The makers experience Sheffield's transformation into an industrial powerhouse known as 'Steel City', famous throughout the world for making high-quality steel and cutlery.
In this episode, four craft-makers experience Sheffield's rapid transformation from a rural market town to an industrial powerhouse that built modern Britain known as 'Steel City'. Sheffield became famous throughout the world for making high-quality steel blades and cutlery. Steph McGovern takes them through the ages and they are guided by local Sheffield cutler Corin Mellor.
Starting in the 18th century, they are tasked with hand forging a scythe at Abbeydale Works. This farming tool found recent fame when used by a shirtless Poldark, but the makers discover it was one of Sheffield's biggest exports that launched Britain's steel industry. The process proves to be a hugely physical challenge.
Next, they step into the heart of a Victorian production line to make cutlery stamped with the fashionable Kings pattern. Steph learns that the extravagant Victorian middle class had a different piece of cutlery for every type of food. They prepare the knives, forks and spoons ready for electroplating - 'blinging' up the cutlery by covering it in silver.
The biggest innovations are yet to come. Travelling forward to the start of the 20th century, the makers learn that stainless steel was discovered in Sheffield, bringing affordable cutlery to the masses. They experience Sheffield's transformation into a war machine to defend Britain - making WWII commando knives using a heavy duty drop stamp.
Now in the 21st century, Corin Mellor takes the makers to his state-of-the-art factory, David Mellor Design. Here, they make high-end stainless steel forks from one of factory's bestselling ranges. With the city's focus on quality rather than quantity, the craft-makers discover that Sheffield's historic cutlery industry is still thriving.
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Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
|Executive Producer||Jo Bishop|
|Series Producer||Dunk Barnes|
|Production Company||DSP TV|