Happy new year from The Tribune!
A look back at our favourite reads of 2022
Good morning readers — we hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas so far.
It’s the time of year for lists, and The Tribune is no different. Looking back at 2022, it’s been a phenomenal year — our first full year in existence! In the last 12 months we’ve published around 200 stories and doubled our membership from 508 paying subscribers to 1,004.
So, here is a selection of my favourite stories from each month in 2022. Stories as good as these are only possible because we have so many members who back our vision and fund our work. If you want us to keep writing stories like this in 2023, and you’re not a member already, please consider getting on board today.
Editor, The Tribune
2022 marked the 60th anniversary of the completion of the Gleadless Valley estate. When it was first built it was seen as the best neighbourhoods in the city, but is now widely perceived as a sink estate. How did that change, and what is it like to live on today? In January, I spent a few days wandering among the modernist homes of Sheffield’s 1960s utopia to find out. Read the story.
In February we were lucky enough to be allowed to use an extract from Robert Edric’s new book My Own Worst Enemy about his childhood growing up in 1960s Sheffield. The chapter we chose to use was about smoking, which Edric says almost every adult he knew did back then. “Twenty to forty cigarettes a day would be considered normal,” he writes. “Sixty not unusual.” Read the story.
During the 1800s, Sheffield’s rivers were basically a giant open sewer. In the city centre and Neepsend, for example, you can still see the open riverside toilets that once produced Sheffield’s answer to London’s “Great Stink” of 1858. In March, David Bocking spoke to former city regeneration chief Simon Ogden about his 20-year-long campaign to reclaim our rivers. Read the story.
Election season was upon us and South Yorkshire was about to elect its new mayor. I spoke to Labour’s Oliver Coppard (the eventual winner) about both his politics and his plans to give the region its pride back. “That sense of identity used to come from our industry and we lost that,” he said. “How do we create a purpose again so that we are proud of ourselves.” Read the story.
Our sister title The Mill’s resident food expert Jack Dulhanty came to Sheffield in May to find out why national food writers were suddenly all reviewing restaurants over here. After visiting Jöro, the city restaurant thought most likely to win a Michelin star, he spoke to food critics from across the North about why Sheffield’s culinary scene has developed in the way that it has. Read the story.
In June we were at the Crucible to review the ambitious Rock/Paper/Scissors, three plays taking place simultaneously across three stages with the same cast. Lead reviewer John Tucker took on Rock, I went to Paper and theatre blogger Liz Ryan went to Scissors, to craft a review that in truth was almost as complicated to write as the plays were to perform! Read the story.
There were once 144 pubs in Attercliffe — now there is just one. That astonishing fact was the basis of a piece we did in July about the lost pubs of Sheffield’s old east end. Dani Cole spoke to people who knew what it was like in its heyday and went in search of the final holdout against the tide of closures that has swept the Lower Don Valley — The Carlton. Read the story.
The Sheffield Ski Village has been set on fire dozens of times — or has it? In August, David Bocking went in search of the truth about the rise and fall of skiing in Sheffield, which was brought to an end by a devastating fire in 2012. But he also found another story about the modern day reclamation of the site which has seen it named as one of Sheffield’s hidden gems. Read the story.
Cole Brothers has been listed! Great, right? It’s fair to say that not everyone in the city agreed with my positive initial reaction to the former John Lewis building gaining protection by Historic England. Not to be deterred, in September, I attended a design charrette (no, me neither) about the future of the building, and found a city buzzing with ideas for its future. Read the story.
As someone who doesn't get out to as many of the city’s restaurants as I’d like to, I’ve particularly enjoyed some of the food pieces we’ve done this year. In October, food writer Mina Miller went to one of Sheffield’s less heralded food destinations, Spital Hill, to try Kurdish cuisine, Middle Eastern desserts and Yemeni spices. A warning: do not read this piece if you are hungry. Read the story.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that journalists like talking to other journalists about journalism. This was certainly the case for me and Neil Benson who I spoke to for this piece about his life as a reporter. Neil was one of the first people on the scene at a notorious set of murders in Derbyshire in the 1970s, a story which set him on a 50-year-long career in newspapers. Read the story.
My favourite type of reporting is wandering and seeing what I find, something which is thankfully very much indulged at The Tribune. In December, I went to Barnsley to find out why doctors there prescribe more antidepressants than many other places. In the town centre and the deprived community of Worsbrough, I found people both proud of its past and worried about its future. Read the story.