The South Yorkshire Industrial History Society, formerly the Sheffield Trades Historical Society, was formed in 1933 by people from local industries and the University of Sheffield who saw that much of the area’s industrial heritage was disappearing. The society is thought to be the worlds oldest local industrial history and preservation society and has had some notable achievements.
The Society was instrumental in the early preservation of Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet and let to a successful move in 1956 to prevent the works’ proposed demolition; their rebirth as the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet followed.
Wortley Top Forge is owned by the society and has been restored by its volunteers. The society also owns Rockley Furnace, Bower Spring (in Sheffield), the only remaining cementation furnace chests still in situ and the Nail Forge at Hoylandswaine (near Barnsley).
The Society holds evening lectures during the winter and has a programme of events and visits through the summer. The Field Recording Group has published a Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of South Yorkshire and records historic industrial buildings, sites and machinery.
The Group carries out research and provides an informal forum where researchers can meet and discuss findings. The Group also comments on planning applications, has for many years maintained a register of sites and is represented on the Sheffield City Conservation Advisory Group.