Cast iron plan for expansion

Ironwork: Nigel Tyas at work at his Barnsley firm, which is expanding thanks to demand for traditional products
Ironwork: Nigel Tyas at work at his Barnsley firm, which is expanding thanks to demand for traditional products
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A SOUTH Yorkshire company, which is keeping traditional metal-working skills alive, has got a cameo role in a TV soap.

Wall lights made by Barnsley-based Nigel Tyas Ironwork have been installed in the refurbished Woolpack pub in ITV soap Emmerdale and fireside irons have also made it onto the set.

Eagle-eyed Emmerdale fans will be able to spot the hand-crafted Swaine wall lights next to the till and a set of Shepherds Crook fireside irons made by the firm, which is run by husband and wife team Nigel Tyas and Elizabeth Stocker and still makes ironwork in the traditional way.

Nigel set up the business in a tiny garage in Penistone after losing his job as an engineering blacksmith in 2000.

The firm has grown since then and now employs ten people at its Bullhouse Mill factory, at Millhouse Green, near Penistone.

Despite the recession the company has just had its best year ever. Lighting makes up about two-thirds of the orders, but it also makes curtain poles and fireside sets.

Nigel Tyas Ironwork has supplied clients as far away as Japan and the Falkland Islands, a castle in Copenhagen, Leeds Castle in Kent and, closer to home, it has supplied chandeliers to Hotter Shoes shops, including the firm’s store at Meadowhall.

Nigel says his business is not just about making money. “We want to keep alive a traditional way of making ironwork and keep an old craft going in this country,” he says.

The company is being backed by business support programme Enterprising Barnsley, with specialist support from business coach John Heckingbottom and marketing specialist Judith Hutchinson.

Elizabeth, who handles the marketing and administration, says Enterprising Barnsley’s help had been invaluable.

“We are so busy just getting on with the job and keeping up with orders that we don’t have time to do a lot of the things they can help us with,” she said.