Sheffield Assay Office is just about to embark upon the next chapter of its fascinating 235-year history when it moves into purpose-built headquarters in Hillsborough, Sheffield. The move is scheduled for late July and the brand new 33.000 sq. foot building is just about as modern as you can get, with state-of the-art facilities which will make its assay, analytical and lasermarking services the best equipped in the country.
However, committed as he is to innovation and development, Assay Master Ashley Carson is keen to preserve the sense of history which has shaped the organisation. The old building at Portobello Street in the centre of Sheffield featured beautifully crafted oak panels, each bearing the date mark for every year of the Assay Office's history since 1773 - and these panels are making the short journey across the city to the new building, where they will be installed and the tradition will continue.
"The Assay Office of 2008 is very different from its historical counterpart of 1773" says Ashley Carson. "In addition to the hallmarking services which were the reason for the Assay Office being established, we now offer a wide range of advanced lasermarking and analytical services and our new home will ensure we have the space and facilities to develop them. However, I wanted to ensure that we didn't lose sight of our history and these beautiful oak panels are a perfect way of combining something traditional with something cutting edge and very new. So we're bringing back the years!"