The Heritage Open Day on 10th September drew over 300 visitors, many of them first-timers to Portland Works. It was a great day, and the tenants who opened up reported huge interest and plenty of business too! Around 25 volunteers…
Visit Us for “Open Up 2018”
On Saturday 12 May, there’s a rare opportunity for members of the public to see inside Portland Works on our first open day of the 2018. The event is planned to coincide with the “Open Up!” art festival in Sheffield and the Portland Works artists will be open for visitors and happy to talk about their work.
Portland Works will welcome visitors from 11am until 5pm and basic admission will be free.
We will also be serving refreshments and offering guided tours of the building. This will be a good opportunity to see some of the restoration work the volunteers have been doing and to visit some of the tenants who will also be able to tell you about their work. In addition, we are hoping to put on some talks about the history of the ‘Works during the day so come and join us.
Visit the Works on a “First Tuesday” Tour
There’s an opportunity to see what does on within the walls of Portland Works on one of our regular “First Tuesday” tours that begin on Tuesday 6 March at 2pm.This is a tour of the building rather than an open day, so we cannot guarantee which tenants will be on-site or which doors will be open, but there’s always plenty to see. It’s also the day the volunteers are renovating things so you can meet us and see what we’re up to. A donation is welcome as a gesture of support.
If you would like to be shown round by one of our knowledgeable guides simply email firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on the day before. You will be sent information about when and where to meet.
We’ve completed the first stage of a cutlery museum here at Portland Works. At a special event in March, Master and Mistress Cutler, Craig and Karen McKay, were welcomed as our first guests. Also there were Irene Davy, Naomi Brent, John…
Other Opportunities to Visit
Portland Works hosts regular open days where, as well as seeing the building, there are usually a good number of our 30+ craftspeople that turn out for visitors. Many will have a stall where you can see their products in a craft fair atmosphere. Details of our next open day will appear on this page as soon as they are announced. To get advanced notice of this, please sign up to our newsletter by contacting us.
On the first Tuesday of each month, you can visit by arrangement, normally at 2pm. This is a tour of the building rather than an open day, so we cannot guarantee which tenants will be on-site or which doors will be open, but there’s always plenty to see. It’s also the day the volunteers are renovating things so you can meet us and see what we’re up to. A donation is welcome as a gesture of support and we suggest £4 per person.
You need to book by noon on the day before – please email email@example.com or phone 0114 275 9354
Commercial and Educational Visits
The Works is a unique venue and we’d love to help you put on en event here. We have held some spectacular events at the Works and it can provide a great backdrop for photography. Our facilities are improving all the time so please visit the Hire page and get in touch to see what we can offer
We have also had some brilliant partnerships with both of Sheffield’s universities. The Works offer great opportunities for architects, planners, historians or journalists and we aim to make all projects rewarding both for students and for Portland Works. Please note that in its current state the Works is unsuitable for school visits but we’re hoping to change this in 2017 as we build better visitor facilities.
Access and Information
We apologise that there is currently very poor disabled access. This is a slightly restored Victorian factory building, and there are many steps even to ground floor workshops. We do make every effort to ensure as much access as possible to disabled people, within the constraints of the building but please contact us ahead of the day so we can make good arrangements.
Additionally, a lot of the Works is pretty cold so please wear warm clothes. “Sensible” shoes are advised too as some floors are uneven and there are many steep staircases. Be warned, too, that our current toilet facilities can best be described as “basic” although these are rapidly improving!
What You’ll See When You Visit
We will show you around the yard so you can see where the various processes of cutlery-making took place. If the tenants are around you may be able to see into the forge (still with its original machine hammers), the vaulted grinding shop and the “lantern room”. You’ll see newly restored areas that our volunteers are working on. And then there’s the impressive rooftop view. We have a visitor room to start and end your tour where you can warm up, see our cutlery collection and learn more about the Works and its unbroken history of manufacturing. Afterwards the nearby Harland Cafe is a great place for a drink or meal.
We’ve turned the corner from “serious dilapidation” to a decent working environment, although there’s still an awful lot to do. We’re proud to be preserving the essence of a 19th century factory. The Works is steeped in history and was the place where the very first stainless steel knives were made, and the same forge is still in use today little changed.
How To Find Us
Lots of buses (75/76, 97/98 and more) stop on London Road, near the Cremorne pub. Turn into John Street, take first right onto Hill Street, walk past GoOutdoors, and Randall Street is next left – our entrance is on the junction. It’s a 3 minute walk from London Road. Alternatively you can walk up Randall Street from Bramall Lane, opposite the football ground.
We’re a ten minute walk from the Moorfoot. Aim for London Road and turn left into Hill Street, just after Sainsbury’s. Then follow the directions as above.
Portland Works is on the junction of Hill Street and Randall Street. There is adequate street parking on Hill Street or Randall Street but watch out for the “resident permit only” bays. Also please DO NOT use the Go Outdoors car park next door as this is for their customers only.
Set your SatNav to S2 4SJ.