- Date: 26.01.13
- Posted by: Admin
The Meadowhall Urban Myth and Five things you don’t know about Sheffield
If you’re a student in Sheffield you’ll probably know a few staple facts about the steel city like it’s built on seven hills like Rome or it has more trees per person than any other city in Europe. But do you know the following five things about our city?
1) The Meadowhall Urban Myth
Did you know that Meadowhall was originally designed to be converted into a prison if it failed as a shopping centre? Well, it’s a rumour which goes around Sheffield every now and again with enough clamour both denying and purporting the idea to make it intriguing. Minimal research gives no evidence of the prison plan, but digging a little further may come up with something. Could you imagine the design of Meadowhall been made into a prison? It certainly gives new meaning to the nickname “Meadowhell” anyway!
2) Sheffield FC is the World’s Oldest Football Club
Yep! England honed football into the sport we know it today and Sheffield was the place where this happened first. Sheffield FC imposed the first set of standard laws and rules for the game and played a key role in the formation of FA – you could argue that Sheffield, in some sense, invented football as we know it today.
3) The Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire
If you’re into politics you’re probably aware of Sheffield’s left leaning but you might not know that Sheffield got the nickname of the Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire in 1980s because of its fiercely held commitment to socialism and left-wing politics even in the height of Thatcherism. The council took confrontational steps against Westminster naming South Yorkshire a nuclear-free zone and a demilitarized zone, signing a peace treaty with Donetsk in Ukraine which was on the other side of the Iron curtain and flying a red flag outside Sheffield Town Hall on May Day. Of course the miners’ strike was a hugely important part of Sheffield history.
4) Bertie Bassett buried in Sheffield?
Rumour has it Bertie Bassett was more than a liquorice man and actually existed as a real life Victorian. Apparently his grave can be found in the graveyard off Ecclesall Road. It would make some sense since the confectioners of liquorice all-sorts started out in Sheffield. The graveyard has lots of other interesting people from history buried there like Francis Dickinson, who was in the charge of the light brigade so is well worth a visit to find out more.
5) Gas street lamps
Sheffield’s hills are well known to any residents and it is because of the many hills found in Sheffield that it ended up garnering a whole bunch of gas lamps too. Lamps were installed at places where sewer gases were likely to collect such as at the top of hills. It’s said that 84 of these lamps were erected in Sheffield between 1914 and 1935 which is the largest number in any British town or city. Today, there’s estimated to be around 22 remaining lamps in Sheffield with a handful of them still burning. One of them is in the student area of Broomhill on the corner of Westbourne road and Ashdell road.
- Date: 21.01.13
- Posted by: Admin
Was Leeds Student newspaper right to publish an interview with Nick Griffin?
Don’t consider the student paper to be small-fry. Most weeks news about the latest society or student accommodation don’t exactly indicate the average student rag as particularly combustible, but a recent case from the Oxford University student paper The Cherwell caused massive outcry and made it into the Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph. Nearer home, Sheffield University’s ‘Forge Press’ made a stir when it published a controversial piece criticising Sheffield student Accommodation and Campus Services and now it’s Leeds’ turn to cause a furore. The student paper ‘Leeds Student’ received demands from the NUS to remove an interview with Nick Griffin from the website with the argument that “fascists” should not be given a platform to air their views. In a piece for The Guardian, Lucy Snow, editor of Leeds Student defends her decision to publish, but was she right?
What’s the problem?
Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP, accused of racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and vitriolic rhetoric has long been a source of controversy in the media. His famous appearance on Question Time was met with similar questions as to whether the BBC should be giving someone, whose views are considered to be fascist by many, the platform to speak. The risk of airing the views of Nick Griffin, as The Guardian pointed out during the Question Time scandal, is that we ‘normalise’ his point of view. The BNP certainly viewed Question Time as a great opportunity for them saying,
“Never before have we had the chance to present our patriotic, common sense solutions to Britain’s nightmare situation to the public at large in such prominent fashion ... I am relishing this opportunity, and I know that ... the ordinary members, supporters and voters of the BNP will be in the studio with me as I take on the corrupt, treacherous swine destroying our beautiful island nation.”
The NUS, in an open letter, demanded the removal of the Leeds Student interview saying they were “appalled by the decision.. to publish”. In a passionate letter the NUS claimed the BNP stand for the elimination of democracy and so a defence to air their views because we live in a democratic society with freedom of speech doesn’t apply. The open letter continues,
“In publishing this interview the ‘Leeds Student’ risks giving legitimacy to a fascist organisation, and boosts the BNP’s attempts to join the political mainstream when we should be isolating them.”
In a blog by ‘The Tab’ another Leeds publication, former editor of Leeds Student argues that the paper were wrong to publish the article as it amounted to “trolling”. In light of the fact that the BNP have experienced a huge decrease in support since 2009 the relevance of such an interview at this time could be questioned, and it’s argued that this interview was designed more for the controversy it created rather than to probe extremist ideology at a timely moment.
Like the BBC who decided to go ahead with Nick Griffin’s appearance, Leeds Student has left the interview with Nick Griffin up on their website. In a lucid defence of the decision Lucy Snow tells The Guardian that shying away from the likes of Griffin patronises students and that “without being given a stage on which he(Griffin) can display his lunacy, Griffin is an elected politician with just as much authority as any other MEP.” Snow concludes,
“Griffin is a politician in a country which has free speech, it is essential that his views and policies are exposed for what they are. Leeds Student merely gave Griffin enough rope to hang himself.”
So what do you think? Does an interview with Nick Griffin expose ludicrous fascism or does it normalise his point of view? Do you think Leeds Students motivations for publishing the interview were entirely honest, or were they trying to get a reaction?
- Date: 30.11.12
- Posted by: Admin
Do You Know About Student Finance Fraud?
If you've just come to University you might be managing for finances independently for the first time. Even if you're not, we can all be susceptible to fraud and online scams which can seem highly convincing. So much is done online these days, including application for student loans so it's important you're aware of the risks, what to look out for and what to avoid when sharing personal details on social networking sites and during online banking or online transactions.
The Students Loan Company has conducted research into fresher week activity which shows that 56% of students will friend request most new people they meet and a third of new students will give out their phone number. When questioned about current Facebook contacts, most freshers have only met half of them and yet share a substantial amount of personal information. 73% will show their relationship status, 72% show their date of birth, 41% put up their email and 14% have their phone number accessible.
This makes them vulnerable to scam emails and phonecalls from phishing operations, using personal data they've picked up from the internet to pose as the Student Loans Company and get further details, and in the end money, from their victims.
Males are reportedly at higher risk than females as they are more likely to accept friend requests from strangers and share more details about themselves. Last year criminals try to commit fraud against over 1,600 students.
What can you do?
Student loan scams are more prevalent around the time of instalments so watch out around September, January and April – times when you are expecting your loan in.
Here are some top tips from Get Safe Online reported by The Guardian:
- Use a strong password and avoid using the same password for different sites. You'll have heard this advice before, but it really is important. If someone gets hold of your password for one site and it's the same for others, then they can easily commit identity theft. If it's a strong password they're less likely to get their hands on it.
- Use privacy settings and be cautious about your Facebook activity and who you befriend. If you want to make friends with lots of people online then go for it, but make sure you hide personal information. Remember that once you've put something up on the net, even if you take it down, it's there forever on Facebook's archives.
- Keep up-to-date with changing privacy settings on social networks. They do change and it's easy to assume that they're not going to be able to get away with settings which will be unsafe. The reality is that social networking and the like are extremely young and rapidly changing; regulations are still catching up with these rapid changes. That means it's up to users to keep an eye on what happens to their information.
- The Student Loans Company will never ask you to update your bank or date of birth details, verify your account numbers or give your email address password.
- You will never be asked to provide combinations on the same screen (i.e. your customer reference number and password won't be on the same screen).
- You won't be given a choice of secret question – you will only ever be asked the one question you gave the SLC originally.
A contentious attitude and keeping in the know at possible scams should keep you safe online. The dangerous thing is that a lot of young people, sometimes the most technology savvy, are the most laid back about online safety. What you do on the internet can have real consequence in day to day life, so it's best to make an effort to stay safe.
- Date: 16.11.12
- Posted by: Admin
Famous Alumni Of Sheffield Universities
So you’ve picked Sheffield? Good choice. Both University of and Hallam are two well respected universities known by their students for a friendly atmosphere, excellent teaching and the amazing city they reside in. On top of this, they both have a number of pretty well-known alumni, so if you’re at all concerned about your job prospects post-graduate take a look at our list of famous alumni from to get a bit of inspiration of possibilities for the future!
Hallam’s pretty well known for its sport. It’s not much of a surprise then that the university has produced some of the top sportspersons in the country.
Hallam has produced three Olympic athletes:
Jane Smith graduated from Hallam in 1997 and travelled to the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 to compete in the diving event for Great Britain, after winning bronze at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
Leon Taylor has represented Great Britain twice at the Olympics in both the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. In the latter he won a silver medal and is credited with inventing ‘the world’s most difficult dive’.
Mark Shipman, another Hallam graduate has competed at European, Commonwealth, World and Olympic levels coming 7th in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Hallam has produced a lot of well-renowned rugby players including:
Sean Lamont who transferred to Rotherham’s academy before moving to Glasgow Warriors, where, after his first season, he received the accolade of ‘Player of the Year’. In time he started playing for the Scottish national team where he built up a strong reputation as a formidable player.
David Strettle graduated from Hallam in 2005 with a degree in Sport and Exercise Science. He now plays for England rugby team, making history in 2006 by scoring five tries in the first half of England’s victory over Papua New Guinea. David also plays for the Harlequins and is set to progress far in his sporting career.
Football player turned chief executive Jason Rockett started life at Hallam University graduating in 1992.
The famous player and manager, Howard Wilkinson also graduated from the University in 1975. He received an Honorary Doctorate in 2000.
A familiar face on MOTD, the sports commentator Jacqui Oatley graduated from Hallam in 2003.
University of Sheffield
The University of Sheffield has a wealth of well-known alumni. Here are just a few to get started:
Stephen Daldry, CBE: Director of various well known films including ‘Billy Elliott’, ‘The Hours’, ‘The Reader’ and ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’, Daldry was also Artistic Director at the Royal Court Theatre from 1992-1998.
Jessica Ennis, MBE: Sheffield is extremely proud of Jessica Ennis’s recent achievements at the London Olympics. She graduated from the University in 2007 with a degree in Psychology.
Joanne Harris: Joanne Harris is an award winning author who wrote the famous novel ‘Chocolat’ which was then adapted into a film.
Eddie Izzard: Successful comedian Eddie Izzard attended Sheffield University and still has ties with the students as the elected ‘honorary President’ of the Students’ Union.
These are just a handful of well-known alumni from the both Universities in the city. So next time you start to wonder how far your degree will get you, refresh your memory of whose footsteps you are following in and get the inspiration you need!
- Date: 12.11.12
- Posted by: Admin
Festivals in Sheffield
It’s not an exaggeration to say that Sheffield has a festival for everyone. Whether you’re into films, music, food, reading, politics or just like to have a good time you’ll be able to find the perfect festival for you. The great thing about Sheffield is that it has festivals going on throughout the entire year. There’s no such thing as “festival season” in the Steel city; you can find something new and fun to do whether it be the depths of winter or the height or summer. Here’s our quick guide to the very best festivals in Sheffield which we think is essential knowledge for all students, new or old.
Tramlines is probably the biggest festival in Sheffield involving a huge range of venues all across the city. It’s a completely free music festival which runs over the weekend in July. Division Street becomes pedestrianized and the main stage is on Devonshire Green. The best way to enjoy tramlines though is to venture out to smaller venues and see some unheard of bands. Highlights include the buskers’ bus and the blues and ales trail. A new addition to the Tramlines line up in 2011 was opening up the Cathedral for gigs. The Cathedral has wonderful acoustics and it’s worth checking it out for the experience of drinking beer sitting on church pews alone. In 2012 the priest was even clearing up the empties – pretty surreal!
Docfest is an internationally renowned festival which attracts documentary makers and enthusiasts from around the globe. It runs for five days in June at the Showroom Sheffield. Pop along if you’re into documentaries and you’re very likely to meet some big names in the industry and see some of the best documentaries being produced in the UK. There are frequent Q&A sessions after screenings and the whole thing has an informal, relaxed atmosphere so you feel welcome whether you’re a doc buff or just fancy seeing something a bit different.
Sensoria is a music, film and digital festival which happens in April and showcases some of the most innovative (and strange) creative delights to the people of Sheffield. It includes exhibitions, film screenings and gigs. One highlight last year was the opportunity to play “crazy golf art”.
Off the Shelf
Off the Shelf is a ‘festival of words’ which happens through October to the beginning of November. It features writing workshops, readings from renowned writers, poetry events and all things related to reading, writing and literature. The best thing about Off the Shelf is that it runs for so long, so if you can’t make it to one thing you’re almost guaranteed to be able to find something else you want to see/do which you can get to. Clara Womersley at Random House said Off the Shelf was “By far and away one of the best festivals in the UK”.
There really are so many other festivals in Sheffield we could talk about. Here are a few for you to explore: - Lovebytes, Sheftival, Sharrow Latern Festival, the Food Festival, Festival of the Mind, the Last Laugh Comedy Festival, MADE, LaDIYfest the list is endless!
If you want to get a real insight into Sheffield then the plethora of Sheffield festivals is a great place to start.
- Date: 31.10.12
- Posted by: Admin
Claypenny Properties brings `Gangnam Style’ flash mob to Sheffield!
Claypenny Properties Agent Fraser Ludlam has held a Gangnam Style flash mob in Sheffield!
Fraser and around 50 students danced to the beat of South Korean rapper Psy outside Fraser’s office on Collegiate Crescent off Ecclesall Road.
Fraser organised the dance which has been filmed and placed on You Tube after hearing the original had become the most liked video on You Tube ever.
It is the first time the dance has hit the streets of Sheffield in flash mob style, but it has been copied by other universities in the UK.
Fraser said: “A massive thank you to all the Claypenny students, their family and friends who helped, I could not have done it without you!
“We drew a crowd and had a great laugh. I’m really proud of you all for turning up and having some fun with me.”
Led by 20-year old Peter Sarzena wearing Psy style sunglasses; 20-year-old English Literature student and Education student Jessica Clark, and 21 year-old law student Claire Buckley, the flash mob caught the attention of a surprised crowd of onlookers.
Claire said: “It was one of the best days of my life; I genuinely didn’t want it to end.”
It took Fraser a week to organise and he said it could not have been done without the help of his students and friends who helped supply the music, filmed the dance and even got the crowd to practice their dance moves.
More about the day is on Claypenny Properties Facebook page Claypenny Properties provides accommodation for students in Sheffield. The properties which are largely in the popular Ecclesall Road area range from student houses and flats that can accommodate one to 20 people. If you have an inquiry about finding a property call the office on 0114 266 9900.
- Date: 26.10.12
- Posted by: Admin
Students Urged To Start Their Property Search For 2013
Property Agent Fraser Ludlam is urging students to start looking for their accommodation for next year.
Fraser said that all of his properties were fully booked by the first month of this new university year, and that students need to think ahead as much as they can.
Fraser said: “With student properties going really quickly, students ideally need to start thinking ahead.
“In particular, second year students who are already familiar with the city and know who they want to live with may want to start their property search. This will help them ensure they get the best properties they can before they are all snapped up. “
The majority of Claypenny’s properties are in the popular Ecclesall Road area, and the agency also has properties in Broomhall, Crookesmoor and the city centre.
Claypenny’s offices are on the corner of Ecclesall Road and Collegiate Crescent just outside the Sheffield Hallam University Collegiate campus.
Claypenny’s properties range from student houses and flats that can accommodate one to 20 people.
If you have an inquiry about finding a property call the office on 0114 266 9900.
- Date: 24.10.12
- Posted by: Admin
Students going crazy 'Gangnam Style'
What is it about a YouTube video that’s racked up over 220 million hits with a song that’s reached number one in ten countries including the UK?
Gangnam Style is the catchy, camp Korean pop tune from South Korean rapper Psy which has taken the world by storm. The mocking, “horsey” dance moves, Psy’s ardent dedication to garish suits and sun glasses, and an undeniably infectious beat have all combined to make Gangnam a genuine pop sensation. And now Gangnam Style has become the latest student craze with flash mobs and tributes cropping up everywhere.
Eton students go ‘Gangnam Style’
One of the most popular viral videos of students paying tribute to the South Korean singer is the “Eton Style” video in which Eton students rewrite the popular hit to include references to school life all the while imitating the classic Psy dance moves perfectly.
Cornell University students took part in a massive flash mob on campus which gathered hundreds of participants and a huge audience. Flash mobs have also cropped up at the University of Illinois and the University of Oregon.
But it’s not just America who has joined in the pop craze. Universities from up and down Great Britain have got involved. The University of Aberdeen recently held a huge Gangnam Style dance as part of its Freshers’ Week celebrations which included students dressed in an array of bizarre animal outfits. At the other end of the UK, Kings College London managed to get the general public’s interest in Gangam Style stirred up by holding a flash mob in London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday 13th October. Over 300 people turned up to the event to the amusement of hundreds of bystanders.
How to do a Gangnam Dance
If you watched a couple of these videos and you’re keen to get involved in a Gangnam style dance then the first thing you need to learn is how to do it! The Gangnam is something which can’t be rationalised but most certainly can be imitated. Here’s our guide to getting it right:
· Practise, practise, practise! If you want to get a really flawless dance then you need to practise the moves! Here’s a step-by-step dance tutorial to learn the basic steps and here’s a quick lesson from the man himself.
· Get the outfit right: Take a look at video and make sure you get yourself a cheesy, garish suit to fit right in with the Gangnam style.
“When you dance you’ve got to think you’re riding an invisible horse in your lower body” – and that comes straight from the horse’s mouth. Dress is also pivotal to achieve a true Gangnam Style.
“This is the point of the Gangnam Style – dress classy and dance cheesy.”
Follow these top tips and you’ll be sure to perfect the Gangnam Style flash mob. We’re big fans of Psy here at Claypenny and that’s why we’ve decided to plan our very own Gangnam Style dance! Keep checking facebook for up to date details – the horsey moves of Gangnam Style will be hitting a
street in Sheffield very soon!
- Date: 21.10.12
- Posted by: Admin
How to Survive Your First Term at University
As Fresher’s week comes and goes at universities up and down the land, undergraduates are waking up in their new found student accommodation with sore heads. Not just from an over indulgence in cheap alcohol, but trying to process all the information that has been thrown at them during the initial few weeks of university. The first three months at University is probably the hardest period until the last three months. You are in a new environment, with new people and with a whole host of new responsibilities to fit in alongside your new found independence. Below is a guide to the six key issues you will face and the pitfalls to avoid you doing become one of the 25% of students who drop out of university early.
1. Beware of being homesick
This is easier said than done, you can’t necessarily control your emotions and to some people, being in a completely new environment away from their friends and family can be a real struggle. It is best to be prepared. Make sure you take some home comforts with you and know that those who are close to you are now just a text message, phone call or e-mail away. It’s not like 20 years ago when a letter taking several days to get there was your only means of correspondence. Be aware that you may get homesick in the first few days and prepare yourself for it. If you try and ignore it you’re more likely to crash and want to return home because you can’t cope at the first available weekend.
2. Don’t try and do everything in the first month
When I went to University I was a year older than most having taken a gap year. I had already lived independently (in part) and enjoyed socialising thanks to a large network of good friends from my home town. During the first few weeks in my new surroundings I watched some people go absolutely crazy with the power of suddenly being able to do what they want, when they wanted. Understand that you’re at University for a long time, usually three but sometimes over four years. Take time to explore your new surroundings and don’t try and visit every bar and club in the city during the first few weeks!
3. Realise that you have to budget for a term, not just for fresher’s week…
Running out of money is amongst the most common occurrences in student housing up and down the land. Yes it sounds like the sort of thing your mother would say, but try and at least have some awareness that if you’re out every night of the week drinking and eating you’ll probably run out of money pretty soon. Target the cheaper nights, almost every bar in every major city will have student deals on at some stage. Above all though, realise its ok to have a night in with the books once in a while. Failing that, getting a part-time job is a must for several students these days. Don’t leave it too late to apply for one or everyone else will have beaten you too it.
4. Don’t panic at the initial seminars and lectures.
The first few sessions you attend at University can be pretty daunting as you get bombarded with all sorts of information. Suddenly you realise you have ten books to read at once, four essays due in a month and exams looming over your shoulder the entire time. In short, don’t panic. Some people will find putting together a study plan helpful from the beginning to make sure they have an allotted time each week to read or research your chosen subject. If that sounds a bit too formal for your first few weeks, just know that by attending the necessary lectures and seminars most of the information will go in via osmosis and when you come to the harder work further down the line, you’ll probably have learnt more than you realise.
5. Learn to Cook.
A diet of takeaway pizzas and all you can eat Chinese buffets is not going to be good for either your bank balance or waist line. One of the quickest and simplest ways to save money as a student is cooking for you and ideally for a crowd. It is so much cheaper to cook for multiple people, so even if you’re not dining with company, make enough each time so you have plenty of leftovers for another day.
6. Have a sense of humour.
University can be a scary place. Few people will have had any experience of anything quite like it before. You’re suddenly living in a house or halls with a dozen other people who you’ve never met; you might even be sharing a room. On top of that you’ll have people lining up to tell you what to do, where to go, where to eat and what you need to do to survive. So whatever you do, don’t take yourself too seriously. Be relaxed and don’t try and get wound up with people during the first few times you meet them. They might be nervous or scared or trying to over compensate and it can lead to some pretty feisty moments as you’re suddenly asked to share living space with new people. Try to laugh as much of it off as possible and you’ll make friends quickly and easy. Ultimately, when the going really gets tough later on in your student life, it’s those friends that you’ll need to help get you through.
Of course, there are many other factors to consider when starting University than these. But hopefully this guide will give you a prod in the right direction as you set off on the biggest adventure of your life to date. Be sensible, have fun and don’t worry too much about the little things. Your University years should be ones you remember for all the right reasons later in life.
- Date: 16.10.12
- Posted by: Admin
Buy To Let Houses For Students Still A Big Pull
Despite house prices crashing and it being harder than ever to make profit on property, people are still investing in the short term housing market, designed to attract students or young professionals paying a premium in rent. Even in a recession, student accommodation is considered by professional investors as a serious and highly lucrative asset class. This is not to say that people who have just one or two properties should seek to get some students in it straight away; the market is still a tough one after all. However, for those lucky enough to be at the higher end of the wealth scale, the potential influx of foreign students following rising tuition fees means there will be greater number of people looking for luxury, higher value student accommodation.
One of the factors that have affected this market has been the shortage of funds that so many Universities now have. As a result of this, they haven't been able to build the levels of student housing that they previously had been able to. This has created a shortage that has been picked up by private companies and investors. In London alone, there are almost 300,000 full time students and barely 60,000 University provided beds. Whilst UK students often prefer to find traditional houses to share with their friends, the ideal university "experience" is very different to cash rich foreign students. These students can afford higher rates of accommodation and crave comfort and luxury when they come to Britain to study. At well over 100,000, students from India, China and Nigeria now outnumber all foreign students attending UK universities from the EU. Students from these countries crave something aspirational and come to world renowned cities like Manchester, Liverpool and London and want a quality of lifestyle that fits.
Investing in student housing, if done right, can be a perfect "armchair investment." This is the appeal with purpose built apartment blocks which will often have an onsite manager and maintenance staff. As such, whilst the owner will still have to stump up the cash for unwanted repairs, they know they won't get a call late at night out of the blue because a student has blown up the oven or accidently trashed the communal bathroom. If you are serious about investing in the market, it's still important to choose the area and accommodation carefully. Whilst London is the most expensive place to own accommodation, it is also the most profitable. However, cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds & Sheffield also have a constant stream of new students flooding into the area each September and are unlikely to suffer from a sudden financial collapse like universities in smaller towns may do.
Student numbers overall may be dipping, but the increased fees will inevitable result in the average student coming from wealthier backgrounds. The merits of this can be argued at length, but for landlords and property investors, it represents a chance to make real money in the right locations.