Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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David Rogerson Mellor

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David Rogerson Mellor (1930–2009), silversmith and industrial designer

1930 Born in Ecclesall, Sheffield, son of Colin Mellor, a toolmaker at the Sheffield Twist Drill Company, and his wife, Ivy, née Rogerson.

Attended the junior art department of Sheffield College of Art; later, at the college itself, he learned practical and creative skills.

1950 Moved to the Royal College of Art to study silversmithing where he took an interest in design as well.

1954 Returned to Sheffield. For six years he worked in a small workshop in Eyre Street as a silversmith, an industrial designer, and a design consultant with the local cutlery firm of Walker and Hall.

1957 His Pride cutlery, made by Walker and Hall, won one of the first Design Centre awards.

He kept enlarging the scope of his work.

1960 He had a modern studio–workshop built at 1 Park Lane in Sheffield's western suburbs. There he designed much of his most important silver, including Embassy, a complete set of sterling silver tableware for use in British embassies. There also he did some of his best-known work in industrial design: bus shelters, public benches, a square letter box for the Post Office, and the traffic lights still in use in the U.K.

1963 Production of his cutlery design stalled when Walker and Hall were taken over and Mellor's consultancy came to an end.

1966 Married Fiona Caroline MacCarthy

1969 Opened a shop in London.

1973 He bought Broom Hall near Park Lane, Sheffield, and turned it into a home and a cutlery factory. Each cutlery worker was responsible for his pieces from start to finish, making the work more varied and interesting. Early Broom Hall designs were made in two parts: bowl, fork, and blade in stainless steel, handles in wood or resin, a technique used in Scandinavia but not in Sheffield.

1980s Opened new shops in Manchester and Covent Garden.

1981 Awarded an OBE

Decided to build a new factory in the north (which opened at Hathersage in 1990) and a retail headquarters in London (but this did not succeed commercially and was abandonned).

2000 Mellor was diagnosed with vascular dementia. His son Corin continued the work at Hathersage.

2009 David Mellor died in Sheffield

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of David Rogerson Mellor, ODNB