Home is hard to beat

Chris Barker and his son Charlie at Lees Hall Golf Club
Chris Barker and his son Charlie at Lees Hall Golf Club
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Chris Barker, aged 41, was born Norton and has lived there ever since. He attended Norton Free and Rowlinson schools and later Norton College. He is well known in local golf circles as manager of the equipment store Sheffield Pro Golf where he has worked since he started as a teenage assistant. Chris is married to Julia and they have a four-year-old son Charlie and two dogs. Parents Pam and John live in Norton too and sister Claire is in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Lees Hall Golf Club

Golf has been an important part of my life since I joined Lees Hall in my young teens. I represented the junior and the first teams and got down to a handicap of four. I’ve stayed around that level ever since.

Lees Hall is a great club to be a member of – it is just round the corner for me and the social side of the club is hard to beat. I started at Sheffield Pro Golf as a Saturday job when I was at school, earning £1 an hour.

I gradually worked longer hours and eventually I asked if I could work full time until I found a ‘proper’ job. I have been there ever since and wouldn’t dream of leaving.

Graves Park

I met Julia in 2005 when we were both out walking our dogs. We married in 2008. We have two dogs so I’m in Graves Park twice a day exercising them.

It is a fantastic space and it is a credit to Sheffield that the parks are so good. I like to take Charlie there too and he loves it.

Rowlinson Baths

I have many happy memories of learning how to swim at Rowlinson with my sister. Dad used to take us there on Fridays and after swimming we had the great treat of fish and chips from the Greenhill chippy.

The baths are still there but are now part of the Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre.

280th St James Norton Scout Group

You have probably gathered that I’m very much an outdoors person and this trend probably stems from my happy times with the Norton Scouts.

I went to the cubs and moved on to the venture scouts and achieved a Duke of Edinburgh Award. I have fond memories of our scout leader, John Batley.

Sheffield pubs

There are plenty of good pubs in Sheffield and I particularly enjoy a pint at The Cricket Inn at Totley.

I also like relaxing in All Bar One and across the road in Leopold Square when I get the chance. It has been really well restored and has a good, relaxed atmosphere.

Local restaurants

Leopold Square is also the home of my favourite Indian restaurant, Aagrah.

I enjoy All Siam on Ecclesall Road as well which has nice intimate surroundings, great service and food, and Marco at Milano in Millhouses, where Julia and I like to go for our wedding anniversaries.


I once attended a Thai cookery course in London and I really enjoy this style of food. When I have the time I will buy all the fresh ingredients and make my own Thai curry paste.

I like all types of food - Indian, Chinese, Mexican and Italian are my favourites and we try to get out to local restaurant when we can.

Weston Park Hospital

It might seem strange listing a hospital as a favourite but the treatment I had there saved my life.

I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1998 when I was in my 20s.

It was treated successfully, but cancer cells were later detected in my blood so I faced five months of chemotherapy. They were hard times but I was very well looked after.