Starring role for Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet in new prime time BBC makers’ series

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet will be the star of the show in the very first episode of a new prime-time BBC series which tasks four modern craftspeople with learning traditional skills.

Made in Great Britain, which airs this Friday (October 26) on BBC 2 at 9pm and is presented by Steph McGovern, will see four makers attempt to create a scythe at the Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust site.

Their efforts were overseen by Artist and Metalworker Duncan Edwards, whose workshop is based at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet. The Trust’s Head of Technical Services Eddy Foster, was also on hand to help the makers experience creating steel from scratch using a handmade crucible pot.

Helen Featherstone, director of Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, said it was wonderful that Abbeydale had been chosen as a venue for the filming.

“Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet is the natural location to celebrate the skilled craftsmanship needed to make a scythe given its heritage,” she said.

“The site is the only surviving complete crucible steel furnace in the UK and is a testament to the processes which inform modern manufacturing in Sheffield today.

“We were thrilled to welcome the Made In Great Britain cast and crew to experience historic steelmaking methods. Abbeydale is the only surviving complete crucible steel in the UK.”

Helen added that the craftspeople were able to experience every step of the process - from creating the steel to forging it into a scythe.

“We’re very lucky to have fully-operational workshops at the site so visitors can experience exactly what life was like making tools by hand in the 17th Century,” she said.

And Helen explained that Made In Great Britain viewers would be able to get a real sense of the skills and precision needed to forge tools by hand.

“As viewers will see, the skills needed to forge a scythe by hand are deceptively difficult and require expert training with even accomplished modern-day blacksmiths finding it difficult,” she said.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet being showcased on such a grand scale.”

Steph was joined at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet by Sheffield cutler Corin Mellor and also visited Portland Works when filming took place in July.

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