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Mortons Cutlers shop on West Street

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Sheffield History

Screenshot 2020-04-01 at 12.02.20.jpg

Mortons Cutlers at 100 West Street in Sheffield City Centre

They sold scissors, cutlery, knives, silverwear and more
The window used to have a sign in it saying 'We don't sell flick knives'


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I guess back in in 80s/90s I had   a very interesting conversation with the old fella who ran what I think would be called a ‘Little Mesters’  workshop directly behind Morton’s (though I think unconnected ) where the flats complex now is. He was showing me some ‘serious’  and very expensive (non-Rambo!) hunting/survival knives which he was making and selling to selected customers only. He was situated on a narrow lane, first right down the lane in the photo, now blocked with a lamp standard and a grit bin. He said that a car load of ordinary looking guys dressed in jeans etc, had some months before, driven down in a car and asked to look at the specialist knives (which  he was showing me). They said that theyd been referred to him by The Australian SAS Regiment who had seen... I believe bought, one or more of the knives and were very impressed with their quality (I’ve seen/handled many in my time and they WERE, truly exceptional  specimens). One of his Brit visitors asked to borrow two or three to take outside. Gulp! Very nervously, the knife smith  allowed them to do so but under only his direct supervision (notwithstanding his barely controlled fear about the odd visitors!) The guy doing the talking then went to the car boot and took out a heavy ‘lump’-type hammer walked over to what would be Morton’s back wall and proceeded to HAMMER them...nigh on, 200quid knives into the mortar one above the other before a couple of the men proceeded to walk up and down the improvised ‘steps’ which to their great credit didn’t move or bend under their weight! Before the proprietor could gasp out his total disbelief and horror at the likely ruination of the two knives, he was paid for them, left with an order and a means of contact for when the knives were ready. The men left almost as quickly as they’d arrived .....and the order collected, as anonymously, in due course.

MY account, all perfectly true. The knife smith, who I didn’t know, was  from memory, a responsible looking man in his 60s and  didn’t appear a romancer but a clearly highly - skilled maker of very superior, ‘working’ knives - no inflatable Boy Scouts in the handle, or even a compass in them - quite definitely NOT toys for wanabe commandos either in design our price!






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