All text and images © Helvellyn Consulting 2018
Then and Now Photos -
Glenridding Public Hall
A Brief History of Glenridding Public Hall by Warren Allison
On the 30th August 1913, the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald reported on the official opening of the hall on the previous Thursday and the following is a summary which comes directly from the article.
The movement to provide a place of public meetings and recreation has its origins in the refusal of the use of the Parish Room to the local Liberals on the ground that it was a Church of England Room and that at meetings speeches would probably be made in favour of disestablishment. This led to the desire for a room where all parties could air their views without interference.
The question of the site for the new structure was solved by the generosity of Mr. W. H. Marshall, Patterdale Hall. He was the owner of the Reading Room at Glenridding which has for half a century been used mainly by the employees of the Greenside Mine. Adjoining it was an old building, formerly used as a dame’s school and Mr Marshall very kindly gave the scheme a good start by offering the reading room and adjoining structure and as much additional land as was required. The existing room was some thirty feet long by twenty feet broad, and this has been doubles in length to make the main room for meetings, concerts and kindred gatherings. At right angles at one end a wing has been added for a billiard room, and at the other end, built in a similar position is the caretaker’s house. Between the two wings is the entrance to the main hall reached by steps, and with wide doors, with cloak rooms on either side. The whole place is lit with acetylene lighting gas.
The total cost will be between £600 and £700 and prior to Thursday, £370 had been raised, mostly in subscriptions. The management of the hall was, of course, an important one, and in order that it may be conducted on lines that the majority of the parishioners desire it has been vested in the parish council, with the proviso in the deed of conveyance that it is for the use of all parties, irrespective of politics or religion, and there is further stipulation that that none of the expenses of maintenance shall fall on the rates.
The committee which has carried through the buildings scheme consists of Messrs, W. H. Marshall (chairman), W. H Borlase, T. Bownass, W. Milcrest, M, Place, W. Kilner, T. Marr, Mrs Blackledge, Mrs Wilkins, with Miss Albright as secretary.
For Thursday’s opening ceremony, which was performed by Mr. H. C. Howard, Greystoke Castle elaborate preparations had been made. Flags and festoons made the interior quite gay, while inside the ladies had been busy with floral decorations in the windows, on the platform and in other parts of the main room, giving it an attractive appearance. There was a large attendance of villagers, as well as many interested visitors.
Mr. Marshall presided, and said that before asking Mr. Howard to open the door he would like to make a few remarks in explanation of the history of the room. Mr. Howard expressed his pleasure at being able to accept Mr. Marshall’s invitation to perform the opening ceremony. Mr. Howard then turned the key in the main entrance door and formally declared the hall open. The company then proceeded inside, and the large hall filled. Mr. Marshall took the chair, supported on the platform by Mr. Howard, Dr. Wilkins and Mr. Borlase.
Mr. Borlase said the balance sheet was not looking very healthy, but they were living in hope that friends seeing they were in need, would prove friends in deed. Proceeding to trace the progress of the scheme, he said Mr. Marshall first of all gave them the original building, without which they could not have had such an efficient building. (Applause). The residents had subscribed £167 11s, including £75 from the Greenside Mining Company; two concerts last year realised £14, and a rummage sale and concert in the spring produced £34 10s. (Applause). The collecting boxes which lodging housekeepers kindly consented to be allowed to be placed in their houses produced £34 18s and £120 was subscribed by visitors and friends making a total of £370. The total costs was somewhere about £600, so that they were £230 behind.
The chairman briefly replied and this part of the proceedings terminated with the National Anthem. Tea was served by the ladies under the trees near the hall, and games and sports were enjoyed in the adjoining field. The Patterdale Brass Band played selections. In the evening, there was a large attendance at the concert in the hall.
Reopening of the Glenridding Public Hall -