Saturday, 17 November 2012

Dewsbury Town Hall

This grade II listed building is full of original stained glass windows, wood panelling, columns and ornate ceilings. The Town Hall contains a 700 seat concert hall, function and meeting rooms, and the Old Court Room.
The foundation stone was laid on the 12th October 1886 by the Mayor Thomas Bateman Fox JP. According to the Dewsbury Reporter “a day as it proved so rich with rain, the foundation stone was laid amid great rejoicing. There was a general holiday, decorations, a procession and bands of music illuminations”
The Town Hall was built during the reign of Queen Victoria and was completed to the plans of Holtom and Fox, a local firm of architects within the town. The total build cost was £40,000.
The new Town Hall was built to cater for the towns increasing needs for the many civic offices such as town clerks, schools, highways, lighting, sewerage, rating, town planning, police and courts, merchant exchange, Council Chambers, Concert Hall and mayoral proceedings.
Dewsbury Town Hall was officially opened on Tuesday 17 September 1889 by the Mayor of the time, Alderman John Walker JP.
As with the laying of the foundation stone the official opening of the town hall was declared a general holiday in the town. The main event was a grand procession assembling at Saville Town marching through the borough to the new park known as Crows Nest. From there they followed the route through the streets finally finishing outside the new town hall. The guests were then seated within the Victoria Concert Hall.

In 1888 the then mayor of Dewsbury Alderman Mark Oldroyd expressed his desire to present the town with a clock for the town hall. The offer was kindly accepted by the council. The clock was supplied by William Potts and son of Leeds. It was started by Mrs Oldroyd at 11.55 a.m. on Tuesday 2 April 1889. The costs of the clock was over £1,000.

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