Designer and Sheffield history ‘ambassador’ bows out

The Cricket Inn in Totley, as drawn by Brian Edwards
The Cricket Inn in Totley, as drawn by Brian Edwards
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A popular designer who ran a successful interiors firm in Sheffield, as well as becoming an expert in local history and helping to found athletics clubs, has died at the age of 78.

Brian Edwards set up Shape, a company which originally operated from Carver Street in the city centre and went on to flourish as a practice servicing offices and other public buildings throughout the country.

He also wrote and illustrated many books about Sheffield history - particularly Totley - and was a founder of Totley Athletic Club, of which he was president for several years.

In addition he was well-known for his role in the renovation of Totley’s 19th Century Methodist Chapel.

Brian’s younger son Andrew said his father was ‘incredibly sociable and gregarious’ and that he would be much-missed by everyone who knew him.

“He was a people person, and almost like an ambassador for local history in Totley and parts of Derbyshire,” said Andrew.

Brian was born in Manchester in 1937 but later moved with his family to Sheffield, attending King Edward VII school in Broomhill.

He left at 16 to become an ice cream seller, then trained as a land surveyor and studied architecture for a time at Sheffield University.

Brian set up Shape in 1967 with fellow designer Brian Rosen in Carver Street. The firm later had premises at Banner Cross and Abbeydale Road South.

Brian took early retirement and moved from Totley to Great Longstone in the 1980s.

He wrote, illustrated and published 11 history books, and as a member of Sheffield United Harriers and Totley AC ran distances from 1,500 metres to marathons.

Brian suffered from a form of dementia in his later years, and died in Great Longstone last Wednesday - his 78th birthday. He leaves two sons, Andrew and Stephen, with his first wife Pat, and stepchildren Mark and Becky from his second marriage to Pam.

His funeral is next Friday at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium from 2pm.