Report - - George Barnsleys and Sons - Sheffield May 2011 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - George Barnsleys and Sons - Sheffield May 2011


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Visited with :

invisableman and we had the guided tour from Muttley.
Hats off and lots of respect for doing what you did in order to meet us at that ungodly hour on Sunday morning – Cheers mate :thumb


George Barnsley and Sons Ltd. (founded 1836) They were in Cornish Place on the Don and specialised in forge filing and cutting tools for leather workers and shoe makers. One George Barnsley was Master Cutler in 1883.




George Barnsley and Son is listed in the 1837 Sheffield directory as a file manufacture situated on Wheeldon Street, The 1849 listing records a move to Cornhill and the 1852 to Cornish works Cornish street they had by this time also increased there product range to include steel files, shoe and butchers knives.
They are again listed in 1944 as manufactures of files and blades shoe knives and leather workers tools.
In the 1948 listing the business had become George Barnsley and Son Ltd.


George Barnsley died at his home at No 30 Collegiate Crescent on 30th March 1958, he lived there with his wife Mabel and mother-in-law Elizabeth. He was a partner in the firm which were steel and file manufacturers and the business was converted into a limited company about 10 years before his death.
He had a long army career, joining up in 1896 and serving in the Boer war and two world wars. Colonel Barnsley played a leading part in the development of the Army Cadet Force in Sheffield. He Died Aged 83.




In 1976, the late Fred Barnsley and his eldest son Colin decided to leave the family company, George Barnsley & Sons Ltd, and bought Woodware Repetitions Ltd.


Woodware Repetitions, which had started in the early 1940's and made its name by producing quality tool handles, including both the knob and handle for the famous Record Planes.
Fred and Colin continued the quality ethos and soon expanded the range of handles and turned wooden components, widening the customer base to include customers as far afield as Canada and the USA.
They used their previous wealth of experience to start to produce a range of knives and tools, starting with just 4 patterns. The range steadily increased and by the early 1990’s it comprised of over 160 patterns.
Following the sad closure of George Barnsley's at the end of 2003, unfortunately only the finished stock remained to be bought. Keen to maintain their tradition for quality, Woodware Repetitions took over this remaining stock and are continuing to re-introduce tools that were sadly missing from the George Barnsley stock.
Without the efforts of Woodware Repetitions these classic pieces of equipment could have been lost to the shoe repair trade altogether this said the sons are continuing to make every effort to satisfy the demand for traditional shoe repair and shoemaking tools.




Colin has re-registered the name of Geo.Barnsley & Sons Ltd in his ownership, so it is heartening to know that in these days of high technology and computers, this company and it’s traditional values and quality will now be able to continue to provide the shoe repairing trade and hand shoemakers around the world with the high quality knives & tools that they have been proudly supplying for over 150 years.
There’s lots of bits n bobs left in this industrial time warp and it humbles me after doing some research that the industry still carries on after all these years summed up in the paragraph above.






Mark Mozaz Wallis was a unique character known to many in Sheffield and beyond. In his many guises he was a writer, poet, excellent photographer, historian, Urbexer and anarchaic activist. He was also a class one pain in the backside who had a real talent for rubbing people up the wrong way -you either loved him or couldn't stand him!! Either way, he made his own very unique mark on a huge amount of people.

Whilst there i sensed we wasnt alone, i think styru's "little people" also fancied getting in on the action ;)



History researched and edited from CuttingEdge magazine and the jostenson webpage.

As always, thanks for looking.


Similar threads