Friday, February 15, 2019

News: New uses for Hamby's legacy projects


The changing face of Rotherham's High Street - as Hamby's prepares to move out, it is exciting to see one of the new generation of entrepreneurs preparing to move in.

Hamby's has recently announced the closure of the shoe shop at the top of the High Street but another Rotherham town centre business - Holy Ghost Tattoo Collective - already has designs on taking on the landmark building.

Based in the nearby historic Imperial Buildings, Emily Dawson - the town centre's first female tattoo artist - manages a quirky tattoo studio offering fully custom designs drawn by each artist on the team in their own individual style. The studio also hosts guest artists from up and down the country offering customers an even greater selection of looks to choose from.

The first studio opened in 2013 and a second studio opened in The Old Town Hall in 2018 to enable the business to offer more services and products to an ever increasing customer base.

Emily, the winner of the last ever Rotherham Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2017, said on Facebook: "Due to us expanding once again, we have secured an amazing new studio in Rotherham. Don't worry though, it is only a few short steps away from our current, main studio in the Imperial Buildings.

"Thank you to all our amazing clients for your continued support! We cannot wait to welcome you all into the spectacular new studio!"


The changes to Rotherham's historic High Street could not have happened without Chris Hamby (pictured) and it will be sad to see the retailer go. But his legacy will remain.

The former premises of John Mason Jewellers at the top of the High Street was bought and taken over by Hamby's in 2003 and funding was secured from the Heritage Lottery-Funded (HLF) Townscape Heritage Initiative for a new shop front to restore the building to its original appearance.

An even bigger challenge came ten years later when Chris saved the Three Cranes building over the road and created a complex of mixed-used outlets focusing on the listed buildings with financial backing via Rotherham Council.

25 and 27 on the High Street was included on the first Heritage at Risk Register in 1999 and finally taken off in 2015 with the revitalisation complete.

The former Three Cranes Inn, that occupied a timber framed building dating back to the 15th Century, is thought to be the oldest domestic building in the town. It became Hamby's Antique Centre but this too is set to close at the end of March.

It has always been envisaged that the saved premises could return to a pub and this looks increasingly likely following the success of the £500,000 revamp of the nearby grade II listed George Wright building which reopened as a boutique hotel, bar and restaurant last year.

The former Three Cranes Inn was probably built as a merchant's town house around 1600.

The grade 2* listed building is the only timber framed building to survive in Rotherham town centre.

Hamby's website
Holy Ghost Tattoo Collective website

Images: RMBC / Heritage England


Anonymous,  February 15, 2019 at 12:24 PM  

How do people know these quirky shops are there? Why isn’t there a website of “cool and interesting shops in Rotherham” which attracts visitors? The council should be all over this but instead they concentrate on silly “entrepreneur of the year” awards that keep information in a small community bubble.

It’s fantasy to expect people to travel from Sheffield or Doncaster or Barnsley just to see what’s in Rotherham.

Anonymous,  February 15, 2019 at 2:41 PM  

Old Three cranes,converted back ,sounds good!👍👍

Anonymous,  February 16, 2019 at 12:51 AM  

Another set to fail, crap venture from the dodgy scrap men then? what has happened to Rotherham. Shameful and embarrassing. Good luck.... you will need it!

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