I mentioned a little while ago (on facebook) that I was going to be featuring an occasional piece on venues that offer something a bit different and unique. The first place to catch my eye was The Rude Shipyard run by Pete David and Sally Smith in Sheffield. It’s a cafe/bookshop and the sort of place I’d love to have on my doorstep! In their own words:
The Rude Shipyard is a cafe/bookshop run by Pete David and Sally Smith on the offbeat Abbeydale Road in Sheffield. Cloistered around us are antique shops, Italian and Indian restaurants, hardware shops, cafes, an old picture palace and florists aplenty! What makes Abbeydale Rd exciting is that it has never attracted big chains and there is a wonderfully independent spirit to the way shops are conceived and run.
We’re situated between the main set of shops on Abbeydale Road and the Asian restaurants of London Road further towards town. Being slightly set apart has its advantages and disadvantages but it seems to suit us well enough as people have adopted us fairly quickly. May is our 1st birthday and although its been a tremendous amount of hard work, we’re delighted to not only still be trading, but to have attracted so many people into our humble shop.
As well as selling books and food, we also have a regular open mic poetry night called The Shipping Forecast, a monthly book fair, a book club on the last Thursday of every month, and a spattering of gigs that go on in our upstairs room. Acts who’ve played here include Little Robots, Flamingo Love Parade, Men Diamler (pictured above), Mark Wynn, Carl Woodford, The Yellowbellys, Neil McSweeney, Fernhill, Art Terry, Leila Adu, Cuckoo Clocks, Antique Doll, Tom Rodwell, Tom Baxendale, Big Eyes Family Players, and many more I can’t recall right now! To celebrate our first birthday, we’ve got some very exciting gigs. On Sunday 9th May, blues-country stompers Groanbox will be performing from their latest album, The Livingston Sessions, on the back of a four star review in The Guardian. Then on Thursday 13th May, Men Diamler returns to us with his irreverent spirituals and west country field hollers, with support from country picker, Mark Wynn. A week later, on 20th May, a literary cabaret troupe make their way down form Edinburgh with poetry, spoken work, bluegrass and country music and a paper cinema all on the bill! We round things off with a good ol’ fashioned party on 22nd May. Everyone’s welcome and the mic is open for folks to bring a song, story or snippet of something special to our stage.
Future gigs include alt. folksters Rachael Dadd and Alessi’s Ark (July 15th), and the French kitsch pop band, Odland (July 11th), as well as hosting Sheffield City Magicians for an amazing night of magic. We’ll also be involved again in the city-wide Tramlines music festival, with gigs happening all over the city, including The Rude Shipyard. So far, we’ve got Flamingo Love Parade, Big Eyes Family Players and Neil McSweeney confirmed.
In June, as part of the Sharrow Fringe Festival, we’ll be running a Flash Fiction day, in which customers get to to write short stories in the day and read them to an audience in the evening. Then in October, we’ll be getting involved in the Literature festival, Off The Shelf. Details of all our events can be found on the website.
The Rude Shipyard
If you’re in the area folks, pay them a visit and if you’re not…make a trip! This place sounds like a dream come true. Built on passion!