COLIN DRURY: Spheres of influence in Sheffield

The Staybrite Ball
The Staybrite Ball
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IT was the giant stainless steel sphere which was once as synonymous with Sheffield as cutlery, Henderson’s and Sean Bean.

The famous Staybrite Ball was displayed as a symbol of the city’s industrial prowess at trade fairs and exhibitions across the globe. It even made an appearance on TV show It’s A Knockout.

But, despite being 20 foot in circumference and weighing in at a tonne, city officials and historians have no idea what happened to it.

Now, with the centenary of stainless steel’s invention set to be celebrated in 2013, attempts are being made to track the huge globe.

“This was an iconic symbol of Sheffield but we have no record of it after 1977,” says Cheryl Bailey, the Sheffield Archives archivist. “We are now appealing for anyone who might know what happened to it.”

There were actually two balls. The first was made at Firth Vickers Staybrite Works in Meadowhall in 1934.

The second was made after World War Two for the annual British Industrial Fair.

Information to Sheffield Archives in Shoreham Street on 0114 203 9395.