Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust.

The project is indebted to the following major contributors for their help in providing insight into the Sheffield steel industry:

  • Sheffield Forgemasters International
  • Tinsley Bridge Ltd
  • Peter Goss (hand forger)
  • Peter Gribbon (grinder)
  • Ron Staley (grinder)

This resource provides an insight into how work life in the Sheffield steel industry has changed since Victorian times.

Short audio responses from steel workers and 'Little Mesters' and spoken extracts from the White Report of 1865, are accompanied by a quiz and related questions and quotes for classroom discussion.

The resource investigates perceived traditions within the steel community such as changes in work wear, conditions, training and what people spend their first pay packet on. It can be used by schools to investigate ‘changes’ using snapshots from three eras – Victorian times, the 1950s and the 2000s.

Little Mester, Pete Goss forging scissors..  He has a blow torch lit and a large hammer
Forging Scissors


Curriculum Links

  • KS1 History: Changes within living memory; Events beyond living memory that are siginificant nationally or globally.
  • KS2 History: A study of an aspect or theme in British history after 106
  • KS3 History: Ideas, political power, industry and empire: Britain, 1745-1901; Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day


Illustration of workers teeming steel