Monday, 22 March 2010

The Hawley Tool Collection at Kelham Island

The variety of tools in production in the earlier parts of the last century was extra-ordinary. Burgon & Ball alone produced over 90 different patterns of hoe head - pretty much one for every county, vegetable and colonial country. Here's a little selection!

The great Yorkshireman Ken Hawley has amassed an incredible collection of over 100,000 tools and tool ephemera over the last 50 or so years and now we can all see (at least some of) it! Last Tuesday I went along to the opening of the Hawley Collection at the brilliant and award winning, Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield. If you're ever in Sheffield, go, because there are some truely jaw dropping pieces of industrial kit, in working order, plus lots of engaging pastiche's from the bygone times of tool and cutlery production in Sheffield.

On my way out I way drawn by the most beautiful sweet sound, some kind of musical instrument I've never heard before. Transfixed, I followed my ears until I found the source - the Yorkshire Saw Player.  The sound (especially played in the echo-ey interior of this old industrial building) was haunting and ethereal - and made by drawing a bow along a saw. Another one to snap up the chance to experience if you possibly can.

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