Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Jimmy and Clarence

Equality and Diversity Board this afternoon  - a very packed agenda - nearly three hours of meeting but lots of really important things discussed. I sometime moan about the time I spend in meetings, but if it's worthwhile I don't mind. EDB only meets three times a year, and the whole diversity agenda is so important for the University it deserves a lot of time spent on it. We reported on progress on the Equality Objectives project where I lead on the recruitment strand. Lots of good stuff, including a pilot looking at different ways of recruiting for our ancilliary staff. We also had a useful discussion about how we collect data for monitoring equality and diversity for students and staff, how we keep it up to date, how we report on it, and how we get over the reluctance for some people to declare some of the protected characteristics including disability, faith and sexual orientation.

Tonight I went to the opening of another great exhibition in our Library exhibition space - Sheffield Entertained.  Drawing on material from the National Fairground Archive and private collections, the exhibition looks at the history of entertainment in Sheffield. So much stuff covered - music halls and variety, magic, travelling funfairs, early cinema. Curated by our own Professor Vanessa, there's something for everyone. The opening tonight had magicians - who I love but they annoy me at the same time as I really want to know how they do it. How did he take my engagement ring and produce it in a sealed envelope in a zipped wallet??  Two of the stars of the exhibition are Clarence:
and Jimmy:

two ventriloquists dummies. Bit spooky. They belonged to Winnie Fox, Britain's foremost female ventriloquist born in Sheffield in 1903. Her father was Professor de Lyle - a magician who lived where Sunnybank Wildlife Park on Ecclesall Road is now. I was lucky enough to chat to his grandson who was lovely:

Get to see it if you can - great exhibition.

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