Recognising the importance of Sheffield’s heritage

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Having been Sheffield based for more than ten years now I consider myself to be a true advocate for the arts, culture, history and heritage of this city.

I’ve worked for the likes of the Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, Museums Sheffield, Sheffield City Council, Ruskin Mill Educational Trust and Sheffield Assay Office, and I’ve had the enviable opportunity to meet talented and colourful characters, as well as view some of the wonderful collections produced in our region.

I’ve seen first-hand the contribution skilled individuals like little mesters, crafts people, designer makers have made as well as the impact of large scale steel companies, researchers and lecturers from both universities and the Advanced Manufacturing Park.

Sheffield is wonderful city with a wealth of skills, knowledge and talent. There has never been such an important time to shout about how great we are and what we do - especially as 2013 marks the anniversary of 100 years since the invention of Stainless Steel and 240 years of the Sheffield Assay Office.

As a city we are uniquely placed and we still have the skills to produce everything from wonderful cutlery, flatware, trophies and tankards to pen and pocket knives and jewellery.

The city can also boast innovation in hip joints, surgical instrument blades and razors as well as component parts for the aeronautical industry.

Beyond that is a thriving art, digital media, literature, theatre and dance presence and the recent 20 Tiny Plays about Sheffield at the Crucible brought to life the city, its people and skills.

The city continues to have a wealth of resources with two Museum Trusts offering great exhibitions, The Cutlers Company, The Town Hall’s Civic Collection, Sheffield Assay Office and many crafts people and artists throughout the year that take part in Open Up and Art in the Park.

It is always worth looking out for the Made in Sheffield brand endorsing products designed and made in Sheffield and it is great that they are available to purchase from a variety of shops.

In the next month I will be making an annual trip to the Goldsmiths Fair, London to support the designer makers in Sheffield as they represent their city. We all have a responsibility to maintain Sheffield’s heritage and share our knowledge with others about the history and the new innovative skills the city has to offer to the next generation.