Kelham Island Museum

Bessemer Converter
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Major displays on Sheffield industry and its people, processes and products from Victorian times..

Venue Type:

Museum, Industrial heritage site

Opening hours

Mon-Thurs 1000-1600
Sun 1100-1645

Closed: Fridays and Saturdays

Admission charges

Adult £5.50
Concession £4.50
Accompanied U16: Free (not inc school visits)

Discounts

  • Museums Association

The collections at Kelham Island Museum cover industries in Sheffield from 1750 up to the present. Major collections include the Iron & Steel Industry Collection, Cutlery Industry Collection, Armament Industry Collection and the Tool Making Industry Collection. There are also collections of Historic Photographs and Documents relating to a variety of Sheffield firms. The library contains many technical metallurgical reference books and is available by appointment.

Collection details

Archives, Industry, Land Transport, Science and Technology, Social History, Trade and Commerce

Key artists and exhibits

  • Key objects on display include the Bessemer Converter and the 12,000 HP River Don Engine.
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
photograph of pub sign reading "Millowners Arms"

Millowners Arms

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

This new gallery complete with a traditional bar celebrates Sheffield’s Brewing heritage, from being the biggest brewing city in the England to its numerous microbreweries of today.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/what-to-see/millowners-arms

photograph of tools on display in the Hawley gallery

The Hawley Gallery

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The Hawley Gallery opened in 2010 as the first permanent display space for the Hawley Collection.

This world-renowned tool collection has been amassed since the mid 1950s by former tool retailer and champion of Sheffield’s industrial heritage, Ken Hawley, and consists of over 100,000 objects, all relating to Sheffield’s tool, cutlery manufacturing and silversmithing industry.

The Ken Hawley Collection Trust LINK was formed in 1994 to safeguard the collection and Ken continues collecting and working with the collection - it is his life and his continuing passion.

This internationally important collection of over 100,000 objects includes edge tools, measuring tools, tools used for cutlery manufacture and silversmithing, plus related catalogues, photos, films and oral histories. It is gathered mostly from Sheffield and Yorkshire but also from Britain and the rest of the world.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/what-to-see/the-hawley-gallery

photograph of interior of Kelham Island Museum's Transport gallery

Transport Galleries

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Showcasing some of the finest Sheffield-made vehicles of the 1920s, The Charlesworth Transport Gallery explores the story of transport in Sheffield and its essential part of our industrial history.

The development of factories and the "workshop of the world" was only possible as the transport network developed. Equally the development of the transport network was reliant on the technology of industry, particularly those in Sheffield.

Transport has played a vital role within Sheffield, both within its industries and for the city as a whole. As a major manufacturing centre, a good transport system was important to carry raw materials and goods in and out, as well as to transport workers and inhabitants around the city.

The upper transport gallery houses temporary exhibitions as well as the Sheffield Simplex Car. This is perhaps the most famous car made in Sheffield and it was produced at the Fitzwilliam Works in Tinsley.

The car was the idea of Earl Fitzwilliam, who thought Sheffield could produce the finest car in the world. This prototype is one of only three Simplex cars remaining, and is thought to be the last type of the car ever produced.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/what-to-see/transport-galleries/upper-transport-gallery

photograph of Kelham Island Museum's River Don engine

Enid Hattersley Gallery

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The Enid Hattersley Gallery houses a selection of Kelham Island's permanent collection. The gallery is also home to the 12,000hp River Don Engine, which you can see in steam at selected times.

Other notable exhibits include the Benjamin Huntsman Clock, Bramah Press, Crossley Gas Engine, Die-Sinkers and Cutlers Workshops, Grand Slam Bomb, Little Mesters Street, Melting Shop Play Area, Sheffield Floods, Town Guns, Armaments and War Memorials.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/what-to-see/main-museum-enid-hattersley-gallery

photograph of Kelham Island's Bessemer converter

Outdoor Collection

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The Gannister Mill and Bessemer Converter.

The Gannister Mill was used to grind ganister rock, a type of sandstone, into a paste which was used to seal joints inside furnaces.

The Bessemer Converter is one of only three converters left in the world. It was used by the British Steel Corporation in Workington until 1975(4?) and produced the last Bessemer Steel made in Britain in 1974. It was brought to the Museum in 1978 as an example of the revolutionary steelmaking process which first took off in Sheffield.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/what-to-see/outdoor-collection

photograph of carved stone sign for the City of Sheffield

Stone Garden

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The Stone Garden has a display of interesting stonework from the entrances of Sheffield companies.

From the Sheffield coat of arms to the’ hanging sheep’, every stone has a story to tell about the city’s trades and industrial past.

The Stone Garden can be viewed from inside the Crucible Shop and at some of SIMT's larger events including 1940s Wartime Weekend, Down by the Riverside and the Victorian Christmas Market.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/what-to-see/outdoor-collection/stone-garden

photograph of metal circle with stylised "1914-1918" in the centre

Sheffield Remembers – War Memorials from the First World War

  • 9 November 2014 — 31 December 2015 *on now

A new display of war memorials from the Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust collection will be exhibited as part of the First World War centenary commemorations.

The memorials honour the men from the industrial companies of Sheffield, who served or lost their lives during the 1914-1918 conflict.

Exploring the themes of war and industry, commemoration and remembrance, visitors can learn about the symbolism of memorials as well as discovering the personal stories of soldiers from the City.

In the ‘My War Story’ section visitors are invited to add their own stories to the display.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/whats-on/sheffield-remembers-war-memorials-from-the-first-world-war

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Summer Holiday Activities

Make Your Own Wednesdays

  • 5 August 2015 11am-3pm
  • 12 August 2015 11am-3pm
  • 19 August 2015 11am-3pm
  • 26 August 2015 11am-3pm

'Make Your Own Wednesdays' at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

Join us each Wednesday throughout the Summer Holidays for a make and take activity and learn new crafts and skills!

Keep checking back for the programme of activities!

The dates are:
Wednesday 22 July
Wednesday 29 July
Wednesday 5 August
Wednesday 12 August
Wednesday 19 August
Wednesday 26 August

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 5-6

Where

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet
Abbeydale Road South
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
S7 2QW
England

Admission

Activities are free - normal admission applies Adults £4.00 | Concession £3.00 | Children FREE!

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/abbeydale-industrial-hamlet/whats-on/make-your-own-wednesdays-summer-holiday-fun

Cementation Furnace

Heritage Open Days

  • 10 September 2015 11am-2pm

Curator led tour to the only complete Cementation Furnance left in Britain!

Thursday 10th September. Tours at 11am and 2pm, meeting at Kelham Island Museum.

FREE! Booking required. Part of the national Heritage Open Days event.

The Cementation Furnace is a Grade II listing building and is the only example of this type of steel making furnace to survive undamaged in Britain. It was built in 1848 by the local steel firm, Daniel Doncasters & Sons. This furnace operated throughout the Second World War and ceased operation in 1951.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free as part of national Heritage Open Days! Booking required.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/whats-on/heritage-open-days-cementation-furnace-tour

Shepherd Wheel Workshop

Shepherd Wheel Heritage Open Days

  • 12 — 13 September 2015 11am-3pm

See the restored waterwheel and machinery in action and hear stories about the people who worked here.

Free admission. Part of the national Heritage Open Days event.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

Shepherd Wheel Workshop
Whiteley Woods
Off Hangingwater Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
S11 2YE
England

Admission

Free admission.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/shepherd-wheel-workshop/whats-on/heritage-open-days

Steam Gathering

Steam Gathering | Antiques & Craft Fayre

  • 3 — 4 October 2015 10am-5pm

Join us for our annual celebration of steam with rollers, road locomotives, engines and cars!

Enjoy live music and Whirlow Hall Farm BBQ, traditional crafts and skills demonstrations, community and family activities and an eclectic array of antiques, vintage and craft stalls!

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet
Abbeydale Road South
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
S7 2QW
England

Admission

Adults £4.00 | Concessions £3.00 | Children FREE!

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/abbeydale-industrial-hamlet/whats-on/steam-gathering-antiques-craft-fayre

War Horse

October Half Term Activties

  • 27 October 2015 10:30am-3pm

Sheffield and the First World War

Join us on Tuesday 27th October for a family trail around the Museum, and learn about Sheffield's role in the First World War.

There will also be drop in art activities based on Michael Morpurgo's War Horse story.
Drop in between 10:30am - 12:30am and 1pm and 3pm.
There is a £1 per child fee for the art activities.

Part of the Off The Shelf Festival of Words. Normal museum admission applies.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 7-10
  • 14-15
  • 5-6
  • 11-13

Admission

Normal admission applies.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/whats-on/october-half-term-activities-kelham-island-museum

Spooky Songs

Spooky Songs

  • 28 October 2015 11am-2pm

Spooky Songs Half Term Workshop

On Wednesday 28 October we will be creating spooky songs in a family workshop inspired by the sights, sounds and stories of Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet. Come in Hallowe'en fancy dress for a session which will including singing, play and exploring the spooky past of Abbeydale through songwriting.

11am in the Learning Centre

Prices: £2 per child (adult price is usual admission £4 / £3 concessions)

Suitable for children aged 5 – 12 years.

Places are limited, booking advised.

Part of the Sheffield Off The Shelf Festival of Words.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 5-6
  • 0-4
  • 7-10

Where

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet
Abbeydale Road South
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
S7 2QW
England

Admission

Normal admission applies Adults £4.00 | Concessions £3.00

There is a £2.00 cost per child for the workshop.

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/abbeydale-industrial-hamlet/whats-on/spooky-songs-workshop

Victorian Christmas Market

23rd Victorian Christmas Market

  • 5 — 6 December 2015 10am-5pm

A warm Dickensian welcome awaits at our biggest event of the year! Join us for festive fun and shopping with over 120 stalls. Enjoy traditional crafts and skills, family fairground, live music performances, Dickensian characters, Santa's Grotto and reindeer.

Saturday 5 December: 10am - 7pm
Sunday 6 December: 10am - 5pm

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults £6 | Children (U16) FREE!

Website

http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/whats-on/23rd-victorian-christmas-market-kelham-island-museum

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

1940s: Wartime Children

http://www.simt.co.uk

Living History Day for schools
Children travel back in time to wartime Sheffield. They will investigate the lives of real people and encounter the trials and tribulations of air raids, evacuations and life on the Home Front. They will experience sounds, songs, gas masks, and life under an Anderson Shelter.

A Day in the Life of a Young Sheffield Steel Worker

http://www.mylearning.org/overview.asp?journeyid=571

How working life has changed in the Sheffield steel industry since Victorian times, with good audio clips from workers past and present.

Publisher

  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Kelham Island Museum
Alma Street
Off Corporation Street
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
S3 8RY
England

Website

www.simt.co.uk

E-mail

General enquiries

ask@simt.co.uk

Education enquiries

education@simt.co.uk

Collection enquiries

collections@simt.co.uk

Telephone

0114 272 2106

Fax

0114 275 7847

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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