Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'I Always Remember My Dream Was to Be a Famous Actress in the Limelight, a Typical Leo Child' NOW AND THEN

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'I Always Remember My Dream Was to Be a Famous Actress in the Limelight, a Typical Leo Child' NOW AND THEN

Article excerpt

CLAIRE Hornby is the creative and display manager for Barker and Stonehouse, the UK's largest independent furniture retailer.

The 38-year-old, who lives in Darlington with her husband James and young son Ben, studied fashion and textile design at Cumbria College of Art and Design before joining Barker and Stonehouse in 2003.

She designs the interiors throughout all eight of the company's stores, but says her most challenging project to date is the design of the new flagship store in Knaresborough which opens in December.

What's your first memory? My first memory would have to be my childhood holiday to Reeth in a caravan. It was a simple holiday but exciting and I remember the weather being hot and sunny. I loved the countryside as there was always a stream to go paddling in and a tree to climb.

What were you like as a child? My grandma always called me her sunshine girl because I guess that is how I was - always smiling and laughing with no cares in the world. There was a serious side to me though, especially when it came to decorating my bedroom! All I wanted to do was entertain people by singing, dancing and playing dress-up. I always remember my dream was to be a famous actress in the limelight, a typical Leo child.

What childhood games did you play? My favourite games would be any-MEETING MICKEY Claire, aged 7, with her brother at the Sunderland Air Show thing that involved playing dress-up. I also loved board games such as Game of Life and Monopoly.

What music did you like and what was the first record you bought? As a child I remember dancing around the house to my mum's music including Abba, Boney M, The Carpenters and The Beatles. The first record I bought was Fame's I Want to Live Forever but as I grew older my music tastes changed and I grew to love acid jazz, funk, northern soul and jazz.

Did you have a family pet? Yes we had a pet cat called Ginger. Some people in the street we lived in moved away and left him behind so we adopted him. Mum only let us keep him because he matched the interiors of the house! He was more like a dog than a cat and would even go for walks with us.

Were your school days the best days of your life? I loved school, probably because I always enjoyed meeting and being around new people. School reports would also praise me for my efforts and dedication but they always said I must 'learn to talk less and concentrate more'. If it wasn't for my wonderful art teacher believing in me and encouraging me I wouldn't be where I am today.

Were you ever bullied? Not really other than the usual name-calling which I always took with a pinch of salt. I was very lucky as I remember some people getting bullied - I hated it and always tried to stop it if I saw it happening, even if that meant me then getting into trouble. …

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