The music and poetry of Sheffield and its surrounding area were celebrated on BBC Radio 4 last week, thanks to a journalism lecturer’s independent production company.
As executive producer, Clare Jenkins oversaw the production of two programmes made by Pennine Productions (www.pennineproductions.co.uk): Bella Hardy Goes Home, produced by Peter Everett and first broadcast on June 24th, and Lost Poets of the Raincoat Shop, produced by Janet Graves and first broadcast on 29th June.
Radio 2’s Folk Singer of the Year, Bella comes from the Derbyshire village of Edale and returned there for the programme to talk to friends, neighbours, former teachers and other musicians about how the very hills and drystone walls of this part of the Peak District seem to echo with the sound of music sung in homes, pubs, schools, even the trains.
Then Barnsley-based broadcaster and poet Ian McMillan told the unusual story of two Sheffield men – one a Jewish shop owner, the other an Irish steelworker – who forged a close, creative friendship that began during the First World War and spanned over 40 years. The poems, letters and journals they wrote were discovered 20 years ago in a former raincoat shop and are now stored in Sheffield Archives.