Sheffield jeweller reveals his family's favourite things
Morris Bywater’s jewellery business has been a diamond in the city’s retail scene since 1976,when he opened a small workshop at what is now part of the Orchard Square shopping centre.
Spotting a gap in the market, Morris grasped the opportunity to offer a complete repair service to jewellers across South Yorkshire.
He eventually opened his own showroom with help from a Radio Hallam advertising campaign and a jingle which still echoes in many residents’ memories.
At 81, he still works on the bench most days, alongside his daughters and two of his grandsons, at 103 Pinstone Street in the city centre.
The business is currently offering click-and-collect repairs by appointment, as well as sales online.
Morris said: “Over four decades, our wonderful city has faced some difficult trading times, but with old fashioned hard graft coupled with new ways of reaching customers, I’m confident we and others will prevail. At the end of the day, there’s no place I’d rather be.”
These are a few of his favourite things.
Heart of the City
I was was drawn to Sheffield by its diversity, and it still inspires me today. Once reliant on the steel industry, the city evolved to become a collective of many different businesses and cultures.
I’ve seen many changes during these 46 years. From the filling in of the Hole in the Road and creation of the Peace Gardens, to the Heart of the City and Moor developments happening now. While the pandemic has proved a hindrance, there are still exciting times ahead.
What has remained constant is the friendliness of the people. Just like many long-standing businesses, our shop can be a welcome chance for a lonely to person to chat, whether they are having a repair done or not. The girls on the sales team will always lend a friendly ear. Some customers call in or phone us just to say hello.
Keeping it local
Now more than ever, we rely on the support of our local customers, and we know the same goes for other businesses.
My daughters, Suzanne and Andrea, love shopping at Deans’ family butchers, Anthony Andrews fishmongers and S&J’s Pantry – all supplying excellent meat, fish and cheeses, along with cheerful banter and great advice.
Another port of call is the North Brew Co. on Devonshire Street. Their Sheffield dry gins are extra special. The personalised bottles make a great gift.
Congratulations to the Moor Market on its recent win at the Sheffield City Centre Retail Awards. We were proud to be one of the runners up.
My grandsons, Michael and Adam, have throw a younger angle on things. Michael studied at Hallam and is mad about film and music. He loves nothing more than catching the latest indie drama or Japanese classic at the Showroom or Curzon independent cinemas – or even special orchestra-accompanied screenings at the City Hall.
Adam enjoys taking his mini dachshund on walks through Endcliffe Park, and out into the Peak District.
As well as being a proficient jeweller, he is an excellent mixed martial arts fighter with UFC prospects ahead. Part of his training embraces the Sheffield boxing tradition thanks to Sean Thickett of Wolseley Road Boxing Club.
Food stuffs & social spaces
I admire the excellent use of Castle House, with its magnificent staircase forming part of Kommune food hall.
The rest of the family love all the artisan foods and kiosks – in particular, Tamper Coffee, Shoot the Bull, Depot Bakery and Biblioteka independent book store, and Pedlar’s Market is another great sample of cosmopolitan delights.
BBs Italian restaurant, on Devonshire Street, is a firm favourite for all the family and has hosted our work Christmas party for decades – a tradition sorely missed in 2020. First chance we get, we’ll be back for great food and excellent service.
Rita and I have nothing but praise for Jeremy and Pansy at Surf & Turf, on London Road. The monkfish and seabass is a particular highlight.