If you’ve ever gone for a Chinese meal on Westfield Terrace you’re probably unaware that in this pretty backwater Nos.13-15 are Grade II listed. Presumably the tenant at No.15 didn’t know either, as all three of his signs have been deemed illegal and have been so for at least the last five years! In the paperwork which has been sent admonishing him they are described as – one illuminated fascia sign, one illuminated projecting sign and one non-illuminated fascia sign.
Sheffield Conservation Advisory Group’s take on the matter was that the signs were ‘out of scale, inappropriate, harmed the character of the listed building and should be removed’. No sitting on the fence there then!
SCAG are absolutely right and there is no point in having listed building legislation when it is flouted to this degree. Tasteful signage is all important whether the building is listed or not and I understand the Council are now on the case.
Bear in mind that on this short street, which runs between Division Street and West Street, stands another impressive part-remnant of our past. I refer to the very grand Grade II listed façade of the former Mount Zion Congregational Chapel which dates back to 1834. In 1922 it was purchased by the Royal Hospital which occupied a large slice of this site and converted into an Out-Patient Dept. for the princely sum of £9,000. In 1927 it was officially opened by Neville Chamberlain, just over ten years before he waved his famous piece of paper after alighting from the Munich plane.
I referred to Mount Zion as a part-remnant on purpose as I fear a similar fate awaits the 1852 Grade II listed Bethel Chapel Sunday School on Cambridge Street and we’ll be left with just a façade in order to keep the New Retail Quarter developers happy. No doubt the NRQ will be the HHB’s next big battle so watch these pages.
Just around the corner from Westfield Terrace on Devonshire Street stands Grade II listed Wharncliffe Fireclay Works. Dating back to 1888 and smothered in terracotta it was the show rooms of John Armitage and Sons who specialised in these products. The only other known examples in Sheffield are Spartan Works at Attercliffe and Mr Armitage’s own home – Etruria House at Broomhill. Incidentally this was recently sold and will now revert from an hotel back to residential – albeit as two residences.
For some time now Wharncliffe Fireclay Works has been decorated with the colours of the Union Flag, to paraphrase Kenny Everett, ‘in the worst possible taste’.
Legal warnings have been sent out regarding here and Westfield Terrace and I’ve been led to believe that the culprit in both cases is one and the same person.
How is it possible that two listed buildings within 100 yards of each other could be so defaced with impunity by one person who apparently has got away with it. (So far).