and scoliosis, which twisted her spine.

After the death of her friend and co-star Rock Hudson, she started an Aids charity which she continually supported up until her death.

Her four children – Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Maria Burton-Carson and Liza Todd-Tivey – were at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center when she died.

Her son Michael Wilding called her “an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it,” he continued. “Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”

A private family funeral will be held later this week. Instead of flowers, the family has requested that contributions be made to the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation.

By Carrie-Ann Vessey

Sheffield City Council Leader Paul Scriven claims the Budget will not affect the people of Sheffield

23 Mar

Sheffield City Council Leader Paul Scriven reassures the people of Sheffield that they will not be affected by the cuts after Labour leader Ed Miliband accused Chancellor George Osbourne of conning voters with small giveaways that are dwarfed by tax rises.

Mr Scriven’s comments came after Mr Miliband likened Mr Osborne to Derek Trotter, the cockney wheeler dealer in the BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses during today’s budget. He said: “The Chancellor has cut fuel duty by 1p, but he’s whacked up VAT on fuel by 3p. Families won’t be fooled’ its Del Boy economics.”

In the budget Mr Osborne cancelled next month’s 4p rise in fuel duty and a further 1p will be cut from pump prices at 6pm- all paid for by a £2bn tax on oil companies. He also froze alcohol duties and air duties- but increased tobacco tax by 2%.

Mr Osborne told MPs: “Last year’s emergency Budget was about rescuing the nation’s finances, and paying for the mistakes of the past.

“Today’s Budget is about reforming the nation’s economy, so that we have enduring growth and jobs in the future.

“And it’s about doing what we can to help families with the cost of living and the high oil price.”

To help families with the high costs of living, council tax is to be frozen or reduced this year in every English council and a 10% discount on inheritance tax is to be given for people leaving 10% of their estate to charity. With Mr Osborne stating: “Do the right thing for charity and the Government will do the right thing for you.”

Sheffield City Councillor Leader Paul Scriven claims the spending cuts will not cause a problem for the people of Sheffield: “One thing I have been clear about is that we wouldn’t be having mass closures. There have been no closures of public buildings such as libraries, leisure centres or public toilets.”

Despite Mr Scriven’s reassurance that Sheffield will not be affected by the cuts, not everyone is convinced.

Student Nurse Rachael Davy, 21, said: “It’s ok saying public buildings are being kept open, but the fact of the matter is there are less jobs and unemployment is high. That is what they should be working on.”

There also seems to be a worry about the future of students in the city, student Alex Unwin, 22, said: “Sheffield brings in thousands of students every year, they want to graduate and get a good job, as the government has cut so many jobs it is less likely they will find jobs adding to the unemployment rate.”

Rise in petrol prices is also a big concern, food innovations assistant Rachel Rasouli, 20, said: “They’re trying to sugar coat it, but petrol prices are rising, the cost of living is going up and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.”

Justice Minister, Kenneth Clarke, also didn’t seem convinced by the Chancellors ‘budget for growth’ as he appeared to doze off during his speech, prompting a dig by Mr Miliband: “Indeed the Justice Secretary fell asleep during the Chancellor’s speech, his growth strategy was so compelling.”

By Carrie-Ann Vessey

Burberry Designer To Recieve An Award At Sheffield Hallam

17 Mar

Chief creative officer of Burberry, Christopher Bailey, will receive an honorary doctorate at Sheffield Hallam University in recognition of his services to the fashion industry and his charitable work in the UK.

On 18th March a special ceremony will be held to award Bailey with the honorary doctorate. Fashion students and lectures at Hallam will have the chance to watch the ceremony. This is set to be his third doctorate, having already received two from the University of Westminster and the University of Huddersfield.

Yorkshire born Bailey is responsible for the design of all Burberry collections and products, as well as advertising, corporate art direction, architectural design, multi-media content and overall brand image.

In 2008 he set up The Burberry Foundation with Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, which helps young people achieve their goals and potential through the power of their creativity.

He says: “I am looking forward to spending time at Sheffield Hallam University and to meeting their final year fashion students. I am extremely honoured to be recognised by the University in this way, and I am particularly passionate about supporting the next generation of British design talent.”

Professor Philip Jones, vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University said: “Christopher is an internationally successful figure in the industry, with a passion for sharing his talent by educating others. We are proud to welcome him to Sheffield Hallam.”


By Carrie-Ann Vessey

Pictures from Google

Peaceful Protests in Sheffield

15 Mar

Protests held in Sheffield at the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference went ahead with no major incidents.

A massive security operation, costing an estimated £2million, had been put into place as an 8ft high concrete and steel fence was erected around the City Hall and 1,000 police officers were deployed.

Around 5,000 protesters, half the expected amount, took part in the march which set off from Devonshire Green at 11am and finished at City Hall where the Lib Dems conference took place.

Despite concerns the protesters would mirror the chaos of vandalism and violence protests in London last November caused, the weekend proved to be mainly a good natured affair, with only one arrest.

South Yorkshire Police confirmed a 24 year old man had been arrested for a public order offence and the discharge of a firework in a public place. He was given a £80 fixed penalty fine and released.

The march was organised by a range of groups including Right To Work and the Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance.

By Carrie-Ann Vessey

Exclusive, Organiser of Sheffield Protests: “Hang your heads in shame Lib Dems”

14 Mar


Last weekend saw the Spring Liberal Democrat conference in Sheffield and with it thousands of protesters took to the streets to show Nick Clegg exactly what they think.

Despite it being expected that around 10,000 people would protest only an estimated 5,000 did. The £2million worth of defence measures, including 1000 police officers drafted in from bordering counties, only gave the protesters more fuel to use against the government.

Maxine Bowler from UNITE gave a passionate speech and attacked them for cutting £5million from Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital. She then accused them of spending nearly half of that on, “barricading the Liberals in because they can’t face the people of this city.”

She also went on to say: “We had Thatcher saying there is no such thing as society, now we have Cameron with the Big Society. This Big Society is a cover for privatisation.” She claimed that the government expect the public to, “volunteer and live on air.”

The crowds were encouraged by this, and similar speeches, but the atmosphere remained peacefully defiant. There was only one reported arrest but this was not for the violence that was expected.

One of the organisers of the protest was Martin Mayer from Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance who encouraged a peaceful protest to the crowd.

He also wanted to tell the Lib Dems to, “hang your heads in shame, re-think what you’re doing, pull out of this coalition while you’ve still got a chance and save this country from the appalling damage that your government is doing.” He maintained that all there were on the “moral high ground” and would work with the police to keep it a peaceful protest.

Also speaking at the protest was Paul Brandon from Right to Work. He said: “This government and the Lib Dems say that we’ve got to pay off this deficit, but since the Second World War we have had a greater deficit compared to the GDP.” He named Nick Clegg the, “liar in chief” and said: “he won’t get away with the lies, cheating and vandalism he’s trying to get away with in the country.”

Throughout the day no member of the Liberal Democrats gave a statement to the protesters. They were even booed out of a pub next to the City Hall but some did stand on the steps of City Hall to look at the crowd. Nick Clegg stayed in the conference behind the Wall of Steel built for him.

By Sarah Walters

Arlene Phillips and Katie Piper honour International Women’s Day in Sheffield

8 Mar

To mark International Women’s Day the Sheffield Copthorne Hotel welcomed famous guest speakers and raised over £1000 for its charity of the year, the Katie Piper Foundation. Guests included Katie herself and former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips.

The aim of the conference was to not only raise money but also inspire people and show women from all walks of life that they can be successful. Linda Barlow, the Business Development Manager for Forward Ladies who hosted the event, said how important it was for the organisation and that, “International Women’s Day is a major event in our calendar.”

The day started with Penny Mallory, the first female contestant in the World Rally Championship who told the audience, “You have extraordinary power to make things happen that you haven’t even tapped into yet.”

Penny was followed by Lady Catherine Meyer. She had a £100,000 and ten year battle for custody of her children after her ex-husband abducted them.

Both ladies spoke of the struggles they have faced, the triumphs they achieved and gave their own advice on how to be successful.

Arlene Phillips then told the audience of her life and how it felt to be replaced by a younger woman, Alesha Dixon, on Strictly Come Dancing. She said, “If the BBC had been upfront about why they replaced me I would have been ok,” but the reasons they gave upset her and she still didn’t want to talk about them.

Katie drew the conference to a close. She looked nervous but came across as confident and when posing for photos seemed to revert back to her model self. She spoke of how the burn left her feeling desperate and isolated, “as I got my confidence back I started to feel sexy and cool but society wouldn’t see that so I started the charity to change it.” Liz Green from BBC radio Leeds said:“You don’t see a disability, you see an amazing woman.”

The Katie Piper Foundation helps burns victims beyond the medical help. It offers advice on makeup and medicinal tattooing, help with building confidence and other support needed.

As well as the speakers the Lord Mayor also attended to show his support. He said: “I wish I could have been here all morning. It encourages people to get thinking, things like this really are important.”

For more information on, or to donate to, the Katie Piper Foundation click here  and for more information on, or to become a member of, Forward Ladies click here

By Sarah Walters

Galliano Fashion Show is a Go Go

7 Mar

Despite the controversy surrounding John Galliano and the anti-semitic comments he made in a Paris café his fashion show still went ahead at Paris Fashion Week. He was absent from the show and it was low key in a small Parisian townhouse. The show featured 19 looks which is significantly smaller than what is usually shown at a catwalk show.

By Sarah Walters

photo sourced from here

Galliano Sacked for Anti-Semitism

1 Mar

1 March 2011: 19:32

John Galliano, a British fashion designer, has been sacked by Dior after he allegedly made anti-Semitic comments in a Paris café last week.

Video footage was posted online and showed him making racist comments on Thursday to Philippe Virgiti, 41, and Géraldine Bloch, 35 at café La Perle. He was later arrested and suspended by Dior the following day pending police investigations.

Old footage also emerged of him telling a waitress: “People like you would be dead today – your mothers, your forefathers would be f****** gassed” and stating his love for Hitler. This was from December and also at Le Perle.

His lawyer says he denies these claims but chief executive of Dior, Sidney Toledano, said the comments “totally contradict the values which have always been defended by Christian Dior” in a statement made earlier today.

Galliano’s dismissal comes on the first day of Paris fashion week and it remains uncertain if his show, scheduled for Friday, will still go ahead.

The video footage from December can be found on The Sun’s website here.

By Sarah Walters

Photo and information were sourced through BBC news. The original URL can be found here.

Details of those involved and the cafe were found from The Telegraph. The original URL can be found here.

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