Thursday, 14 June 2012

Alice doesn't live here anymore

Trust Deed of 1888

"The building shall be used for no other purpose than that of a Church of England Mission and Temperance Hall for holding therein both Secular and Religious Meetings. No Sectarian or Political Meetings or the consumption of any kind of intoxicating liquor or spirit shall on any account whatever be allowed to take place therein." 1

The daughter of Reverend Jenner Marshall, Alice Marshall successfully raised £739 12s 3d in order to build a temperance hall as an alternate meeting place to the public houses in the village. Since that time all manner of organisations and functions have been held at the Hall from a lending library, a reading room, Women's Institute and a billet for soldiers during the war - though not at the same time. For eight years it was a doctor's surgery and dispensary, at other times a concert hall and film theatre, a cubs and scout hall, a dance studio and theatre. All in all the Hall has been used by most of the village organisations and it is still thriving, but was never built to serve a singular purpose other than as a refuge from the debauchery of alcohol (that prohibition has long since been relaxed).

I chose this building as a counterpoint to the other buildings which were designed for a single purpose. The AM Hall, also known as the "Mission Hall" was offered to the community in an act of Victorian philanthropy, but also as a bastion against the temptations of the demon spirit, for the use by villagers in their betterment - where would that spirit be nowadays?

These are the outdoor shots, it is situated on a crossroad in the centre of the village - access to all is ready, but only by walking as the parking is very restricted, curiously this restrains certain people coming - or at least it is used as an excuse for not coming to the Hall for the many various community groups and events that make use of this facility.

The notice board left actually disguises what once was the dispensary door when the Hall was also used as a Doctor's surgery.

These are the indoor shots: The window is west facing and I chose not to use flash, but as the sky was overcast the amount of natural. available light was low. I used a tripod for each shot, long exposures at with an ISO set at 400.

The overall impression I wanted to indicate is of a space that is multi-use as depicted by the various individual notice boards of some of the more regular users - Scouts/Cubs, Busy-bees, Drama and a general notice board.

1 - The Alice Marshall Hall 1888 - 1988 pub by Middle Barton History Group p2.

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