Favourite Things: Sheffield brimming with joys is a place to call home

Nicola Spencer, pictured by the Mayfield Valley. Picture: Marie Caley NSTE Spencer MC 2
Nicola Spencer, pictured by the Mayfield Valley. Picture: Marie Caley NSTE Spencer MC 2

Nicola Spencer is the owner and MD of Spencers Estate Agents, based on Ecclesall Road. Nicola was born and raised in Sheffield and her father was an estate agent and surveyor, and her mother was a maths teacher until they founded Spencers in 1993. Having qualified in various secretarial skills after trying various jobs, Nicola joined the firm in 1998 to help out while her parents were on holiday and fell in love with property and the industry. Having lived in Edinburgh for a few years with her partner Lee Bullen, Sheffield Wednesday’s assistant manager, Nicola moved back to the city to buy the company, so her parents could retire in 2011.

Higger Tor

This is my staple ‘go to’ place. I love it and it’s definitely my number one. I first visited Higger Tor on first-year camp from Silverdale School. We went weasling and played midnight commando games in the dark and rain. This was my first and last night in a tent – but my last wishes state that I’d like to have my ashes thrown from this spot. I go there to clear my mind, appreciate my life, to breathe and feel on top of the world. There is no place I love more in the world.

Home

Home for me as an estate agent is just where I lay my hat, as I firmly believe that house-envy and market trends bring out the traveller in me. We have been in our latest home for almost two years, which is quite something considering that within a five-year stretch we moved house seven times, and I am always on the lookout for where we will go next. The problem with being a salesperson is that you can walk round a house selling the benefits to a potential buyer and get to the end of the tour and want to buy it yourself!

Jessop NICU

After a lengthy time of all sorts of operations , tests, attempts, drugs and tears, we got pregnant through IVF with twins in 2014. It may seem obvious to assume twins would always be early, but this generally isn’t the case and I was intent on them coming on time, as I am a punctual sort. Maddie, my gorgeous girl, decided she was ready though and I went into labour eight weeks early, much to Rudi’s, my handsome boy’s, dismay. Both babies were in intensive care from birth and Rudi lost 25 per cent of his birth weight so needed a lot of extra care. Now I volunteer as a knitting co-ordinator for the Intensive Care Unit at the Jessop and regularly visit to take beautiful donated knitted items and see the tiny babies to remind myself how far mine have come. We are incredibly lucky to live where we do with this incredible facility on our doorstep.

Hillsborough

I am a football fan, I had no choice. Growing up I was dragged, often kicking and screaming, to watch my dad on a Saturday afternoon play for the Sheffield Bankers at Abbeydale Sports Club and to watch my brother play for Brunsmeer on a Sunday at Dore. Any football fan will tell you, there is an adrenaline, a passion, and a special heartbeat when you fall in love with a club, and since 1993 Sheffield Wednesday have been my team. My ‘other half’ played at the club, which is how we met but he knows full well there wouldn’t have been an ‘us’ if he had been red and white.

Mayfield Valley

Twins are hard work. Babies are hard work to be honest, especially when they don’t like to sleep much! Premature babies are known for their difficulties settling and sleeping, but there’s nothing quite like a little fresh air to give them the nap they need to keep them going. I must have walked 40,000 miles trying to get my babies to sleep in that first year but fortunately I live close enough to the Mayfield Valley to walk out of my front door and be in the thick of it within minutes.

Cheesegrater car park

The city centre regeneration has been most welcome to Sheffield people. I don’t think people genuinely considered that Meadowhall would have such a massively destructive effect on the centre of Sheffield. The regeneration is creating a wonderful, compact, city dining and shopping experience with the Peace Gardens as the focal point. The Cheesegrater is an enhancement of epic proportions. It is quirky and characterful, reflects the light beautifully and stands proud within its environment. For me, it is the best architectural feature of the city to date.

Weston Park Museum

The city is brimming with architectural joys. Weston Park Museum has always had a very special place in my heart, especially the big bear that always used to welcome you on the way in. I have taken the twins many times over the last year and it’s incredibly entertaining now that it has been modernised and improved, particularly the dressing-up section.