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A Magazine for Sheffield

Our pick of the best.

This month it will be one year since a couple of chaps saw their big idea become a fledgling reality and we reckon they're on to a proper winner.

The idea was, in hindsight, so perfectly simple and it went something like this; the game of Football is far more than the world's favourite past time. It is rooted in culture and daily life across continents and transcends language through a shared sense of appreciation for the beauty of the game. It is also, however, so often maligned for its association with the noisy few, suffering the stigma of loutish behaviour and gaudy, tacky sportswear that goes with it. No more.

After a couple of animated chats through the bottoms of their glasses in the pub, founders Christian and Ricky decided that they would take the plunge and set up a company for the millions of people who are real fans of the game, its history and its characters, but who don't want a tracksuit or a shirt emblazoned with huge sponsors and manufacturer's logos. And so, goalsoul was born.

The now three-man team (with mid-season signing, Rudi) has the perfect formation of players, with backgrounds in design, I.T and marketing along with a serious and committed drive to make it work. When talking to the lads their passion is infectious and their work rate is inspirational. After just a year of trading they have already got a cracking website with explanations of their designs and even youtube links to the players and incidents featured on them, as well as a large range of designs available to buy direct from the site. If you visit you could win a t-shirt of your choice by entering their Christmas competition, too.

The designing of t-shirts is just the beginning for this ambitious trio and, with the word out and the market waiting, the goalsoul brand is sure to be a familiar one very soon.


0114 268 3117

The Dram Shop is our favourite off license in all the land of Sheffield. We at Now Then don't muck around when we use the word favourite - or 'best place', for that matter - so readers out there had better take note: The Dram shop is ACE.

It can be found in Commonside, which if you head up Barber Road from Sheff Uni, you'll run face-first into on your right. Originally opened in 1982, this genuinely loved and archaically shelved shop has been run by its current owners Tony and Sandra since 2005. It is without doubt one of the best places in Sheffield to buy quality sourced and priced alcoholic beverages.

You'll be able to see a little of the inside of this lovely shop from the photo above, but believe us when we tell you that once you get a foot in the door, that's not half of your viewing pleasure. The Dram Shop has been serving quality whiskies, ales, lagers and wines from all over the world for as long as this writer can remember, including the likes of locally brewed Kelham Island ales alongside brewers Innis & Gunn and their oak-aged beer from Scotland. They also stock a phenomenal variety of whiskeys and European lagers. In fact, Tony's current dram of choice and our recommended Christmas booze is a ten year old Benromach malt whisky from the top Shelf. Get some while stocks last.

If spirits are not your thing but you are partial to a tipple during the festive season, then organic wines might be your thing. With no artificial flavourings or chemicals, you'd be surprised how many glasses of organic wine you can drink without sealing yourself into hangover doom the following morning. Try to believe anything is possible.

The shelves are wooden, not plahogany. The beers are sold individually and as cheaply as possible, not in brightly coloured multi-packs which reduce your overall choice. The staff are gentle and well informed, not indifferent and underage. This month, if you bring in a copy of Now Then you'll receive 10% off all drinks purchased. Wham bam, thank you ma'am.


17th December, 6pm. St George's Lecture Theatre.

On Friday 17th, Now Then will be in attendance for the free lecture by Dr Paul Stevenson on the often brain-straining topic of 'Weird Physics'. The lecture will cover the areas of science that don't quite follow the rules and the ideas we come up with to make sense of what we find.

We would like to think we are not alone in being at least mildly baffled by the concept of a simultaneously living and dead cat, or the possibility of an infinite number of parallel universes. Therefore we would expect this event to raise an eyebrow of interest in even the least 'scientific' among us, so it may be prudent to book your place sharpish to avoid missing out. You can reserve free tickets at the above website.

The Wick at Both Ends.

149-151 West Street.
0114 2723039.

Something ace has happened at the Wick.

In early October, Chef Nick Booth was brought in and given carte blanche to create a whole new food menu and ooh, didn't he do well. Nick's previous and varied experience has made for a brilliant diversity to what's on offer, with something to suit whatever taste and appetite you bring. There is also a great mix of both simple and gourmet dishes available, including the subtly delicious pan-fried smoked haddock with creamy mash in a mustard sauce (topped with a poached egg), the robust venison hot-pot and the classic rib-eye steak, a firm favourite. The quality of the ingredients and the presentation of the food are leagues above their modest prices, with only the steak exceeding £7.50 on the whole menu. Bottom line, the food we had there was quite comfortably as good as any restaurant we've eaten at all year.

Holding your knife and fork properly.

Bank St Arts, 32-40 Bank Street.
0114 346 3034 /

Bank St Arts is just round the corner from the Boardwalk. It is one of Sheffield's unsung gems for the opportunities it provides local artists and the quality of its output.

This month, Lorna Barrowclough will create a piece of work in seven days that explores the wonderment of 'small, crude, replicated objects' of particular place meaning. In this case - with a nod to Sheffield heritage - the objects are knives and forks.

Once constructed within the basement area of Bank Street Arts, the pieces will go on sale to the public. The viewer will be allowed to literally buy into the piece, thus exploring the question: will we consume anything?


116 Northfield Rd. 0114 266 2662.

Having been users of the fine services at Mercury for many years, it struck me that it'd be nice to visit their HQ and have a nosey, and I was very happy that I did. Talking to manager Pete in his office it became clear that Mercury are far from a profit-driven company, having been run with family values and ethics at their core for the last 22 years, as well as enjoying an exclusive partnership with the University of Sheffield. The team makes sure that each customer is treated as an individual, while they never charge double or triple time. In fact, from Christmas Eve at 6 pm until the 27th at 6 am you will only be charged the normal rate plus 2 quid. Surely the best deal in town.

Mercury now serves a huge 3,000,000 happy customers a year. We recommend you become the three million and 1st.

Porter Bookshop.

227 Sharrow Vale Road.
0114 266 7762.

On more than one occasion this writer has found himself stood inside of one of Sharrow Vale Road's most unassuming and bijou establishments, just idly gazing around. There can't be many things better than getting to spend every day in this diminutive den for the knowledge-thirsty and its cosy chaos looks especially inviting at this time of year.

Buying and selling for more-than-reasonable prices and specialising in the Humanities, its subjects-per-square inch ratio must be right up there with the best of 'em - an arm-span will see you sorted for Taoism and the Battle for Stalingrad. The shelves are crammed full of forgotten facts waiting to be rediscovered and the teetering towers of history, philosophy and religion about the place are often used to sit little plant pots on as well. Independent, useful and thriving, these places aren't supposed to exist anymore, are they?

late night buses.


Taxis are relatively cheap in Sheffield, but sometimes you don't want to take a £10-£15 hit when you start lagging behind your mates on a night out.

Help is at hand. Last month, three new late night bus routes relaunched in Sheffield, running on Friday and Saturday nights at 1am, 2am and 3am from Leopold Street in town. The three routes cover a number of areas, including Crookes, Broomhill, Walkley, Hillsborough, Chapeltown, Hunters Bar, Woodseats, Manor Top and more. £2.50 is pretty reasonable and all. Search 'Sheffield Late Buses' on Facebook for more details.


Next article in issue 33

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