Collector Ken a ‘real city legend’

Ken Hawley
Ken Hawley
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Tributes have been paid to a well-known collector of Sheffield-made tools who has died aged 87.

Ken Hawley, from Hillsborough, built up a collection of more than 100,000 items chronicling the city’s tool, cutlery and silversmithing industries, housed in their own gallery at Kelham Island Museum.

Keith Crawshaw, chair of the Ken Hawley Collection Trust, said he was ‘one of Sheffield’s real legends’.

“His collecting zeal has meant a major pillar of the city’s reputation for high-quality skills and craftsmanship has been preserved for future generations,” he said.

Ken started in the tool retail trade after World War Two, opening a shop off The Moor as a specialist merchant.

He inspired efforts to restore the 17th century water-powered iron forge at Wortley, for which he was awarded the MBE.

Later he was made an honorary fellow of Sheffield Hallam University, and he was president of the Tools and Trades History Society.

A memorial event is being planned at Kelham Island, and the collection trust is aiming to grow Ken’s collection further, despite his death.

Ken leaves his wife of 60 years, Emily, sons Clive and Duncan, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.