a new old home

Sheffield, Sheffield, Sheffield…
it’s the place I want to be.

What makes a home a home?
We all have different answers to this timeless question.
for me it’s simple. Sheffield and the surrounding Peak District are, and have always been, a great home. it’s a place where you bump into friends, acquaintances and the people you’ve shared your adult life with for nearly forty years now.

Sheffield folk are great. That’s a given… but why do we think we are great? What makes us special or different, if indeed we are?  It’s a great pub question, and quite likely never to see a definitive or science based answer, but the fun is in the exploration and the ensuing arguement.

After years of traveling, after a lifetime of feeling estranged, not part of anything or belonging to a group of people or any particular club, having had my head down and working relentlessly to build up business after business and 100 hour weeks for what seemed like forever, I have finally found great common spirit and shared values living in the centre of Sheffield.

For me, it is a number of simple things like not being judged harshly for wearing shorts in cold weather, by the ease with which spontaneous conversations of genuine interest in each other spring up in unlikely places, the warmth and kindness of complete strangers all over the city.

Sheffield, or at least the people I have spent time with, value making stuff, they value their heritage as a world force in steel, pewter, engineering and cutlery. As a city, we are, a collection of people with a wonderfully gentle sense of humour that got stuck in and just got on with building this extraordinary country of ours.

Everywhere you move your eyes around our city there are details of a great past. At the risk of getting all flag waving and political, which I most certainly am not, Just think about all the stuff that has come out of this city over the last few hundred years and the sheer grit and stoicism of the people that worked to make it happen together… blimey it is a humbling list and the real inheritance is the personality, the humour, the cheerfulness, the dryness, the head down and get on with it, pride of being from Sheffield.

Perhaps, there should be a simple badge you earn to keep your place here and the heritage rolling on into the future? Perhaps one of the questions should be, like the Python Romans quotation… What has Sheffield ever done for us or the country over the years?

Mmm. Please don’t shout at me… it wouldn’t be very Sheffield would it?




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