Born in 1886, Frank Turton was to become a pioneer industrialist. A 1901 census records him as “Frank 14, scissor grinder”, and a decade later he took his skills to France during WW1, where he made and repaired surgical instruments. In 1920, he set up Frank Turton Scissors Limited and led the way in the hand forged trade for tools such as fine scissors, cutlery and butcher’s knives.
Ernest Wright’s Friendly Competitor
There was always a strong bond between our workshop and Frank’s. Ernest Wright was a frequent visitor to Turton’s Yard and even though him and Frank were competitors they were on good terms and often played golf together. In fact, our very own Eric Stones worked at Turton Scissors Limited until its closure in the mid-1980s.
INVESTOR IN SOCIETY AND DEDICATED RAMBLER
Frank Turton was more than a self-made businessman. He invested back into society. By supporting the Freeman College, he brought education and improvement to the lives of the poor, decades before the development of the welfare state.
Frank loved the open air. He wanted the youth to experience England’s natural beauty and, as such, helped found the Sheffield Youth Hostels Association. Known throughout Europe, he was often invited on unique expeditions (including the exploration of Norway’s Dead Valley). And as ardent rambler throughout his life, he could still be found walking 18 miles a day at 78 years old.
Frank Turton was active in the workshop until retiring at the age of 90. He was well-liked, respected and regarded fondly by his team. Upon his death in 1978, Frank bequeathed a bonus of £2 to his workforce for each year of service. Mrs. Lilian Heald, who received £42, said about him: “He was a real gentleman, and a very good boss – one of the best”.
CONTINUING THE TURTON TRADITION
We are proud to handcraft this iconic scissor and pass on the tradition of a remarkable man. The “Turton Pattern” are as unique as Frank and as useful in the kitchen now as they have ever been. With each pair we handcraft, the legacy of Gentleman Frank continues.