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Freedom Works

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Not an arty intervention but Thomas Meldrum's name for industrial premises in Sheffield.

Edit: Not cutlery manufacturers but toolmakers. And still going apparently http://www.thomasmeldrumltd.co.uk/

Founded in 1921 before the juxtaposition of work and freedom developed any sinister connotations.
16th Jun 2009, 10:00   | tags:,,

taniwha says:

Heard a story at work the other day. New academic colleague prints out a banner saying 'Work will set you free' and hangs it on door not realising the association with Auschwitz. doh!

16th Jun 2009, 10:38

OJ says:

No, surely not!

16th Jun 2009, 11:00

Geodyne says:

I was going to make a comment on the photos,but I'm just sitting here shaking my head instead...

16th Jun 2009, 11:22

taniwha says:

Surely yes. I think he intended it as quietly ironic. A colleague pulled him aside for a word in his ear.

16th Jun 2009, 11:43

OJ says:

I take it said academic wasn't in the History department?

Anyway, in this context "works" is a noun, meaning a factory, though obviously reading it as a verb gives it another meaning.

Geo, going back to the photos, what were you going to say? I often walk past them, but it was the shadow pointing out the wonkiness of the sign that caught my eye.

16th Jun 2009, 11:47

taniwha says:

That would have been a hoot, wouldn't it. No, was a human resources lecturer in a school of management, I believe.

16th Jun 2009, 12:05

Geodyne says:

OJ, that was what struck me at first - especially with the wonderful light in that top shot.

But also that the light and the shadow show that no matter how much you paint over a lovely structure, you can't hide the beautiful unconformity of those hand-made bricks.

16th Jun 2009, 14:17

OJ says:

Do you know, I hadn't really noticed the bricks until you pointed them out?

16th Jun 2009, 18:37

sharrowman says:

It was traditional to give factories names. freedom works is next to wheatsheaf works, across from stag works etc. Is it just a name, or more than that? currently this premises is much sort after, partially due to the name. For development as flats and businesses. ie by the camping people opposite, who can see the link, outdoors and freedom. It is actually a good example of a cheaply thrown up factory, not meant to last this long. it is a bit of history, but don't get carried away, it could fall down anytime. without work would we not appreciate freedom as much?If we don't work, how do we occupy ourselves? taking poor quality pictures of places where people have actually spent a lifetime making a significant contribution to this countries gdp.no doubt on an imported camera.

21st Sep 2009, 16:04

OJ says:

Interesting comment, thanks Sharrowman. I didn't know that any of the other businesses on the street were interested in redeveloping the building.

At one point I used to walk past this building on a daily basis on the way to my gainful employment.

Your implied criticism is a little baffling. You're free to consider my photos to be of poor quality if you like. However your own interest in the subject contradicts the suggestion that making a record via photography is a worthless pursuit.

21st Sep 2009, 16:11

sharrowman says:

However?
sorry , just find it baffling that people criticise the old fashioned name, with implications that work is removed from freedom. did you note that no red deeer are involved in stag works. why would you know what other businesses are thinking?

28th Sep 2009, 15:51

OJ says:

I wasn't criticising the old fashioned name Sharrowman, I was merely pointing out that Thomas Meldrum's signage predates the sinister connotations that are now attached (to my mind) to the idea of work setting you free, especially when spelled out in ironwork above the factory door.

Arbeit macht Frei

I really don't know what we're arguing about.

28th Sep 2009, 17:23