Historic company looks to recover giant Sheffield-made scissors

Geoffrey Boycott with the giant scissors that were loaned out for ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
Geoffrey Boycott with the giant scissors that were loaned out for ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
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They may well have been Sheffield's biggest pair of scissors - but today their whereabouts is a mystery.

Cutlery firm Taylor's Eye Witness is trying to track down a giant set of scissors made in the 1970s at its historic factory on Milton Street in the city centre.

The instruments, thought to be about two feet long, were used on special occasions, and former Yorkshire and England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott was once photographed using them to cut a ribbon, looking thrilled.

Often the scissors were loaned out, and it is believed they simply vanished after not being returned.

Joanne Chapman, of the Famous Sheffield Shop on Ecclesall Road, runs Taylor's social media accounts and issued the appeal to find the cutters when the picture of Boycott, possibly taken in the 1980s, was discovered. Taylor's has moved from Milton Street, its home of more than 150 years, to a new base off the Parkway, so staff have been sorting through old documents.

"We don't know that much about them," said Joanne. "We know they were made in the 1970s by the master craftsmen at Taylor's Eye Witness. They were loaned to companies if they wanted to do ceremonial ribbon cutting; we don't know who the last person was that they went to but they never came back."

The scissors were unique, as far as anyone can tell, and had been forgotten about until the Boycott picture was found. "They must have been two-and-a-half feet long. I've seen the Lord Mayor's ceremonial scissors and they are less than a foot long."

It would be difficult to have kept the bumper-sized scissors completely unwittingly, Joanne said. "They're not something you can just put in your top pocket. People should check their drawers and cupboards. I think they are something that could be put on display somewhere. Maybe they could be loaned out again."

Taylor’s Eye Witness, which remains an independent firm, was founded by John Taylor in the early 19th century. The name is said to have been prompted by the line "No eye hath seen such" from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1. The company makes kitchen knives, scissors and pocket knives, and has invested £1 million in its new 32,000 sq ft factory on the Parkway Industrial Estate. The unit was previously owned by Sheffield Council - as part of a deal, the authority has taken on ownership of Milton Street's Grade II listed Eye Witness Works.

Anyone with information about the scissors should email sales@taylors-eye-witness.co.uk or call 0114 272 4221.