35mm · Film photography · Photography


New Era Square is a recently completed development to the south of the city centre, just the other side of the ring-road that circles the middle of town. It consists of three building surrounding a pedestrian plaza and has been dubbed in the local press as “Sheffield’s Chinatown”, and “Sheffield’s very own version of New York’s Times Square” apparently, although the latter would seem a little on the ambitious side.

One of the features of the development is a family of three eye-catching panda statues. A public campaign sought names for each of the trio from the readers of the local paper, The Star. The final names chosen were Little Mester, who sits on a bench – named in reference to the small cutlery workshops which used to be numerous in the city; Coe Coe, a small panda climbing one of the building columns – named after Sebastian Coe, the Olympic athlete who lived in Sheffield as a boy; and Hendo, the largest of the three pandas which was mounted on the roof of one of the buildings for a while, but who now sits in the plaza, and is named after Sheffield’s much-loved local delicacy, Henderson’s Relish (or Hendo’s as it is generally known).

I don’t have a close-up photo of Coe Coe, but he can be spotted in one of the images featuring Hendo and Little Mester if you look carefully.

Not Winnie the Pooh
Nor Baloo. But pandas are
A type of bear too

As they passed it turned its head
The ones out there are far away

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 16 May 2021

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