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Into the 20th Century

Upper Wincobank Congregational Church

By 1905 the Sheffield Board Schools had been founded and the little Wincobank Day School was no longer required. However, the congregation and was growing so the decision was made to extend the room used as the chapel, doubling its length as can be seen when this photograph is compared with earlier images.

In the 1920s an extension was built on to the back of the School Master’s House to house the ever-growing Sunday school. Many local people remember this building as the Concert Hall.

Records of the trustees for this period show that Mary Anne’s nephews, Henry Joseph and John Wycliffe Wilson continued as trustees and were joined by various other members of their family up to and including 1955 when Ronald Eliot Wilson, son of J.W. was the sole representative. R.E. Wilson was the last descendent of John Read to be a Director of the company he had founded in 1760, the Sheffield Smelting Company.

We would be delighted to make contact with any surviving members of the family.


The Ghost of Wincobank Chapel

Keith Lemm outside the chapel

Click here to listen to Keith Lemm tell the story about the ghost that guarded a royal feast. Yes – its a true story …

Back in February we were trying to get to grips with the necessary technology to collect memories and facts for our All Our Stories history project. This is a practice interview but a story too good to be missed.  Keith came to Wincobank in the 1980s. He quickly established himself as youth worker for the Flower Estate and is much loved.  Now in retirement, he looks back on those lively days.  Just click on the link, sit back and enjoy….

On the trail of the children

Upper Wincobank Undenominational Chapel

In the garden of this little chapel is the best conker tree in Sheffield.

We are looking for the many children who have ever played on the grass, picked up conkers and made friends here. We’re on the trail of all the May Queens, the countless Sunday School children, and the crowds who marched to the Whit Sings. We’re looking for the players from the 1950s sports teams and the drama group, and the pupils from Sally Carmichael’s Dancing School. Who were the children who earned points with the Dream Scheme? What difference did it make? Who remembers jiving in the now demolished concert hall?  And as for those who went on the youth club flat walks, are they still walking?

This chapel was built in 1841 as “a children’s temple” and its founder Mary Anne Rawson left it for the benefit of the generations to come.  The trustees of the Charity have looked after it since 1851 keeping the roof on, doors open and the youth activities running .  The simple Sunday service has continued for 170 years.

The hundreds of children who came here have grown up now. More have come to take their place. Times have changed  and so has childhood. This is a quest to bring children of all ages together and to capture their thoughts and memories.  We want to discover what difference Mary Anne’s gift of the Chapel has made over the past 170 years and understand its purpose for the future.  Come and help.  Spread the word.