One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – and nobody knew that better than Sheffield draughtsman Jim Young.
That is how he managed to turn his hobby – collecting old lamps, doorknobs and cast iron fireplaces – into a lucrative family business that has been the heart of Walkley for more than 40 years.
However, The Albert Ross Salvage Emporium, on South Road, is preparing to close its doors for good this year.
Kathy Boyd, who took over the business after dad Jim passed away in 2008, said: “We’re heartbroken to be leaving, but this final recession has finished us off.
“We’ve loved being such a big part of the community and many people have come in to say how much they’re going to miss us. We are so sad it’s come to this.”
The emporium sells a range of items, specialising in cast-iron fireplaces, which Jim collected throughout the 1960s and 70s.
Jean Young, aged 83, Jim’s widow, said: “My husband started collecting them years ago when people were ripping them out.
“He couldn’t bear to see such craftsmanship destroyed so he began storing them.
“We’ve got hundreds of them now, all worth hundreds of pounds each, and have sold them all over the country.
“He hated throwing anything away.”
Kathy, 57, said: “It was certainly an interesting household to grow up in.
“There would always be a project on the go and some big item he’d brought home sitting in the middle of the dining room table as my mum was trying to serve dinner.
“It’s only since we’ve been going through our warehouse, in preparation to close, that we’ve realised how much there is there.”
Kathy, sister Jan and Jean have run the store together for the past five years and say they will miss working together.
Kathy said: “People still come to look around plenty and always comment on what a lovely shop it is.
“However, times being as they are, they have more pressing things to spend their money on.
“We went from four days a week to just one and now we’re out of options.”
The shop will remain open until August to clear the remaining stock.
Visit www.albertsemporium.co.uk/ for more information.
The many lives of The Albert Ross Salvage Emporium...
The Albert Ross Salvage Emporium in South Road, Walkley, has been through many different incarnations in its four decades of business.
It started life as G&J Young Shopfitting, until owner Jim Young, pictured above, started manufacturing doors and changed the company’s name to Doorstop.
The name changed briefly to Chimneypiece, until Jim began stocking reproduction fireplaces and changed the name to Replicas Victorian Fireplaces.
Kathy Boyd, Jim’s daughter, still remembers the day that its current – and final –name, Albert Ross, was born.
Kathy, aged 57, said: “One day, in a moment of frustration and despair, dad just came into the showroom and announced ‘I wish that somebody would just take this albatross from around my neck’.
“It’s been our private family joke ever since.”