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Portland Works, a few years ago...

Stuart Mitchell May 25, 2015

  1. Stuart Mitchell

    Stuart Mitchell knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    ...107 years ago in fact.. :devilzeek

    My workshop is housed in a Victorian era cutlery works, purpose built as such be a fella named Robert Mosely, the building finished and put into use in 1879...

    As part of our ongoing renovation, development and research about the building we have been lucky to unearth some photos that date back to 1908, here is how the place looked back then, staff on display for good measure...

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    And internally...

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    By 1908 the single huge steam engine that that powered the whole works and lived beneath that towering chimney had been replaced by a small handful of gas powered alternatives, here's one of them...

    [​IMG]

    And some of the working spaces, grinding....

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    Making teapot bodies and spouts...

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    Finishing the same...

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    The silver plating 'shop...

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    And the showroom...

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    It's purpose and reason for being built was to bring together and house, side by side, all the different pairs of Little Mesters hands that were involved in the making of the Sheffield cutlery trade goods, a very revolutionary concept nearly 140 years ago as previous to works such as this all those different pairs of hands were scattered far and City wide, logistics alone of course back then a serious consideration...

    These photos show the works almost identical to how she sits today other than a few glaring differences, mainly these would be the chimney, the chimney now half the height with the top section removed during WWII so it could not be used as a landmark by the Luftwaffe, there is also today a huge section of the top floor in the back building of photo two after a pretty full on fire in the 1939...

    Luckily though, and this is the good news, my workshop exists today because in these photos it doesn't, in the second photo you can see a large arch at the front of the photo, today that top of the arch can just be seen at floor level in my first floor workshop, the large pitched roof to the right of the arch is also gone as that is now, thankfully a flat roof and my own patio, the forge beneath it still in existence and still working every day...

    Portland has quite the recent history too, I'll get some 'today' photos and fill you in on that...

    Cheers for now :jdwink2:
     
  2. zorro

    zorro The pointy end goes into the other man Brigade Member

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    Now then Stu, lovely bit of history is that mate. :)
     
    crogers likes this.
  3. Stuart Mitchell

    Stuart Mitchell knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Cheers Dave, and nice to see you... :devilwag:

    I have something for you at work by the way, if you want to PM me an address I'll send it.... :ropeman:
     

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