The Star Favourite Things: Highlights of a life in home city with Sheffield’s new Lord Mayor Denise Fox

The Winter Gardens in Sheffield city centre
The Winter Gardens in Sheffield city centre
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The new Lord Mayor of Sheffield and Birley councillor Denise Fox writes about the best of Sheffield in The Star’s new feature.

How long have you lived in Sheffield and whereabouts?

Councillor Denise Fox is the new Lord Mayor of Sheffield. Photo: Chris Etchells

Councillor Denise Fox is the new Lord Mayor of Sheffield. Photo: Chris Etchells

I’ve lived in Sheffield all my life. Born at Nether Edge Hospital, I lived on Duchess Road until the age of seven, then moved to Chippingham Street in Attercliffe until the age of 15 when we moved to Carrill Road, Foxhill. I married Terry in 1981 and we settled down in Hillsborough and then Wincobank where we’ve stayed ever since.

Family?

I have three sisters, two grown-up children, a girl and a boy and four grandsons who are the light of our lives and certainly keep me and Terry on our toes.

What do you do for a living?

I work as a civil servant at the Home Office, where I’ve been for 14 years. It can be challenging but I’m really lucky to work with a fantastic team of people.

What do you like most of all about living in Sheffield?

Sheffield has so much to offer, it’s hard to pin point just one thing - so how about I tell you my top three.

There’s the green open spaces - it would be hard to find a city with more. A third of Sheffield is located in the Peak District National Park - no other city can claim to have a National Park within its boundary.

And then there’s the variety of entertainment and leisure facilities on offer to suit people of all ages and abilities, which means that whether I’m out with friends or looking after the grandkids we’re never stuck for things to do. Above all though it’s the people. Sheffield people are the salt of the earth – warm and friendly. We are home to over half a million people, representing a rich diversity of ethnic origins and cultures, working together to make it a lively multi-cultural and multi-lingual city, all helping each other and living in harmony.

Do you have a favourite place or hidden gem in the city?

One of my favourite places of sanctuary is the Winter Garden. I love to see the plants as they change over the seasons and the different displays which are often quite unique – the 100th birthday display for Winnie Blagden (who received thousands of cards from across the world following a public appeal) was definitely one of my favourites.

What is your favourite pub or place to eat in Sheffield - and why?

The Bessemer Pub is one of my favourite haunts after a council meeting! It’s just a really friendly place where everyone feels welcome.

If you could improve one thing about the city, what would it be - and why?

My family and I experienced the strikes of the 1980s first hand. Things have improved so much since then but the number one thing that Sheffield needs for future generations is more stable and secure jobs.

Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy jogging, which is one of the reasons I love Sheffield’s abundance of outdoors space – whatever your ability or how far you want to run you can find a route to suit.

I also love reading, it’s how I wind down at the end of the day, I mean where else can you travel the world, solve a murder or fall in love without leaving your front room?

And yes, I am a bit of a social butterfly – I enjoy nothing more than spending time with my family and friends. Really that’s what life is all about, isn’t it.