Proud to be Pryor

Proud to be Pryor

For the 2020’s at least – Sheffield has a typical UK City Centre:

Bourgeoning residential blocks and apartments, boulevards of bars and restaurants, quirky independent shops, and the global brands every city allows. In this case to service 751,000* residents of the metropolitan area and eighty thousand young people experiencing their Varsity years.

BUT ONCE upon a time, Sheffield City Centre was known as “One Big Workshop”.

Hundreds of small cutlery bench workers – the famous Little Mesters – literally living cheek by jowl with internationally renowned edge tool industries and related trades. Most, exporting across Continental Europe and the Americas as far back as the 1600’s, long before covering the globe with the highest quality Steel and Steel Products.


As part of this wider scene Edward Pryor and Sons have been plying their trade of metal marking since 1849. 

Starting on West Street, expanding and moving across several factory sites with each period of growth, the firm settled at Egerton Street a mere 75 years ago.

NOW – Edward Pryor and Son, trading as Pryor Technology, are the last substantial manufacturer still in the City Centre itself. 

All other large makers who survived the centuries, have moved to the rim of the metropolitan area, holding tight to the edges of the city, to allow their products to be adorned with the famous “Made in Sheffield” mark.

Despite depressions, world wars, the deindustrialisation of the 1980’s … no matter, Pryors have continued as a global force. Since 2018 alone direct sales have been made to over 90 countries. 

Hardly surprising there’s an atmosphere to this factory.

You will have seen the encroaching towers of brick and glass, the gentrifying of other factories already converted to luxury apartments, and the constant talk of more to come – THEN, you walk through the understated reception, unchanged in half a century. You’re given the tour of ancient crafts, handmade hand tools and the juxtaposition of the very latest in marking technology: Pryor Designed Solutions that provide the automotive and aerospace industries with essential integrated track and trace functionality, as part of their direct manufacturing process.

THAT ATMOSPHERE – the “thing” you can feel as you chat to the staff, notice the patina of wooden benches and boxes, engrained by thousands of long gone hands, the bright shiny new robots and laser machines being calibrated to order – you start to realise what it is.


Pride in the job, in the company, (held for all as a charitable trust), in the client rosta, the quality of both steadfast and evolving products, and the constant training and opportunities that advance every trainee.

Opportunities proven by the Founder apprenticed at age 12 in 1843 – and the current Managing Director apprenticed in 1977.


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Authors Note:

*Population of Sheffield Metropolitan area predicted for 2024 – for correct comparison to metropolitan area population figures used by both Manchester and Leeds. Source here.

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