Report - - George Barnsley & Son - Sheffield July '11 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - George Barnsley & Son - Sheffield July '11


Perilously hopeless....
Regular User
Visited with mstarmatt.

Visited GBs originally a little over a year ago now with Kook and Nij after visiting numourous places - but had no camera. I decided it was finally time to get some shots taken as soon as mstarmatt reminded me about the place.

A little history to begin with, some of which i'd not read before.
(History borrowed from http://www.neolithicsea.co.uk/georgebarnsley/index.html . I'll put it back when i'm finished...................)

George Barnsley's was established in 1836 in Wheeldon Street with the help of his brother Charles, who was a cutler, selling files and cutting tools. Later, in about 1850, they acquired the Cornish Works on Cornish Street.

Georges son, George was born in 1837 and in 1850 he became an apprentice in the firm. A year later he was following in his fathers footsteps as a traveling salesman opening up markets in Scotland and Ireland as well as London and other large cities in England. In 1958 he was made a partner in the firm and it became George Barnsley and Sons. George Barnsley Senior died in 1879 aged 69

As the demand for cutting tools made at George Barnsley & sons grew, it became impractical to make them by hand. In 1860 new machinery was bought into the factory replacing skilled men, much to the dismay of the workers. At first it was thought that these machines could not produce files at a high enough quality but this was soon proven to be un-founded. George continued to update with modern machinery as it appeared. He is quoted in 1883 at the Cutlers Feast saying 'the need to adapt ourselves to the requirements of the world.....and we shall keep our ancient prestige'.

In World War II the chimney of the Cornish Works was destroyed in November 1940 killing three men when a steel cable from a barrage balloon became entangled. Efforts to free the cable caused the chimney to collapse, killing the men.

The 1960's brought stiff competition from Japan and India, the machinery in the factory was in desperate need of modernising as they were still using the victorian machinery installed by George Barnsley Jnr. The foreign tools could be imported and bought for less money than George Barnsley's could buy the raw materials to make the same tool. George Barnsley's took over James Oxley knife manufacturers in 1968.

In 1973 the company ceased making files as they were no longer profitable with the loss of 60 jobs. It was a hard decision to make as George Barnsley had started the company by making files. Files were bought in at first and sold on but this was soon stopped. The decline of George Barnsley and Sons was beginning.

The next 30 years were hard for the company with more imports and the competition becoming more fierce. Sadly the company closed in 2003 and the buildings sold. These now sit empty and almost forgotten with an uncertain future.

Picturemagraffs - Tried to show a few different ones as this place is very well documented already. Apologies at there being so many - I'm crap at wittling choices down (especially after taking more than 250 shots in a little over 2 hours :eek: )

A well - didn't notice this the first visit.

The place is definately on it's way out now unfortunately








Next time out....









And of course, no report is complete without the obligatory shot....