Some buildings stick in the memory for entirely sentimental reasons. I passed the Wesleyan Reform Chapel, Bodmin Street, Attercliffe, Sheffield every morning in my first five years of schooling.
My Auntie Nellie lived literally next door. It formed the background to my earliest memories of backyard Bonfire Nights when Uncle Charlie was in charge of the box of matches: in Coronation year the biggest bang of all came when Auntie Nellie’s new pressure-cooker, inexpertly screwed down, exploded and spattered mushy peas all over the kitchen ceiling.
My latest memory of this thriving temple of Methodism is of my cousin Cathryn singing at a chapel anniversary in the early 1960s.
It’s an austerely attractive, utterly unremarkable building, unlisted, invisible in the Sheffield Local Studies Library index.
Built in 1890, its foundation stones were laid by a star-studded cast of Sheffield’s most important Methodists, such as Jethro and Samson Chambers, Robert Hadfield and Frederick Mappin – all of them men of steel with Attercliffe connections, the latter two later to become baronets.
Its registration for marriages was cancelled because it was no longer used for worship in 1966.
My 1977 image of the building shows the brickwork still encrusted with industrial grime and most of the windows smashed.
No-one would have given tuppence for its chances of survival.
Nowadays it sparkles: it’s well-maintained; its windows are renewed and its brickwork is beautifully cleaned. It serves as the Jamiyat Tableegh ul Islam Mosque.
So historic buildings which are not worth listing can survive if someone finds an appropriate use for them that will justify their upkeep.