Who we are and how we work . . .
Who we are – the forge today
Environmental issues and packaging
We are a small independent company committed to keeping traditional metalworking skills alive in the UK. Based in the south Pennines north of Sheffield, the business was created in 2000 by husband and wife team Nigel Tyas and Elizabeth Stocker.
Nigel . . .
began his training at the age of sixteen as an apprentice blacksmith with the National Coal Board in Elsecar near Barnsley. In the early 1970’s the Coal Board still used steam trains and pit ponies! After a varied career in large-scale industrial blacksmithing and engineering, Nigel now concentrates on the artistic aspects of his craft creating beautiful and functional ironwork for your home.
Elizabeth . . .
manages our friendly customer service team from our showroom next-door to the workshop, and over the years we’ve built up friendships with many of our regular customers. Sometimes, small is beautiful – your order requirements can be communicated immediately to Nigel’s team of blacksmiths, simply by walking through the adjoining door and talking to them. Elizabeth’s IT background enables us to develop this website, which is regularly updated with new design ideas.
How we work . .. the forge today
All of our wrought ironwork is designed and hand-forged by Nigel and his two skilled blacksmiths, Andrew and Simon – plus our associate Dan who boosts the team. Each blacksmith sees his own work through from start to finish. Each item is then handed over to David who applies Nigel’s secret finishes to their work.
The lighting is then passed to Gerald in the wiring workshop connected to the forge, who wires the light fittings and tests them to European and British Standards. Finally, Lynn packs the work to send to you.
Next door, our showroom and office is overseen by Elizabeth who also takes the lead on business management and our all-important e-commerce website. Sheena and Sam handle our customer enquiries, sales and deliveries; liaising directly with the blacksmiths to ensure that every order is made to your requirements. Sheena and Sam are the real bosses - they tell everyone else what to do! Finally, there’s Steph who works on making sure as many people as possible know all about Nigel Tyas Ironwork.
Sam & Sheena
. . . the finished result!
As a small Yorkshire-based business we work with local suppliers wherever possible to source the specialist services we need and our component parts such as handmade lampshades, bulbs and so on. Local ceramicist Sarah Jones-Morris collaborates with us to create the porcelain shades which feature in some of our unique designs.
You could treat yourself to a day out in some of the most beautiful countryside in Yorkshire, with our workshop and showroom right at the heart of it ... or you could simply pick up the telephone and call us on 01226 766618.
Over the years we have built our reputation on a personal and friendly customer service and now have many repeat customers or personally recommended customers. We completely understand that it can be hard to buy without seeing our work first and we are committed to helping you to make the right decision for your home.
We get a lot of positive feedback from customers about the high quality of our aftercare service. We want you to be completely happy with your purchase and we try to follow up all orders to ensure that delivery has gone smoothly and that you are happy with everything. We welcome feedback - positive or negative! - as this enables us to improve our products and service - so please do get in touch!
Every enquiry and order is important to us and we will always do our best to respond to your queries in a timely manner and to work with you to ensure your complete satisfaction.
If you need to talk or discuss your requirements in more detail, just pick up the telephone (01226 766618) or firstname.lastname@example.org and you will find us friendly, professional and accountable.
Environmental issues and Packaging
We’re also doing our best to minimise the environmental impact of our business. Although we’re struggling to find a green solution to forging metal at 900°c, the heat controllers in our modern propane forges enable us to maintain efficient forging temperatures and are significantly more fuel efficient than traditional coke fired forges. Their excellent insulation conserves energy and we’re currently looking for ways to reuse waste heat from the forges to heat our office and showroom.
Our landlord at Bullhouse Mill has recently installed two wind turbines in the fields next to the forge, solar panels on the roof and hydro turbines on the river Don which flows past the workshop. This has enabled us to run our business on green electricity.
Packaging is one area where we can do our bit for the environment. We're trying to find packaging materials that are either fully recycled or bio-degradable whilst still offering sufficient protection to high value products as they move through the transportation system. We reuse boxes that come into the business and wherever possible pack them with recycled material and clean paper waste from a neighbouring printing business. Your curtain poles will be packed in strong cardboard tubes reclaimed from our local carpet shops. We hope to eliminate the use of non-biodegradable bubble wrap and other plastic products in the near future and will update this information as soon as we have more news!
Ethics and fair trade
As a business we believe that our work should be produced as ethically and sustainably as possible and we work hard to ensure that all of our ironwork is produced and priced fairly and honestly.
We use the best quality materials and components in our work and source most of our supplies locally. It is important to us to support local manufacturing businesses, especially in view of Sheffield’s metalworking heritage. We are proud to have been awarded the ‘Made in Sheffield’ mark.
It is also very important to us as a business to keep traditional skills alive in the UK and we make all of our ironwork in our own workshop in Yorkshire using skilled craftspeople.
We are sometimes asked about discounting our work. When we created the business it was always an important consideration that we should treat all of our customers fairly and also pay fair wages to our employees. We prefer to cost our work with integrity and for this reason we do not discount our work. We choose to manufacture in the UK and therefore don't have comparable margins on our work as companies who outsource their manufacturing overseas. The response that we get from our customers confirms that our handmade ironwork represents good value for money ... read more on our testimonials page.
We also believe in actively supporting our local post office and all of our Royal Mail dealings are handled by Millhouse Green Post Office.
At a domestic level, we are fully committed to fair trade and the business is registered with the Fairtrade Foundation. We use ethically sourced tea, coffee and sugar in our workshop kitchen along with milk and buns from our local farms!