I recently had the honor of making Steve a sourdough knife.
What was unusual is that the steel I used was actually reclaimed from the company Steve worked for many decades ago, Samuel Osborn & Co, Sheffield. When Steve first contacted me and mentioned his personal history, the company rang a bell… so I looked through my quite limited supply of reclaimed steel and sure enough, it was there! A quite sizable piece of steel clearly stamped with the Osborn & Co name and logo.
I believe strongly in using reclaimed materials.
Thinking differently about our resources and how it affects our every day lives… and futures.
This personal connection to the material adds another layer of meaning to me.
I’m very proud of what I was able to create for Steve and hope it serves him and his family for many years to come!
Q: How long have you been baking sourdough for?
My Sourdough journey started 6 years ago after I bought my first by Emmaunuel Hadjiandreou “How to make Bread” and since then added so many more from Vanessa Kimbell and loved “Sourdough” by Casper Andre Lugg and Martin Ivar Hvem Fjeld.
Q: When did you start working at Samuel Osborn & Co ? And what sort of work did you do there?
I started work at Osborn Steels at the Ecclesfield plant when I was 17 years old and spent 4 years with the company and progressed from a “Slinger” which basically loaded the machines with raw billets for processing to the youngest Radiac Operator where a cut billets to size for the next leg of the processing.
Interestingly I had 5 Uncles and my step father who all worked in the same factory doing different roles from forging to machining.
Q: Did you enjoy your time there?
I loved my time at Osborn Steels it was “proper work” hard graft, sweaty and well paid and worked with honest working class Guys however I decided to move to British Steel Corporation a behemoth of the steel industry in1977 because the money and career prospects were much better as I have always been ambitious and wanted to better myself.
I left British Steel in 1982 so in total 7 years in the Industry.
Q: A favourite memory of the workplace?
My favourite memory was the people, real people no bullshit, straight talking Yorkshire blokes that grafted hard, enjoyed a pint and lived and worked to look after their families.
Q: Do you recall what sort of tools they were making during your time there?
Osborn Steels made a lot of steel products that then went onto for finishing at Rolls Royce and other large engineering companies.
Q: Did you experience/witness some of the decline of British steel/industry?
I didn’t really see a decline of the industry, however a number of my Uncles stayed to the very end and left the business demoralised and out of work and went through Government retraining schemes.
Q: How does it feel to have your own sourdough knife made from reclaimed steel originally created by Samuel Osborn & Co?
To have my own sourdough knife made from Osborn Steels is part of my history, its authentic and will be part of my history and in a way surreal as it feels I am coming full circle on the journey of my life.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
Sourdough has enhanced my life, I love the authenticity of every bake plus the health benefits and the pure joy of sharing my bakes with friends and family and its opened up new relationships with like minded people…