The engraving “Made in Sheffield” continues to stand for quality on knives and forks around the world, while products of the Steel City still hold up bridges as far afield as Brooklyn. To get a sense of Sheffield’s manufacturing and engineering heritage, there’s no better place to head than one of the oldest industrial areas in the city: the manmade Kelham Island. As well as ornate street signs, cobbled lanes and the odd gas lamp, evidence of Sheffield’s past metal works is scattered all around the area – with the Kelham Island Museum a good place to start.
Where once molten steel flowed day in and day out, today it’s ale that is poured most profusely at Kelham Island. The many pubs concentrated here have breathed new life into the area. The Fat Cat pub, which boasts a colourful beer garden, is dedicated to small breweries and guest beers. The Ship Inn (which, incidentally, has a great jukebox) is said to be haunted by the ghost of a drowned sailor, while the Kelham Island Tavern could pretty much wallpaper itself with its countless CAMRA certificates. Alternatively, take a tour around the Kelham Island Brewery.
On the route back towards the city centre, the Nichols Building, set inside a former tea distribution factory, is full of vintage clothes, second hand homewares, handmade trinkets and work by local artists. You can take tea in a china cup, sit back on the café’s 1950s-era furniture (which is also for sale), or put an old-time record on the gramophone.