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It’s Happening in Heeley... Simon Crump: Something to Say About Heeley

Simon Crump, author of My Elvis Blackout, Monkey’s Birthday, Twilight Time (published by Bloomsbury) and Neverland, is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Huddersfield University. He is originally from Leicestershire and is a former artist, cage–fighter and male underwear model.

When and why did you come to Sheffield? I came to Sheffield in 1979 to get away from my parents and to study Philosophy at Sheffield University.

Where have you lived in Sheffield and why do you now live in Heeley? I lived in Sheffield’s most rancid bedsit in Nether Edge for a while, but apart from that, I’ve always been in Heeley. I like the place, it’s got a nice community feel to it.

What influence does Sheffield and Heeley have on your writing? A great deal actually. I’ve written about the murder of Adeline Grice and Monkey’s Birthday is set on Myrtle road and in The Earl of Arundel. Another story English Electric features all the electricity substations around here. (Doesn’t that sound like a thrill-tastic read eh?)

Do you consider your publications novels or short story collections? Twilight Time is a conventional novel, Monkey’s Birthday is a collection of three novellas. My Elvis Blackout and Neverland are ‘composite Novels’, a term I only discovered recently, which was great,

because I went from having written one novel to three in the space of about five seconds. Result!

Where do you find inspiration for your writing? Anywhere and everywhere really, but especially The Jeremy Kyle Show.

Do you have any historical or personal connections to Heeley? No. That stuff on Crimewatch about me was all lies. And they never proved anything.

How have you seen Heeley change over the years? The prices in Heeley Green Co-op rival those in Waitrose these days.

What do you think of all the very recent developments with Heeley Development Trust

round St Anne’s Grove and the

Millenium Park? It’s wonderful what those good folks have done for the area, they’ve really made a difference.

Is there any aspect of Heeley that you are particularly interested in? Yes, the history of the area, particularly Myrtle Road. I live in a house on there which was formerly Lawson’s Coal Merchants and I really wish I knew more about the place.

Team Lightning Runs The Percy Pud

On Sunday 1st December Team Lightning, a group of 51 mixed ability runners from Meersbrook and further afield, took part in the yearly 10k Percy Pud run in the Loxley Valley to raise money for the children’s charity Action Medical Research.

Earlier this year Elijah Joakim Halse, son of Jenny and James, was born prematurely at 25 weeks. One of his brothers named him Lightning as he had appeared so quickly, hence Team Lightning. Sadly 37 days later Elijah died as a result of the medical condition necrotising enterocolitis (NEC). Action Medical Research are developing a test to identify and treat NEC earlier, which will limit the devastating consequences and ultimately save lives.

Elijah’s mother, Jenny Halse said: ‘We are raising money for Action Medical Research who hope to make a difference in tackling premature birth and treating sick and vulnerable babies.

‘The number of people from this incredible community who are continuing to show us their support is overwhelming. Just as when Elijah was alive, people are still doing all they can to support us. As his Mum, I love that Elijah has inspired many people to get back into running or to run a distance they didn’t think they’d be able to do. This,

4 New Heeley Voice December 2013 Issue 59

Favourite drink? Tetley’s Bitter.

Favourite shop? II$H Clothing Alterations, 103 Chesterfield Road. Julie is a very talented lady and keeps my frightening collection of tweed jackets in tip-top condition. I love her.

Favourite Sheffield band? The Arctic Monkeys.

How long are you staying here? Until somebody asks me to leave.

VL Right:

Simon Crump sporting one of his ‘frightening’ tweed jackets

What’s your favourite part of Heeley? The City Farm. When I look at the goats, I feel a whole lot better about my own life. At least I’m not a goat eh?

Favourite pub in Sheffield? The White Lion (they owe me a pint for this).

Right: Baby Elijah

alongside the money will be wonderful.’ For for more information on NEC:

The blog that Jenny and James wrote about their experiences is here:

VL 0114 250 0613

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