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Report - Drill Hall, Hednesford, Staffs September 2011

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by A man called Martyn, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. A man called Martyn

    A man called Martyn cultural theorist
    Regular User

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    After the demise of the ATP factory the redevelopment of Victoria Street makes progress and once familiar and comforting land marks start to disappear to make way for the forthcoming Victoria shopping park. One of the remaining buildings to shortly disappear forever is also the oldest left standing on the street. A building that has being at the heart of the social lives of many people in Hednesford.

    History

    The origins of the drill hall can traced to 1873 when the army held one of its grand manoeuvres in the area, based on Hednesford hills.
    This exercise must have fired the Imaginations of the young men in the area. By 1892 Captain Williamson had set up Company F, which was a branch of the Staffordshire Volunteer force. The lack of facilities to drill and hold meetings was a major drawback. Especially in winter.
    Captain Williamson set about raising funds to create a permanent home. A meeting was held at the Gas Works in Victoria Street on the 3rd July 1894. Here he Unveiled plans for a brick hall to accommodate his troops.
    The land was donated by the Gas Company and building work was started. By December 1894 it was finished. The Drill Hall was opened by local M.P Mr Hamar Bass.
    The Troops of F Company began to use the hall and when it was not in use it was let out for various functions.
    When war broke out in 1914, the men of F Company were some of the first to march off to war. The Drill Hall was also used for recruiting.
    In later years the hall was used as a dance hall. But for as long as I can remember it has being a Bingo Hall.

    Reference

    A History of Hednesford and Surrounding Villages
    Anthony Hunt 2005

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    Period poster for a Function at The Drill Hall.

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    Behind the Bingo sign is the badge of The South Staffordshire Regiment 2nd Volunteer Battalion.

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