Sheffield: Memories of Attercliffe Road Wesleyan Chapel
Including Band of Hope Queens
Attercliffe Methodist Hall was on Attercliffe Road, Sheffield and just after the junction with Worksop Road (which is where I was born and lived up to my marriage in 1969).
At the corner of Worksop and Attercliffe Road was Boots the chemist, then progressing up Attercliffe Road towards the city centre was a public house and a doctor’s (Dr. Fogget was one of the doctors and later a Dr. Wallis) then there was an alleyway which bordered on to the church. The front of the church (which seemed to be rarely used) was directly next and after that shops etc.
A Mr and Mrs. Turner used to own the drapers shop on the opposite side of the road and they were involved in the church. They used to be missionaries but I am not sure where, they had a daughter called Joan – does anyone remember them?
I attended from about age 9 in 1956 until about 1960/1 when the church was closed down and moved to one up on Prince of Wales Road in the Manor suburb. I stopped attending for a while but joined again a year or so after.
My younger brother Kenneth also attended and although my youngest brother was actually baptised there the church was closed before he was old enough to attend.
When I think back I realise how important attending not only church services but also the other meetings was and it formed a social life – i.e. Monday evenings was the Band of Hope, Thursday evenings was Girls Brigade and sometimes on Sunday it would be morning service, afternoon Sunday School and as I got older evening services.
Particular memories surround the Harvest Suppers, Whit Sunday walks and Easter celebrations. The crowning of the Sunday School and Band of Hope Queens provided opportunities to travel out of town in some cases – I was an attendant on several occasions, as was my brother. I do remember not only travelling to other suburbs with the Queens but even to Leeds on one occasion.
The Whit walks were the most important time of the year not only because of the church connection but the tradition in the North of England of getting a new set of clothes and ‘showing ‘ the neighbours you new clothes and receiving a penny or similar – Why? Then it would be the walk to the park or recreation grounds for the service and hymn singing – the parading to them with the Boys Brigade carrying the very large banner and the band playing on the way.
I think it was Easter Monday when we had a service and after went to some ‘field’ where races were run and the evening when we would often all purchase ‘fish and chips’ on the way home by way of supper.
The hiking with the Girls Brigade got us out into the surrounding countryside of the Peak District. I also recall all the skills we learnt to ‘earn’ our badges. I can still remember Miss Driver who was our ‘leader’ and the exams we took to test our biblical knowledge etc.
The most outstanding memory is of going on a trip (not sure with which group) to hear Gladys Aylward (who I thought was called Gladys Ailwood for years after) speaking at the Sheffield Town Hall – for one woman to hold so many children enthralled for such a long time was amazing – and she was so small! For a while I wanted to be a missionary, not I must say for my beliefs, but it seemed such a great way to travel!