FAVOURITE THINGS with Ian Chester...

Kelham Island Museum
Kelham Island Museum
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‘I love the microbrewery boom in Kelham Island’

Between school and university, Ian Chester discovered a lifelong passion for travel - especially the far eastern countries of Singapore, Borneo, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia.

He studied geology at university in Birmingham and then returned to South Yorkshire and started to work at Yorkshire Windows. A keen traveller and sportsman, he recently competed in the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon in Leeds. He is now managing director of Yorkshire Windows, and has three children.

Kelham Island

I discovered Kelham Island three or four years ago, when I found real ale. I wouldn’t say I’m a buff, but I do have some favourites and really like the micro brewery boom that’s happening down there. I really enjoy a Saturday afternoon visit to the brewery and think Kelham Iland is a fascinating place. You can really feel the history of those incredible old buildings from the early days of the Industrial Revolution as you walk around.

The Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon

I competed in the Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon in Sheffield a couple of years ago and I got my personal best time for a half marathon.

I started running three years ago, when I realised I was overweight and stressed. I’d come back from a run with a clear head and feeling ten times better and happier than I did before.

I also did the Paris Marathon in April last year in four hours and 26 minutes and I should have run the Manchester Marathon this year, but had to pull out because I hadn’t had time to train as I was busy re-launching Yorkshire Windows and getting ready to open our new showroom at Ferndale Garden Centre in Dronfield. I can’t wait to get back on the road again.

The Derbyshire Peaks

I’ve always been a very active person, so Derbyshire and the Peak District are a bit of a Sunday playground. As well as my running and walking I’m also a keen mountain biker. I love the top of Mam Tor - it’s really very accessible even if you don’t fancy doing anything too demanding. You get up there and feel the wind blowing and there’s no sensation better.

I’m also a supporter of the The Crookstone Adventure Trust, a charitable organisation set up to provide rudimentary accommodation as a base for outward-bound activities in the Peak District to support young people under the age of 25, of all abilities and backgrounds, by the provision of training facilities, developing their physical, mental and spiritual capacities and helping improve their lives. It’s a really worthwhile cause.

The Lyceum

Every year we go to the Lyceum to see the pantomime and I love it. You come out after a couple of hours with the biggest smile on your face. The Lyceum is a wonderful building too and one that we are very lucky to still have. I did take the children to see The Hare and the Tortoise at the Crucible Studio too; a very different experience and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Hallamshire Tennis and Squash Club

I started playing squash aged ten, and carried on playing for 30 years until my knee and my back started to play up. I was a member of the Phoenix Squash Club in Brinsworth and I would often be at Hallamshire Golf Club for matches. I always enjoyed being there and the facilities were outstanding. Playing squash introduced me to so many people and I do miss it.

It’s great to see that World Squash Champion Nick Mathew has now opened an academy at Hallamshire. He’s a brilliant ambassador for the sport and a really down to earth Yorkshireman.

Ecclesall Road and London Road

Even though I’m a Rotherham lad, I love the restaurants on Ecclesall Road and London Road. The Mediterranean restaurant right at the top near Hunters Bar - it’s actually on Sharrow Vale Road - is always worth a visit. The range of foods available on these two roads is extraordinary - I would say there’s something from just about every corner of the world on offer. We’re so lucky to have all this right on our doorstep.