Wednesday, 20 May 2015


Situated on the south side of Sheffield on Abbeydale road around a mile outside Sheffield City centre is the Abbeydale Picture palace. When opened by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield on 20 December 1920 the picture house was the largest and most luxurious cinema in Sheffield, often referred to as the "Picture Palace" because of the luxurious cream and gold colour scheme, and dark mahogany seats trimmed with green velvet. The picture house also boasted many intricate decorations and carvings, a mosaic floor in the foyer and a glass canopy with a marble pillar to the outside of the building,over the years this fine building has,like most if not all suburban cinemas fallen by the wayside and been converted into various carpet warehouses,supermarkets, churches, even pubs and now lead a different life from what they where intended for.As a young lad in the mid seventies i can remember going in 1975 to see a James Bond Film, this would have been around the time when it was near to closing down, as Sheffield City Centre Cinemas had most of the big films showing and the dwindling suburban audiences much preferred a trip to the city centre. from the late 70s onwards, various parts of the palace have been used for different things, the downstairs ballroom was a well know mod/northern soul club known as the KGB or the K GEE BEE, it was one of my early introductions to the emerging mod scene around 1979-80 there was always a few tasty scooters parked outside on certain nights of the week when the club ran and also the odd band that played there, it was a destination to head for after seeing a band at the broadfield pub,(400 yards away)  I'm not sure of the origins of the name and the club, but over the years the KGB northern soul club has appeared in various venues in and around Sheffield with quite a lot of the old northern DJs still playing under the KGB soul club banner.
Throughout the 1980s the building was used quite successfully by the Drakes Office Equipment business, who converted quite a bit of the balcony area into there offices and used the downstairs area,now with all seating removed as a display area,which must have been quite unusual with it's slopping floor! However on a recent tour of the building it was said it was quite a successful and prolific way of enticing customers in to view there wares!
Drakes made the most out of the building by using the downstairs as a snooker hall and  in recent years a bar was opened aptly called the "Bar abbey" which was quite a happening place putting bands on and various soul and ska nights,recently it's had a transformation and morphed into "the picture house social" aiming at the "beardy arty" crowd that have suddenly moved into the abbeydale/nether edge area,not had the chance to visit yet,but seems to have a lot more happening with it selling food and loads of different beers,table tennis and it's own small cinema.The picture on the right shows the original fire curtain backdrop in front of the stage, this is a truly great  piece of history and well worth a visit purely to see this, the advertising is local shops and businesses that sadly are no more, not sure from when this dates from,possibly the 50s.
The downstairs area had the seats removed a long time ago and makes quite a nice area for all the food and craft stalls on market days,towards the back there is an area with settees scattered around so you can sit down and enjoy your buns,cakes or sandwiches!

Current owners of the building had plans to turn it into a climbing wall business,but pulled out as Sheffield seemed to be flooded with them,so at present they have ideas to hold functions and the odd concert, plus the regular vintage and food markets that take place,slowly but surely the picture palace is getting back on its feet millions need to be spent to restore it to its former glory,which the owners don't have,and lottery grants can't be given as the owners want it for business use.
My own thoughts are that it's a very similar building and location as the Manchester Apollo,and could very possibly offer residents of the steel city a very big alternative to the venues on offer in our city centre. Only time will tell!

Friday, 8 May 2015


Part 2! I could have readers of the blog thinking I'm turning into an alcoholic!,Comes a time in life when you realise that the common and popular brews on most bars are Shite!! Namely your carling,Heineken, carlsberg, god forbid Fosters,john smiths,you get the picture? I've been a long time fan for over thirty years of "wife beater" or good old Stella Artois,lovely drink,some daft reason some people claim they can't handle it, I'm digressing and going slightly of subject like i always do!
Ok on a recent trip to london i did a bit of research beforehand on what decent brews i could find
And Camden came up quite a lot,and as we where making our way up to the Camden (chalkfarm) roundhouse I thought I was sorted, but alas great plans  sometimes don't come with a win,and we didn't go in the right bars that served it.
Craft and Dough a great little pizza restaurant in the Kelham Island area of Sheffield has a huge selection of craft beers including Camden and some great pizzas, coming in a can,on pouring it had a lovely clear golden colour to it and a nice clean strong head,and of course all poured into a nice Camden logo glass. Nice little "fizz" to it as well! This is a lovely cool crisp lager,loads of body and quite refreshing from first to last drop, I bought a couple of bottles recently at £1.50 a bottle it's a steal,in fact the bottled is in my opinion far superior to the  canned  version, a lovely strong colour tasty and aromatic,great artwork on the labels as well very eye catching Which I think draws you in as it stands out from the crowd.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


I like a Beer or two! Sheffield has many pubs and breweries, it also has a great past,with the (one time) Giants of Stones,Wards and Whitbread Breweries taking centre stage in the 7 Hills, Present day sheffield has quite a few very very good (not so micro) breweries, one i particularly like is the Tipple from the Bradfield Brewery,situated in the small village of bradfield on the outskirts of the North of sheffield is called Farmers Belgium Blue, Now the downside to this excellent beer is that it is only brewed from November onwards, this unique beer has a very christmasy appeal to it with its slightly blue tint,or purple tint! which is i think down to the drinkers interpretation of it! i think the general idea is to give it overtones of christmas berries, one thing i will say is its a damn shame this beer is not produced all year round. available in bottles and 5 litre mini kegs or if you are extremely flush or having a bit of a knees up with mates a 9 gallon barrel is available! I'm going to try and get around to featuring there 2015 range of beers if possible, so please stay tuned!!


Monday, 8 December 2014


On Sunday 7th December our club Norton Lees Juniors u12s did there bit for this great memorial to the brave young men who fought for our country  in the first world war.
‘Football  Remembers’  is  the  series  of  programmes  and  events  being  delivered  jointly  by  the  Premier  League,  The  FA  and  the  Football  League,  in  partnership  with  the  British  Council,  to  commemorate  the  First  World  War.  In  2014  most  activity  centres on  one  of  the  most  iconic  moments  of  the  First  World  War,  the  1914  Christmas Truce  football  match.  Football  Remembers  kicked  off  in  May  2014  when  the  partners launched  a  Football  Remembers  education  pack  that  was  sent  to  more  than  30,000  schools  across  the  UK.  It  includes  resources  to  help  children  learn  about  the  Truce  and  football’s  role  in  recruitment  and  morale  during  the  First  World  War.    

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


So,as they say,"it's been a long time"!!Not been to visit the coach and horses for a couple of years,this was a  double header game, and at £7 you just can't go wrong 

Monday, 29 July 2013


Here's a great video I found on you tube,I'm not one for trolling for hours on you tube,in fact I don't tend to really go on it.However I thought this was a great snapshot of the great times that as youth's myself included had!the great comradeship and the fun times im not quite sure the youth of today would go to such lengths as we did back then,and all we had was a map,beer and mates! No mobiles,Internet or satnavs to find our way there and back! enjoy! many thanks to the lad who has uploaded these please go and view his other films

Tuesday, 23 July 2013


Here's my previous Lambretta,over the years it had various incarnations and colours,engine sizes but it ended up as a super reliable GP200 stage 4 built by Ralph Saxilby well know scooter racer engine builder and all round Nutcase! originally the scooter was an Italian import bought from Armando's in Sheffield, colour was the light blue and obviously came as a DL125 wish i had kept the DL badge now actually, i did loads of miles over the years on it and when i had the money went for a complete rebuild, shopped around a bit as i wanted it all done together,engine rebuild body paint etc, went to MB Developments and they only did engines,as i wasn't confident about putting it all together i didn't bother,few lads i knew on the scene put me on to RS Tuning in doncaster owned by Ralph,if you don't know him, he is a bit hard to get hold of, never answers phone and even thou he has a big shop front he always has the door locked and would be in the workshop round the back,i managed to collar him and had a chat and he was really sound with me,advised me on loads of stuff about what i wanted, some of which i didn't really listen to,but wish i had,started off as him just doing me engine and ended up with complete rebuild, i wanted a 175 top end and he suggested to me a 200 top end,which i eventually went back 2 years later and had! project started in September and after a few visits over the next 6 months it was ready in April,frame had been blasted back to metal,
 forks striped and rebuilt,new panels, all engine block powder coated, same with rims,front dampers added,Kegra Expansion chamber exhaust in stainless fitted, standard GP gearbox,new 

clutch new crank 12 volt Kit fitted,everything was done so neat,loads of rubber added between fixings and panels and headset! it was kind of an in joke with my scooter mates having bits of rubber everywhere! most important was the 175cc top end tuned to a stage 4 with a 28mm dellorto carb,few weeks of messing with carb to get it set up right but once i opened it up,boy this scooter could fly!over that year i put some miles on it, using it for work rallies etc, over 4000 miles i did on it in probably 8 months,towards end of October of that year it was really flying on our way to bridlington for the end of year custom show it was pulling a healthy 70 mph at times and it felt like a bit more was there as well,it would sit and cruise at 55mph-60mph,coming back on a windy Sunday it really flew just as we where getting on to winter it was coming into its own,in 2001 it was out of the shed pretty early that year, loads of rallies come and went it was used for work and at the time me and my wife would go out on Sundays and have a ride out to fox house or ecclesall road to Nonnas the Italian coffee bar people would stop and look and admire, the IOW was a good end to the summer,i was straight back from Greece on the Thursday night and off Friday morning. I was looking to improve it and you always want more speed so back to Ralph's and I had the usual "Told you so" so a 200 casing was sourced and left for ralph to build,over the winter I did the odd thing to it,so come 2002 it was back running and with a few alterations was set to go, engine back in and just running it in,when one Saturday I decided to go the half mile to the cash point,parked up went to the machine turned round and there was a prick reversing into it in a landrover,it got knocked over with the mudguard completely crushed the leg shields damaged forks bent,i went crackers and the guy had the cheek to blame his wife in the passenger seat for not telling him! so it got towed home and the usual insurance pain in the arse,luckily I had some mates who rallied round and we got the odd bodywork to tide me over,eventually all the insurance got sorted and new bodywork painted and ready to go on,i didn't ride it much that year as we where expecting our 1st child and that was the most important thing so the scooter got left a bit, I did a few rallies but not long distance, whilst I still had some spare cash I decided to customise it a little bit,i found a company that would scan and print some of my old favourite record covers on to vinyl think it worked out at £10 each a bargain! as the pictures show they looked rather well and a great job was done by Derek at Absolutely scooters putting them on without creases and the 10 coats of lacquer they had! was well pleased,especially with the one on the legshields,so our son came along and the only rally I did was out in Derbyshire at a Ukrainian scout camp or something! that was 2003 and my last rally, I kind of fell out with the club I was in this was due to changing work patterns and with working nights I just couldn't get to the meetings so I kinda dropped out of the scene,needing a new car for work and family I had to sell the scooter in 2006 which was a hard decision, really regretted it as prices have gone sky high with a lot of "new" faces on the scene,lads who couldn't have scooters when they where young, and now without mortgages have that extra cash,I'm back in the scene a bit and I don't really know many from Sheffield they seem to have sprung up,quite a few of my old club mates just dropped out,in fact quite a few moved on to the VW Beetle and Camper van scene,so I'm back now and lets see how things turn out!

Friday, 28 June 2013

Thursday, 20 June 2013


 Sheffield Aces Scooter Club meet Wednesdays at the Okeh Café in the nether edge area of Sheffield, great café, and run by and for scooterists,mods, whatever you want to call or name,Anyway 2nd trip on Series 2 with my mate Dave (Li150) and the place is quite full of lads having there teas and drinks and admiring each others scooters for the 100th time, just general stuff we all tend to do,Grabbing the most attention was Russell's new creation, his Lambretta Li125 Series 2 with added Watsonian Side Car,Simply Stunning! loads of admiring glances and people driving past slowly to have a peek,the sidecar was stunning trimmed in a very light brown to match the blue/green paintwork,So anyway back to a nice bit of sausage,eggs and chips, and a quick chat and a run out to the Ranmoor Inn  in the "POSH" Part of Sheffield,30 or so scooters set off back along Abbeydale Road along London Rd and then via Ecclesall Rd where people sat outside the cafes and bars all stopped what they where doing to take in this great sight of lambrettas and vespas in different colours and arrangements thrash along, We got to Hunters Bar to turn left and oh dear I'm holding the clutch in and its wanting to go,looks like my clutch cable is going,quick drop down in to neutral and I'm safe,couple more turns and we are climbing up a steep hill towards ranmoor and as we get to the top theres a few cars coming and the scooter is creeping forward so I stalled it and pushed it across the road to the pub!On entering the pub one of the lads had spotted the Piano in the corner and was thrashing out a cracking tune to the delight of the locals,so I got a drink and wandered back outside,tool kit out panels off and a quick adjustment of the clutch cable and its sorted!

What i need to do is have a couple of hours going thru stuff like this lately i've just not had the time,so a quick blast back down to broomhill and then towards ecclesall rd and we are racing each other back up woodseats road towards home!

Sunday, 9 June 2013


So hows that for a rear brake adjuster? Dont think theres anything left in that spring whatsoever! Im quite sure the previous owner never bothered taking the panels off and regularly checking these things.

Here's the front dampers,rusted,seized and useless,So what next? Probably engine oil change and the stainless floor runners replaced with good ole fashioned plastic and a lot safer,bit of rain and the boards become slippy.

Thursday, 6 June 2013


So here we are,1st trip out on series 2, all tested and safe! Wednesday nights is sheffield Aces club meet at the okeh cafe on Abbeydale road(see previous post) the club has been going a couple of years,made up with a mixture off old and new "faces" my son's friends dad has also got a scooter so we paired up, the series2 felt ok,it cut out on me at a junction but otherwise was ok,i think the carb needs tweaking but otherwise it's ok,around 25 scooters made it;with a few having a run out to castleton and the rest went to a meet out in dinnington where a few other clubs arranged to meet.
Me and dave? Well we stopped at cafe and chatted! Then a quick trip home, One step at a time!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013


This great label which launched in the mid 60s, has had quite a resurgence over the last decade with new and old fans buying the great box sets and different genre collections,mod,ska,producers,dance hall etc,now I'm no expert on Jamaican ska whatsoever,i don't know the 1st thing about it,what I do know is they put out some brilliant singles en masse thru out the late 60s and early 70s mainly catering for the skinhead youth of knowledge extends to some of the more popular tunes that where made famous by various 2 tone bands from the late 70s and early 80s,whilst on holiday I had the book "young gifted and black" the story of Trojan records, its a great read and really opened my eyes to this music and the legend around it, it also dispelled  what I thought the label was about, which I thought was a Jamaican based label, was in fact started in London and tended to focus more on the producer then the artiste, over the years Trojan has been in various hands, not surprising with the huge back catalogue, plus other labels which are actually Trojan imprints,meaning the producer had his own label imprint such as doctor bird,its a huge minefield of music and only for the dedicated to put together and chase down every release,the resurgence of vinyl has prompted Trojan to do a release every month of some old tracks that have never seen the light of day,7 inch singles and 10 inch eps in 180grm vinyl are released every month in numbered quantities of 500,the early ones have sold out and are fetching some crazy money on eBay all ready, they look great,the tunes are great the artwork is great,whats not to like? I've chased down a few older Trojan singles via eBay and I cant really believe that I've missed out on some really really great music,plus other labels such as island,treasure isle,top deck and much much more,also websites such as pressure sounds reggae record
providing some great 7 inch vinyl releases.
Me? well I'm buying the Trojan and boss shots releases every month and giving them a spin rather then putting them away never to be played,after all that's what music is for!

Friday, 17 May 2013


Finally got around to getting the series2 tested,off to Armando's scooter shop in Sheffield,which is handy as its 10 Min's ride,the more i looked the scooter over the more i had the feeling it wasn't quite right,once the panels where off the workmanship didn't look very good,i just put it down to it being a different model,however i was proved right,the throttle didn't seem right to much slack in it,and the brakes where very poor,the ride was so bumpy.
I left the bike with Guido and came back an hour later and a buddy was outside the shop,"that bike is nice Pete but got some major issues"oh no here we go,so Guido is telling me its basically a death trap,OK here we go the front forks are seized,the wiring loom is all over the place,and more serious the petrol lever is rubbing away at the cable! I'm sat on a gallon of petrol waiting to be ignited!!the front and back brakes Need replacing,the wiring loom is hanging down over the rear wheel,the brake adjuster spring is at its max,plus the brake cable has been run thru the wrong way,so if the bike has been rode 2 up the weight has been pushing down the rear brake causing it to be on! 
So I'm pretty gutted,i starting getting bad feelings about it,going to cost a bit to put right,but its things i would have been doing anyway only later!

Thursday, 9 May 2013


So here it is! My New Lambretta Li Series 2! not had a scooter since 2005 and its been a long hard slog to get back on the road,prices have shot up over the last few years,i looked at getting a Restoration project and it was looking like going that way, until I produced some badges for a old mate from Rotherham scooter club who put me on to this scooter,just what I wanted as well,been restored by its previous owner who had the engine built by a lad who races scooters and works for Chiselspeed scooters, and the body work was blasted by to bare metal and sprayed by the ever reliable Absolutely Scooters in Sheffield,So I'm near enough back on the road! just a test and then the tax sorted and away we go!The scene has changed quite a bit in the last few years that I've been away,in that time I've seen my son go from nursery to infant school to junior school,from being mad on cars to being mad on football, with most Sunday's stood in a park/football pitch watching him play,not complaining about that at all long may it continue,but it was really strange to get back on scooter,i never realised how attached I came to my old GP200,I knew every nut and bolt, every inch of that scooter it was a part of me!This one I'm just going to ride,not messing around with it at all,going to ride it for a couple of years and then see what the money situation is and maybe have it resprayed in my own colours etc, scooters are a very personal thing,and reflect the owners way of life, unlike cars where the majority of us buy cars on what we have in our pockets and not on colour etc.
So hopefully I will be doing a bit more posting in the near future,i cant seem to get to grips with the mobile app so back to the old school of using the computer!