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Whiteley's Words

#Scissorsmiths #SheffieldSteel #Handmade #MadeinBritain
Well, it’s been a long Summer(for me, anyway!) and time to get back on the horse. We left off last-time discussing scissors for cutting difficult stuff and now I think it would be a good time to mention some people, too.  We have twelve people who work in the factory and warehouse, making and packing and despatching. All the jobs have their own special sounds which make up the tapestry of the dayand if oneRead More
Whiteleys had been situated in Garden St. (not a green leaf or blade of grass insight…) for 12 years when I started, knowing nothing, in September 1987. There was a black, Bakelite, platted cotton coated cord, rotary dial telephone with a slider switch to the one extension. There was a wet photocopier (what??) and foreign communications were made through a telex office 2 miles away. Invoices were typed by hand, statements were hand written, accountsRead More
Last week we  were still at old Whiteleys  – I should really be calling it old, old Whiteleys, as we occupied other premises from 1975 to 2006, which are, strictly speaking, old Whiteleys.   Old, old Whiteleys was: The Phoenix works, 29 Rockingham Street, Sheffield. Rockingham Street was full of cutlers, tool manfacturers and drop forgers, back then. My maternal grandfather, William Seago, was a cutlery engineer  and large-kitchen-knife designer at a factory across theRead More
This week, I want to wind back a bit, to the mid 1800’s. In 1838, Thomas Wilkinsons made and presented Queen Victoria with a pair of beautiful, elaborately produced, scissors. It is recorded that 67 files were used in their manufacture. They were, obviously, entirely man-made from a piece of crucible steel. See Pic 1. If any tiny part had snapped off, then the horrified maker would have had to have started again from scratch –Read More
I promised you more about old Whiteleys last time, so here it is. During the Victorian era my great-grandfather was in charge of Whiteley’s; always resplendent in suit, pocket watch, whiskers etc (see pic 1). However, he eventually tired of scissor-making and moved down to London, installing himself in Claridge’s and promptly divesting himself of all the company’s money indulging in wine, women and song. Luckily my grandfather stepped in to put things to rights, andRead More

Comments (2)

Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked
submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing
all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say
superb blog!

I’ve just had my first contact with whiteleys.
I have been really impressed with the service and the way business is conducted ive been dealing with a lovely lady called Jo, most helpful even to returning my shears by royal mail, rather than courier.
I haven’t received them back yet but I have every confidence that my shears will come home in a much better condition than when Whiteleys received them from me.
Many Thanks for your kind attention..

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