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George Barnsley's, Sheffield, South Yorks, September 2017

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HughieD

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1. The History
George Barnsley and sons were England's premier makers of forge filing and cutting tools for leather workers and shoe makers The company was founded in 1836 and was initially based on Wheeldon Street. Records show they moved to Cornhill in 1847 and then on to Cornish Place, on the River Don, just three years later. By this time they had expanded their product range to include steel files and butchers knives. George Barnsley was Master Cutler in 1883.

The company grew throughout the 19th century and the Barnsley family were well thought of in the Steel city. Their 1944 listing identified them as manufactures of files and blades, shoe knives and leather workers tools. Four years later they became a Ltd company. George Barnsley died at his home at No. 30 Collegiate Crescent on 30th March 1958 where he lived with wife Mabel and mother-in-law Elizabeth.

Sadly the factory became outdated and the inefficient production meant that the company could not keep pace with a competitive import market. With the costs of production growing George Barnsley's closed its doors in 2003. The site has sat derelict and unused ever since, although the site is now on the market and up for redevelopment.

2. The Explore
Can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get back round this place (nearly two years). One visit is not enough so on a lovely sunny September morning me and two non-members, J-Ruff and San-Fan, headed off to explore the place. Entry was via the usual route. Not particularly demanding but a bit round the houses. Initially we thought we weren’t going to be able to get in when we saw workman in the nearby Wharncliffe Works that adjoins but fortunately they were in a different yard to the one we had to scurry across.

I’d head that the place had been getting a bit of a beating of recent. This is true in that some crap graff has appeared, some of the artefacts have now gone (the Brut aftershave bottle, the Typhoo Tea box and the teapot. Some knob-head has also smashed the “Office Enquiries. Ring” glass too. That said, the place still has its charm and is still very much worth a visit. It remains one of the best places I’ve ever explored. It was really good going back for a revisit as I spotted quite a few things that I didn’t see first time around. I came away with a lot of pix to the point that I’m splitting them over two reports.

3. The Pictures

Off the hook again!

37056036736_4cb3dd8964_b.jpgimg2823 by HughieDW, on Flickr

36408774524_527dc5388d_b.jpgimg2825 by HughieDW, on Flickr

36848232280_49233a3bb0_b.jpgimg2826 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Old winching technology:

36432040723_785b2acde8_b.jpgimg2831 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Where’s the old Brut aftershave bottle gone?

36848159430_844a374d49_b.jpgimg2832 by HughieDW, on Flickr

36408675964_34924ec9f2_b.jpgimg2834 by HughieDW, on Flickr

36408649484_8b454312f1_b.jpgimg2835 by HughieDW, on Flickr

36848057560_bb27db00e6_b.jpgimg2836 by HughieDW, on Flickr

A bit of new graff:

37074254412_e88d106897_b.jpgimg2838 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37246131095_95c7c9a202_b.jpgimg2840 by HughieDW, on Flickr

36431806743_d83f3b77e9_b.jpgimg2841 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37074130232_a8a11b5d1b_b.jpgimg2842 by HughieDW, on Flickr

36431704513_bcb386e5e0_b.jpgimg2843 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37074055422_520cab7926_b.jpgimg2845 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37245939965_1fcd025ebe_b.jpgimg2847 by HughieDW, on Flickr

36408373884_ec493b92e9_b.jpgimg2851 by HughieDW, on Flickr

More fresh Graff

37055514106_a8df8ca3a2_b.jpgimg2852 by HughieDW, on Flickr

36847739210_5ef8278e83_b.jpgimg2856 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Old grinding stones:

36410872594_29dc8419bd_b.jpgimg2868 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37248477915_98440a1a27_b.jpgimg2860 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37105860631_ccea2fa480_b.jpgimg2862 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37105831541_82ebf8ebd6_b.jpgimg2863 by HughieDW, on Flickr

36411028744_b670ca479c_b.jpgimg2881 by HughieDW, on Flickr

36434358783_e9b4c45491_b.jpgimg2873 by HughieDW, on Flickr

That staircase:

37248617675_ecb8a94fe6_b.jpgimg2877 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37058256396_156558d9c0_b.jpgimg2880 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37058619976_d0d994c254_b.jpgimg2882 by HughieDW, on Flickr

36411212764_69bc905dbd_b.jpgimg2884 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37058513446_216224f458_b.jpgimg2885 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37076930872_623a31fd35_b.jpgimg2886 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37076908162_b581695703_b.jpgimg2887 by HughieDW, on Flickr

36435157873_c735dcb78a_b.jpgimg2889 by HughieDW, on Flickr

36851238730_58191d3600_b.jpgimg2890 by HughieDW, on Flickr

36851201920_c7d83d85c8_b.jpgimg2891 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37106746651_7a93223df7_b.jpgimg2899 by HughieDW, on Flickr

37058987766_3ff3bc99ec_b.jpgimg2900 by HughieDW, on Flickr

OK – that’s it for now. Part 2 coming soon!
 
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Brewtal

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You got some beautiful pics there mate, really nice report. I especially love the detail shots, the opener is great, shame the date is rotted away the newspaper one. Nice work, cheers!
 

Dirus_Strictus

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That indenture made interesting reading.The chap was bound for 7 years and 271 days as an apprentice,seems a long time to learn how to make files.

Nothing to do with learning a 'trade', but all to do with reaching one's age of maturity - 21! Until that age the young 13 year old would have been at his Master's beck and call, to do all the crap stuff that required doing on a daily basis. And yes; it probably did entailed emptying the house chamber pots each morning.
 

tarkovsky

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Good work. I’m gonna have to go back soon... for a fifth time... still more to see!
 

Dirus_Strictus

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Very nice set of images Hughie. Photograph 4 shows part of the original overhead drive shaft and belting that powered the original stamping machines, not any sort of winching equipment.

Brewtal - The date on the newspaper is after Aug 1984 and the 'Frankie goes to Hollywood' and Jacko articles hold searchable clues. As do the fines handed down after the Second Division FA promotional match between Newcastle United and Sunderland - should you wish to find a good approximate date. Classic case of a good photograph holding all the clues - which is why I get so much enjoyment from this Forum!
 

HughieD

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Very nice set of images Hughie. Photograph 4 shows part of the original overhead drive shaft and belting that powered the original stamping machines, not any sort of winching equipment.

Brewtal - The date on the newspaper is after Aug 1984 and the 'Frankie goes to Hollywood' and Jacko articles hold searchable clues. As do the fines handed down after the Second Division FA promotional match between Newcastle United and Sunderland - should you wish to find a good approximate date. Classic case of a good photograph holding all the clues - which is why I get so much enjoyment from this Forum!

Cheers Dirus. As always I appreciate your higher level info!
 

The Wombat

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I've been exploring in Sheffield a couple of times, and never did this place... Would like to see it one day.
Excellent as always, Hughie :)
 

Hugh Jorgan

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I looked at the advert so maybe there is someone out there is willing to convert or rebuild it into something (I hope) into a viable property. The buildings are still in good condition (some).
 

HughieD

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I looked at the advert so maybe there is someone out there is willing to convert or rebuild it into something (I hope) into a viable property. The buildings are still in good condition (some).

I hope so Hugh. It's been empty for 23 years so it's about time. So much work going on in this part of Sheffield so let's hope this encourages a developer to take the plunge.
 

Dirus_Strictus

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Sadly; as those of us who have been involved in any largish conversion/rebuild works will already know - the most cost effective way forward on a none listed derelict building, is to demolish and then start afresh. Sadly being old does not by necessity equate with 'good build quality', these old factory sites were built down to a price and to serve a particular function. Only rarely do they convert well into good dwellings/habitation at really affordable price levels. I do not like the idea of our old city centre mills and industrial sites becoming gated communities for the ultra rich.
 

HughieD

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Sadly; as those of us who have been involved in any largish conversion/rebuild works will already know - the most cost effective way forward on a none listed derelict building, is to demolish and then start afresh. Sadly being old does not by necessity equate with 'good build quality', these old factory sites were built down to a price and to serve a particular function. Only rarely do they convert well into good dwellings/habitation at really affordable price levels. I do not like the idea of our old city centre mills and industrial sites becoming gated communities for the ultra rich.

That's a fair point about build quality and difficulty of conversion leading to demo. However here GBs is Grade II listed.
 

krela

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But this also demonstrates how listing doesn't work. Listing it doesn't make it any more viable to keep so it just gets left to rot as who's going to pay money to maintain an unusable and financially unviable building?
 

prettyvacant71

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Good on you for havin a revisit HD:triumphant: Got some great shots of how the place is doing.

Im gutted it was sealed when I tried about 4yrs ago so still haven't seen inside. Lots of stuff has sadly gone missing from that place and turned up on ebay, even bits of no value go walk about:upset:
 

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