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Report - - G. H. White & Co. Ltd. EON Works, Sheffield - March 2017 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - G. H. White & Co. Ltd. EON Works, Sheffield - March 2017

WildBoyz

Is this the future?
Regular User
#1
History

G. H. White & Co. Ltd. is a heat treatment works located in Sheffield. The business, which now trades as ‘Special Steel Co.’ following a merger between two companies, currently operate out of their new premises on Bacon Lane. The company’s original site opened on Earl Street – in the Cultural Industries Quarter of Sheffield – in 1939 due to growing tensions between the Allied powers and Nazi Germany. After war was declared in 1939, Sheffield quickly became one of the main cities centred on producing steel and armaments. Like most factories at the time, EON Works contributed to the war effort. However, it only operated successfully for a year before it was bombed sometime between 12th and 15th December 1940, during the Sheffield Blitz (operation ‘Crucible’). It is known now, though, through documents that were captured at the end of the war, that EON Works was not one of the primary targets. It is likely, therefore, that the building was damaged simply by unfortunate chance.

The building was swiftly repaired and redeveloped after being damaged, and it commenced production in 1941 under its current name. It is reported that the external neon sign likely dates from the period when the premises reopened. Following its revival, the company mainly specialised in heat treating metal for the cutlery trade. Today, since the creation of The Special Steel Group, the company has become one of the UK’s most successful private enterprises in the steel industry, with its central focus being on ‘the forging, heat treatment, testing, machining and distribution of nickel-based super-alloys, duplex, super duplex, carbon and alloy grades and special steels’. It is not known when operations were moved from the EON Works, but it is well-known that the original site has been abandoned for a long time. As far as future plans go, it is rumoured that Axis Architecture plan to demolish the site to make way for a five-storey residential building that will contain 129 studio apartments. You could say there is something rather ironic about the fact that the Axis powers now threaten to destroy the building for a second time.

Our Version of Events

Ey up. It’s been quite some time since we last explored Sheffield, so it felt good to have a good wander around the city and see what’s changed. Sadly, a lot of the classics are disappearing. To name a few, the Grosvenor Hotel is now a pile of rubble, Warriss Master Cutlers has become a block of student flats, the old Royal Mail sorting office is now some sort of arts building and the Courthouse has finally been sealed. Some things remain the same of course – the Park Hill redevelopment project still looks shit, and the local beer still tastes damn good. Anyway, after getting nostalgic for the place, we decided to head over to the old EON Works since a recent report of the place (@HughieD) reminded us it was there. It was always one of those we’d walked past hundreds of times, especially when the Peddler Night Market used to be on Arundel Street, but we’d always passed it off as looking a bit too fucked to bother visiting. Nevertheless, our circumstances have changed and a heavy feeling of nostalgia drove us to go take a look.

Like a good old Sheffield explore, access to the place was about as easy as getting laid in student halls. Even with construction workers crawling all over the place (due to a development project next door), none of them seemed to notice we were there. So, after about three seconds of hunting for a way inside that familiar smell of Sheffield derp was soon filling our nostrils. It was reyt good; almost as good as the satisfaction you get when you walk into The Fat Cat and your nose is teased with the fine smells of stale beer and peanuts. On the downside, though, there wasn’t much visual stimulation. Not even a classic hardcore porn magazine lying around, which is a first for a Sheffield explore. W. W. Laycock and Sons, for instance, had an entire room dedicated to spicy images!

Anyway, we digress. After taking a few quick snaps of the main factory floor, we made our way into the former front-facing administration block. To quote dave, ‘it was completely gutted’. The only life in it was amongst the mountain of rancid polystyrene lunch boxes, wrappers and drinks bottles by the main entranceway. Clearly Hannah, Luke, Trevor, Paul, John, Phillip, Kirsty and Sam couldn’t be fucked to find a bin, so they’ve been pushing the remnants of their lunch through the broken windows of EON Works. It’s quite sad really, that what remains of Sheffield’s legendary past is treat in such a way. After thinking all of that, then, while stood in the doorway, we cracked on and explored the upstairs for five minutes. But, other than a fireplace, there wasn’t really very much to look at.

All in all, we only spent around thirty minutes in EON Works, but it was great to experience what felt like a blast from the past. Someday there won’t be any buildings like this left in Sheffield, so we might as well make the most of sites like this while they’re still here. As things look presently, in thirty years’ time we’ll all been exploring derelict student accommodation blocks because, sadly, that’s all that’ll be left in Sheffield. Still, we left feeling content that Sheffield still hasn’t lost all of its special places just yet.

Explored with Soul.

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dave

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#2
Great pics yes it is well gutted a shame really i was expecting much more in the admin section too and was somewhat let down. As you say things are changing so much now in Sheffield i suppose we must embrace anything that comes up now. I was here a few days ago and every direction i looked i seemed to see some sort of construction site and masses of workers clad in yellow hi viz.
 

WildBoyz

Is this the future?
Regular User
#3
Great pics yes it is well gutted a shame really i was expecting much more in the admin section too and was somewhat let down. As you say things are changing so much now in Sheffield i suppose we must embrace anything that comes up now. I was here a few days ago and every direction i looked i seemed to see some sort of construction site and masses of workers clad in yellow hi viz.
Yeah, there's high viz everywhere. Sad to see Sheff become another modernised city. That new thing they're building over by Decathlon is absolutely huge. No doubt more student accommodation.
 

Bad monkey face

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#4
Looking good shame people seem too trash these places rather then look. Thinking of coming up too Sheffield in next couple of days too have a mooch around for these places 90 odd mile trip