Glenridding Public Hall was officlally opened in August 1913 ... and it developed from a desire for people to work together!
The local Liberals had been prevented from using the Parish Room on the basis that it was a Church of England Room and at that time the Liberals were expected to make speeches in favour of disestablishment. The result was a desire for a room where all parties could air their views!
But how could this be solved? Mr WH Marshall of Patterdale was the owner of the Reading Room at Glenridding and for 50 years it had been used mainly by employees of Greenside Mine in Glenridding. Adjoining the Reading Room was an old building, formerly used as a dames' school. Mr Marshall kindly offered the Reading Room and adjoining structure and as much additional land as was required.
The original Reading Room was 30 ft long x 20 ft wide (approx 10 m x 7 m). This was doubled in size to provide a main room for meetings, concerts and other gatherings. A billiard room and a caretaker's house were added at opposite ends of the building. At that time it was lit by acetylene gas. The cost was approximately £600.00 and £370.00 had been raised, mainly by subscriptions.
The management of the Hall was vested in the Parish Council with the proviso that "it is for the use of all parties, irrespective of politics or religion" and that "none of the expenses of maintenance shall fall on the rates".
The building works were overseen by a committee consisting of Messrs WH Marshall (Chairman), WH Borlase; T Bownass; W Milcrest; M Place; W Kilner; T Marr; Mrs Blackledge; and Mrs Wilkins. Miss Albright was the Secretary.
In 1950 plans were developed for a new community centre which would involve altering and expanding the existing Glenridding Hall. The costs were estimated at £6,000.00. The Patterdale Commemoration and Appreciation Fund had a balance of £1,350.00 and grants of £3,000.00 to £4,000.00 were available. Various fundraising activities resulted in £2,800.00 being raised.
On 21 November 1953, Glenridding Public Hall was officially opened by the Earl of Lonsdale and the ceremony was attended by 250 people.
The hall had been extensively renovated. It was practically a new nall. One wall of the hall was extended by 13 ft and the old roof was removed to allow the walls to be raised by 14ft. The roof was of Westmorland Green Slate and there was an acoustic ceiling which made a significant difference to hearing in the hall.
The work included a new floor and new entrance (facing the lake). The toilets, clockroom and kitchen were also modernised. One end of the hall had a new stage and there was a cinema projection room.
Over the years , the Hall has been used for all sorts of village activities: theatre productions, film shows, choir rehearsals, art exhibitions, meetings, ceilidhs and dances...
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Charity No 1165670