JOAn Parsons is director of Showcomotion Young People’s Film Festival, which returns to the Showroom Cinema from tomorrow (Friday) to June 3, and is senior programmer for The Showroom Cinema. She came to Sheffield to study in 2004 and, apart from a small break, has stayed.
“The city seems to welcome new arrivals and is not intimidating or confusing,” she says. “People here are warm and friendly, with a great sense of humour and I have made some really fantastic friends.”
She describes ‘Showco’ as “a real treat to work on and it truly will be nine days of fun, with something for everyone, from young children to grandparents.
“I have made friendships across the cultural sector in Sheffield and I am impressed by how hard everyone works to bring the best of the best to the city.
“I often find myself thinking how very lucky I am to live here, whether I’m walking, running with my best friend, on a night out, shopping with my mum or simply on my way to work. It is a pleasure to be part of Sheffield.”
Home to Showcomotion, The Showroom is perhaps an obvious choice but I think it is one of Sheffield’s unique treasures. I was a “regular” before I worked here and I felt then that this was the place for me.
A truly independent cinema is a pleasure to work in and even when not working I am still one of our regular visitors. A good night out can always be had with Showroom colleagues and I have made some great friends here.
Family venture, Thelma’s, is a great recent addition to the cafés on offer around Hunters Bar. I am a big fan. It has the best breakfast porridge I have ever had and amazing pancakes make it my go-to destination for a Sunday brunch.
Thelma’s cosy seated area and deli of delights ensures that I will never grow tired of trying new things here.
My home area has a lot going for it, my personal favourites being the quarterly farmers’ market, Chelsea Park, Oxfam Bookshop, Homemade Café, The Broadfield pub and the friendliest Sainsburys Local ever. I love to wander around on a nice day, finding new nooks and corners and watching the seasons change in the trees.
A real highlight is a walk past a wonderful house on Rundle Road. Its mystery is really enchanting.
Well, really a shared garden, but I like to imagine it’s all mine sometimes. With a fountain, waterfall and beautiful trees and shrubs, it is a wildlife haven. As a secret twitcher I enjoy gazing out of the window at the great variety of birds that visit the garden. My favourite regular visitor is the local jay, whose beauty always amazes me. There are other frequent visitors too; not just birds. Once I witnessed a fox and a badger having a confrontation late at night. The badger won!
St Luke’s Hospice Shop, Crookes
This is my favourite charity shop in Sheffield. Having been a bargain hunter for years, I love a good trawl through the rails in charity shops. You never know what treasures you might find. Crookes has a great run of good charity shops but right at the end, in what appears to be an old petrol station, is the St Luke’s Hospice shop. A huge space, full to the brim with the weird and wonderful.
I have found all sorts here, including my favourite boots and some dresses I adore. Brought up in a charity shop haven, to me a place with healthy charity shops always has a good feel. Keep it up, Crookes!
Ponds Forge 50m pool
I don’t go very often any more but I really should. The pool in Ponds Forge is a true pleasure to swim in. With lanes for all abilities, it ensures you aren’t scared off by the super-fast swimmers in their special kits.
Sometimes you get the added treat of watching diving competitions in the diving pool. To get some really peaceful “me” time, I swim up and down for half an hour and instantly feel better afterwards.
You can travel the culinary world on London Road and its independent restaurants make it the best destination for a meal out. With old favourites Zeugma and Noodle Inn alongside new favourite Amigos I can always eat well, get good value and have a great time too.
The restored old Turkish Baths building, hidden just off West Street, is my absolute favourite luxury indulgence in Sheffield. Hours can be whiled away in the saunas, ice cave, plunge pool or in the relaxing room. I have visited with my mum, my friends and on my own, and it’s always a hit with everyone.
The service is also fantastic and you end up feeling totally spoilt without having to go out to a special resort as you are still slap bang in the city centre. Perfect!