Favourite Things: Insurance director John has his home city covered

John Leigh, a director at IFM Insurance based on Tapton House Road in Broomhill, has written a Favourite Things column for the Sheffield Telegraph. One of his choices is Greenhead House restaurant in Chapeltown.
John Leigh, a director at IFM Insurance based on Tapton House Road in Broomhill, has written a Favourite Things column for the Sheffield Telegraph. One of his choices is Greenhead House restaurant in Chapeltown.

Born 55 years ago in Sheffield, John Leigh lives in High Green with his wife of 30 years Lynn and son Jordan. John began his career in insurance as a broker at Hewlett and Sumner in 1978 and then moved to join J W Burley and Partners where he worked for five years . In 1984 he joined Fenchurch Insurance Brokers becoming a director in 1987. John joined IFM on Tapton House Road, Broomhill, in 1997 as a director and has been there ever since.

The surrounding countryside

People often say that although Sheffield is one of the largest cities in the UK, a 15 minute drive in any direction from its centre leads you to beautiful open countryside. As my wife and I are keen walkers we go out most weekends whether it is a local walk around Damflask reservoir or Wentworth Castle or Cannon Hall near Barnsley or slightly further afield in Derbyshire. Being a keen photographer I always take my camera gear as there is so much to capture whether it be the fantastic historical buildings in and around the city or the wildlife and outstanding scenery in the countryside. We are still discovering new places to visit.


What with the Arctic Monkeys coming from High Green where I live, to Def Leppard, Pulp, ABC, The Human League, Reverend and the Makers and the icon Joe Cocker, the city has been a hotbed of development for new bands. The music venues are great such as Plug, City Hall and Motorpoint Arena, but in my view one of the best has to be Sheffield Cathedral where I attended a fantastic evening listening to keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman a couple of years ago. The acoustics were amazing and I even got to meet Rick. A truly fantastic event.

Lily’s Pork Shop

My wife will tell you that food is all I think about most days. One of the treats of the week usually when my son and I go to town for our six weekly haircut is to pay a visit to Lily’s at Owlerton for a BEST - bacon, egg, sausage and tomato sandwich - for me and a large sausage sandwich for Jordan and a bacon and tomato sandwich for Lynn. The sandwiches are expensive but the quality is top notch and I always end up buying a few bags of their oven bottom breadcakes and superb egg custards. A Sheffield food institution and long may it continue.


My son and I are season ticket holders and both of us enjoy our match days, being the eternal optimists we are. Unfortunately at my age I’ve seen more downs than ups but I suppose that’s what keeps us going - the hope that one day we will return to our rightful place in the Premiership. The Wednesday fans in my view are what makes the club great and thousands of supporters support the team both home and away with the crowds being higher than most Premier clubs. We can hope this season at least to get a chance in the playoffs, as there are no real top teams with every team capable of beating one another. Just convert a few of the draws into wins and start winning at home and we have a chance.

Greenhead House estaurant

In our view the best restaurant in the city by a distance. Anne and Neil have been serving exquisite Michelin standard food for as long as we’ve lived in High Green and my wife and I never tire of going there. The welcoming lounge for pre dinner drinks is followed by beautifully prepared and presented food, with the menu changing every month so there is always something new to look forward to. In recent times we’ve taken my sister to one of the lobster lunch events in the summer - what a treat with peach champagne and canapés in the garden followed by the most delicious lobster meal you could imagine. Added to that the hosts are genuinely really nice people.

J H Mann Fishmongers, Sharrowvale Road

My family and I just love fish, crustaceans and basically anything edible from the sea. Christian and Daniel have a really fantastic shop full of fresh fish and other delicacies. They take great pride in the quality of their products and although I could probably buy similar, cheaper items from a supermarket I know the quality will not be the same. They have a real passion for the job and it shows in the products they sell. I think It is important to support your local specialists whether they be butchers, bakers or fishmongers who are local and skilled artisans.

Bradfield Brewery

As only an occasional beer drinker - my wife laughs out loud as I say this - I do enjoy popping in to sample the delights of Bradfield Brewery usually followed by a nice walk nearby. My favourite is the Farmers Blonde ale which is a very pleasant all-year-round drink.