'Not many people know how great Greenhill is in Sheffield'
Sally Badham is a doctor who works at a surgery in Woodseats and lives in Greenhill with her husband Chris, step daughter Ashleigh and young son Will.
Originally from Sheffield, she grew up in the Millhouses area before studying medicine at Leeds University.
Sally used to sing and play in city band Dead Like Harry but it was during her time in Leeds that she discovered amateur theatre and when she returned to South Yokshire she joined STOS Theatre Company, appearing in their production of The Pirates of Penzance at Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre.
Since then she has gone on to become vice chair of the company, appearing on stage and helping steer a whole range of shows - including My Fair Lady, White Christmas, Shrek, Legally Blonde, Made in Dagenham and Gypsy - to critical and audience acclaim.
She is currently working on the STOS regional premiere of Elf: The Musical, the Broadway version of the classic Hollywood Christmas comedy, which runs at the Lyceum from November 16 to 20 and is delighted that Ashleigh has joined the company as well this year.
I remember when I joined STOS in 2006 for The Pirates of Penzance and vividly remember the excitement of being on stage at the Lyceum.
I’d never performed to an audience that big, even back in the days when I was playing with Dead Like Harry, and even the backstage area seemed enormous to me.
I’d seen STOS perform The Witches of Eastwick at the Lyceum and saw what a talented company they were and loved what they did on the stage and knew that i wanted to be a part of that.
The first year you appear, it feels amazing and that never really goes away - I have so many great memories of performing there in some wonderful shows.
The other thing, of course, is that the Lyceum is a wonderful, beautiful building - it’s what you imagine a theatre should look like and I even love their safety curtain.
Right next door you have the Crucible and I am lucky to have performed there too.
I remember when I was young going to see a production of The Three Musketeers at the Crucible and it was so exciting because the cast came out into the audience and I got grabbed and hauled down onto the stage - I remember being lifted over somebody’s shoulders!
I’m from Millhouses originally so I have loads of great childhood memories of going to the park from a very young age back in the days when the dodgems were there and the bouncy castle would be there regularly and there were the paddling pools.
I had various birthday parties there too I seem to remember and now I am reliving all those times with my son Will - they’ve just switched the water back on so he can come home absolutely soaked to death, just like I used to.
The cafe in the park is very special too and it all adds to making the park a very special family space.
I know Greenhill isn’t that far away from Millhouses but it wasn’t a place we knew very well until we went to live there and discovered just how much we liked it.
I suspect a lot of Sheffield people don’t know much about it or realise how nice it is and Covid has really brought the community together - the decorations at Halloween and Christmas were brilliant last year.
When we were new to Greenhill we found the area incredibly welcoming and there was one place we really liked, Cello Coffee House, very friendly, one of those local places for local people, where you got to know everybody very quickly.
In fact, we liked it so much that when it came up for sale, we decided to buy it and Chris now runs it and last Christmas Santa’s post box was in there for all the village!
It’s not been easy during the pandemic but we adapted and did things differently - things like deliveries and afternoon teas at home - and now we look forward to getting back to some sort of normality again.
The Botanical Gardens
Again, I have really good memories of being taken to the Botanical Gardens as a child, though I have no recollection of ever having been to see the bear pit back then.
Of course I know about it now and I have been in it with Will - I can’t imagine why we didn’t know it was there when I was little
What I remember most from those days are the massive grassy areas and playing with a ball.
I know everybody says the same thing, but the wonderful thing about Sheffield is that it is so green and we are very lucky to have this incredible space, with its plants and wonderful Victorian glass houses, so close to the city centre.
Another thing I really enjoy at the Botanical Gardens is the open air performances, live music and events like the fireworks displays at the end of summer.
Heartbreak Productions have been back again recently and it was lovey to see completely Covid safe live theatre again, outdoors in a beautiful setting.
The City Hall
There is one really important reason that the City Hall is important to me - its’s where I met my husband!
I was crewing for Croft House Theatre Company on their production of The Full Monty and Chris was playing Dave, one of the men who eventually does the Fully Monty.
When he came off stage after the final curtain I was the person holding the dressing gown for him so I suppose you could say I saw rather a lot of him.
Many years ago I was also in a band, Dead Like Harry, and one of the biggest gigs we ever played was the City Hall, alongside some other local bands. including The Moon, who went on to become Little Man Tate.
It’s the only time I have ever performed there because the rest of the time I have been crewing but I can definitely say there’s nothing quite like it - it’s a big space!
Don Valley Stadium
I know the Don Valley Stadium is no longer there and I think that’s a real pity because I have some great memories of the World Student games in 1991.
We were there for the opening ceremony and it was my first experience of a real sporting event.
I think I would have been around none at the time and my dad got loads of tickets so we got to see some great sporting competition. Looking back, I think it’s very sad that we have lost that and that I won’t be able to take Will to see things like that.
A long time after the World Student Games, I also saw U2 at the stadium and again it was another great experience.
I was really sad when it went because I think we really lost something there, a great venue and an important part of our sporting heritage, something we can’t now get back