Friday, 7 December 2007

Town Hall


I've learnt something new today. While doing a spot of research into the history of Cheltenhams Town Hall I discovered that the Town Hall was built as an addition to the Winter Garden and not the other way round. This may not be an earth shattering discovery but as I am a proud Cheltonian I'm disappointed with my own lack of knowledge. Anyway...the Town Hall sits in Imperial Square, on the north side of Imperial Garden. On this site there used to be a Winter Garden (a large glass and steel building used for concerts, demolished in 1940 and considered a white elephant to the Council) and in 1900 it was decided that Cheltenham needed a larger function building after the demolition of the Assembly Rooms. In 1902 construction work started on Gloucester architect Frederick William Waller's design of an impressive Baroque style building. Behind the foundation stone, still visible today, a bottle was placed containing coins and the days newspapers, as was tradition then. The complete build took a year and two months and cost £45,000. The main feature of the Town Hall is the main hall, measuring 92 feet by 52 feet and 53 feet high, with Corinthian columns, balconies and sprung floor. In 1906 the Cheltenham Spa was opened inside the building and has an octagonal counter and large urns. You can still take the Spa water there today but nowadays you have to serve yourself! Having tasted the water once (once was enough) I can tell you its best described as warm and salty! The Town hall can accommodate 1000 people and now holds banquets, concerts, live shows, balls and many other events. I've been to several different things at the Town Hall, the best being a fantastic New Years Eve party with indoor fireworks and 20 foot high flames shooting into the air! That was a good night.

3 comments:

• Eliane • said...

And still no snow! "Having tasted the water once (once was enough)" - this cracks me up. Maybe the water is just "good for you", no?

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Web-OJ said...

Very informative narrative. Imagine building the lovely bldg as an addition to a garden!

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