Liverpool Mercury
Friday, 26th December, 1874

Wallasey Social Club And Concert Hall

Our neighbours at Wallasey have just erected a building in their parish which reflects the highest credit upon the promoters. In Liverpool and other large towns, social clubs have of late years been established with very great success. With the view of forming a similar institution at Wallasey a few spirited residents took the matter in hand about two years ago, and resolved to carry out their object by erecting, in a central part of the parish, a commodious building, provided with news, reading, billiard, and other rooms, a library, a hall for meetings, concerts, lectures, &c. Such an undertaking, however, could not be accomplished without the projectors forming themselves into a company. This was promptly done, the title of the company being "The Wallasey Social Club and Concert Hall Company, Limited" with a nominal capital of £5000, in shares of £5 each. An appeal was made to the public, and in a short time the required number of shares was taken up. The directors, who comprise some of the most influential gentlemen in the parish (Mr. James Harrison being chairman), were not long in fixing upon an eligible site for the their new building. They purchased about an acre of land fronting Manor Road, Liscard, in the very centre of of the district, and the foundation stone of the structure was laid nine or ten months ago. Since then the work has progressed rapidly, and the building is now complete. The new social club and concert hall has a very handsome appearance, and is quite an ornament to that part of the parish.

The principal entrance to the building is from Manor Road into a large recessed porch, on either side of the which are entrances to the billiard rooms. These rooms have four tables (two in each) and benches on raised platforms around, with windows on two sides; and being warmed by hot water, well ventilated and fitted up with every regard to comfort and completeness, they will no doubt prove an attractive feature in the club scheme. At the back of these rooms are on one side of the central central corridor the chess room and refreshment bar, and the other the library, each 32 feet by 15 feet, the bar being fitted up with the usual appliances, including a double lift from the kitchen below. The central corridor is 10 feet wide and 40 feet long, and leads to the staircase hall, which is 16 feet 6 inches wide, on either side of which are the committee rooms, each 27 feet 6 inches by 15 feet. The staircase is of massive construction, and consists of three easy flights up to a broad landing, in the centre of which is the principal entrance to the concert hall.

There are also two ante-rooms from this landing with folding doors, and larger folding doors opening direct into the hall. The hall is 75 feet by 45 feet, with the addition of an apsidal recess 18 feet wide at the east end for the orchestra. The height in the centre is 36 feet. The roof is of open pitch pine timbers, stained and varnished; and although of great span and constructed with due regard to strength and economy, it presents a light and pleasing appearance, especially when lighted up up by the six handsome corona gasallers. The room is thoroughly warmed by hot water, and ventilated into two large extraction flues at the back; and the eight large windows being hung with suitable drapery, it is certainly all that can be desired as a ballroom or concert hall. In addition to the kitchen before referred to, there are in the basement a keeper's house and unfurnished rooms 10 feet high under the billiard rooms, library and chess room, all well lighted, warmed, and ventilated, so that the club accommodation can be doubled at any time at a small cost. The exterior, although built entirely of the grey bricks made on the ground, and simply relieved by red pressed moulded bricks, and stone where absolutely required, presents a massive and imposing appearance. The style adopted is free Italian, the treatment being bold, with the openings well recessed and the central entrance marked by being carried up the full height and finished with circular pediment level with the eaves cornice. The large hall on the first floor is clearly indicated by the five large semi-circular headed windows on the front, and the three at the west and, as also by the circular bay at the east and, suggesting at once the position of the orchestra. The whole, being surrounded by a very bold eaves cornice on corbelled brackets, with panels in the friese, all of red and grey bricks, and the hipped roof, finished with ornamental cast iron cresting, conveys at once the idea that this is the club building of the district. The architect is Mr.G.E. Grayson, of Liverpool, the work being carried out with great spirit by Mr. James Ridehalgh, of Liscard, who commenced operations only ten since.

The cost of the building, we believe, has been about £4000, exclusive of the land. At the rear there is an extensive piece of land, enclosed by a brick wall, which will be laid out for bowling, croquet, quoiting, and other out-door recreations.

The institution will be formally opened on Thursday evening next, when a grand inauguration ball will take place under distinguished patronage.

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