28 November 2013

Chesterfield

Chesterfield in North East Derbyshire is one of Sheffield's smaller cousins. Yesterday I spent three hours just walking around the town, ticking off one kilometre boxes for the Geograph project as I clicked away with my (sub-machine gun)  camera.  By the uniquely named Knifesmithgate in the town centre I noticed three young people passing the time of day on the corner where I had stopped to munch a cheese roll. There was a young man of around twenty and two young women of a similar age. All three were smoking cigarettes:-

GIRL 1 (sucking on cigarette) How much are you getting?
BOY Four f***ing quid an hour.
GIRL 1 For f***'s sake! Four f***ing quid! That's not even the f***ing minimum wage.
BOY Tell me abaht it! For four f***ing quid you don't want to put much f***ing effort in if you see what I mean. (blows smoke from the corner of his mouth)
GIRL 2 Four f***ing quid? I'd take that! All I want's a f***ing job! They could pay me one f***ing pound an hour and I'd be f***ing happy with that. I'd be as happy as a f***ing baby!
BOY (Laughs) She's always coming out with stuff like that - like a f***ing baby!
(They all laugh)

It was like a street play - a medieval mystery play perhaps - and the next short scene involved the young man boasting about how he had got drunk and smashed somebody's "f***ing face in". The girls seemed impressed. And all of this unfolded in the shadow of Chesterfield's Parish Church with its "famous" crooked spire. 

That spire has directly inspired the local council's logo, the names of two public houses and even the local professional football club - Chesterfield F.C. is nicknamed The Spireites. Here are five shots of what  I am talking about:-
Don't get me wrong. The overheard conversation is not meant as a distilled representation of the townsfolk. I rather like Chesterfield - its human scale, its honesty, its friendliness and its nice location. Many times when I have walked in the countryside to the west of Chesterfield I have been able to make out the crooked spire from miles away. A real landmark. And its traditional outdoor market is famous in the region. It would, I am sure, be a good place to live - even though it has one enormous downside - it is not in Yorkshire!

31 comments:

  1. Oh Wow! But why is it crooked YP? And what is the thought behind that crazy construction? Note ~ she Googles crooked spire Chesterfield before she presses publish to ensure he is not pulling her leg again. Oh, and nice young people they breed in Chesterfield ~ I should hope they are not working for the Tourism Board for the four quid and hour. Tell us more about this "checking off boxes thing" for Geograph. Is it a personal challenge or are you doing some sort of voluntary work?

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    1. Carol. The f***ing idiots who built the f***ing church used f***ing unseasoned wood which warped as the spire was being constructed so they just f***ing clad it in protective lead anyway. To get a "handle" on Geograph check out "Elsewhere" in my sidebar - Geograph. You are a f***ing intelligent woman. You'll soon f***ing understand.

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    2. You know yesterday afternoon I listened to a speech by two young ladies on communication skills and the etiquette of doing business in Britain. I must revise their mark, they never dropped the F bomb.

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  2. Fucking amazing fucking church

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Katherine - do you mean Asterix the F***ing Gaul?
      Earl John - using language that is hardly befitting of the Welsh nobility!

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    3. Ha. I love that strip. But I prefer Tin Tin ...

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  3. I love the spire, it's not all overdone and perfect, it tells me that church was built for humans, not angels, people can go there even if they sing off key.

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    1. The lead cladding on it must weigh a helluva lot. Chesterfield is where real people live. Visiting American tourists would never go there unless they happened to have friends or family there. The crooked spire is not symbolic of the town's morality.

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  4. On my trips between Sheffield bus station and Birmingham bus station, with National Express, we always used to stop at Chesterfield bus station. So I got to see the spire too, on and off for the 3 years I was bettering myself at Brummy University. Always wondered why it was crooked - perhaps now I'll Google it ...
    ... as for the choice language - I know it's an "acceptable" old English word, and that young people (like me) are supposed to use it all the time, and even the BBC use it now in all their programmes to show they are with it (not to mention Hollywood!) - but, call me a fuddy duddy, I don't like it. Never really been a user of "swear words" even at school, and it still gets at me when I hear it used openly in public spaces.

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    1. I'm the same Brain, despite my use of it above. It makes me uncomfortable even seeing what I wrote with all the ***'s, I was thinking of deleting it but then I'd look silly...
      I have a young nephew (12) who uses it all the time on Facebook. But then my sister... at home... Nah. Don't jolly well like it at all.

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    2. Brian and Katherine.... I am with you and would be happy to join the anti-f word brigade. It only cropped up here because of that overheard "conversation". And when I think about it, they shamelessly refused to moderate their language even though there was clearly a man of letters standing close by munching on a cheese roll!

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    3. Ha! Ha! Katherine called you "Brain" Brian! She cannot have heard of the lobotomy!

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    4. I am on Brian's bandwagon ~ such an overused word these days.

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    5. Don't worry, I have no problem with being called Brain. In fact, if/when I get super-powers it may well be the name I choose.
      Looks like we could get a petition up about all the **** bad language on TV then! If only ...
      As you say YP, I can understand rebellious teens using bad language behind the bike-less bike shed, but openly in front of a man "of a certain age", well, the mind boggles!
      One of my parents' neighbours goes up to teenagers in the street and politely requests them to stop swearing, be they anglo-saxons or not. Can't say I'd go so far myself though - until I get the super-powers.

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    6. You guys have obviously never had to deal with Caltrans. There aren't enough swear words in a single language to suffice.

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  5. The spire looks like something out of Hogwarts. It is a nice town, though. If I ever get there again I shall definitely stand there with a pint in my hand appreciating the crooked spire from the Crooked Spire!

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    1. If you visit that pub you'll be the crooked squire in "The Crooked Spire" - but go soon as it has a "To Let" sign on it - the kiss of death for a pub these days.

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  7. I've driven through Chesterfield and gazed at its famous spire. I love it and I love that they just ignored it and finished it off despite the twist and lean. Isn't there a legend about virgins to go with it. I must look it up.
    Pity about the young people's language...... they wonder why they find it hard to get a decent job !

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    1. Helen...Surely they could get a f***ing job in a f***ing factory! As for virgins, they are an endangered species in North East Derbyshire.

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  8. I suppose it is perfectly "acceptable" for Anglo-Saxons to speak using Anglo-Saxonisms, but it isn't for anyone else. The choice Anglo-Saxonisms were not "swear words" in the beginning -- they were merely the Anglo-Saxon words that Anglo-Saxons used when speaking their own language. But after the dreaded Norman Conquest of 1066 thosee words went underground and were not used in polite society any more because French and Latin derivatives were preferred by the conquerors. You all are supposed to know these things.

    I raised my own children to believe -- and they have passed this belief along to the grandchildren -- that using swear words or vulgarities, besides being a sign of coarseness, is a sign of a poor vocabulary.

    I don't care what the Hollywood movies or the BBC do -- talk like that in my house and you'll be shown the door.

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    1. So you're inviting me to have a holiday staying in your house? Don't worry. I won't swear. I was merely reporting. I shall bring you a gift from Sheffield. What would you like sir? Perhaps a woolly hat with a bobble? And for Mrs Brague some top quality kitchen scissors made in our illustrious city? We shall go out to local bars and carouse the night away!

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    2. RWP - but there isn't an underground* in Chesterfield.

      *Note: "subway" in some parts of the world.

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  9. Chesterfield used to worry about the spire straightening.
    The legend says that it will straighten if a virgin ever marries in the church.
    They are a bit silly in Chesterfield, everyone knows the church won't marry a ten year old.

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    1. Thanks for reminding me of the "legend" Adrian. I'd forgotten.

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  10. Next time you visit Chesterfield, pop into the hospital and ask for Dr Kath Shakespeare, consultant in care of the elderly - not for yourself, of course, just to say hello. :)

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    1. Shakespeare? What a great surname! I think I have come across it before somewhere.
      Age, with his stealing steps,
      Hath clawed me in his clutch.
      ..........Hamlet Act 5
      I thought your beloved daughter was working in Sheffield. Does she drive to Chesterfield every day?

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  11. Truly odd! One can surely realize at the outset that it was an added feature of the church. I found it on Corporation Street on Google Maps and then read about it some. Amazing that even centuries later, and with all the modern technology, they are still unable to be completely sure why it spirals and leans. But only looking at a picture of the spire taken from a distance did I realize how gigantic it is in comparison to the surrounding buildings and area. Pretty cool, Mr. Pudding.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.