FEARS have been raised for the future of a Sheffield ‘secret museum’ – the Traditional Heritage Museum in Ecclesall Road – which has been closed since February while owners Sheffield University assess the repairs that are needed.
Prof John Widdowson, founder of the centre, which is run by volunteers and students and includes a replica kitchen from the 1920s and recreations of Sheffield shops, such as Pollard’s tea and coffee and Renwick’s Basketmakers, believes the bill could be £500,000 after problems with heating, burst pipes and asbestos.
“The cost to repair the building will be substantial at a time when the university is seriously strapped for cash,” he said. “But this is a unique resource and is one of the few examples of a facility where the university interacts with the people of Sheffield.
“The university owns the important collections inside which span the years from 1850 to 1970, and if they are split up then the integrity of the collection as a whole will be lost.”
He added: “It could be that launching some sort of appeal for sponsorship or support could be the only way forward.”
The museum was created by Prof Widdowson in 1964 and moved into its present building, the former hall of Endcliffe Methodist Church, in 1977.