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From Brierley and the surrounding area


Brierley Hall Opening

 Local newspaper 26th November 1949


Old newspaper cuttings index page


Also see Local news stories index


Milestone for R.D.C.


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The official opening of Brierley Hall as Hemsworth Rural Council's administrative centre by Lord Calverley, of Bradford, on Friday, was a memorable milestone in the authority's 55 year's history.

     Feature of the ceremony was that it provided the council with a meeting place of their own for the first time. Hitherto, the members have had to meet in premises loaned to them, latterly by Hemsworth Urban council. In addition it officially brought the heads of the various departments together under one roof. With their staff, they are now accommodated in pleasant offices.

     Lord and Lady Calverley, who both left sick beds and made the journey in thick fog to fulfil the engagement, headed a list of 120 guests, which included the Divisions MP Mr H E Holmes, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of Fuel and Power, and Mrs Holmes, and Ald. T Tomlinson, Chairman of the West Riding County Council, and Mrs Tomlinson.

     In view of the publicity given to the "magic carpet," which had been laid in the Council Chamber in readiness for the ceremony, it was only natural that many of the guests should show an overriding interest in it.

"Bit of Matting"

     One of the first to mention "the carpet" was Lord Calverley. He told the little knot of people who gathered outside to witness the official opening ceremony, that "he had come to have a look at that bit of matting which the councillor had bought in London, instead of loyalty at the Co-op."

     Not so humorous, however, were the references to it of the Council Chairman, Coun. Wm Henry, when, speaking at the celebration dinner later, he castigated the press for criticism of the council during the times they were putting their plans for the hall into operation.

     As far as the majority of the guests were concerned, however, they came, they saw, and they admired the rust and fawn Wilton carpet, expressing the opinion that it added a finishing touch to the dignified surroundings of the council chamber, with its oak-panelled walls and furnishings and its blue leather upholstery.

     Having had the opportunity of inspecting all the departments housed in the hall, many of the visitors expressed that few comparable authorities could claim such dignified, well planned, and well equipped premises as those the Rural Council have acquired, at an all in cost of 17,500.

     The project was given a good send off by Captain Roland Addy, Managing Director of Carlton Main Colliery Company and former owner of the hall, who sold it to the council for 8,750, despite having several far more tempting offers. The council had to pay a development charge on the buildings as soon as they began to convert them and alterations took up another 2,200, principally the cost of altering stabling and coach houses into offices for the housing and rent and rates collection departments.

     The installation of central heating swallowed up a further 1,600 and 2,950 was spent on furnishings. The hall itself needed little alteration, the billiard room has been turned into the Council Chamber, with seating accommodation for 36 members and 6 officials, and the ballroom upstairs has become the architects offices.

     Afterwards, the guests assembled at St Paul's Institute for dinner and speeches, which are reported elsewhere in this issue.


Old newspaper cuttings index page


Also see Local news stories index


See Also