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Claire Thornley → Our Favourite Places – Sheffield Culture Guide

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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Claire Thornley

Our Favourite Places would be nothing without our contributors — a massive thanks to all of them!

Tell us about you…

Designer, thinker, doer. Director at Eleven and editor of Our Favourite Places. Can usually be found at Cafe #9 with the papers and a cinnamon roll.

What does Sheffield mean to you?

I grew up in a tiny Rotherham village where the Harvest Festival and my Grandad’s prize-winning marrow provided the yearly highlight. Sheffield offered the "bright lights" I couldn’t wait to escape to. In recent years I’ve seen the city afresh through the eyes of my Welsh husband, and even the places I’m most familiar with still provide the excitement I was drawn to as a teen.

What’s your favourite Sheffield place?

Sheffield Central Library and Graves Gallery (especially the rickety lift). I would chain myself to this glorious building should anyone try and close it.

What would you do to improve the city?

More investment and promotion of (1) the arts (2) architecture, new and old (3) our proximity to the Peaks. We have some great stuff here – let's make sure people find out. No more coyness Sheffield!

Latest contributions

SIA's Visual Communication students

We tasked a group of students to create imaginative maps of Sheffield. The results were funny, charming and surprising – read on for some highlights.

We Live Here

Jonathan Wilkinson's architectural illustrations are a celebration of our unconventionally beautiful city.

James Green

A linocut printmaker with a love of donkeys, dinosaurs and views of Sheffield.

Gemma Thorpe

Gemma focusses her lens on issues including migration, homelessness, identity and belonging – in each case telling you just enough of the story to make you keen as mustard to find out more.