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J Chestermans' Bow Works


Guest mpitts07
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Guest Smiling-Knife

Thanks for the great information on the Chesterman co. This ruler knife dates from the 1930s. The blades were made by George Ibberson with Firth Stainlees steel.

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1832 Poll Book

Category of Tape manufacturer not mentioned in 1828 Directory - because they hadn't invented it yet !

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(Maybe I should revisit the 1821-1829 Trade directories)

I think they had Richard.

It was the spring tape that he patented.

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Thanks for the great information on the Chesterman co. This ruler knife dates from the 1930s. The blades were made by George Ibberson with Firth Stainlees steel.

What a beautiful piece. Fantastic condition for its age.

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Guest Jane Ward

I wonder if anyone has information on when each of the buildings were added ... I am tracing a family by the name of Dawson, the Head of the Household being William Sowter Dawson b.c1798 at Tickhill. The family lived at 93 Pomona Street, Sheffield from approximately 1864 - William worked as a Linen Tape Measure Printer. He lost his wife in 1880 but was still living at 93 Pomona Street on the 1881 census, noted as a Widower with 8 children aged between 1 and 18. He and the rest of the family then seem to disappear ... the 1891 census shows the address of both 93 and 95 Pomona Street as being uninhabited and marked down as 'offices' ...

After checking various old maps found via the internet it appears that some of the odd numbered houses may have been demolished eventually to create more factory space, but any information about the house or the family would be very much appreciated.

Jane Ward

Tickhill

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Guest Gerry Noble

I have a copy of a James Chesterman catalogue No 101 dated 1949 and would be happy to give it to anyone interested in the history of this company. Email gerry5sailing@aol.com and I'll get back to you.

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I'm sure all of us would be interested in seeing a scan before it gets passed onto a new ownerl we could offer to scan it on your behalf if that would be acceptable.

Please email Sheffieldhistory@gmail.co.uk

I'm not exactly local, but I know a man with a scanner that might be willing to help that is.

Thank you for considering this request.

Postage/packing costs paid.

Judging by this thread I'm as interested as anyone else, just seems a bit weird sending it to Tyne & Wear when there might be a relative somewhere else; applies to all items - if we (SheffieldHistory) can get it scanned, for the benefit of our collective knowledge then that would be good.

I have a copy of a James Chesterman catalogue No 101 dated 1949 and would be happy to give it to anyone interested in the history of this company. Email gerry5sailing@aol.com and I'll get back to you.

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The Hawley Collection at Kelham Island Museum does hold a copy of a video made just before the company closed which shows each of the departments at Bow Works and what was produced. It also has footage of the farewell dinner and dance at the Royal Victoria Hotel. The Collection also holds extensive records and examples of what was produced.

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Is that on view or do you have to request it? Does anyone know what happened to the blue plaque that used to be there to explain the history of the works?

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My wife started work a Chesterman's in 1960 in the accounts department. She remembers that they had occasional visits from Mr Jimmy Chesterman who was a very old gentleman who lived in the Cotswolds at Broadway. He used to arrive in his chauffer driven Rolls Royce and tour the factory. Later on she was promoted to Company Cashier. The amalgamation with Rabone's was an attempt to make the company too large to be swallowed up by James Neills who had expanded nearly up to their factory. Later on a further amalgamation with a tool company called Fry's created a holding company called R.C.F. Holdings Ltd. Fry's made some products such as holesaws an Parry&Bott vices but their main attraction was tool warehouses up and down the country. My wife then became RCF Holdings Northern Area Accountant in charge of accounting at the Manchester and Newcastle warehouses. I used to go to Bow Works to repair the equipment used to dry the ink in the steel tapes as well as picking wife up after work.

After Stanley tools bought Chestermans out the tape making equipment was first installed at Stanley's Hellaby works in addition to the tape making equipment already there. However when Stanley's proposed to close a factory in Besancon the French government cut up rough with the result that both Chesterman's and Stanley's tape making equipment ended up in Besancon. France defends their industry.

It gave me a trip to Besancon to sort it out for them.

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