“I have for some time been struck with the large number of ill-cared for boys and girls in the streets of Sheffield, who, doubtless only represent a small proportion of the large number who are constantly neglected.
“Beyond this, of course, is the great question of neglected training, in consequence of which many of these children are destined to lives of poverty and crime.
“I propose to erect and establish, at some suitable point in the town of Sheffield, a Children’s Refuge, which I would erect in memory of my late wife, and it might be possible to have her name connected to it.”
The words of Emerson Muschamp Bainbridge (1845-1911), a man who made his fortune in coal mining, speaking a few years after the death of his wife in 1882.
The result was the Bainbridge Building, at the corner of Surrey Street and Norfolk Street, designed by John Dodsley Webster, and built between 1893-1894. There were shops on the ground floor, the rents funding the Jeffie Bainbridge Children’s Shelter on the floors above, and opened by the Duke and Duchess of Portland.
It became the Halifax Building Society in 1914 and the exterior was reclad in blue and red Aberdeen polished granite.
After Halifax Bank closed in 2017 the building has stood empty but will find a new use when it finally opens as a Miller & Carter Steakhouse restaurant and 20-bed hotel on April 14.
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