A River of Steel
Chris Watson narrates this immersive journey through Sheffield, the city of his birth, tracing the role of the rivers in the development of its steel industry.
This is a powerful and immersive story of water, from its wild beginnings across landscape and time to the grinding stones and workshops of Sheffield's traditional blade grinders; master craftsmen called 'little mesters'. Sheffield whose name is derived from the River Sheaf stands at the confluence of five rivers; the Don, Sheaf, Rivelin, Loxley and Porter. The rivers powered the water mills and the grindstones which were used to sharpen steel blades on which Sheffield's reputation was born. The heyday of the cutlery industry was in the 1800s and whilst the future of Sheffield's steel production remains uncertain, the rivers are a powerful reminder of its industrial past and the communities it supported. Narrator Chris Watson. Producer Sarah Blunt.