Within the Victoria Hall, on Norfolk Street, is a time capsule that was buried within one of fifteen foundation stones in September 1906.
The ceremony was attended by 3,000 people, celebrating the construction of the new building for the Sheffield Wesleyan Mission, designed as a place of worship, as well as for institutional and religious work.
The Victoria Hall stood on the site of the old Norfolk Street Wesleyan Chapel, the site extended to include land gifted by Thomas Skelton Cole, a devout Methodist, and the chairman of Cole Brothers.
Inside the foundation stone laid by Mrs Thomas Cole was placed a casket, hermetically sealed. It contained an old bottle which was taken out of the stone at the entrance of the old Norfolk Street Chapel, and placed there no doubt when the foundation stone of that building was laid in 1780.
The bottle contained a circuit plan of that day and the day’s programme. Also placed in the casket was the circuit plan for September 1906, a list of the trustees of the new Victoria Hall, the last annual report of the Mission, copies of the Sheffield daily newspapers, a civic directory of the city, and some coins of the realm.
Two years in the building, the Victoria Hall was opened on September 24, 1908, by three ladies, representative of the oldest and most esteemed Wesleyan families in Sheffield – Mrs Samuel Osborn, Mrs Samuel Meggitt Johnson and Mrs Cole. Called to the front, William John Hale, the architect, presented to each of the ladies a gold key with which were opened the three large main doors.
Over a hundred years later, the Victoria Hall is now used by voluntary organisations, including meals for the homeless, and as a popular music and events venue. However, church services are still held every Sunday evening.