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UK Record Ridgeway, Sheffield - September 2017

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History

 

The "Record" trademark was registered by the firm of C & J Hampton in the Trade Mark Journal in 1909. Charles and Joseph Hampton were Sheffield toolmakers and ironfounders located at Eagle Foundry in Livingston Road, Sheffield, who had originally started their business in 1898 manufacturing marlin spikes and specialist castings. By 1908 C & J Hampton became a limited company. 

It wasn't until January 1931 that the company introduced a range of woodworking planes, based on the popular patterns of the Stanley Tool brand, in their No. 10 catalogue. By this time the factory had relocated to Ouse Road in Attercliffe, Sheffield, and the new planes were being marketed as "an entirely new British product", benefitting from new Government import tariffs which penalised imports and assisted British manufacturers in combatting the influx of imported planes from America and other countries. Woodworking planes made by Stanley Tools in particular dominated the British market and so a "Buy British" campaign was instigated to help combat the depression in Britain at that time.

In October 1934, C & J Hampton bought the manufacturing rights from John Rabone And Sons Ltd. for the entire range of iron planes and spoke shaves formally manufactured by Edward Preston And Sons Ltd. of Birmingham. By the early 1930's it had become apparent that Preston's had fallen into financial difficulties and they were subsequently bought out by Rabone's in October 1932. Prior to this, Preston's had been Rabone's main competitor in the manufacture of rules and levels so the takeover made perfect business sense however, after the acquisition, Rabone struggled with the concept of becoming planemakers as well, and saw it as a deviation from their traditional product lines. They did, however, spend almost two years re-organising the iron plane making department at Preston's Whittall Works before deciding that "certain products were found not to conform readily with the company's other interests.", so the rights were then sold to C & J Hampton.

Record continued to add various planes and spokeshaves to its product line over the coming years, but were forced to drop some of their range because of wartime restrictions. It is unfortunate to note that many of these planes and spoke shaves never made it back into production once the restrictions had been lifted. 

During the 1950's and into the early 1960's, Catalogue No. 16 was frequently reissued in pocket form to keep customers informed of new tools, as well as the availability of certain pre-war planes, spokeshaves and other tools. Price lists were also updated wherever necessary. It wasn't until the firm had moved into new premises at Parkway Works in 1963 that Catalogue No. 17 was issued and that the product line had "stabilised" from its post-war restrictions.

In 1972, C & J Hampton Ltd. merged with William Ridgway Ltd. to form Record-Ridgway Tools Ltd. By doing so, Record had taken on the manufacturing of wood boring tools, which was Ridgway's core business.

AB Bahco, a Swedish chisel & woodworking tool company, bought Record-Ridgway Tools in March 1981, and renamed it Record Holdings in 1985, before renaming it again three years later to Record Marples (Woodworking Tools) Ltd. Around the same time the names of both "Record" and "Marples" appeared on the body castings of some planes -- predominantly the bench and block planes -- around the front knob.

It was obviously a period of great upheaval for the firm as the company was renamed a further three times in the 1990's -- Record Tools Ltd. in 1991, Record Holdings plc in 1993 and then Record Tools Ltd. (a division of American Tool Companies Inc) in 1998. However, the company struggled financially and went into administration in 1998. It was then acquired by US-based Irwin Tools in 1998 but was closed down soon after as the American owners moved production to China.

Explore 

 

Firstly we scaled the building to accomplish if any security were present & possible entry points... No probs with either so decided to take a look. The building is in poor condition and requires a little climbing and clambering through trees to reach. Theres asbestos present on site so was prepared with masks, the building is a fair size and took a little over an hour to explore. Lots of Sheffield graffiti art which is of a high standard and plenty of original features exist (unbelievably).. The building as come under attack from a lot of vandalism including fire damage, deliberate destruction and pigeons (lots of these present in the building), Theres also high levels of natural damage caused to the building via the weather (some areas the roofs not intact). Theres access to the upper floors via a central staircase (also leads to the roof) and a staircase at the west side of the building... lots of rooms leading off the staircases some safer than others. We were joined by SteelCityUrbex during the explore so shout outs to them... Great explore with lots of graffiti and nostalgia to keep you busy on the explore highly recommended (just watch out for the pigeons). 
 

PICS

 

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And to end off... a roof shot!

 

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Nothing much has changed in it current day form, just some more graffiti.

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    • By AndyK!
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      History
       
      The late nineteenth century saw rapid developments in the production of iron. Areas with an abundance of iron ore benefited from the expanding industry and large plants were constructed. The blast furnaces and steel works in Florange is one such example, with massive expansion taking place in the early twentieth century. The first blast furnaces were built at the site in 1906, and later a huge steel works to convert the iron into steel.
       
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      The blast furnaces and steelworks while they were in use
       
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      Bureau Central
       
      Let's start off where it all started off. The Bureau Central, the main offices of the Wendel empire.
       

      Exterior of the old office building. Not bad, eh?


      The interior has seen better days


       

      Many rooms and corridors had glass blocks in the ceiling to let natural light through to lower floors


       

       


      The Blast Furnaces


      Workers at the blast furnaces, pictured in 1952


      Blast Furnaces viewed from the rail yard


      Coal wagons lined up below the blast furnaces


      Base of one of the blast furnaces


      Inside a blast furnace building


      Inside another blast furnace building


      Spiral staircase


      Exterior with the water tower in the distance


      View up a blast furnace


      Wagons under a blast furnace


      The blast furnace control room had been modernised
       
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      Turbo-fan sets 1 and 2


      There was one blower set for each blast furnace


      Side view of the huge blowers


      Turbo-fan 3


      The green motor for fan 3


      Historic control panel from when older machines were used


      The machines this panel controlled were removed a long time ago


      Newer control room for the turbo-blowers


      Turbo-blower control room


      Workshop area


      Workshops


      Locker room
       
      Railway and Coal / Iron Ore Delivery Area
       
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      Wagons parked in the delivery station


      Track over the coal and iron ore hoppers with blast furnaces behind


      Nature is starting to reclaim the tracks


      Blast furnace and wagons


      Trains would drop their content directly into the hoppers below

      Steel works
       
      The steelworks took the pig iron produced by the blast furnaces and converted into steel.


      Historic photos of the steelworks, pictured in 1952


      Sign in the steelworks


      View along one of the many long sections


      View down the steelworks


      View in the opposite direction


      Work area between machinery


      Ladles lined up in the ladle bay


      One of the ladles tipped up


      Wider view of the ladles


      One of the work bays


      Another work bay


      Crane lowered in one of the bays


      Furnaces for melting iron and scrap


      Track for moving ladles


      Electromagnetic lifting gear
       
      Rolling Mill
       
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      Plant in the rolling mill


      Plant in the rolling mill


      Lifting gear in the mill


      Crane hooks in the mill


      Tracks leading to mill equipment


      Accidental selfie with a "HFX" sign. In keeping with the other European steelworks known as "HF4", "HF6", "HFB", etc. I initially called the place HFX. It's actually the abbreviation for "Hauts Fourneaux", the French plural of Blast Furnaces.
    • By Nikonlover
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