Sheffield steel firm 1950s picture mystery solved

A Retro reader has solved the mystery of two photographs of a Sheffield company.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 13:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th September 2019, 17:37 pm
These pictures, identified by a Sheffield Star Retro reader, appear to mark the death in 1953 of Colin Laycock, president of Sheffield steel firm J Beardshaw and Son Ltd

Maggie Tyson from Sheffield Local Studies Library got in touch with us to see if we had any clues to the photographs, which were taken by the Telegraph and Star, but sadly the original files have been lost.

As reported in Retro (August 31), Maggie believed they were connected to Beardshaw and Son as they were inside a book of notes and news cuttings about the company.

That is indeed the case.

These pictures, identified by a Sheffield Star Retro reader, appear to mark the death in 1953 of Colin Laycock, president of Sheffield steel firm J Beardshaw and Son Ltd

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Tony Beardshaw from Rotherham got in touch to say that the photograph is of Colin Laycock, who was chairman and managing director of the steel company, which was based at Baltic Works on Effingham Road, Sheffield. He also served as a magistrate.

An obituary in The Engineer said that Mr Laycock, then company president, died on January 7, 1953: “Mr Laycock, who was 73, had been associated with the firm for 58 years. He was appointed a director in 1911, joint managing director in 1916 and chairman and managing director in 1936.”

The photographs, whose identification numbers included 53, may have been taken at an event to mark his death, said Tony Beardshaw.

He wrote: “I would be very interested in seeing the other cuttings and book as this Jonathan Beardshaw is one of my direct ancestors and I’m trying to build up a picture of all the related businesses owned by the Beardshaws in Sheffield over the centuries.

“I have built up a comprehensive family history of the Beardshaw family, too.”

Once Colin Laycock’s name was identified, another of The Star’s pictures of him was discovered in the city archives. It was taken at a dinner given by the company to mark his 50 years’ service in December 1944.

The pictures shown here will now become part of the Picture Sheffield online archive, www.picturesheffield.com