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Report - - William Rowland Ltd., Sheffield, August 2023 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - William Rowland Ltd., Sheffield, August 2023

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tarkovsky

SWC
Regular User


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History

William Rowland Ltd. are metal suppliers with a long history in Sheffield. The company were founded in 1930 by Jonathan Rowland. In 1840, William Rowland became the first company to import Swedish iron into Sheffield for cutlery production. They moved out of these premises in 2020 to relocate to a bigger site in Barnsley.

There's a more detailed history and timeline here: About Us | Metal Manufacturers | William Rowland

In 1980 the company celebrated its 150th Anniversary and produced this commemorative plate for its customers. There's several on eBay if your collection of commemorative plates is missing this beauty.

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There are plans to demolish the building and replace with housing: Car-free apartment block with 370 homes planned for Sheffield city centre

@Esoteric Eric and I had been intermittently checking this one on and off since it closed in
2020. Having had some luck at the nearby cutlers, I also got lucky here around the same time.

Visited more times than it warranted, really, but first of all solo and then in the company of @Sheard and then @Alley and @FreshFingers . I was disappointed that the offices upstairs, which had potential to be interesting, were actually modernised and devoid of any charm. However, the highlight was the unexpected presence of the clocks that used to sit high up on the front of the building. The original signage has recently been removed from outside, and presumably repurposed, but the clocks had been taken down and just left inside.

Photos

Couple of externals from 2021 prior to the signs coming down. Photos are a mix of film and phone.

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Inside

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On the roof, via the fire escape.

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Some remaining work related posters

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Offices

Downstairs were some remaining partitions that looked pretty good. Sadly upstairs was totally modernised and doesn't really deserve many photos.

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The upstairs all looked like this...

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Downstairs again, I had to fish around in the dark to find a few bits and pieces relating to the firm that had been left behind.

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The clocks

These photos (found on an online forum - red arrows added by me) show the original location of the clocks. There is discussion around how the clocks hadn't actually told the correct time for at least 35 years.

Sadly I've been told that they have now fallen foul of the metal thieves, who have recently been feverishly stripping the building. :( Haven't been back to check myself.

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And here they are. Or rather, here's one. I lugged it about and cleaned it up for the photos - it was really heavy and still covered in years of dust. The other one was exactly the same except the front panel was damaged.

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Thassit.

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Last edited:

Speed

Got Epic Slow?
Regular User
FFS yeh, wish id made slightly more effort to get that place open last year then.. If anyone out there has the clocks theres some decent money waiting for them. Some of the best clocks ive ever seen!
 

JakeV50

28DL Regular User
Regular User
That's a nice looking place. Not one I've seen before tbf. Echo what has already been said about the clocks ahaha
 

Speed

Got Epic Slow?
Regular User
It's really weird as they were taken down off the front a long time before the place actually closed or was even due to close. Always assumed they had gone to be 'preserved' somewhere.

Perfect example of why things need saving from derps imo!!
 

tarkovsky

SWC
Regular User
It's really weird as they were taken down off the front a long time before the place actually closed or was even due to close. Always assumed they had gone to be 'preserved' somewhere.

Perfect example of why things need saving from derps imo!!
Yeah. Would have assumed that a company with an apparent sense of its own history (judging from its website, at least) would have taken them with them at least as decoration for their massive new premises.
 

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