THE Cutlers’ Company has elected the first female Master Cutler in its 387 year history.
Pam Liversidge will also become the first former Mistress Cutler to lead the Sheffield-based livery company when she is officially installed as Master next month.
Born in Staffordshire in 1949, Mrs Liversidge has spent most of her career working as an engineer for Sheffield manufacturers, including firms such as Keetons, Woodhead Components and Thorntons – now Symmetry – where she met her husband, Doug, who was Master Cutler in 1998.
She also helped East Midlands Electricty prepare for privatisation, serving as a director and the company’s strategic planning manager.
More recently, she and her husband have acquired and run a number of engineering businesses, including Tool & Steel Products, the Petre Street firm which supplies the railway maintenance, civil engineering, tunnelling and mining and hi-tech engineering sectors.
The Cutlers’ Company began its life regulating the quality of cutlery produced in the region and now speaks on behalf of manufacturing.
Being the first female to lead its largely male membership should hold no fears for Mrs Liversidge, who became the first woman president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1997, when the professional society that represents mechanical engineers in the United Kingdom was celebrating its 150th anniversary.
She is also one of a limited number of women to have held the position of High Sheriff of South Yorkshire – an office dating back more than a thousand years.
Mrs Liversidge will succeed Prof Bill Speirs as Master Cutler.
Her husband will become the first Master’s Consort in the Company’s history and Mrs Jean Stone, wife of former Master David Stone, will become Hallamshire Mistress, taking on the traditional role of the Mistress Cutler on the committees of a number of organisations and charities.