The history of Sheffield, a city in South Yorkshire, England, can be traced back to the founding of a settlement in a clearing beside the River Sheaf in the second half of the 1st millennium AD. The area now known as Sheffield had seen human occupation since at least the last ice age, but significant growth in the settlements that are now incorporated into the city did not occur until the Industrial Revolution.
Following the Norman conquest of England, Sheffield Castle was built to control the Saxon settlements and Sheffield developed into a small town, no larger than Sheffield City Centre. By the 14th century Sheffield was noted for the production of knives, and by 1600 it had become the main centre of cutlery production in England, overseen by the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. In the 1740s the crucible steel process was improved by Sheffield resident Benjamin Huntsman, allowing a much better production quality. At about the same time, the silver plating process which produced Sheffield Plate was discovered. The associated industries led to the rapid growth of Sheffield; the town was incorporated as a borough in 1843 and granted a city charter in 1893.
Sheffield remained a major industrial city throughout the first half of the 20th century, but the downturn in world trade following the 1973 oil crisis, technological improvements and economies of scale, and a wide-reaching rationalisation in steel production throughout the European Economic Community led to the closure of many of the steelworks from the early 1970s onward. Urban and economic regeneration schemes, initiated in the late 1980s, have since transformed the city. (read more . . . )
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The Churches Conservation Trust, which was initially known as the Redundant Churches Fund, is a charity whose purpose is to protect historic churches at risk, those that have been made redundant by the Church of England. The Trust was established by the Pastoral Measure of 1968. The legally defined object of the Trust is "the preservation, in the interests of the nation and the Church of England, of churches and parts of churches of historic and archaeological interest or architectural quality vested in the Fund ... together with their contents so vested".
The Trust cares for over 350 churches. The charity is financed partly by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
and the Church Commissioners, but grants from those bodies were frozen in 2001, since when additional funding has come from other sources, including the general public. During the 2016-2017 period, the Trust's income was £9,184,283 and expenditures totaled £9,189,061; 92% of the latter was spent on front line projects. During that year it had 64 employees, and received the support of up to 2,000 volunteers. The charity is run by a board of trustees, who delegate the day-to-day management to a chief executive and his senior management team. (Full article...