"My family traditions were built across this great city of Sheffield"

A family man who grew up and works in Sheffield, Mark Farnsworth has many memories and traditions anchored in the city.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 6:00 am
Mark grew up in Sheffield and has made many memories in the city.

Now living in Hemingfield in South Yorkshire, Mark commutes to his job as a manager at the independent Showroom Cinema in Sheffield city centre.

He found the lockdown tough, and homeschooling tiring – as any father of four boys would - but The Showroom allowed Mark to be flexible and juggle his job and the rigours of parenting.

Mark’s children, who are aged two, seven, 11 and 12, were all born in Sheffield and Mark has wasted no time in showing them the best that the city has to offer.

Now on their Summer holidays, Mark's four children ages 2-12, were able to go on a bear hunt at the Botanical Gardens.

The lockdowns also made Mark appreciate the businesses in Sheffield that he and his family patronised for over a decade but could not visit for much of the last year.

Mark was also able to revisit the many outdoor spaces in Sheffield which offered an escape from the Covid doom and gloom and gave his children an outlet for their energy.

Lyceum Theatre

Me and my wife have been every year since we first met in 2004 to see the pantomime, apart from last year due to Covid. When we go it’s just the two of us, we don’t take the kids. It has become a tradition for us. It’s just daft, it’s a nice pre-Christmas thing. We always go two weeks before Christmas and it gets you into the festive mood.

Mark and his wife Vicky, and author, have been to the Lyceum for the pantomime every year since 2004, except when Covid got in the way.

It is a part of the city and to be able to support them is great. We had tickets from last year and we’ve just rolled them over for this year rather than asking for a refund. This year it’s Sleeping Beauty.

Sorrel's Cocoa Bakery, Crookes

Sorrel’s is a little independent bakery. Every time we are in Sheffield for anything we call on the way back for brownies or cake. The owners are lovely, the staff are lovely and more importantly the cakes are lovely. I tend to get a Creme Egg brownie.

We probably go about two or three times a month, and we do usually take the kids to this. But we get a box of brownies whether the kids are with us or not.

The bears of Sheffield have appeared around the city raising money for the Children's Hospital Charity

All the parks in Sheffield

I love the Botanical gardens, and Weston Park, and all the green spaces in Sheffield really.

We like going in the bear pit in the Botanical Gardens with the kids, and going in and feeding the squirrels. They will literally eat right out of your hand. Growing up I spent a lot of time in Endcliffe and all the parks across the city really.

The outdoors is a big part of our family life. It helps to get out and about, it’s calming, and it’s one of the few things you could do during lockdown.

The Jessop Wing

This is not a traditional choice, a hospital for a favourite place in the city, but it is an important place for me.

That’s where my four kids were born. Even when we moved to Hemingfield, my youngest two were still born at the Jessop Wing.

Our youngest was born a little bit prematurely, they had to do a bit of work on him. He didn’t breathe by himself for the best part of 10 minutes.

They breathed for him and they got him going again. I’m running the Sheffield Half Marathon later this year to raise money for the Jessop Wing.

So even though it’s not a traditional choice, like bars and restaurants, as a Sheffield place, it is important.

Bears of Sheffield

The elephants were amazing during the Herd of Sheffield event in 2016, the bears are even better.

On the app you can get rewards for finding the bears and the Showroom Cinema is one of the places you can get a reward.

If you scan a certain bear nearby and come into the Showroom you can get a free kids sized popcorn. You don’t have to buy anything to get that reward.

It’s on the list for the summer to find all the bears. After their last day of school we will head off and do it.

It comes back around to the parks, as we’ll go through all the parks finding the bears.