Sir Norman Adsetts, author of A Man of Sheffield
You wait ages for a knight to come. Then two appear both at the same time.
Staff at RMC Media’s book publishing arm were delighted when Sir Hugh Sykes, one of the region’s most distinguished businessmen and public figures, turned author and commissioned his first book.
Lighting the Furnace – the story of a Burning Ambition, traces Sir Hugh’s life story and remarkable business career, as well as his role as chairman of the Sheffield Development Corporation (SDC), in which he oversaw the regeneration of Sheffield’s East End during the eighties and nineties.
Work was well underway on the book when it was announced that another well-known local knight, Sir Norman Adsetts, had researched and completed a book on Sheffield history, told from the standpoint of his ancestors, who have lived in the city for the past 400 years. Enter RMC Media again and before long Sir Norman was looking forward to the arrival of his book A Man of Sheffield, which will be out in late September.
Like his fellow knight, Sir Norman was one of Sheffield’s most influential and well-known members of the business community in the eighties. As Chairman of the Sheffield Insulations Group, he transformed the company into a major multi-national concern. But he found time to champion Sheffield’s cause and was responsible for many success stories, including the rebirth of the Lyceum theatre.
His research into his family tree also revealed a few skeletons in the cupboard, such as the athlete who fled to the USA leaving his wife behind, and a notorious murderer whose gruesome deeds shocked Hong Kong
It turns out the two commissions were nothing more than a coincidence. As an RMC Media spokesman said: “You don’t have to have a knighthood to publish a book with us, honestly! But it was pleasing that two such distinguished individuals came to us when they decided to publish their books.”
Sir Hugh will be appearing at the forthcoming Off the Shelf literary festival to give a talk at Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery, followed by a Q&A session. For more details, head to the Off The Shelf website.