Portland Works on Randall Street in Sheffield was the first purpose-built cutlery works in the city. It is now full of toolmakers carpenters, engravers, knife-makers, artists and musicians.
There are currently around 20 businesses employing 35 staff, at Portland Works. These include a cabinet maker, electricians, engineers, specialist knife and toolmakers, engravers, welders, artists, musicians - and even a chastity belt maker!
In late 2009 planning permission was submitted to turn the Grade II* listed building into flats and offices. The tenants are passionately campaigning to keep the current use of the building as it is.
Wigfull Tools is the longest residing business at Portland Works, having traded there since 1958. The company forges standard and specialist hand tools. This photo shows the grinding of a draw knife to be sent to Canada for planing wood.
Andy Cole is the longest serving tenant; he has been at Portland Works for 34 years, since he was 14. The workshop holds the original 1870 forge which is still in use. On the ceiling are the line shafts which used to run the hammers before electric motors.
75-year-old Ray Turner is the oldest forger in Sheffield and has been doing it since he was 14. He worked at C.I. Jenkinson on Penistone Road for 55 years but has been at Wigfull Tools since 1990.
Stuart Mitchell has made handmade hunting knives upstairs at Portland Works since he took over his parents' business in 1996. The knives and their handles are made from scratch.
Stuarts' parents moved to Portland Works in 1980 from around the corner at Stag Works. Pat Mitchell Knives made sporting knives, ceremonial swords and tableware.
The knives are scale tanked, meaning the steel runs all the way through the handle. The handles are made from wood, horn, antler and even ancient Mammoth ivory found in the frozen Siberian tundra. A knife like this one costs around £250.
Stuart photographs the knives on his workbench which has been chipped, worn and scored from years and years of knife-making. Stuart sends the photos to the clients, so his work is now often recognised by the workbench!
The set-up of Portland Works echoes 19th century industrial Sheffield. Little Mesters workshops were scattered across the city, until local cutler Robert Mosley came up with the novel idea of bringing them all together under one roof.
Portland Works diversified in 2003 when artists and musicians moved in. The art studios are airy rooms of whitewashed brickwork, stuffed with artwork and materials. Apparently this was once the rehearsal room for 80s Sheffield rockers Def Leppard!
Clare Hughes has had an art studio at Portland Works for nearly seven years. She painted 'Cave' after a visit to Uluru (Ayer's Rock) in Australia.
Mary Sewell has painted at Portland Works since 2006, before which she was at the Garden Street studios near West Bar in Sheffield, which have now closed down.
Alison Douglas was another artist who was key in the campaign to save Portland Works. She and Clare Hughes organised an art and tools exhibition at Bank Street art gallery, but illness has now stopped Alison from working.
"Portland Works is so important to Sheffield's history and heritage of cutlery manufacture and metalwork," says Stuart Mitchell. "It's still doing what it was built to do 140 years ago. If planning is granted, many of the business will be gone forever."
But the building is falling into disrepair. Roofs leak, foliage grows in brickwork and an icy chill whistles through broken windows. "Everybody agrees it can't carry on as it is without investment, but we need a viable alternative to flats," says Stuart.
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