One of the people who helped to save the Lyceum Theatre from the bulldozers in the late 1980s, Albert Uttley, has died aged 84.
At the time of the Lyceum campaign, he was firmly entrenched as a legend in Sheffield amateur dramatics folklore, although was shortly to leave the scene.
Born in Rotherham, his first involvement in amateur theatre in Sheffield was undertaking productions at the Lantern Theatre.
He was president of Sheffield Playgoers for several years, taking his productions to festivals in places like Felixstowe and Colwyn Bay and winning many prizes.
In 1961, he directed the opening production by Sheffield and District Amateur Theatre Association (SADATA)at the newly refurbished Library Theatre: Terrence Rattigan’s The Sleeping Prince.
Among other groups he worked with were City Comic Opera, South Yorkshire Opera and Pegasus Theatre Company.
When he retired as a real estate surveyor for Shell in 1989, he also withdrew from theatre work and studied for an Open University arts degree, as well helping with the rescue of the Lyceum.
“He said: ‘I’ve done it all… I’m going to do something else,” recalls Bessie Uttley of her late husband’s change of direction in embarking on the degree, which he obtained with honours.
“We’ve done all the things he enjoyed since, in particular travelling and theatre.
“He was always interested theatre and the arts and he pursued them right up to the end.”
Albert Uttley’s funeral was Hutcliffe Wood last Wednesday.
He lived in Ranmoor and leaves a widow, Bessie, and two sons, Ben and Matthew.