The Nichols building

Arts, crafts and antiques all under one roof

This week I paid a visit to the Nichols building in Sheffield. It is a large former grocery wholesalers near the Shalesmoor roundabout, dating from around 1854, which has been converted into a boutique shopping emporium.

There are over 30 units inside, mainly based on the first floor open plan area. It is a lovely place to browse and there are all sorts of bespoke goodies for sale, including antiques, art, jewellery, clothes, books, pottery, interiors, glassware and furniture.

After you’ve had a look round, there is no excuse not to stop off for a cup of tea and a piece of cake at the cafe.

They also hold regular knitting afternoons, small exhibitions (currently there is a set of vintage little black dresses on display, one from each decade starting from the 1940s) and a Christmas fair is in the pipeline for December.

I took a few photos on my phone which you can see below.

The Nichols building (also on Twitter and Facebook)

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Off the shelf Sheffield 2009

The festival of reading and writing (10-31 October 2009)

Two of the city’s biggest cultural festivals return this autumn and by the look of the programmes, the line-ups this year are better than ever.

Off the shelf is 18 years old and features the usual selection of readings, workshops, exhibitions, storytelling, talks, walks and poetry. Looking over the festival programme, I’d defy anyone to find something that wasn’t of interest. Here are my picks:

  • Martin Bedford – an illustrated talk from the artist behind the iconic Leadmill poster artwork of the 1980s and 1990s, plus highly-tipped Sheffield band the Crookes are also playing
  • Vic Reeves – an insight into the mind of the comedian as he takes you through his latest book, a surreal encyclopaedia called Vic Reeves’ vast book of world knowledge
  • Peter Hook – Hooky, whose distinctive basslines were at the heart of both New order and Joy division’s distinctive sound tells the story of infamous Manchester nightclub the Hacienda. He is DJing afterwards too (hopefully not just pretending)
  • Stuart Maconie – broadcaster and writer who passed through Sheffield for his Pies and prejudice: in search of the north book and may further expand on his evaluation of the city, which was basically that we produce great pop music but bad pop music museums
  • Tony Benn – even if you don’t agree with his politics, you can be sure that the former Chesterfield MP will spark plenty of debate and perhaps offer insight into how Sheffield has changed from the socialist stronghold that it was for so long
  • Marina Lewycka – local author and Sheffield Hallam university who shot to fame with her debut novel A short history of tractors in Ukranian and I expect will be reading from her new book, We are all made of glue

The festival website is much improved this year (compared to last year’s token putting the festival programme online as a PDF) and there is a Twitter feed for the event, @otsfestival.

I’ll look at the picks from Grin up north in my next post.