On Sunday December 4th, 11am, occursus will be going on an Upperthorpe walk, taking photos, making sound recordings, talking, planning… We’ll be starting at the Shalesmoor tram stop. Please feel free to come along! Email Amanda (a.j.jackson@sheffield.ac.uk) for more details.

Today (27/11/2012), Amanda, Josh and Violette went further along the river, towards Hillsborough, following Penistone Road… We stopped at a cemetery, lost in urban woodlands, with graves of Sheffield soldiers killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, victims of the Sheffield flood of 1864… Discover later, thanks to Tim, that this is the Wardsend cemetery. There’s a railway line running through it and, on the perimeter, an obelisk. Strange feeling of being in remote countryside, although we were within walking distance of the city centre. Walk ended on top of a hill, bats flying overhead, looking down on the lights of Hillsborough, the dog track, and to the left, the Arts Tower. Talked about James Agee.

How this must end, that now please love were ended,
In kitchens, bedfights, silences, women’s pages,
Sickness of heart before goldlettered doors,
Stale flesh, hard collars, agony in antiseptic corridors,
Spankings, remonstrances, fishing trips, orange juice,
Policies, incapacities, a chevrolet,
Scorn of their children, kind contempt exchanged,
recalls, tears, second honeymoons, pity,
Shouted corrections of missed syllables,
Hot water bags, gallstones, falls down stairs,
Stammerings, soft foods, confusions of personalities,
Old fashioned christmases, suspicions of theft,
arrangements with morticians taken care of by sons in law,
Small rooms beneath the gables of brick bungalows,
The tumbler smashed, the glance between daughter and husband,
The empty body in the lonely bed
and, in the empty concrete porch, blown ash
Grandchildren wandering the betraying sun

The lost cemetery also appears in Mark Goodwin’s poem ‘Rurban Membrane, a Sheffield Rim, North East’. The poem reflects on the experience of walking through the Hillsborough / North Sheffield landscape with Matthew Clegg during the launch of his ‘Edgelands’ pamphlet (a sequence of poems chiefly set in Hillsborough). Goodwin returned to the cemetery in June 2011 to record his poem, the power-line crackling overhead: http://soundcloud.com/kramawoodgin/rurban-membrane-a-sheffield