Paul Iseard moved to Sheffield in 1977 while working for the Manpower Services Commission (MSC). By the 1990s he was a senior manager for back to work programmes and apprenticeships.
He has lived here ever since and in 2001 bought the Famous Sheffield Shop in Ecclesall Road, selling the best of Sheffield made products until his retirement in 2020. During that time he developed a keen interest in Sheffield’s industrial history and its Little Mesters – local craftspeople still working out of small workshops like the ones at Portland Works. He has been giving talks about cutlery and related subjects for many years.
When the campaign to save Portland Works from residential conversion was launched, Paul was one of 500 members of the community to come forward and buy shares in the newly founded social enterprise.
He became a trustee of The Friends of Portland Works in 2016, helping to raise funds for building repairs. In 2017 he became a director of Portland Works with lead responsibility for health and safety. He also enjoys volunteering at the Works from time to time, gaining practical insights into the challenges we face in managing and maintaining the building.