Category Archives: Exploring Attercliffe

Fragmentary remains

Site of former Brightside & Carbrook Staniforth Road store: pilaster base

When I’m stuck for information about an aspect of Sheffield’s architectural and social history, one of the people I call on is Robin Hughes, trustee of Hallamshire Historic Buildings and Joined Up Heritage Sheffield.  He almost always has a detailed, referenced answer.

In return, he occasionally asks me for answers to his queries.  Sometimes I know something;  other times I’m clueless, as I was when he asked if I’d noticed three stones on the south side of Staniforth Road in Attercliffe, immediately downhill from the Pinfold Bridge across the Sheffield Canal. 

The blunt answer was no:  I must have driven past them hundreds of times and never even glanced in their direction.

Robin was at a loss to explain them, though they had clearly been significant.  Two form a pair at the boundary of Spartan Works though too far apart to mark an entrance;  the other is smaller (or perhaps lower) and immediately adjacent to the canal-bridge parapet.

It would have been irresponsible for me to speculate:  any conjecture of mine would have been no more than a wild guess.  Robin’s initial hypothesis was that they were boundary markers, and he found an 1819 map on Picture Sheffield to support it.  But he added, “There may be another explanation, though.”

And there was.  Within a couple of hours he e-mailed again with the correct answer.

These stones are all that remains of the Brightside & Carbrook Co-operative Society’s Staniforth Road store [Print details Picture Sheffield], which was built in 1894 when Staniforth Road was still Pinfold Lane, and completely destroyed in the Blitz in December 1940.  They are, in Robin’s words “the decorative bases of the shop front pilasters, and are not functional.”  The building was designed by the B&C’s preferred architect, Henry Webster.  In this Picture Sheffield image [Print details Picture Sheffield] of the ruins the single stone is visible next to the small child on the extreme left.

These almost invisible vestiges mark a place where Attercliffe people shopped for “value for money furniture”, jewellery, prams, pianos, cycles, carpets, rugs and mats, according to an advertisement in The Sheffield Co-operator (May 1924) that promises “Give us your co-operation, and we will give you Civility, Attention, and Free Delivery”:  Issue_021_May_1924.pdf (principle5.coop) [page 3].

It’s also a memento of a night of terror in December 1940 when bombs rained on Attercliffe obliterating familiar shops, pubs and churches, making many houses uninhabitable and killing at least 660 people across the city.

These three small pilaster bases would almost certainly have been forgotten without Robin’s detective work, and their history would have been lost.

In the imminent rejuvenation of Attercliffe I suggest it’s important to commemorate the lives and lifestyles that went before.

The Friends of Zion Graveyard have made it easy for visitors to visualise what was on their site until a few decades ago by raising funds to install professionally composed interpretation boards that are now accompanied by a £5 guide book.

The writer Neil Anderson has led a series of effective campaigns to ensure that the 1940 Sheffield Blitz is not forgotten.  His easy-to-use app [Sheffield Blitz – Apps on Google PlayThe Sheffield Blitz on the App Store (apple.com)] enables anyone with a mobile phone in their hand to visit relevant locations in and around the city centre, accompanied by the voice of the late Doug Lightning, the last surviving firefighter to have been on duty in the midst of the raid.  Ian Castle has commemorated the World War I raid on the Lower Don Valley in 1916:  Sheffield author Neil Anderson relaunches book that led to proper tribute to city sacrifice in Blitz (thestar.co.uk).

Attercliffe has more than enough sites associated with the Blitz to make a walking trail that captures for younger generations the impact of two nights’ destruction in the dark days of the Second World War.  Alongside books, videos and apps, there’s a special immediacy to markers of the actual sites that casual pedestrians can stumble upon, like Gunter Demnig’s StolpersteineStolpersteine | Mike Higginbottom Interesting Times.

If “heritage” means anything, it’s about linking the experience of past generations to the imagination of those who follow.

The new Adelphi

Adelphi Cinema, Attercliffe, Sheffield: balcony plasterwork (1982)
Adelphi Cinema, Attercliffe: balcony (2023) [© Dan Bultin]

Sheffield has only two listed cinema buildings, both coincidentally opened in 1920 – the Abbeydale Picture House, designed as a multi-purpose entertainment venue with a full theatre stage, a ballroom, a billiard saloon and a café, and the Adelphi, Attercliffe, a straightforward silent-movie house which at the time of listing in 1996 was largely intact inside and out.

At present the Abbeydale is in a state of limbo.  Problems with the auditorium ceiling have led to a legal stand-off between the landlord and the lessee which needs to be resolved to safeguard the integrity of the building and enable a full restoration to take place.

There has been a flurry of media attention about the Adelphi, which was purchased by Sheffield City Council in March 2023 for refurbishment as a mixed-use cultural space, much needed for the revival and transformation of the local community. The Adelphi is on the market, with a promise of Levelling Up funding to make it once again “occupiable”:  Levelling Up: Adelphi Cinema in Attercliffe out to market (sheffnews.com).

A very attractive CGI image shows what the interior might look like after refurbishment, yet nowhere in the media coverage is there any indication that the original 1920 decoration has completely disappeared.

The auditorium in its current state is a bleak contrast to how it looked at the time it was surveyed for listing, with “pilasters, segment-arched panelled ceiling and [a] moulded proscenium arch with [a] central crest flanked by torches [and a] U-shaped gallery with [a] latticework plaster front”.  The original scheme was delicate and light:  Searching Picture SheffieldSearching Picture Sheffield.

The listing inspector observed that “cinemas dating from this period, between 1918 and the introduction of sound in the early 1930s, are comparatively rare”.

What happened? 

I e-mailed a city councillor who will be in a position to know (or find out) but I’ve so far received no response.

I photographed the interior in 1982 when it was a bingo club and again in 1990 when it was unoccupied.  At the time the entire auditorium was bristling with classical plaster decoration designed by the architect William Carter Fenton (1861-1950;  Lord Mayor 1922).

A cluster of urban-explorer reports in 2011 suggests that conversion to a night-club was largely respectful of the building’s listed status, despite the need for structural alterations.

The building was sold for storage use in 2013 and at some point the plasterwork was stripped out.

Recent images show a bleak space that looks nothing like a 1920s cinema.  The CGI image represents an admirable exercise in making the best of a bad job, apart from the puny chandeliers.

Maybe there was a legitimate reason to take down the plasterwork:  perhaps it was unstable and might have injured someone.  Maybe the owner at the time discussed the matter with the Council planning authority, but I’ve never heard any public mention of alterations in the years after the listing.

Though the Adelphi deserves to retain its Grade II listing because its fine exterior survives intact, it now bears no comparison with the Abbeydale, and there are other Sheffield cinemas with surviving interior features which haven’t been considered for protection:

And if the stripping of the auditorium plasterwork was unauthorised, should there not be consequences for a flagrant disregard of the laws about listed buildings?

Zion Graveyard 4

Zion Congregational Church and Sabbath School, Attercliffe, Sheffield (1978)

When I went looking for the site of the Zion Congregational Church in 2017 while reconnoitring my Heritage Open Days Walk Round Attercliffe, all that could be seen through the boundary fence was a twelve-foot-high jungle.

Coincidentally, that was the summer when the group that maintains the undenominational Upper Wincobank Chapel came looking for the burial place of the Chapel’s founder, Mary Ann Rawson (1801-1887). 

It took a great deal of work to locate her family tomb, and the group resolved to form the Friends of Zion Graveyard, which quickly purchased and restored the site and made it accessible.

I don’t do gardening, so instead I’ve brought visitors to the Graveyard through my Walks Round Attercliffe and Bus Rides Round Attercliffe and busied myself researching the history of the buildings and the generations of worshippers dating back to the end of the eighteenth century.

During the lockdown period the Friends produced a series of interpretation boards – to which I contributed – to fix to the boundaries of the Graveyard.

These make a significant difference to visitors’ understanding, particularly because the images show how much the surroundings have changed since the 1970s:  two of the congregation’s three buildings have been destroyed, along with all of the surrounding housing.

Visitors to the Zion Graveyard can now take away the information and the pictures in a guide-book, The Story of Zion Graveyard Attercliffe:

My dad’s lost opportunity

King Edward VII School, Sheffield

I’ve known for a long time that my dad missed a lifetime opportunity in 1926 at the age of twelve when he was awarded a scholarship to King Edward VII Grammar School, which had a reputation as the best place in Sheffield to gain an education.

King Ted’s, as people called it (and still do), was at the time a fee-paying school where there were social expectations alongside academic opportunities.

My dad’s parents felt compelled to turn the scholarship down because they simply couldn’t afford the incidentals such as uniform and fares and needed their sons and daughters to start work at the then school-leaving age of fourteen.

In addition, it was the year of the General Strike and they had five children, with a sixth on the way, and there was no telling which of them might pass scholarships in future.  My granddad was a boilerman in the coke ovens at Tinsley Park, so their finances were precarious.

All this was simply family history of purely personal interest until I came across an obituary for Bill Moore (1911-2008), a celebrated figure in left-wing politics in Yorkshire and beyond, who was said to be the first Attercliffe boy to win a free scholarship to grammar school:  https://grahamstevenson.me.uk/2008/09/19/bill-moore.

This set me thinking.  King Edward’s was founded in 1905.  If it took seventeen years for a lad from any of the numerous elementary schools in the Lower Don Valley to gain a free grammar-school education, perhaps my dad might have been the second.

I checked the Education Committee minutes and without looking further back than 1920 I discovered that Bill Moore was by no means the first Attercliffe lad to go to King Ted’s.  Between eleven and twenty scholarships were awarded each year from 1920 to 1926, mostly to pupils from schools on the prosperous west side of the city. 

In 1921 William Wild, aged 12 years 3 months, left my alma mater, Huntsman’s Gardens Council School, for King Edward’s on a Close Entrance Scholarship.  His father was a brass foundry manager, so could no doubt afford the tram fare, yet the family lived on Brinsworth Street, two minutes’ walk from Huntsman’s Gardens, in the very heart of the industrial East End – by no means a leafy affluent suburb.

By the time Bill Moore was eligible in the summer of 1923 the system had changed and under his birth name, Enos Leslie Moore, he was awarded a Free Scholarship, “tenable for the period of school life and covering free tuition, the provision of all school amenities and the use, but not the gift, of books” along with a maintenance grant.

He stayed at King Edward’s until 1930 when he won a further scholarship to study history at Oriel College, Oxford.  In 1935, after graduation he joined the Communist Party and engaged in left-wing politics for the rest of his long life.

Bill Moore’s story gives me a perspective of the magnitude of my dad’s loss, and explains why he and my mother were so keen for me to have the opportunity that had been denied them.

For that I have always been profoundly grateful.

Brown Bayley’s steam wagons

Brown Bayley Steels Ltd, Sentinel steam lorry no 6 (1968)

I’m very grateful to Stephen Johnson for providing me with a copy of his book The Other Mr Brown’s Business:  a short history of the firm of Brown Bayley’s Steel Works Ltd, Sheffield (2021), which is a significant contribution to the history of the Sheffield steel industry.

My granddad was a furnace bricklayer at Brown Bayley’s until shortly after the end of the Second World War, but my memory of the works in the 1950s is the common sight of their steam wagons, forerunners of the modern lorry, chugging around the streets.

The steam wagon like its contemporary, the electric tramcar, occupies the window between the initial superseding of horse power with mechanical traction and the eventual dominance of the internal combustion engine.

They were powerful and relatively fast, capable of 20mph fully loaded, and in their heyday far superior for their purpose to early petrol lorries.

Brown Bayley’s wagons were Sentinel Standard flat-bed lorries, mostly dating from the time of the First World War, bought to transport heavy materials around the company’s extensive Attercliffe steelworks and on occasions used for delivering materials further afield.

A well-documented journey in 1925 transported five-ton lengths of chain in three trips to stabilise the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, taking just over two days each way, with a day to unload at the destination.

The Brown Bayley fleet consisted of at least a dozen vehicles at its maximum, almost all of them registered in Shrewsbury rather than Sheffield or Rotherham by the manufacturer, Sentinel Waggon [sic] Works Ltd.

Brown Bayley’s wagons survived because they were robust and dependable, but they required a two-man crew like a railway steam locomotive, and they took ninety minutes to prepare from cold and used 1½cwt (1,524kg) of coke per shift.

Nevertheless they continued to work until 1970, when the last three were taken out of use.  The remaining wagons were snapped up for preservation by enthusiasts, apart from No 6 (AW 2964) which the Brown Bayley company exhibited at rallies.  It remains on static display at the Riverside Museum, Glasgow.

Others are still going strong, as these YouTube clips illustrate:  What’s the Greatest Machine of the 1930s…the Sentinel Steam Waggon? – YouTubeSentinel/ERF No.9370 ‘Typhoo’ Norwich to Ledbury – YouTube.

Still making steel

Special Quality Alloys Ltd, Continental Works, Attercliffe, Sheffield [© Jon Dennis, S6 Photography Ltd]

The Continental Works of Sheffield’s Jonas & Colver high-speed steel company in Attercliffe is still dedicated to highly skilled metal-bashing.

In its heyday before the First World War, Jonas & Colver made their mark in the grimy East End by embellishing their forge building with elaborate cartouches of their trademarks and the date ‘1911’.

When the company left the Bessemer Road site by the 1970s the site was turned over to a training centre for out-of-work steel workers needing to learn new trades.

In 2014 Continental Works once again returned to steel manufacture and there’s a curious connection between Jonas & Colver and the current occupiers.

Special Quality Alloys Ltd, which is part of the Special Steel Group, was founded by Bennett Beardshaw, who began his career in the steel industry as a junior accounts clerk at Jonas & Colver in 1906.  He would have known, at least by sight, both Sir Joseph Jonas (1845-1921) and Mr Robert Colver (1842-1916).

In 1925 Bennett Beardshaw suggested that Jonas & Colver should start a heat-treatment business.  The management was unconvinced and Beardshaw was invited to leave.  He set up the Special Steel Co Ltd, half a mile away at Bacon Lane on the Sheffield Canal, a site that still remains the base of the parent company.

Four generations of the Beardshaw family have led the company for almost a century, and the current managing director, great-grandson of the founder, is also called Bennett Beardshaw. 

Earlier this year I was privileged, thanks to Shane Higgins, the company’s Sales Engineer, to watch a team of four men using a fork-lift truck to place red-hot steel Polo mints, up to three feet in diameter, under the sort of drop hammers that lulled me to sleep in my Attercliffe childhood, bashing the glowing metal to the shape and thickness required.  Even when you’re outside the building, the earth moves.

This is noisy, dangerous, highly-skilled work that goes on behind the high brick walls.  A new recruit to one of these teams simply watches for the first six months before they’re trusted to take part.  Almost all of their communication is non-verbal, because they’re masked up to the eyeballs and wear ear-protectors against the deafening noise. 

Most people think that the steel industry has largely deserted Sheffield, and certainly the thousands of gaberdine-clad men with flat caps and mufflers no longer trail daily into the huge black sheds that filled the valley floor until the 1980s.

But the city’s proud tradition remains of know-how and skill that produces steel of world-class quality to meet modern demands.  Continental Works produces high-specification critical parts for oil and gas, defence, space and the emerging renewable sectors.

This promotional video gives a vivid idea of the combination of precision technology and traditional metal-bashing that is too hazardous to invite the public to see: Special Quality Alloys – A look behind the scenes at our facility here in Sheffield, UK (youtube.com).

It’s not easy to see how it’s done, but you have only to walk down Bessemer Road to hear it and feel it whenever the forge is working.

Jonas & Colver

Jonas & Colver, Continental & Novo Steel Works, Bessemer Road, Attercliffe, Sheffield (1985)

Joseph Jonas was born in Bingen-am-Rhein, Germany in 1845.  In his youth he worked for a couple of German iron-and-steel companies until he emigrated to England in 1867 to avoid military service.

He arrived in Sheffield, a total stranger, and initially worked as a commercial traveller.  He began his own manufacturing business in 1870 and two years later went into partnership with Robert Colver making high-quality crucible cast steel and, later, “Novo” high-speed steel for high-temperature cutting edges in hand tools and machine tools.

The partnership, which became a limited-liability company in 1892, was based at Continental Works and Novo Steel Works in Attercliffe, the heart of Sheffield’s heavy steel industry, and developed a reputation as one of the largest and most reliable suppliers of specialist steels in the industry.

Joseph Jonas made an outstanding contribution to public life in Sheffield.  He joined the town council in 1890, became a magistrate and an alderman and served as Lord Mayor in 1904-05. As an Attercliffe councillor he took a lead in acquiring High Hazels Park, Darnall, for public use.  He also acted as German Consul for Sheffield.

He gave financial support to the University’s Applied Sciences, French and German programmes, and was knighted in 1905 when King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra visited the city to open the Sheffield University building on Western Bank.  In 1916 he contributed £5,000 to a bequest from the late Edgar Allen to found the Allen & Jonas Laboratory for metal-testing.

The company took the name Sir Joseph Jonas, Colver & Co Ltd in 1907.  Robert Colver kept a lower public profile than his partner, except that he served as Master Cutler in 1890.  He died in 1916, aged seventy-four, leaving Sir Joseph to continue the business.

Continental Works was heavily involved in supplying steel for armaments in the First World War, but in 1918 Sir Joseph was accused of contravening the Official Secrets Act by obtaining and communicating “certain information prejudicial to the interest of the State and information useful to the enemy”.

This prosecution harked back to an answer to an enquiry from a German customer in 1913 about a new rifle to be marketed by the Vickers company.  There was considerable pre-war trade between Sheffield steel firms and such companies as the Krupp corporation:  orders, materials, equipment and information were regularly exchanged until the declaration of war abruptly broke contact.

Sir Joseph and his co-defendant were found not guilty of a felony but convicted of a misdemeanour on a legal technicality.  They were fined £2,000 and £1,000 respectively, plus costs.

Then Sir Joseph’s troubles began. 

He immediately retired and gave up his position as chairman of Sir Joseph Jonas, Colver & Co Ltd, which shortly afterwards was renamed simply Jonas & Colver.

Three weeks later he was deprived of his knighthood by King George V, and the following month he was removed from the magistrates’ bench.

What in 1913 had been an entirely normal exchange of trade information between companies in two countries that were not at war became in 1918 a pretext for anti-German prejudice against a naturalised British subject, as an article on Chris Hobbs’ website shows in detail:  Joseph Jonas (1845-1921) – Was a former Lord Mayor of Sheffield, a traitor? (chrishobbs.com).

Sheffield people would have none of it.  His workers continued to call him “Sir Joseph”, and after his death aged seventy-six on August 22nd 1921 his funeral at Ecclesall Church was attended by the Lord Mayor and the Master Cutler, the Pro-Chancellor and the head of the Applied Science Department of Sheffield University, the chairman of the Sheffield Education Committee and, according to The Times, “representatives of every side of the city’s activities”.

Sir Joseph was not alone. 

At the very beginning of the Great War the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Siegfried Bettmann, was, so to speak, sent to Coventry:  World War One: Coventry mayor vilified over German roots – BBC News.   

Similarly, Sir Edgar Spayer (1862-1932), chairman of the London Underground Electric Railways group, was ostracised after the War: On the margin | Mike Higginbottom Interesting Times.

It was not a time to reveal any connection, by name, birth or association, let alone activity, with Germany.

This was, after all, the period in history when German Shepherd dogs became Alsatians.

Attercliffe remembered

Attercliffe Common, Sheffield (1977)

When I recently showed my ‘A Look Round Attercliffe‘ presentation to the Woodsetts Local History Society near Worksop, a lady stood up at the end and gave a vote of thanks in verse.

Enid Bailey had put this piece together while I was lecturing, and she followed precisely the structure of my presentation:

Thank you Mike, for taking us back to 

Our world of yesterday

Where bricks turned black, each chimney stack 

Coughed out clouds of grey 

Thank you Mike, for taking us back 

To mum’s favourite shop – Banners 

We thought it a splendid place to spend 

Our threepenny bits and tanners 

Thank you Mike, for taking us back 

To swap shops, pubs galore 

Where thirsty steel men often went

Eagerly through the door 

Thank you Mike, for taking us back 

To cinemas so grand 

No wonder they called them palaces 

The finest in the land 

Thank you Mike, for taking us back 

To times so grim and hard 

But the children were sent to school 

And played in the old school yard 

Thank you Mike, for taking us back 

To when people had high aims 

To better themselves and earn success 

In education, sport and games 

Thank you Mike, for taking us back 

I could go on for ever

Shall we forget our Attercliffe?

It lives in our hearts – so Never!

No vote of thanks has warmed my heart more in forty years of giving history lectures.

I felt like giving a vote of thanks for the vote of thanks.

Halls and meadows

523/525 Attercliffe Road, Sheffield (1976)

The name of the huge Meadowhall shopping centre, beside the M1 Tinsley Viaduct between Sheffield and Rotherham, is historically significant.  It commemorates a farm, Meadow Hall, which stood where the northbound entry slip-road of Junction 34 climbs to the carriageway.

The valley of the River Don downstream from Sheffield itself remained rural till surprisingly late.

Even after the Attercliffe Common was enclosed in 1811 and the Sheffield Canal opened in 1819, the flat valley plain was thinly populated apart from the three small villages of Attercliffe, Carbrook and Darnall.

When the Sheffield & Rotherham Railway arrived in 1839, followed by the big steel works founded by such names as Firth, Brown, Vickers, Cammell and Jessop, the workers’ housing first went up on the north side of the valley in Brightside and Grimesthorpe.

The terraced housing in Attercliffe itself dated from the 1860s onwards, which is why there were few back-to-backs.  (Sheffield took against back-to-backs because of the lack of ventilation;  Leeds and Bradford people liked them because they were cosy.)

In the valley the earlier villas and houses are now commemorated solely in street names – Attercliffe Old Hall, Attercliffe New Hall, Chippingham House, Shirland House, Woodbourn Hall.

Only two buildings remain from the time when the valley was beautiful – Carbrook Hall (c1620) and the Hill Top Chapel (1629-30), but a couple of other very attractive relics of pre-industrial days survived until the 1960s.

One was Carlton House on Kimberley Street fronting on to Attercliffe Road, built to replace an older manor house that burnt down in 1761.  A polite Georgian house of five bays and three storeys, it appears on a map dated 1777 and in 1819, when the tenant was Thomas Howard, it was surrounded by extensive pleasure grounds and a pond 1½ acres in area.

In the 1830s it was the home of Samuel Jackson, co-founder of the sawmakers Spear & Jackson and in 1839 it was apparently sold to the Duke of Newcastle.  (That title hardly ever figures in Sheffield’s history, and may have crept in as a typo for the ubiquitous Duke of Norfolk.)

For many years it was a doctor’s surgery, and by the Second World War was the premises of Alfred A  Markham & Son, undertakers, joiners and shopfitters.

There is a photograph in the Picture Sheffield collection showing it intact in 1968 but it was later demolished.

Nearby, at the top of Heppenstall Lane, stood 523/525 Attercliffe Road, a semi-detached pair of houses of very much the same style and period as Carlton House, with a rainwater head carrying the date 1779.  I photographed them in 1976 but within a few years they were gone.

Swathes of history can easily disappear, unless they happened to be captured in chance photographs or archive references.

Exploring Canberra: All Saints’ Church, Ainslie 2

All Saints’ Parish Church, Ainslie, Canberra, Australia

My curiosity to visit All Saints’ Church, Ainslie, was prompted not only by its unusual provenance as a cemetery railway-station, but because of a local association between my native Sheffield and this antipodean suburb in Australia’s federal capital.

The sanctuary of All Saints’ is dominated by the east window by Charles Kempe & Co.  The glass comes from St Clement’s Church, Newhall, Sheffield (1914), paid for by a subscription of parishioners and dedicated in 1919 to the memory of the war dead of the parish.

St Clement’s closed in July 1961, as the congregation had dwindled and the surrounding housing was cleared.  The All Saints’ guide-book, A Station of the Cross, relates that the gift was at the instigation of Lady Jacqueline De L’Isle, wife of the Governor-General who served from 1961.  Lady De L’Isle liked to worship at All Saints’, and once brought the poet John Betjeman to a service. He advised her where in Britain she could source glass to fill the east window.

The glass in the All Saints’ east window is not the entire window from St Clement’s:  photographs indicate that John Dodsley Webster’s design for Newhall was taller and the window longer:  http://www.picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;y02488&pos=2&action=zoom

It’s apparent that the prophets Joel, Micah, Amos, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Malachi are omitted along with the original inscription “Remember ye with thanksgiving and all honour before God and man those who went forth from Newhall to the Great War 1914-19, and returned not again.”  Canon William Odom’s description of the window in its original form is quoted at http://www.sheffieldsoldierww1.co.uk/Memorial/St%20Clements.html.

Furthermore, some panels of glass at Ainslie are clearly intended to fit cusped tracery, yet the Sydney designer Phillip Handel has mounted all the glass in a single steel frame.  Some of the surplus glass was used in the entrances to the side vestries.

All Saints’ possesses further English glass by Charles Kempe from the parish church of St Margaret, Bagendon, Gloucestershire.

The original bell, which at Rookwood Cemetery alerted mourners to the departure of the return train to Sydney, had disappeared and was replaced by the bell of an American Shay locomotive that worked at the Wolgan Valley Railway near Lithgow, New South Wales, presented to All Saints’ by the New South Wales Steam Tram & Train Preservation Society in 1958.