New homes for Sheffield city treasures

Pictured at the  Traditional Heritage Museum, Ecclesall Road, where John Widdowson folklors and dialect expert is seen.
Pictured at the Traditional Heritage Museum, Ecclesall Road, where John Widdowson folklors and dialect expert is seen.
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New homes have been found for precious exhibits which were left in limbo when a Sheffield museum closed two years ago.

Collections at the Traditional Heritage Museum, Ecclesall Road, were built up over many years with the help of folklore expert and curator Professor John Widdowson.

It closed after the building was found to be in need of major repairs.

Its owner, Sheffield University, faced criticism when it said the cost of carrying out the improvements could not be justified.

There were also fears for its collections, which included a replica kitchen from the 1920s and a variety of shops from Sheffield’s past.

Now the university says that, after 14 months of work, 90 per cent of the exhibits – more than 46,000 items – have been found new homes, the majority in Sheffield and the surrounding region.

Sheffield Archives are taking extensive records, mostly relating to the steel industry and metalworking trades, which were built up at the museum over many years.

The largest single transfer has been to Green Estate, operators of the Sheffield Manor Lodge site.

Many domestic household exhibits will be incorporated into the World War Two Living History Cottages currently under construction, while it is hoped Lottery funding will pay for many of the museum’s shop displays to be reinstalled into a new street – including a coffee shop, chemist, cobblers and corner shop.

Also helping out are Museums Sheffield, Kelham Island Museum, the Sheffield Fire and Police Museum, the South Yorkshire Transport Museum in Aldwarke, Rotherham, and Chesterfield Museum.

The Knitting and Crochet Guild, Holmfirth, has accepted more than 700 items including patterns and knitting tools.

In all 33 museums and agencies have taken in exhibits.