Five Generations of Shaws Craftsmen


Lancashire manufacturer, Shaws of Darwen, is praising its skilled craftsmen this Father's Day and celebrating the handcrafting skills that have been passed from father-to-son for five generations.

The fireclay sinks manufacturer has been employing local families at its Waterside factory in Darwen for 120 years, with many of its craftsmen having family connections to the company dating back to its launch in 1897.

Responsible for perfecting the sinks before glazing is Kevin Guy, a master craftsman who uses his hands and tools to ensure each sink is perfect. Kevin has worked in nearly every role at Shaws over the past 30 years and his family has a very special connection with the company.

There has been a member of my family employed by Shaws since it began 120 years ago. My mother's family even helped to build the road leading to the factory building. Everyone in the family has worked here - great grandparents, grandparents, mum, dad, brother, nephews, my son, his stepbrothers and also me - it's in our genes!

Kevin - 52

Kevin's son, Ryan Guy, started out at Shaws as an Apprentice five years ago and is now responsible for mixing the material that makes the fireclay sinks.

I've inherited a strong work ethic from my dad; he's always told me I've got to pay my way so that means working hard for what you want!

Ryan - 23

Employing 95 local people, including a number of father-son teams, Shaws of Darwen is recognised globally for handcrafting the world's finest fireclay sinks.

This year is a very important milestone for Shaws as we're not only celebrating the company's 120th birthday, but also the people who have made that possible. Families are very much at the heart of Shaws, with many of our apprentices honing their craft with the help of their own parents, uncles and even siblings. These skills being passed down from parent-to-child has become kind of a tradition here at Shaws and the talent that goes into creating our sinks deserves to be praised. So, here's to another 120 years of Lancashire-born talent!

David Dare - Owner and CEO