To bee or not to bee….

So the project is buzzing along. There is a hive of activity on the site, mainly around Units 2 and 3 and the Open House and by extension the courtyard.

I’ve been part of the project for 3+ years now and the idea of having a hive has been at the back of my mind and mentioned between us all for a good part of it. I think the driving force for me has been the realisation of how essential bees are to our ecosystem. Explained well in this blog –

It’s only now I’m starting to do a bit of research and got in touch with a local bee keeping association and I was kindly invited to a meeting. The meeting was in fact a talk by Dr Paul Cross of Bangor University and it was a very good turn out, I’d say 50+ people there. It was certainly a nice start and i made some notes (very brief) for some other stuff I’ll look into. I will definitely try and go to more meetings and join up, especially as I’m not much of a reader so being able to meet, talk and listen to experts and experienced bee keepers will bee great.

So hopefully in the not too distant future we will have a hive(s) as part of OHP which can form part of any tours/visits to the project. and there may even be some honey to taste. There’s still a way to go in terms of going on courses and getting all the equipment but now I’ve got the ball rolling and even posted a blog about it, it certainly feels more real rather than just an idea.

So time for me to buzz off now………


Moving with the times


As you can imagine we have been taking lots and lots of photos during the project. Since March we have also been using Instagram to capture and share what is going on.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words

Hopefully with a variety of social media platforms there will be something for everyone to keep abreast of what is going on and see the development progressing.

We can be followed on Instagram at @openhouseprojectsheffield

We can also be found on Facebook at The Open House Project



Big Plans…….

062ED9FF-9227-47DE-956B-8D92F3BAC53D23AE1E9E-0B94-4D00-A8CA-4B48A5E3BA03D23B99D0-EC85-482F-B9A9-ECB1234E825A………literally, they must be A1 or something. Good job Leo and Kate have a big enough table in their gaff so we could have a good look at them 😂

So we (The Open House Project) are now on Phase 3 which comprises of units 2 and 3. These are the 3rd and 4th homes of the project (3 more up for grabs nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Unit 3 is ours (the Connors’) and we recently had hopefully our last planning meeting with Leo. I don’t say hopefully in a fed up or bad way as I have REALLY enjoyed the meetings when he has talked us through the plans and his design. We are just hopeful they will be approved and the build can start. 

I feel very lucky that Leo is the architect, not just for his undoubted abilities (see Sheffield Design Awards 2018 – Conservation Winner) but the fact we trust him implicitly so that when he has ‘managed our expectation’ we know it is because some of our (well…my) ideas just wouldn’t work, and he has made changes that were possible. I can’t imagine any better or smoother architect/client relationships. 

So we are now close to the submission stage and I cannot put into words (or verbally describe) how ‘real’ it all feels. The closest analogy would be the Fast Show sketch when Paul Whitehouse goes round saying everything is ‘Brilliant’. I’ve felt like it ever since the first talk through the plans with Leo, the excitement has come on like someone turning on a light switch. I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas. 

It’s also quite bizarre that I don’t have any nerves around the family moving lock stock and barrel North of the Watford Gap to new schools (pending 🤞), new jobs (again pending 🤞). 

Very exciting times. 

Bye for now





So this is a wee bit off the topic of OHP, but, as it’s my OHP Blog debut I thought I’d stick with something I know well.

As a North Londoner moving to South Yorkshire I had a BIG decision to make…..what football team to follow?

My team is The Arsenal (and always will be), ever since the early 80’s. Can’t really recall why as my dad was a Fulham supporter who is more into rugby.

My first game was a one nil win against Southampton at Highbury in May 1985. A scoreline that over time became synonymous with The Arsenal in the nineties and noughties and sung along to the tune of a Pet Shop Boys hit.

I’ve never been a regular attender and probably average less than a game a season over the past 33 years. With 5 being the most in a season in 16/17 when I started taking my oldest along. Competition for my disposable income has been the main reason for not going as much as I’d have liked.

So decisions, decisions. As the crow flies (well, google maps directions) the nearest teams are:

Sheffield Wednesday 3.7 miles
Rotherham United 7 miles
Sheffield United 7.2 miles

Sheffield Wednesday were never a consideration for me due to 1993, when both domestic finals were between AFC and SWFC. The FA Cup Final (replay) won with an Andy Linighan header, despite playing a lot of the game with a broken nose. The League Cup Final won with a goal by Stevie Morrow. He was later unceremoniously dropped by captain Tony Adams and fell awkwardly during the celebrations on the pitch at the final whistle and was rushed to hospital with a broken arm.

So, Rotherham, they already had the inside track to be honest. They play in the same shirts as The Arsenal, red with white sleeves. I had also already seen the Millers win their own cup final in 1996. The oft forgotten Football League Trophy (known as the Auto Windscreens Shields Trophy at the time).

I had actually gone to Wembley that day as a Shrewsbury Town supporter with my then boss (a Shrew) and a few work colleagues on a bit of a beano. It would have been inconceivable to think that 22 years later I would start following Rotherham United.

Another link with the Millers came about by chance. Due to a reshuffle at work I ended up working with a guy named Jacko who was/is from Rotherham and a fully fledged supporter going to games whenever he could especially when they were away to teams in London. During one of my (and the family’s) trips to the farm we arranged to go to a Millers game. I brought Luca and Joe brought Raymond. It was February 2016 against Brentford and the Millers were being managed by Neil Warnock at the time. I think it was one of his first few games in charge and Rotherham were staring relegation in the face and hadn’t scored let alone won for a few games. Now I know I can’t take all the credit as a lucky charm but the Millers won 2-1 and went on an unbeaten run of 11 games and maintained their place in The Championship. Luca loved it and was laughingly told off by a steward for over celebrating the Millers winner when rushing to the edge of the pitch.

Sheffield United never really got considered, as a bit like with multiple choice exams, once you see the right answer, stop looking.

So come the 2019/20 season I will endeavour to get along to the New York Stadium whenever possible.