History of Sheffield
Sheffield is a city steeped in history and is known to have been home to humans since at least the last ice age. The city became famous for the production of knives in the 14th century, even being mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales:
Ay by his belt he baar a long panade,
And of a swerd ful trenchant was the blade.
A joly poppere baar he in his pouche;
Ther was no man, for peril, dorste hym touche.
A Sheffeld thwitel baar he in his hose.
Round was his face, and camus was his nose;
(The Reeve’s Tale from The Cantebury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer)
Becoming the second centre for cutlery production in the country by 1600, after London, Sheffield’s reputation grew over the following centuries as local tradesmen developed higher-quality products and improved upon steel production processes. The city’s population grew significantly from the Industrial Revolution of the late 1700s onwards as steel production saw a boost in local industry.
Workers in the 19th century factories were paid better than in other areas, but their work could be exceedingly dangerous and by the 1860s, conflict grew with reformists feeling frustrated by the lack of improved working conditions and The Sheffield Outrages led to explosions and murders by unionist militants. This, in turn, led to The United Kingdom Alliance of Organised Trades being founded in 1866 in Sheffield, which was a forerunner for the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
In 1857 Sheffield Football Club was founded. Still playing to this day (albeit with a few line-up changes!) Sheffield F.C is the oldest club now playing association football and in 2004 they were given the FIFA Order of Merit, an award only given to one other football club – Real Madrid.
The first half of the 20th century saw Sheffield remain a powerhouse for industry, notable for steel production. Having previously been bombed by a German zeppelin in World War 1, Sheffield became a bigger target during the Second World War with local factories manufacturing weapons and ammunition. The Sheffield Blitz of the 12th and 15h December 1940 led to more than 660 lives being lost and many buildings being destroyed.
Sheffield’s steelworks industry fell into decline from the 1970s onwards and in 1990 work to build Meadow Hall on the site of a former steelworks began, creating much-needed employment in the area but further diminishing Sheffield’s steel manufacturing history.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, investment in Sheffield grew and there are once again many wonderful things in the city. From sports clubs to cheer on to fantastic shopping and beautiful gardens to two fantastic universities and gigs aplenty at Sheffield’s various concert venues, there is a lot going on as the city regrows and strengthens.
707 are proud to be working in Sheffield, making us a part of the regeneration that is seeing this great city thrive. As companies, students, families and entrepreneurs flock to the South Yorkshire city, we will be there to provide professional waste management services through contracts with local workers.