Favourite Things: Farm trust’s Barbara gets into festive feeling

Barbara Bristow, development worker at Greave House Farm Trust, and Joshua Brook, pictured on the farm.
Barbara Bristow, development worker at Greave House Farm Trust, and Joshua Brook, pictured on the farm.

Barbara Bristow is development worker at Greave House Farm Trust in Stocksbridge – a care farm that she set up along with her husband Chris and neighbours Ruth and Paul Smith. Care farms are therapeutic places where people from all walks of life can get involved in growing food, caring for animals and working with nature. Prior to this career change, Barbara worked in Burngreave for 16 years supporting young people in a housing project. This year the trust has launched a new environmentally-friendly Christmas tree hire service. It isn’t too late to hire a Frazer fir that can be delivered and then picked up after Christmas to spend the rest of the year on the farm. Call 07946 830044 or visit www.greavehousefarmtrust.org.uk to order.

Betty Tigers

I’ve never been a fan of hair salons so going to Betty Tigers on Infirmary Road is great for me because it’s nothing like going to a hair salon! It’s more like walking into an art and craft gallery that plays great music, has original hand-made crafts for sale and shelves of books and dvds you can borrow.

I’ve known Elton for many years since he used to cut hair for charity at the YMCA. Back then he wasn’t as experienced and was a bit slow so one of the youth workers gave him a nickname. He went on to use this for the name of his first salon in Broomhill – Hair By Christmas!

The Bridge Charity Shop

I’ve decided that this is the place to be on Friday mornings in Stocksbridge. I never thought this would happen to me but I actually found myself standing outside one morning with at least 10 other people waiting for it to open!

All the volunteers are from local churches and all the profit from the shop is distributed in the form of grants to local groups. It’s supported our Care Farm for the last five years and enabled us to buy gardening equipment, safety clothing and animal fencing. Our last grant paid for First Aid at Work training.

Telecommunications Building on Charter Row

This is my all-time favourite building in Sheffield and yet I’ve never been in and never seen anyone else going in. I love the concrete blockiness of it. The fact that it hasn’t any windows makes it enigmatic and mysterious. Now that someone’s seen fit to illuminate it at night, there’ll be some people noticing it for the first time, but I’ve always loved it and to me it’s like a silent guardian standing at the gateway to the city centre.

Stocksbridge Community Leisure Centre

If ever there was an inspiring example of community resilience and determination to make something happen (or to stop something happening) then this is it. It’s been such an inspiration to see local people making this a vibrant part of our community again after being threatened with closure.

View from my

bedroom window

I never get tired of looking out of my bedroom window, especially first thing in the morning when I open the curtains.

I’ve usually been woken up by the geese, the ducks and the cockerel who I then watch as they help themselves to the grass and weeds in our makeshift garden. We’re also really excited about having rare breed sheep and our volunteers and day workers will enjoy meeting them.

View From More Hall Lane

This is the road leading out of Bolsterstone down to Wharncliffe Side and is a great place to see the changing seasons unfolding. The view takes in Broomhead and More Hall reservoirs and in the distance you can see the city peeping out between the hills. On warm summer evenings we sometimes get a pizza from Dicaprios and sit on a bench overlooking the Ewden Valley below.

Stocksbridge Shops

and Cafes

Although some might think the area is a little run down these days, I still feel there’s some great independent places to shop – a first-class butcher, two florists, a really good greengrocer, to name a few, and fresh fish on the little market on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The Lunch Box down by the steel works is a busy little place for breakfasts and lunches, especially now there are more workers building the retail park next door. Coffee Apple is a great café on Manchester Road that hit the ground running a couple of years ago.

Walks Around


The countryside around the farm is beautiful, wild, bracing, varied and suitable for all levels of walkers. As a town we now have Walkers Are Welcome status.

My favourite short walk is up across Whitwell Moor to the Trig Point on the top. From here you have a 360 degree viewpoint which is amazing on a clear day.