City Views: “Sheffield is a city of Industrial Heritage and there’s a wealth of culture, art, architecture and creative inspiration in the Heart of the city.”
This month, Grace’s Story.
I’m a Sheffield Hallam student, who was born and raised in Sheffield, currently studying a Digital Media Production course. From an early age, I’ve always had an ambition to be successful and a desire to eventually make a name for myself. My greatest dream is to become a successful career woman.
I’m the eldest daughter of the Burr family and best friends with my sister, Katie, who is an illustrator/ digital artist.
“Sheffield is a city of Industrial Heritage and there’s a wealth of culture, art, architecture and creative inspiration in the Heart of the city.”
I have an invested interest in movies: recently I watched ‘Everybody’s Talking about Jamie’ on Amazon Prime, which is a movie production based in Sheffield, inspired by true events. My other interests include- culture, art and design and numerous hobbies including reading fiction, photography and graphic designing.
Last week, I spent one of my afternoons practicing my photography techniques by photographing local architectural landmarks e.g., Showroom Cinema, Rutland Arms and the Crucible Theatre.
Living in Sheffield means there’s an available wealth of creative inspiration. Ranging from local street art to art galleries, Millennium Gallery, Site Gallery etc. And notable theatrical productions at the Crucible and Lyceum Theatres.
Sheffield is well known for having a notable Indie Music scene e.g., established bands like Pulp, The Human League and most notably, Arctic Monkeys. I like to listen to Indie music; my favourite local artist is ‘Self Esteem’ and spend a lot of time with her music. And I’m interested in writing poetry, which ideally, I’d use lyrically to accompany with music and someday I’d like to pursue this idea. Especially the concept of song writing or recording an album. I often sing in my spare time. Though I’ve no professional experience. I suppose you could classify it as my personal passion. My ultimate career goal is becoming either a Recording Artist or a Film Director. And I suppose you could say: “I’m a Dreamer”.
So, I’ve spent many of my early years focusing on my education, working hard, aiming high to achieve my grades. Studying both GCSE and A Levels in the hopes of attending University. Being from a working-class background, I see the important value of my education. And one day it would be nice to say:
“I’m just another humble girl from Sheffield and I’ve made it.”
My family tree is entwined in Sheffield history: both my parents grew up together on Firth Park Crescent. Living two doors down from each other. And knew each other a long time before they started dating. My Mum was working at Firth Park Nursery at the time. Equally ambitious, she studied for an NNEB qualification. Becoming a Nursery Nurse/ Early Years Practitioner because that’s what she has always desired to do.
They are happily married and this year, in April, it’s their 25th Wedding Anniversary. Family holds a lot of personal importance to me. And I’ve always been fortunate to be close to all my family members, including my grandparents on both sides of my family. Because they also lived in Sheffield.
My grandmother, Brenda Burr, though I’ve always referred to her as my Nan, was a dancing teacher. And my granddad, Lesley Burr, was a furnace man at Firth Brown’s steel company. They were members of the Wartime Generation. My Granddad Burr was a Pt instructor in the Army, who was sent to Germany at the end of the Second World War. Having experience of the hardships of World War Two, they both were determined and hardworking people.
My Granddad, Bernard Elliot, was one of five brothers, two of whom, Bill, 100, and Cyril, 102, are currently centenarians. Born and raised in Shiregreen. Unlike his brothers, who are Veterans having both served in the Second World War, he was involved with the military Police dog training for several years. Until he changed career paths and became a charge hand brick layer involved in building work for the Sheffield City Council. He met up with my grandmother, Grace Elliott, when they were both living on the same street. Just like my parents, they were both close neighbours and it was the place where they initially met.
Growing up I’ve maintained close relationships with my family. In my opinion, family is an important element of defining my own identity. It’s one of the main reasons why I wanted to study at a local university and live at home.
I’ve lived in Sheffield for almost 19 years, but I’m still learning new things about the place. If you’re asking me what lessons I have received from Sheffield so far, I would say the value of family and education.