Monday, September 12, 2011

Sheffield pride

My home town, Sheffield, in northern England is a gritty industrial city of notoriously laconic and plan-spoken inhabitants, surrounded by green countryside and wild moorland. It has long been famous for edge tools, silverware and silver plate; and these days, manufacturing of the special steels used in jet engines and gas turbines and the like.

The latest news is that Sheffield is now top of the league table for the UK government's solar power installation scheme.

The ancient Britons and Romans made iron in Sheffield. The town essentially invented modern steel making, including Benjamin Huntsman's famous crucible steel and the Bessemer process which was commercially perfected in a Sheffield works.

Solar PV manufacturing and testing was established in Sheffield only recently, but it seems that the town has embraced the new technology.

Still relevant after 2,000 years of industrial innovation.

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