It’s time for a village to go down in history

Grenosidee reading room time capsule
Grenosidee reading room time capsule

With a community project to restore part of village history in Grenoside nearing completion, it was time for the local school and other local organisations to make their mark.

Two time capsules were planted at the old Reading Room, which is being given a new lease of life as a community meeting room and heritage centre thanks to a £218,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Children from Grenoside Community Primary School put together one time capsule, which included information about the school and themselves, and which will be retrieved in 50 years, when some of them will no doubt be able to reflect on its contents.

The other capsule to go under the floor was the responsibility of village organs at ions, including the Grenoside History Group, the conservation society and Scouts, and will see the light of day again in 100 years.

Contents ranged from gala and pantomime programmes to Cub friendship badges and a football team photo.

The Reading Room, which dates back to around 1790, is the only listed building in the village. Originally a school, the it became a reading room and library in 1893.

Altogether, £257,000 is being spent on repairs, restoration and an extension with a new kitchen and toilets.

The project is being steering by a local trust, which took over responsibility from the parish council.

It means Grenoside will get a new community room which can be used for meetings, talks, permanent exhibition space, while the primary school can use it as an extra classroom.

The building, in School Lane, is due to open next month, and the first exhibition will see a display by Grenoside History Society on education in the village, Burncross, Chapeltown and High Green.

Exhibitions by local photographers and artists are expected to follow.

Sheffield Wildlife Trust, which is working on a project to improve Greno Woods, will use it as a base.

Alan Hooper, who chairs the trustees, said the building was not designed to compete with the community centre, the church and chapel halls or the scout hut. “We want to provide something different.”

The idea emerged as part of drawing up a village plan.

“A lot of people wanted the Reading Room to be a library, but we couldn’t get the major grants. We could for heritage and history purposes.

“For the village and beyond, it is being restored to it Georgian glory and will be a wonderful asset as a community building.”