The Barrels of Fate

Sheffield Travel Blog

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The walk along the River Sheaf

The River Sheaf (from whence Sheffield gets it's name I believe) runs down Heeley bottom and on towards the centre of the city.  It is a generally an unextraordinary river but it harbours a secret of immense power.

 

This river runs just along the valley bottom, just down from a pub called The Sheaf View (review to come at some point.)  Should you decide to walk from the Sheaf View to Bramall Lane (the spiritual home of football), the quickest way is to cut along the riverside path, across a small footbridge and then along the opposite bankside, under the railway bridge and out onto the main road.  Nothing too extraordinary there you might imagine - but here is where we get to our Da Vinci Code type mystery.

The view on the bridge

 

As with most rivers that run through a built up area there is always some incongruous artefact or other placed in the middle of the river bed.  Favourite of these are shopping trolleys and the River Sheaf is no exception.  The odd thing is though, as we mused walking along the river bank one day, is that there isn't a supermarket for miles (as far as we're aware) so how on earth do shopping trolleys find their way down to Heeley bottom and into the river on this specific stretch?  Who takes the time to wheel one all the way through the streets and then chuck it into the river?

 

But it doesn't stop there.  The Sheaf View is not like other pubs and being one that specialises in guest beers they always have a lot of barrels.  They tend to store their beer in a street level cellar under their beer garden but due to the sheer volume of beer they stock there are always barrels piled up by the pavement.

A fateful barrel and shopping trolley delivering their verdicts!
  Thus it takes a little less imagination to work out how some of the empty ones end up in the river as well.

 

So there we have it - barrels and shopping trolleys in a stretch of river.  Nothing too obvious to the untrained eye.  But we’re not finished yet...

 

The Sheaf View happens to be our venue of choice for a pre (and post) match drink (or six) when going to watch the Blade so we regularly make the riverside trip.  It was on one such occasion prior to a game that one of the more sensitive of our party (in a fortune teller type way) realised that he could interpret the signs to foretell the result of the game we were on our way to.

 

Basically you read the signs thus; each barrel floating in the water is a goal for the mighty Sheffield United, each shopping trolley is a goal for the opposition.  Simple really.  Obviously these claims of divine sight have been rigorously tested at the bookies but current results are inconclusive.  Unfortunately there are too many nuances to go into exact detail here - items on the bank side can mean disallowed goals or missed penalties depending on their position.  And the complexities of spying a wheelchair in the middle of the river are immense.

 

So there you have it - the clues are around you but only those with the divine sight can interpret the mysteries of the Barrels of Fate!

Amanda says:
Jesus, this blog is actually starting to work - I want to go see if there are shopping carts in the river... I'm scared.
Posted on: Apr 26, 2007
J-Max says:
"who takes the time to wheel one all the way through the streets and then chuck it into the river?"

That would be me - especially now you've revealed that you see it as a bad sign for Sheff Utd...
Posted on: Apr 03, 2007
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The walk along the River Sheaf
The walk along the River Sheaf
The view on the bridge
The view on the bridge
A fateful barrel and shopping trol…
A fateful barrel and shopping tro…
Sheffield
photo by: moshers_moll