It was opening time at Sheffield’s newest pub when HRH Duke of Gloucester pulled the first pint at premises based in the heart of Kelham Island Museum.
The Millowners Arms is the museum’s latest attraction, dedicated to bringing to life the great history of Sheffield’s brewing industry and the role that pubs played in quenching the thirst of hot and dusty steelworkers in Victorian times.
“We are delighted that HRH The Duke of Gloucester has revisited the museum to officially open The Millowners Arms,” said John Hamshere, chief executive at Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust.
“His last visit in 2009 was to re-open the museum following its closure due to the floods a few years earlier. Opening up another part of the museum is testament to how far we have come in this short space of time.
“It’s entirely fitting that Kelham Island Museum should have a fully working pub display, as pubs played a key role in the story of Sheffield’s industrial past. Pubs were central to the lives of steelworkers – when shifts finished workers often retired to the pub and even wages were paid in the pub.
“The opening of The Millowners Arms takes us a step closer to revealing a more complete picture of the lives of steelworkers in Sheffield.”
Victorian Sheffield is reported to have had more than 1,400 licensed premises at its peak. The new fully-working pub will serve a dual role at the museum, both as an informative museum exhibit and a real, working pub during public and private events.
The name of the pub display is dedicated to The River Don Millowners Association – RDMA – that funded the project.
Tony Swift, clerk to the RDMA, said: “The association is delighted to provide ongoing support to Kelham Island Museum. Allocating funds to projects that will benefit both the Kelham area and the museum is a wonderful way to ensure that the people of Sheffield continue to learn about and experience the city’s industrial heritage.”
Earlier the Duke officially opened Sheffield’s new University Technical College, the first centre of its kind in the region.
His Royal Highness met students and staff during a one hour tour of the campus on Matilda Street where he unveiled a plaque and signed the visitors’ book.
Guests attending the ceremony included civic leaders, employers, schools, and the organisations which helped to get the UTC Sheffield off the ground.
The £9.9 million facility opened its doors to more than 200 students last month, and specialises in training young people in the technical skills that employers need.
Student Daniel Kay, aged 16, who is studying advanced engineering and manufacturing, demonstrated to the Duke how to make test parts on a computer numerical control lathe.
Daniel, who wants to go on to a higher level apprenticeship or university after completing his studies, said: “It was a great experience.”
Student Thomas Gladwin, 16, added: “I’m very glad I took part today. I’m really enjoying my studies at the UTC.”
Principal Nick Crew said: “This is a really proud day for all those involved in the UTC project. The official opening marks the end of the successful design and build programme and the start of something special for young people.”