Favourite things - Sharing a soft spot for the city and its people

Michael Bell

Michael Bell

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Michael Bell was born and raised in Parson Cross, and now lives in Worrall. Once a mechanic at Kennings on Paternoster Row (many years before it became the Showroom Cinema), his entrepreneurial talent was spotted early on and he swapped his overalls for a suit, becoming one of the Kennings Group’s top salespeople nationally.

A career in finance culminated in him launching Results Financial, which was turning over £3m when he sold it. He wrote a book, the Entrepreneurs’ Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep, and has spoken at business conventions around the world. Now he is preparing to mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs, setting up Woodseats-based mentoring school, the Results Hub, and providing regular advice through his ‘Late Late Breakfast’ meetings at the Assay Office in Hillsborough. “I’m continually frustrated by the lack of quality help for new businesses,” he says. “The situation couldn’t be more dire for many companies in the recession. When you’re trying to fight against the depressing backdrop of falling sales, and draining resources, it’s no surprise you miss golden business opportunities. There are always far greater opportunities in a recession.” Michael is married with one daughter. (Results Hub: helensweet138@yahoo.co.uk).

Jimi Hendrix at King Mojo

On Sunday, January 8, 1967, with an admission charge of just five shillings, I witnessed a show that changed my life. Up until then I’d been a fan of bands with brass sections and I wasn’t sure if I’d really like a group with just a bass, guitar and drums. The show truly blew me away and I still remember Jimi playing with his teeth! He slid his guitar back across the stage as he exited and left it feeding back with the drummer and bassist still playing! Amazing! How many people can say they saw Jimi Hendrix playing in Pitsmoor - the home of Peter Stringfellow’s legendary King Mojo?

Live gigs

I’m still very passionate about live music in Sheffield and I’m a regular at the New Barrack Tavern, The Gardeners Rest, The Shakespeare and the Hillsborough Hotel; they all have regular gigs. Home-grown talent like Reasons To Be Cheerful, Highway Child, Frank White, Bob Swift (Saxbob) and all his bands, Big City Blues, Rocket 88 and Dale Storr are all favourites of mine.

Entrepreneurs

Sheffield is a hotbed of untapped talent. In fact there’s far more out there than we’ll ever know about. I’m one of the lucky ones that was spotted. Sheffield has always been a city that has hid its light under a bushel and the true depth of its entrepreneurial talent is no different. I’m hoping my new project will help us discover a lot more of the amazing people and ideas that are out there.

Real ale

Sheffield has sadly lost the likes of Wards and Stones but I’m a big advocate of micro breweries that have set up in abundance. Bradfield Brewery - which is based quite near to me - and Abbeydale Brewery are firm favourites.

Parson Cross and Sheffield

I’ve always had a soft spot for Sheffield and its people. It’s true, we are like one big village and we should be proud of it. I’m still in touch with lots of people I grew up with in Parson Cross. They’ve all done well and they’ve never moved out of Sheffield. I had a good upbringing, you can’t ask for more. I often say ‘It’s not where you start in life, it’s where you finish’.

Fishing versus sailing

When I wasn’t sailing I was fishing and vice versa. Either was my favourite way of relaxation. One regularly at the expense of the other. At the moment it’s fishing taking precedent. You’ll regularly find me at Cow Gap Farm - a nice little lake in Stannington, ten minutes from my house. The last time I was sailing it was at Dam Flask where I used to be a member.

Sheffield Wednesday

My grandfather first took me to Hillsborough when I was five, and I watched the match on his shoulders. I’ve followed the team ever since. I’m a season ticket holder and I used to sponsor the academy. Sheffield gave football to the world, and I really think the city should to more to celebrate that fact.

Greenhead House

This restaurant must be one of Sheffield’s best kept culinary secrets. Greenhead House is a 17th century residence in Chapeltown. It’s compact - it’s dining room only seats 30 - but once you’ve been once, you’ll doubtless want to come back.