Builders find 1938 letter in cavity wall time capsule

Historic letter found in wallImage source, Henry Boot
Image caption,

The letter dated 1938, was found in a wall by builders working on a new entertainment venue at a former Methodist chapel in Sheffield

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Construction workers renovating a disused chapel found a time capsule stuffed with a letter from 1938.

Builders from Henry Boot Ltd were carrying out a project at Bethel Chapel, in Sheffield city centre, when they found a small canister inside a cavity wall.

It contained a letter which, when unfurled, turned out to have been written by John Woodhouse, foreman of local plastering company Bradbury & Sons, listing the names of all the men on the site.

Their modern-day counterparts wanted to add their own message to the canister, so senior site supervisor Carl Gelder and apprentice Harry Rodgers signed their own note and placed it back in the wall.

Bethel Chapel closed in 1936 and was purchased in 1938 by George Binns, who relocated his clothing business ‘Outfitters’ from Moorhead.

The list, likely placed during renovations in the thirties, includes an apprentice called Boy Teddy - likely to have been aged about 14.

Ian Gresser, of Henry Boot, said: "To uncover an old letter or artefact is always an exciting moment, but it’s particularly special to find something directly linked to the construction industry," Mr Gresser said.

The builders were working on the Heart of the City project near Barker's Pool, which is to become a 15,000 sq ft (1,394 sq m) live entertainment venue as part of the Cambridge Street Collective.

Image source, Henry Boot
Image caption,

Harry Rodgers and Carl Gelder put the canister back complete with their own note

Other Heart of the City developments include Kangaroo Works - 365 residential apartments - and Elshaw House, a net zero-carbon office development.