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Thread: Atkinson Walker, Falcon Works, Sheffield, May 2019

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    Default Atkinson Walker, Falcon Works, Sheffield, May 2019


    1. The History
    Situated between Cotton Mill Row, Cotton Street and Alma Street, Sheffield, Falcon works were built in the 1930s for light industrial use after the site was cleared as part of a 1931 Clearance Order. Originally standing three storeys tall, the premises were reduced to one storey between 1948 and 1950. Prior to this the site was used for a number of purposes. In 1896 the Alma Street end of the site played host to a rag warehouse. Due south were ten houses facing onto Cotton Mill Row, followed by Edward Caveís timber yard. At the southern-most tip could be found the Rifle Tavern public house.

    Some of the works included purpose-built workshops for saw manufactory and were occupied by R. H. Walker and Sons. The company had been earlier established in 1923 by Richard Walker his son John, the former having been in the saw-manufacturing business since 1880. R. H. Walker and Sons established themselves as one of the leading UK manufacturers of high-quality Tungsten Carbide Tipped circular saw blades. They expanded operations locally in 1937 and then, in the early 1940s, took over Cardiff-based company, Atkinson & Co (Saws) Limited. In 1956 they closed the Cardiff factory, consolidating production in Sheffield by acquiring further premises on Bower Street. R H Walker and Son were then incorporated into the trading title of Atkinson-Walker (Saws) Limited in 1975, employing around 20 people.

    However, like many light manufacturing operations in post-industrial Britain, the company ran into problems in recent years and finally went into administration in February 2018, suffering losses as a result of on-going pressures on profit margins and an increase cost-base. While an out-right buyer couldnít be found, Sheffield Industrial Saws payed £20,000 for a six-month licence to operate out of the Falcon Works premises, but when that came to an end, with the secured creditors paid-up, the administrators closed operations at Falcon Works. The land was then sold off and in February 2019 an application was tabled for the demolition all existing buildings and the erection of a new 4-storey building comprising of 88 numbered residential apartments.

    2. The Explore
    Been past this place many times but it never really registered. Not until a tip-off from @tarkovsky who very kindly gave me the heads-up about it. So off I set. Entry was a bit of a squeeze, so the roll-out option was used for exit. Itís a very long run of buildings and architecturally itís nothing special and canít really hold a candle to the near-by George Barnsleyís (but then what can?). Inside itís mainly stripped bare. That said thereís enough to go at for half-an-hour or so and a new explore is a new explore.

    3. The Pictures

    A few externals to start:

    img0869 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0870 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0871 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0855bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Including these really faded ghost signs:

    img0873 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0874 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0853 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Outside looking in:

    img0867 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0865bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And in we go!

    Sheff Saw 11 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0833bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0834 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Little room just off the yard:

    Sheff Saw 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The main blade-working workshop:

    Sheff Saw 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0839bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

    I know itís going to be demoíed but why do people feel the need to smash stuff up?

    Sheff Saw 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Nice shelf in the reception hall:

    Sheff Saw 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Öand hatch opposite:

    Sheff Saw 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    This picture of Paul Whitehouse as Arthur Atkinson must be related to the co-owners of the company:

    Sheff Saw 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr



    Probably the most interesting thing in the whole works:

    Sheff Saw 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Of course, made in Sheffield:

    Sheff Saw 08 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And some nice wooden box shelving on the small second floor:

    Sheff Saw 09 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Sheff Saw 10 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0850 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Not much left lying around:

    img0844bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

  2. Thanks given by: etc100, Locksley, Mearing, Mikeymutt, ocelot397, psykie, Sausage, Sidsdx1988, smiler
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  4. #2
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    The sinks were smashed for non-ferrous metals - copper pipe and brass taps.
    A similar type of vandalism happened recently when the last newish building at Grove Rake Mine was demolished by contractors. I wanted some lockers but instead the contractors decided to crush and bury them beneath rubble and incorporate them in to landscaping..

    I'm surprised there's not a remnant of a blade left in there. Sometimes products might be used to fabricate brackets for shelves and the likes. I see where the anvils once stood but leaving their useful bases seems odd too.
    I'd give a kidney for an open fire and oven combo like that (but complete!)
    The ghost ad will vanish once it gets demolished. Great that you've captured it before it was too late.

    Still an interesting report methinks.
    Full of meaty goodness.

  5. #3
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    Because of the Company debt burden, everything of value that was owned by the Company was sold off. This included all stocks of blades, and the high end steel sheet that they were fabricated from. One cannot move the anvil bases - they are made from reinforced concrete and cast into the floor foundations and technically belong to the building. A place well known to me - the company used to sharpen the blades from my Brother's saw mill

  6. Thanks given by: Sausage
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    Ah now that explains things!
    I honestly thought the bases were wood..
    Full of meaty goodness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sausage View Post
    The sinks were smashed for non-ferrous metals - copper pipe and brass taps.
    A similar type of vandalism happened recently when the last newish building at Grove Rake Mine was demolished by contractors. I wanted some lockers but instead the contractors decided to crush and bury them beneath rubble and incorporate them in to landscaping..

    I'm surprised there's not a remnant of a blade left in there. Sometimes products might be used to fabricate brackets for shelves and the likes. I see where the anvils once stood but leaving their useful bases seems odd too.
    I'd give a kidney for an open fire and oven combo like that (but complete!)
    The ghost ad will vanish once it gets demolished. Great that you've captured it before it was too late.

    Still an interesting report methinks.
    Cheers mate. Much appreciated. And yes...that will be why the sinks were smashed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sausage View Post
    Ah now that explains things!
    I honestly thought the bases were wood..
    Actually a very easy mistake to make - the rough cut wooden shuttering was obviously very 'grainy' and the figuring has left its mark on the cast blocks.

  10. Thanks given by: Sausage
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    Brilliantly photod Hughie, do u know when demo is due? Its another Id like to see before it goes!
    What the hell am I doing, I mean really at my age!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BikinGlynn View Post
    Brilliantly photod Hughie, do u know when demo is due? Its another Id like to see before it goes!
    Cheers mate. Not 100% sure. Will try and find out and keep you in da loop.

  13. #9
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    Nice little place that mate and nicely covered as always
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeymutt View Post
    Nice little place that mate and nicely covered as always
    Much appreciated Mikey!

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