|The Cutlers of Hallamshire coat of arms from a stained glass window at Cutlers' Hall|
In cutler's ironwork we have in Sheffield the best of its kind by English hands. Unsurpassable when the workman chooses to do all he knows by that of any living nation.
John Ruskin - Inscribed as a frieze around the Livery Hall
I have reported earlier on the Cutlers of Hallamshire and their indefatigable championing of the Sheffield city region, traditionally known as Hallamshire, and its industries. The Cutlers of Hallamshire were generous to invite me to their Cutlers' Feast this year, the 375th recorded. It was held at their most impressive Hall in the centre of Sheffield. For more details of the Company go to http://www.cutlers-hallamshire.org.uk/
It was a substantial event with over 300 present. A large numbers of members of the Company were dining as well as prominent individuals connected with Sheffield. The atmosphere was one of determination to promote the prosperity of the region. This formed the basis of the address by Pamela Liversedge OBE, Senior Warden, who proposed the toast Hallamshire and the Future. It was a thoughtful and accomplished speech focusing on both the opportunities and challenges facing manufacturing today. The response by Lord Bhattacharyya CBE reinforced this theme.
Two subsequent speeches by the current Master, Professor William Speirs, and Rt Hon Richard Caborn further concentrated on the huge potential of the region. I was also fortunate to sit next to the newly appointed Lord Mayor, Cllr Dr Sylvia Dunkley. She has a hugely wide interests ranging through history, particularly that of Sheffield, as well as being director of her family engineering firm that makes very advanced products by atomising of liquid metals. Go to http://www.atomising.co.uk/ to find out more.
It was most enjoyable evening combining good fellowship with a sense of purpose. At an earlier presentation this year Bill Speirs had said 'Sheffield ans quality are synonymous. I could not agree more.