Favourite Things: Kelham water key to being brewing hotspot

Dave Shaw is Senior Design Engineer at SevenHills Fabrication in Sheffield. He has worked at the family-run manufacturing business for the last 22 years and has seen the company grow to become an established sub-contract laser cutting and steel fabrication business. The company supplies businesses across the UK and has invested in new equipment and employees to expand its production capabilities.

Monday, 25th February 2019, 14:28 pm
Updated Monday, 25th February 2019, 14:32 pm
Dave Shaw in the centre of Kelham island

Dave lives in Kelham Island, one of the oldest industrial sites in Sheffield, with his wife Helen and has a keen interest in the local history of manufacturing, attractions and entertainment which are right on his doorstep.


Kelham Island Museum

Cornish Works, Kelham Island I love looking at the old factories especially at Kelham Island. They are so evocative of past times. George Barnsley & Sons Ltd was founded in 1836 and was originally situated on Wheeldon Street, Sheffield. By 1849 they had moved to the Cornish Works, which were much larger premises. They specialised in the manufacture of files and cutting tools for use in the shoe making industry and grew to become the world’s leading producer of tools for shoemakers. George Barnsley’s survived until 2003 when the premises finally closed and became new apartments. I am lucky enough to live there now, in the former ‘wages’ office.


Iron Bridge, Kelham Island I like to walk around the area where I live and you so often see things you wouldn’t spot in a car. Recently I spotted some signs on an iron bridge near the Riverside pub A61 roundabout. It was first built as a wooden bridge around 1726 and replaced in 1795 by one of the earliest iron bridges, made by Rotherham iron-master Samuel Walker. In 1864 it was swept away by floods, replaced by a new iron bridge and partially rebuilt again in 1921. Its function was replaced by Borough bridge when Sheffield Rolling Mills and Forge built over the path which ran from it, to Millsands and Bridge Street, but it remains as it also carries a large water-main over the River Don.

Kelham Island Industrial Museum

Kelham Island Museum opened in 1982 and houses the objects, pictures and archive material representing Sheffield’s industrial story. I like engineering. My family’s roots were in engineering and it gets in your blood. I became interested in it when I left school and have been involved ever since. If you are interested in engineering or Sheffield then this museum is for you. Go and have a look. They have some fantastic interactive displays and information telling the story of what it was like to live and work in Sheffield during the Industrial Revolution. The workshop there came out of the old Cornish Works.

Kelham Island If you want to see unique spaces in Sheffield, then head there. Whether you want alternative living, little coffee shops, different restaurants or a space away from the city centre it is all there. It may have been one of the city’s oldest industrial districts but its now one of the most up and coming areas in the country. The remains of the numerous cutlery and steel works, factories and workshops are part of what gives the area its distinct charm, except nowadays these buildings house everything from small independent shops to microbreweries and galleries. What I like most about living there is also the accessibility for the city centre. 

The beer at Kelham Island Sheffield’s proud history of beer goes almost hand in hand with its industry, as small but numerous breweries formed during the industrial revolution, providing refreshment to men in factories. So it’s not surprising that Kelham Island has long been at the forefront of Sheffield’s brewing reputation and has become a mecca for renowned real ale pubs. It is the quality of water in the area that has apparently kept it at the forefront of the latest brewing revolution.

The Cutlery Works, Kelham Island The latest addition to the Kelham Island food offering and is the largest independent food hall in Northern England, housing a hive of food and drink outlets and semi-permanent pop-ups. Inspired by food halls from across the world, each restaurant has its own identity, bringing in new talent as well as working with established restauranteurs. It’s spread out over two floors and really offers a unique dining experience. It’s great as a one stop destination for friends and families – you can go there and have exactly what you want to eat from any outlet but sit together in the communal dining spaces.

The cinema scene I like going to watch a movie and we now have a great selection of cinemas to visit from the Vue, to the Showroom, Curzon and the Odeon. We use the Showroom and the Curzon the most as I much prefer the smaller, more intimate venues. We’ve just been to see Mary Queen of Scots at the Curzon and also caught the award- winning hit musical Everyone’s Talking About Jamie, inspired by a true story and based on a 16- year-old lad living on a council estate in Sheffield, which was being broadcast live from the Apollo Theatre in London’s Shaftesbury Avenue to The Showroom. Great venue, great idea, great evening out.