One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – and nobody knew that better than Sheffield draughtsman Jim Young.
That is how he managed to turn his hobby – collecting old lamps, doorknobs and cast iron fireplaces – into a lucrative family business that has been the heart of Walkley for more than 40 years.
However, after a long run in the city, The Albert Ross Salvage Emporium, on South Road, closed its doors for good at the weekend.
Kathy Boyd, who took over the business after dad Jim passed away in 2008, said: “We’re heartbroken to be leaving, but this final recession has finished us off.
“We’ve loved being such a big part of the community and many people have come in to say how much they’re going to miss us. We are so sad it’s come to this.”
The emporium sold a range of items, specialising in cast-iron fireplaces, which Jim collected throughout the 1960s and 70s.
Jean Young, aged 83, Jim’s widow, said: “My husband started collecting them years ago when people were ripping them out.
“He couldn’t bear to see such craftsmanship destroyed so he began storing them.
“We’ve got hundreds of them now, all worth hundreds of pounds each, and have sold them all over the country.
“He hated throwing anything away.”
Kathy, 57, said: “It was certainly an interesting household to grow up in.
“There would always be a project on the go and some big item he’d brought home sitting in the middle of the dining room table as my mum was trying to serve dinner.
“It’s only since we’ve been going through our warehouse, in preparation to close, that we’ve realised how much there is there.”
Kathy, sister Jan and Jean have run the store together for the past five years and say they will miss working together.
Kathy said: “People still come to look around plenty and always comment on what a lovely shop it is.
“However, times being as they are, they have more pressing things to spend their money on.
“We went from four days a week to just one and now we’re out of options.”
Kathy Boyd released this statement:
“For a small urban village there is always plenty going on in Walkley not least with the shops on South Road. Over the years I have lived in the area I have seen a great deal of change with many comings and goings. The latest of these is the imminent arrival of a new business and the closure of my family’s business, The AlbertRoss Salvage Emporium Ltd, which has been a strong presence in Walkley for 40 years. Some of the local people describe us as unique and iconic and we take this as a very nice compliment.
“Due to the prolonged economic recession and difficulties with our premises, a few months ago we announced our intention to close our shop in August and later extended our closing down sale due to popular
demand. By this I mean the huge number of people who were kind enough to say “what a lovely shop, you just don’t find places like this anymore, you can’t be closing down when we have only just found you.”
“We were genuinely touched by this and not wanting to disappoint we continued to open for a few extra weeks. But this must now come to an end and our final day was Saturday.
“Although we are sad to be going we are delighted to welcome the new chap on the block, who will shortly be opening his brand new shop Gerry’s Bakery and Coffee House at number 299, South Road. Having
sampled some of his bread and cake recipes we can’t wait! We feel he will be a great addition to the local shopping experience and his wares will certainly compliment the other great food businesses in the area. Gerry has been working incredibly hard getting his shop ready and we are looking forward to being among his first customers. We wish him and all the other local businesses all the best for the future and we would like to thank all our own neighbours and customers for their friendship, kindness and loyalty over the years.”