Name on a Knife Blade

Our project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund:

Name on a Knife Blade: Sharpening Links between Sheffield Cutlery and Sheffield Communities

has now come to an end, however, we will continue to collect memorabilia and table knives made by Sheffield makers and to research those companies for which we have no information.

We would like to sincerely thank all those who have helped and been involved in the project either by donating items or information or attending one of our talks or events.

We achieved our main aim of creating an interactive digital knife archive, available via terminals in the Hawley Gallery and online (, which gives access to photographs of the knives in the collection as well as information on the history of the cutlers that made them. The terminals now form part of a new permanent exhibition in the Gallery - 'Sheffield's Knife Story'. These new displays show the wide variety of knives made in Sheffield, how they were made as well as the information on the archive about the companies themselves. Come and take a look, entry to Kelham Island Museum and the Hawley Gallery is now free.

In addition to the archive and new permanent exhibition, during the project:

If you or a member of your family worked as a cutler or for a Sheffield cutlery manufacturer, or you have any memorabilia (photographs, letters etc.) or table knives from Sheffield cultery companies that you could show us or donate, please contact us.



Project Overview

The project focus is to link the Hawley Trust`s unique collection of over 1,500 stainless steel knives, made by over 800 different makers, with Sheffield families that bear the surnames marked on them (and other employees of the cutlers).  The project started on 1st March 2019 and runs until September 2021.
Twelve exhibitions will be held, each with a talk and a presentation of a different selection of the table knife collection.

It was officially launched last Wednesday, 10th July 2019 by the Senior Warden of the Cutlers' Company of Hallamshire, Nick Williams, and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Professor Jaydip Ray.


The main aim is to create an interactive Digital Knife Archive, allowing direct and on-line access to photographs of the knives in the Collection as well as information on the history of the cutlers that made them.

We are doing this now to ensure that we capture the legacy of objects, ephemera and memories of the hundreds of cutlers that closed down in Sheffield between the 1930s and 1970s, before these things disappear forever. We hope that local people of all ages will get involved and help us link their surnames and their families to the cutlers' names that are still well represented in Sheffield (and further afield).

There will be a series of exhibitions, Open Days and talks that we hope will allow the maximum number of people in the local area to get involved. The information captured from these people will be preserved for posterity and will be added to our already internationally-significant Collection as part of Sheffield's heritage.

New volunteers are joining our existing team to help deliver this exciting project.

Commenting on the award from the HLF, Nick Duggan, the volunteer who led on the bid, said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are pleased to celebrate the rich Heritage of the Collector Ken Hawley and the Steel City`s Cutlery legacy.”