Last of Sheffield's Little Mesters cutlery crafters to be honoured at memorial service

The last of Sheffield’s “Little Mesters” cutlery crafters is to be remembered at a memorial service in the city’s cathedral this weekend.

Stan Shaw died in February last year at the age of 94, after working for almost eight decades as a penknife crafter.

Beginning his career aged 14 as an apprentice at the well-known knife firm, George Ibberson, Mr Shaw practised his trade in his final workshop later at Kelham Island Museum until shortly before his death. Relatives of Mr Shaw, of Deepcar, now hope to start a fund for a permanent public memorial to him.

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Mr Shaw created penknives for people from the worlds of commerce and music, but perhaps his most well-known recipient was former US president George HW Bush, who called the knife an “outstanding example of English craftsmanship” in a thank-you letter he sent.

Stan Shaw died in February last year at the age of 94, after working for almost eight decades as a penknife crafter.

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Mr Shaw was awarded the British Empire Medal in 2016, and was also honoured as a Freeman of the Company of Cutlers in Sheffield.

He left a huge collection of knives to his widow, Rosemary, and three children, Andrew, Kevan, and Jane.

Jane Lees said: “For all the family, it will be such an emotional day but we’re so grateful to get the chance to do this at Sheffield Cathedral where we can meet with people who loved him as much as we did.”

The service tomorrow will be led by the Reverend Canon Keith Farrow, with the city’s Lord Mayor, Gail Smith, and South Yorkshire’s Lord Lieutenant, Dame Hilary Chapman, among the guests.