Woollen Signs, Sheffield, July 2018

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Jan 6, 2013
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People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
1. The History
Woollen & Co Sheffield was first established in 1883 by Edwin Woollen, a sign writer and Frederick Ibbotson a lithographic printer. Woollens dealt with bespoke signage including hand painted signage. In 1897 Woollens become a limited company and was based at 35 Carver Street in Sheffield. At some point they moved to Love Street.

In 2008, after 125 years, the company ceased trading altogether following a takeover and the site closed. The takeover was prompted by the fast-changing digital age as many of their competitors could offer signs and graphic solutions at much quicker and cheaper rates. Several former employees went on to form a new Woollens while maintaining some of the old customer base at their new premises at Shepcote Enterprise Park, Europa Drive, Sheffield, S9. The new Woollen Signs continue to pride themselves on their workmanship, fresh ideas, better quality materials and staff being trained as qualified sign writers without the use of computers.

2. The Explore
This place was a regular explore up to above four years ago when the place got sealed up. Never got around to this place so when a tip-off came that it was doable again I went over to check the place out. It was indeed doable. There are two sides to the place. It was just the first side that was accessible. It’s pretty trashed and been taken over by our feathered friends but there is still enough to hold your attention for an hour or so.

3. The Pictures

A few externals:

28541683797_e975983d07_b.jpg img8233 by HughieDW, on Flickr

42694726204_e246162499_b.jpg img8235 by HughieDW, on Flickr

28541632417_694c9f25e7_b.jpg img8236 by HughieDW, on Flickr

42504729005_31490a9f87_b.jpg img8239 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And we’re in:

41612283320_c22ac85cd9_b.jpg Woollens 2 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Not much left on the ground floor:

42505115715_9e07de569f_b.jpg img8206 by HughieDW, on Flickr

29538843808_d71a7f7f17_b.jpg img8204 by HughieDW, on Flickr

41603525540_60d550e237_b.jpg img8230 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Apart from the odd sign:

42505459585_b76ef9ff95_b.jpg img8185 by HughieDW, on Flickr

…and some very old PCs:

42692767714_8e294c3713_b.jpg img8202 by HughieDW, on Flickr

43361378272_231183b4f3_b.jpg img8198 by HughieDW, on Flickr

41601574440_633a445a88_b.jpg img8192 by HughieDW, on Flickr

28539909127_9b1ddc73a4_b.jpg img8190 by HughieDW, on Flickr

28539978297_af88322bb5_b.jpg img8186 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The first floor is pretty featureless:

29540022288_a8ef1a772b_b.jpg img8214 by HughieDW, on Flickr

42504967455_b40d2f0c3b_b.jpg img8209 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Old cooker:

29549697668_6b4d0596ab_b.jpg Woollens 1 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On to the second floor:

43411464681_fed895abd0_b.jpg img8224 by HughieDW, on Flickr

43362302362_62db5c8e7c_b.jpg img8223 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Paint cupboard:

43363483552_e331d841a8_b.jpg img8228 by HughieDW, on Flickr

43411342971_fbb8efaee9_b.jpg img8226 by HughieDW, on Flickr

43362330662_911853a302_b.jpg img8222 by HughieDW, on Flickr

29539836648_d168414ff4_b.jpg img8221 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Pigeon poo city:

28541899537_f6bca8c771_b.jpg img8225 by HughieDW, on Flickr
43410238001_a521396f76_b.jpg img8220 by HughieDW, on Flickr

An old cheque from 1966:

28540818667_2a22754920_b.jpg img8217 by HughieDW, on Flickr

28539484837_3980638afa_b.jpg img8210 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The Woollen Sign’s signs:

43410369141_f4113a2863_b.jpg img8213 by HughieDW, on Flickr

42692293204_ed6ea49875_b.jpg img8240 by HughieDW, on Flickr

42504776965_6af487f387_b.jpg img8238 by HughieDW, on Flickr
Last edited:


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Oct 14, 2013
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Nice one hughie.is there actually anywhere in Sheffield that ain't got a bit of graffiti on it


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Apr 1, 2012
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Ahhhh yes I remember this place too HD!:glee: Its great to see whats going on here now and that its still about as the demo scene is sadly taking grip of Sheffield...that computer does actually look newer than the one I'm using at the moment though.

Love them old neon signs, I hope some collector gets the chance to buy them and they aren't just demo victims! Keep updating us HD on your Sheffield places as I love to hear about them as sadly they will disappear soon...and it brings back memories of many failed attempts of places in the city over the years haha


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Sep 29, 2021
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My Dad put the original Woollens neon sign up and it's going to Kelham Island museum for restore. He's 83 now and hoping to go and see it