QUESTION marks are hanging over the future of a ‘secret’ Sheffield museum which has now been closed for six months.
The Traditional Heritage Museum on Ecclesall Road is owned by Sheffield University but has been run in recent years entirely by volunteers.
Based in the former hall of Endcliffe Methodist Church, it features a variety of displays representing Sheffield from past decades.
A university spokesman said the museum had been closed due to health and safety concerns but refused to give further details.
“The University of Sheffield has undertaken a full assessment of the property and will be discussing its findings with the relevant people. The museum will remain closed at this time,” he added.
But volunteers and supporters fear the museum may now have shut its doors for good.
Regular visitor Peter Bolt, of Marshall Road, Woodseats, said its permanent closure was on the cards.
“It has provided a unique experience over the years, giving an insight into how trades and shops used to provide services to people in a bygone era,” he said.
“The museum is the only one of its kind in Sheffield - we do not have anything like it on the same lines.”
The museum opened in 1985 and has a variety of walk-through displays, including a replica kitchen from the 1920s and a variety of Sheffield shops, such as Pollard’s tea and coffee and Renwick’s Basketmakers.
The interior of Pollard’s Coffee and Grocery shop was created from original fittings preserved from the former shop on Glossop Road.
Other collections date from 1850 to 1950 and illustrate life and work in Sheffield, including several displays reflecting the ‘little mester’ trades.
Another preserved shop is Thackeray’s, which used to be in a terrace house at Upper Hanover Street.