Spectacular sculpture display by artist Phlegm in former Sheffield cutlery works ‘can’t be extended’

The organiser of a spectacular display of street art in a former Sheffield cutlery works has said it, regrettably, cannot extend the exhibition with work to transform the venue into apartments due to get underway.

Sunday, 7th April 2019, 1:36 pm

Thousands of people have taken in world-acclaimed cartoonist and illustrator Phlegm’s solo show ‘Mausoleum of the Giants’ at the Eye Witness Works in Milton Street.

Visitors have queued around the block for up to three hours to see the showcase by the Sheffield-born artist but Professor Vanessa Toulmin, director of city and culture at University of Sheffield, said the exhibition, due to end tomorrow, could not be extended.

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Mausoleum of the Giants at Eye Witness Works. Picture: Chris Etchells

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She added: "I am glad it has been so successful and we would like to thank everyone involved, particularly the 150 volunteers who have made it possible.

"As much as we would love to extend it, we are bound by legal contracts which end this weekend."

Construction work to transform Eye Witness Works into 97 loft apartments and townhouses, along with a 900 sq ft café-bar and private courtyards is due to get underway this month and be complete by the end of 2020.

For 150 years the Miton Street building was home to Taylor’s Eye Witness Ltd, a Sheffield success story producing pocket and kitchen knives in industrious pre-war Britain.

Original features of the two Grade-II listed buildings such as the 40ft chimney, 150-year-old pressing machines, Victorian safes, exposed brickwork and impressive timber roof structure will all be maintained.

The courtyards will be reopened providing outside space and a cobbled street draped with festoon lighting and lined with trees and foliage.

A new six-storey building will be constructed on the site of the former Brunswick Hotel – a pub built to serve the thirsty hordes of cutlery workers which closed in 1964.

Adam Higgins, co-founder of developer Capital and Centric, said: “As the custodians of Eyewitness Works it’s always been important to us that we celebrate its awesome history.

“The building is one of the last examples of the cutlery industry that made Sheffield famous across the world. We've loved discovering all the souvenirs of the past, like the Victorian safes, fireplaces and pressing machines.

“You can live in a space that was once used to grind, file and polish cutlery. The workshops were designed to maximise natural light for the cutlery workers so the apartments and townhouses will be big, light and airy.

“We’re also keeping as many of the original features as we can, including the brickwork, timber roof and cobbles.”