16th October Update: It brings us great sadness to announce that unfortunately Trevor Ablett passed away this week, the world has lost a true inspiration and one of the greatest craftsman we had the pleasure of meeting. Our thoughts are with his family.
When our beloved Trevor Ablett announced his retirement earlier this year due to health, we couldn't see ourselves stocking another pocket knife. Trevor is one of a kind, every phone call with him was an inspiration, up until his recent retirement he was one of the few remaining craftsman knife makers creating British made pocket knives in a small Sheffield workshop, something he has been doing for over 50 years. Trevor is termed a "Little Mester" locally, this term was used to describe the legions of highly skilled, self-employed Sheffield craftsmen during the mid 1800's, who were the backbone of what was then the world's cutlery and tool-making capital.
Not long after he retired, Trevor personally contacted Joseph Rodgers knives on our behalf to say what a pleasure it was to work with us, and they should get in touch... We had been aware of the Joesph Rodgers knives due to their 300 year Sheffield history, and beautiful craftsmanship just like Trevor's creations. After building up such a relationship with Trevor, it was an honour to be recommended to them by him, and for us to continue to support a British industry and craft steeped in tradition.
The Star and Maltese Cross found on the Joseph Rodgers knives was originally registered in March 1682 by a Benjamin Rich. However, it is with Joseph Rodgers that this mark will forever by associated and they registered it in 1764. Rodgers focused on producing the finest quality knives and looked for the best in every aspect of knife production from materials to workmanship. Each knife was branded with the Star and Cross as a guarantee of its superb quality. It has been claimed that so great was Rodgers reputation for producing only the finest products that the word Rujjus, a variation on “Rodgers” entered into the Sinhalese dialect as a general expression of superlative quality.
Joseph Rodgers’ success is evident in the firm’s appointment to five successive sovereigns - George IV, William IV, Queen Victoria, Edward II and George V.
Sometimes things are meant to be, and as sad as it is that Trevor will no longer be making his knives, we can proudly say that we are the first store to be stocking the beautiful Joseph Rodgers knives using the same Yorkshire Oak handles as Trevor, handmade in Sheffield, with a history dating back to 1682.