Derek Williams working with The Digitiser @azookcic
Lemon Quay, 1905
Record Number: HFC:2021:307
This postcard photograph was printed by Glasney Press at number 28a High Street, Falmouth and captures the River Kenwyn running through Back Quay and Lemon Quay before it was filled in during the mid-1920s. During this time, the position of Truro on the river gave it an important role in the ongoing transport and trade of tin and copper around the country, as well as receiving goods which were then delivered across the county. City Hall itself was located in a prime position along the river and was able to welcome fish, livestock and other goods to its green, wet and fatstock markets through the doors of Back Quay entrance.
Object Dimensions: X
Object Type: digital image
Method - preservation copy Date - 2021
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A pair of leg irons from c. 1840 - 1850 which were used in the jail at City Hall to keep those who had been apprehended secure in the jailyard, cells or even in the court above the jail at City Hall. After 1850, the jail and police station were considered too small and in 1857 were subsequently moved to a site on St Clement's Hill.
This memorial plaque, known as a 'Dead Man's Penny' due to its similarity to the penny piece, was introduced to the families of all who were deceased in the course of duty during the First World War. Almost 1.5 million plaques were issued, each with the name of the deceased inscribed.
Weights were used in the markets at City Hall and earlier, in the Stannary Courts in Truro (there were four Stannary Towns in Cornwall, in Truro, Helston, Launceston and Lostwithiel). Weights would be used to ascertain the weight and therefore the value of the tin brought to the courts from the tin mines within each town's district. Once the tin had been weighed and valued, taxs and coinage would be paid at the local Coinage Hall and the tin would receive the stamp of the Stannary town.
This weight is an example a weight used in the markets at City Hall and bears Truro's stamp on the 7lb weight. Each weight bears multiple stamps depicting the time period during which the weight was used, as well as the ruling monarch. Documented here are a 7lb, 2lb and 1lb weight from 1858. The word 'Avoir' next to the number on the weight's handle is a reference to the Avoirdupois System' a unit of measurement which combined pounds and ounces. This system of measurement was updated in 1959. The weights would have been used in the courts on the upper floor of City Hall as well as in markets to ascertain the value and fairness of products being sold.
A collection of three weights from 1909, used at City Hall. Weights used at City Hall have multiple layers of significance.
Weights and measures also played an important part in the green, fish and fatstock markets based at the hall. They were used to ensure that each trader was fairly assigning value to his stock and was overseen by Truro's own Weights & Measures administrator.
References to trade at City Hall date back to the original Market Stone of 1615.
In the Market House hall is a stone carved plaque dating from 1615. It has survived from the original market house that stood adjacent to the current site, and through the building, demolishing, rebuilding and extending of the Market House buildings on the site we see today. The wording on the stone is a motto that has been carried with Truro Markets since the 1600s, and serves as a consistent reminder of both fairness and the presence of trade within the walls of City Hall. It translates as:
Jenkin Daniel Mayor
Who seeks to find eternal treasure
must use no guile in weight or measure
Boy Scouts Medal of Honour
This medal was presented to Truro resident E. C. Merrifield in 1914 by Chief Scout Lord Baden-Powell. The medal was presented by the Boy Scouts for the help Merrifield provided in rescuing valuable paintings and artefacts from City Hall following the fire which broke out at City Hall in 1914, destroying the original clock tower.
Set of Gallon Measures with Truro Coat of Arms
A set of eight measuring jugs, designed to nest within each other. Made in 1826 and bearing the Truro coat of arms (and a reference to Truro Borough Council) these jugs range from an Imperial Gallon down to an Imperial Quarter Gill. The measurement details what the jug can hold in today's measurements. The jugs range in size from 4.5l, down to 5 fluid oz.
This presentation silver gravyboat was presented to Truro Corporation on the departure of the mayor Dr Mabel Andrews who acted as mayor between 1965-6. The gravy boat is part of an speciment from a larger collection of silverware presented to Truro City Council at City Hall on the ocassion of royal visits, shifts in power within the city. Also part of the collection are records of people who have received the Freedom of the City of Truro. This gravyboat has a clear hallmark denoting the makers mark and information which describes the gravyboat having been made in the city of Sheffield in 1956, nine years before it was given to the inhabitants of City Hall.
The Duke of Cornwall Marriage Plate
Ceremonial plates are frequently produced on the occasion of royal weddings. These offer members of the public to collect an item of memorabilia which they can refer back to in years to come. This particular plate was produced in a limited run of 5,000 of which this plate is no. 001. The plate shows a central photo of the royal couple. The decorative borders includes a monogram for each of the royals, as well as two Coats of Arms belonging to the Duke of Cornwall. On the lower left is the Duch of Cornwall arms and on the lower right are the arms of the Spencer family. The inner decorative border depicts dolphins, anchors and escallops, symbolising his Lordship of the Isles, naval connections and the escallops from her family arms respectively.
Mayoral hat and hat box
A decorative hat worn by Truro City Mayor during the early 20thCentury. The hat is narrow and semi-circular in shape with peaked corners.
The hat is decorative, with black fabric and ribbon wrappings. The centrepiece of the hat is a strip of golden brocade embroidered with beads and a large button. Mayors act as ceremonial leaders having been elected by local residents.
Their role is one of a public figurehead, communicator and influencer with regards to local politics and civic development. On 11th May 2020, Bert Biscoe was sworn in as Truro's new mayor. He was sworn in virtually. Bert becomes the first mayor to be sworn in as Truro Mayor due to the Coronavirus pandemic).
Isaac Roskelley's mayoral hat and hat box
A decorative hat worn by Truro City Mayor Isaac Roskelley Esq between 1913 and 1914.
Mayors act as ceremonial leaders having been elected by local residents. Their role is one of a public figurehead, communicator and influencer with regards to local politics and civic development. Truro's current mayor is Councillor Bert Biscoe, elected May 2020.
The hat is narrow and semi-circular in shape with peaked corners. It is decorative, with black fabric and ribbon wrappings. The centrepiece of the hat is a strip of golden brocade embroidered with beads and a large button. The hat is accompanied by its hat box which is inscribed with its wearer's name and role. A tricorne hat (with three corners or pinned points) is a powerful visual symbol of hats worn by both mayors and aristocracy during the 19th century (see HFC:2019:98) however this fashion was largely out of style by the 20th Century when this hat was worn.
Manufactured by Christy's of London.
A ruff is just one part of a mayor's ceremonial clothing. It will be worn when performing civic duties within the town and will likely be accompanied by other items of ceremonial dress including a hat, robe, gloves and chain. Ruffs were a common dress items during the 17th and 18th centuries and were worn as an item of clothing separate from a shirt. This allowed for easier cleaning of the ruff alone rather than the entire shirt.
A series of documentary-style photographs, shot in1977 on a with a wide angle lens. Each photograph depicts a section of a different street in Truro city's centre. City Hall is visible on the second line of images in the centre of the photo.
This menu card is an example of an elaborate design used for formal ocassions in the last nineteenth century. On the front of the nenu is an image of Truro's City Hall. Inside the menu is a list of foods that were served at the banquet hosted by Mr Arthur Laverton, mayor between 1889-1891. Some items have survived the test of time. Some haven't! Cornwall Gazette states 'The halls and vestibules were garnished with all kinds of plants and art drapery, while the supper-room was fitted up in a most elaborate as a drawing-room, handsome artistic furniture being used for accommodations of the visitors; and the walls were lined with large mirrors festooned with handsome draperies in art colours'.
Centenary of conferment of the city of Truro
Truro celebrated a century of city status in 1977. The commemorative cover would have been sent by members of the public in the form of a letter. The cover includes an illustration of the Cornish Coat of Arms alongside a rubber stamp mark commemorating the occassion.The anniversary coincidentally took place during the Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee in 1977.
Mayoral hat, gloves and hat box
The design of the tricorne mayoral hat dates back to the 17th century and was originally designed as a protective style of headgear. The mayoral hats are made by just a few hat and/or robe makers in the United Kingdom. Materials used include calico, velvet, braid and layers of wool.
Tricorne mayoral hat
This mayoral hat is an example of an earlier tricorne hat design, often made using animal fibres. Stamped on the inside of the hat with the latin phrase 'Floreat Industria' (he prospers who labours), it is sparsely decorated with black braid on its exterior. This style of hat would have been worn by the current mayor when carrying out ceremonial or official duties.
A more contemporary mayoral hat from 1913-14 in the collection HFC:2019:87
a lithograph depicting Truro city centre in the background. In the foreground is the Fal River and a hillside with grazing cattle and a couple in conversation. The uncovered rivers of Truro are visible in the background, giving a sense of the maritime industry and trade that the rivers would have provided to the city. Also visible is City Hall, the cathedral, the viaduct and the train station.
The Ascension of Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne on the death of her father King George VI. Her official coronation took place on 2nd June 1953. In the photo, councillors, dignitaries, regimental musicians and townspeople of Truro listen to the proclamation. The lady who donated this photograph's father is the policeman present in the lower left of the photograph. In the background you can see 'Regent' signs at the entrance to the Town Hall, illustrating the building's use as a cinema at the time.
Dancing at City Hall
A photo from the annual family christmas party for the families of employees at Truro's General Post Office. There was clearly dancing as photo donor Annette Egerton remembers 'My father Own Lidgey's love of dancing was not shared by my mother and so is dancing with the wife of a postman. The unusual attire of my father with his trousers rolled up was because we was dancing with a penny between his legs. I assume it was an elimination dance and the winner was the last one standing with the penny still in place. It won't come as a surprise that my mother really did not like the photo!'
Father Christmas at City Hall
Annette Egerton recalls attending the Christmas party ' this photo shows me sittting reading the book that Father Christmas had given to me. Our dresses for these parties were always beautifully made by our grandmother who would have have been in her late 70s.'
Crowds for David Penhaligon
On 9th June 1983 a General Election took place. The count for Truro & St Austell took place at City Hall. The declaration was televised live as a result of David Penhaligon being a well known liberal democrate politician. He had previously appear on Question Time, Any Questions and many radio programs. David Penhaligon was the Liberal MP for Truro from 1974 until his utimely death in December 1986.
Victorious Penhaligon with family
David Penhaligon was re-elected as Liberal MP for Truro (also covering St Austell) on 10th June 1983. After a televisted count at City Hall, the results were announced. The total electorate was 68,514 of which the turnout was 79.6%. Penhaligon won 57.3% of the vote with a large majority.
Following an introduction by the High Sheriff, Miss Elizabeth Johnstone of Trewithen, David Penhaligon was introduced as the victor in the bid for retaining his title of MP for Truro in the 1983 General Election. Miss Johnstone was the first female High Sheriff.
Revealing the winner
A candid photo capturing the moment in which the candidates in the race to become MP for Truro are handed papers detailing the results of the election. This is shortly prior to the results being announced to crowds outside City Hall.
Political activity inside City Hall (aerial shot)
On 9th June 1983 a General Election took place. The count for Truro & St Austell took place at City Hall. The hall was spruced up for the televised recording, with the addition of trees and large letters on the stage. In the foreground is the microphone and small stage set up for filming and announcements.
Programme cover for Carousel at City Hall
The front cover design of the Carousel programme was in keeping with the earlier TAODS programmes. A simple illustration and title were displayed alongside the distinctive TAODS logo of the time, which incorporated the three spires of Truro Cathedral. More information was found inside the programme including a foreword, dates for performances and associated cast listings.
Maternity Fashion Advertisement
An advertisement inside the programme for Finian's Rainbow, detailing a maternity outfitters in Truro and speaking to the sartorial trends and copywriting style of the late 1950s.
Finian's Rainbow Programme cover
Finian's Rainbow was performed at City Hall by Truro Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society. It was produced by Mavis Ward who produced more than sixteen of TAODS productions. The musical tells the story of a pot of gold, stolen from a leprechaun by a young couple in the mythical town of Glocca Morra, USA. They flee to the South and settle there, pursued endlessly by the leprechaun. Finian's Rainbow is a musical whose debut on Broadway in 1947 ran for 725 performances. The musical was later adapted for film. It was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and released in 1968. An earlier film animation starring Frank Sinata, Louis Armstrong and Petula Clark was never completed, in part due to McCarthy-era trials, in which two of the films starred refused to testify meaning funding was withdrawn.
Cast and Crew List, Finian's Rainbow
Sarah Smith promotes the 'A Space For You' campaign for Hall For Cornwall, c. 1994
Sarah was a Director and General Manager during the transition from City Hall and its subsequent campaign to become Hall For Cornwall. Sarah Smith helped to establish the HFC Trust and led fundraising for the campaign.
The Hall For Cornwall Appeal
By the mid-1990s, a number of parties from the council, City Hall governance teams and national organisations decided that City Hall was no longer fit for purpose, and that substantial development was required to transform City Hall into a workable performing arts venue to serve the cultural needs of the county. These ambitions became the Hall For Cornwall 'A Space For You' campaign
Memories of the Ice Skating Rink
Ice was brought from Newlyn Fish Market and formed into an ice rink on stage with a lip to stop skaters flying off the edge. A 24 hour generator was needed to stop ice melting (which would happen at the rear of the rink) which the police weren’t happy about – the generator van was enormous and stood outside making a noise 24 hours a day. After the week had ended, the ice would be broken up, pushed into a wheelbarrow and then wheeled off to a carpark behind Staples and left to melt away!
Memories of Watching Shows at the Hall For Cornwall
I have seen all the pantomimes for several years and many shows. The best one for me was The Sound of Music – it was fantastic. I would love to go again when it opens next year. I have lived in Truro all my life and my friend Christine who has lived opposite for many years and we always wave to one another before we go to bed.
Memories of Growing Up in Truro
I didn’t go to school very much as I had a lot of illness. I worked at the old steam laundry in Moresk Road in Truro. After that when it closed I worked at Littlewoods in the café for 28 years. My dad had three jobs: he was a brick builder and he also worked at the old gas works working nights. Following that he was a blacksmith perhaps in the 1920’s He had a shed at the bottom of the garden and used to make toys for us at Christmas –once he even made us a dolls pram. Mum used to work in a sweet shop in Truro this was before I was born.
Postcard Memories - Family Memories at the City Hall
My memory is of Bert Biscoe taking me up to the Council Chamber and proudly showing me my great, great, great grandfather’s election address to the ‘People of Truro’ which he had hung on the wall.
Postcard Memories - Favourite Memories of the City Hall
My favourite memories of City Hall are the dances in the Annex, the Ballet’s on stage, the Fatstock shows, the Police Ball, Operas, the Guides & Scouts Fair and the variety show ‘Bits and Pieces’.
Postcard Memories - The History of Cornwall Book
In 2000, all Cornish school children were given a book on the History of Cornwall. I was part of the team and presented it to Prince Charles.
Postcard Memories - Resident Pigeons
Before it was a theatre, Carride Council were responsible for the building and we remember that disused rooms upstairs had been taken over by flocks of pigeons! It must have been a dirty job cleaning it up!
Memories of Courting at City Hall
I was sixteen in 1958. It was a good time to be sixteen. I was a telephonist for BT and we held our annual dances in City Hall. There were crowds of young people and we danced the night away, the lot of us. They decked the whole place out with balloons and paper decorations and laid chairs down both sides of the hall. The girls would come in and take a seat and if you were lucky, a handsome man would come over and ask you to dance. If it was someone you weren’t keen on, all of a sudden you’d look down at the floor and get very interested in your shoes. It was grand being asked to dance, but the best part of the evening was the ‘ladies’ excuse me’, which gave you the chance of a lifetime. You could tap any man on the shoulder, even if he was dancing with someone else and ask him to dance. There was no point in being a wallflower, you had to grab the opportunity while you had it. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, take your places for a quickstep.’ They had a dance band, The Clavitones, who played all sorts, from waltzes, military two-step to the Gay Gordons and the hokey cokey. Bob Williams, the chemist, used to play saxaphone with them. The slow dances were my favourite, though. You’d eye someone across the room and wink at them and they’d come over and you’d dance with their arm around you and it felt wonderful. Everyone got a bit more forward as the evening went on. At some point you might go outside with them for a kiss and a cuddle. The dances finished about ten thirty. It was nothing like going home at two in the morning like you might do today. It was a lot tamer than that. If you met someone and they wanted to take you home, you’d wonder if they would hold your hands or your arm might brush their arm, which was everything. If it went really well, you might get a kiss at the gate. Of course, I lived with my parents back then and my dad would wait up until I got back. We had a dog and he’d use the dog as an excuse to stay out in the garden when he was expecting me back, which was his way of saying ‘Come on in now, Josie’. I remember at one dance this gorgeous man came in through the door of City Hall and later in the evening, when he asked me if I wanted to dance, I said ‘do I?’ Our first dance was a quickstep. He was tall, and handsome too. We courted for three years before I married him. We went to lots of dances at City Hall in that time, and to the cinema too at The Regent. I remember he took me to see The Summer Place – even now when I hear the songs it takes me right back there. I remember being in there in the dark of the cinema and his knee touched mine – talk about the vapours. We married at Chasewater and had a reception in the village, bought a cottage at Greenbottom and we had our twins there twelve months later. When you’ve had a good marriage and you met your man at a dance, you’ve had what lots of people would love to have. You can’t imagine anything better. But that’s me, I’m an old romantic.
Memories of The City Hall & Hall for Cornwall - The Heart of Things
Before I moved down to Cornwall in 1964, I lived in Honor Oak in London. From the road I lived on, which was on a main bus route, we could see Big Ben - we were right in the heart of things – you could get anything you liked any time you liked. After I left school, I worked at Westminster for a while and then at Worth’s Fashion House. When my husband got a job teaching science at Truro School, we moved to Penelewey, which was - at the time - just a handful of houses, even fewer than there are now. Where we’d have busses running all day in Honor Oak, there was one bus a day now and I thought ‘what one earth have I come to?’ My husband died thirty years ago now and it was after he died that I heard about this place called Hall for Cornwall. It was a new thing for me. It was close and it was affordable. I discovered something there that grabbed me by the heart. One year I went to see something there every week – marine bands, plays, opera, comedy, dancing – anything they had on. The man on the security desk said to me he was thinking about calling Securicor for me, I’d bought that many tickets, and they told me by the end of the year, they thought I’d pretty much bought Row F! I remember seeing one comedy group which was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I laughed so hard it was painful and the man sitting next to me couldn’t stay in his chair he was laughing so much. I remember thinking I need a break from this. It’s strange, I’ve forgotten what they were called now, but I’ll never forget laughing that hard, not ever. It was a change from life, seeing something so different. I was able to feel I was supporting people who were doing creative things while I was doing it. A special place it is, right in the heart of things.
Memories of Billy Onions
Billy Onions had a horse that he used for one purpose and one purpose only and every market day Billy Onions led his horse down Mitchell Hill and tied him to a lamppost smack in the centre of town, right by City Hall. Why’s Billy Onions bring a horse into town when he in’t got nothing to sell? Well, I’ll tell you. That horse’d wait, patient as Job and sometimes a child from the market would take pity on him, bring him out a carrot or two, something to pass the time, until Billy Onions emerged from out back of the Red Lion at the last light of the day. Now the Red Lion to City Hall was just a stagger and a belch and Billy Onions could manage that right enough. He’d pet the horse on the nose, untie him from the lamppost and the horse’d lead him right home.
Memories of Truro at War
When the war ended I was working along River Street. The fire station rang its signal and I threw myself to the ground and I remember thinking how silly I was to have done that. I remember the war well, the incendiary bombs falling all around. My mother rarely let us leave the house, at that time though I remember we went to the Regent Cinema, where they had open grate fires and they ironed the snooker tables before people played on them, and when we were allowed out, we’d head down to find winkles at Newham, boil them and pick them out with a pin.. This one time I remember my mother took us up to the park up at Hendra and we heard a noise and Mum said ‘It’s the Gerries’, so we ran into the public toilets and I remember all the windows smashing, the noise and the chaos of it. Mr Dexter, who was in the AA – you always saluted when you saw him coming – came and collected us and I remember we went up past Fairmantle Street where there was a house of one of my mother’s friends where a bomb had come right down through her sitting room. Sobering it was and I was glad when it was over.
Memories of The First Dance
My husband used to click his heels together when he asked you to dance. He wore spare collars and his shoes always shone and he was handsome as the day was long. I first met him at the Red Lion Hotel at the bottom of Lemon Street. If you had money you’d drink out front, and if you were one of the common people you’d drink out the back, sitting on the barrels – that’s where we’d go. A lot of people didn’t have money in those days, but we had comradeship and we enjoyed that. Everybody was in the same boat. He didn’t know anyone at that time, being German, and he went to the Red Lion to meet people, and though I’d seen him there a couple of times I didn’t know him at all. He asked me if I’d like to go to the City Hall for a dance. I was about eighteen or nineteen, but I told him I’d have to ask my mum. Anyway, I went to a dance with him and it went on from there. He’d gone into the German army at eighteen and he was two years interred on Guernsey before they moved him over to Cornwall. He came over on the boat and he lived in these Nissen Huts up by the hospital and from there they were put out to work on farms. They were taken out in lorries to the different farms and he was taken out to a farm at Comprignay Hill. After the war, he stayed on and moved into a tied cottage behind the big house. There were lions on the gateposts and it was a grand place but when I saw his rooms I thought it was terrible, up these rickety steps and he was living above where the stables used to be. All up one end was his bed and there wasn’t much else there aside from that. When we decided to marry, we had to write to Germany just so they could be sure he had never been married before. We had four sons. There’s not a thing I regret about it. We didn’t have much but we enjoyed what we had, and whenever he asked me to dance with him, he’d click his heels together and it took me right back to when I met first him and that first dance.
Karen Pirie Podcast Episode 1: Debbie McCrory
The first podcast in a micro-series, commissioned by Hall For Cornwall with journalist Karen Pirie. In the first episode, hear from BBC Radio Cornwall DJ and former Front Of House Manager Debbie McCrory. Listen to her tales of scandal, intrigue and backstage gossip with a whole host of stars who have graced Hall For Cornwall's stage over the years. Series recorded pre-Covid.
Karen Pirie Podcast Episode 2: Ed Rowe, Simon Harvey & Richard Healey
The second podcast in a micro-series, commissioned by Hall For Cornwall with journalist Karen Pirie. In the second episode, hear from an impressive trio who frequently work together at Hall For Cornwall. Actor Ed Rowe, Director Simon Harvey and musical director Richard Healey. Hear their discussion of their hopes for the future of the theatre, what they enjoy about working together and what Cornwall can offer by way of support for the creative industries. Series recorded pre-Covid.
Karen Pirie Podcast Episode 3: Julien Boast & Sue Ferguson
The third podcast in a micro-series, commissioned by Hall For Cornwall with journalist Karen Pirie. In the third episode, Karen interviews Hall For Cornwall CEO Julien Boast and theatre advocate and loyal friend of the theatre, Sue Ferguson. Hear their thoughts on the transformation of the hall and exciting plans for the future. Series recorded pre-Covid.
Animated Oral History 1: John McLaughlin
The first in a series of four animated oral histories, depicting people's memories of life in Truro and the influence that City Hall / Hall For Cornwall has had to their lives. Episode one features lifelong Truro resident John McLoughlin who has many a tale to tell of life at City Hall's famous Fatstock markets as well as life as a Hall For Cornwall volunteer.
Animated Oral History 2: Roger Heayn
The second in a series of four animated oral histories, depicting people's memories of life in Truro at City Hall and Hall For Cornwall. Episode Two features an interview with Roger Heayn who's life is utterly entwined with Truro and the buildings of Lemon Quay. Hear his memories of WWII in Truro and the experiences of being a school boy in Truro during a bomb explosion.
Animated Oral History 3: Bryan Churcher
The third in a series of four animated oral histories, depicting people's memories of life in Truro and inside City Hall / Hall For Cornwall. Episode Three features an interview with Bryan Churcher who has been integral in Hall For Cornwall's transformation as part of the Appeal Group and a past chair of the Fundraising Group. Hear him share the story of his parent's marriage at Truro Cathedral and the experience of holidaying in Cornwall before relocating to the county and his support of a wide range of charitable fundraising projects.
Back Quay showing the Market Inn, the rear of City Hall and N. Gill & Son, Truro, Cornwall. After October 1937
A photo which details the change in landscape to Back Quay once the river had been filled in during the mid-1920s. The river was filled in along Lemon Quay for both sanitation reasons and for a broader civic purpose. The space has since served as a car park and a piazza, home to multiple fairs, shows and entertainment events in the heart of the city.
Machine shop, H.T.P. Motors Ltd., Back Quay, Truro, Cornwall. 1941
The interior of HTP Motors (now the Pannier Market) during WWII. The automobile showroom was re-purposed as a site for building plane parts for Spitfires during the war effort.
British Army service vehicles outside H.T.P. Motors Ltd., Back Quay, Truro, Cornwall. Around 1944
Military vehicles outside the building on Back Quay (now the Pannier Market) where the vehicles were re-conditioned and re-purposed ready for service at the end of WWII. This photograph shows the moment the vehicles are handed over to the military.
Town Crier standing outside City Hall, Boscawen Street, Truro, Cornwall. 1920s
A town crier reads from his sheet with City Hall as a backdrop. Clearly visible are a number of show posters for forthcoming performances at the hall. Also visible is a large handbill mounted to a board by the gates to the hall. This board would have been used and adjusted during a performance run to detail which shows had remaining tickets on sale.
Snowball Fight, Boscawen Street, Truro, Cornwall. 8th January 1918
A group of naval officers play in the snow outside City Hall during WWI. In the background and tacked to the wall of City Hall, is a poster calling for new recruits to the Royal Navy.
City Hall, Truro, Cornwall. 1918 or early 1920s
A crowd gathers to watch military personnel on Boscowan Street at the beginning of WWI. City Hall is visible in the background, advertising its performance of The Lost City.
Truro from Lemon Bridge
Until the 1920s, the River Kenwyn ran through both Back Quay and Lemon Quay in the centre of Truro. The river ran immediately behind City Hall and was used for loading and offloading goods on a regular basis for the theatre and beyond. In the mid-1920s, the river was covered over as part of a processing of 'filling in' Back Quay. The river still runs through the city (as do a number of others) but the Piazza now sits on top of it. The Piazza has alternately been a carpark and open-space during WWII. It is now used as a civic space and is frequently host to markets and pop-ups throughout the year.
Lemon Quay & Wesleyan College, Truro
How Cats Got Fleas
Stephen's recollections of Truro; 'Loved my visit to Truro in the early 1980s. I was studying photography at Nottingham Trent Polytechnic and a group of us were staying at the cottage of a tutor in the County. Came across this scene and had to take a frame. Particularly impressed that the Flea market was only 1p for entry and that went to charity. Whimsy is such a forgotten art, we need more cat shows and flea markets advertised together!'
Under Truro's Clock
A stop motion animation film by year 2 children from Truro Learning Academy. The children worked with Artist film-maker Amanda Lorens and writer Rebecca Gregson to create this film. Based on stories from the the Hall for Cornwall archive. Made for Revealing City Hall, a Hall for Cornwall project developed with KEAP.
Keeping Truro's Clock Ticking
City Hall's Clock I
City Hall's Clock II
Weights were used at the Stannary Courts (there were four Stannary Towns in Cornwall, in Truro, Helston, Launceston and Lostwithiel). The weights would be used to ascertain the weight and therefore the value of the tin brought to the courts from the tin mines within each town's district. Once the tin had been weight and valued, taxs and coinage would be paid at the local Coinage Hall and the tin would receive the stamp of the Stannary town. This weight case was manufactured in London by De Grave Short & Co Ltd. The case bears the inscription ' Manufacturers of Bullion, Assay and Chemical Balances, Scales, Weights & Measures.'
Decorative Element of loft room at City Hall I
Painted decorative details on the walls of loft rooms inside City Hall, directly beneath the clocktower and above the Council Chambers. No longer in use, these rooms illustrate the tastes of the period when it came to furnishing the walls of a civic building and employ a trompe l'oeil or stencilled detail. These decorative details are the last clue as to the feel of the rooms prior to the fire of 1914 which destroyed the clock tower. These rooms were significantly more simple in decorative style than the rooms on lower floors (decorated in 1924-1927) which housed the mayoral chamber and courts. These rooms, on public display on a more regular basis, feature mouldings, ceiling roses and a far grander decorative scheme.
Decorative Element of loft room at City Hall II
Weights Case Detail
Detail from inside the weight case (ref HFC:2020:158) This weight case was manufactured in London by De Grave Short & Co Ltd. The case bears the inscription ' Manufacturers of Bullion, Assay and Chemical Balances, Scales, Weights & Measures.'
We Need A Hall Campaign I
We Need A Hall Campaign II
We Need A Hall Campaign III
We Need A Hall Campaign IV
Damage to City Hall's roof and clock tower
During the fire at City Hall, a number of the municipal rooms were destroyed as well as a substantial collection of artwork belonging to the council. The efforts of the volunteer fire brigade meant that there were not greater losses sustained to property in the aftermath of the fire.
Roof From South Side
During the fire at City Hall, a number of the municipal rooms were destroyed as well as a substantial collection of artwork belonging to the council. The efforts of the volunteer fire brigade meant that there were not greater losses sustained to property in the aftermath of the fire.
Mr and Mrs Arbon and the Cornwall Youth Orchestra
Dennis Arbon was an unwavering supporter and eventual trustee of Hall for Cornwall. His relationship with HfC began in the 1990s when he stepped in to make considerable financial donations to the theatre, its associated organisations and fundraising campaigns. He was then appointed to the venue's board in the late 1990’s and served for four years as Chair, helping in the process to secure the future of the theatre during a period of significant financial difficulty. Dennis was awarded an MBE for his outstanding services and philanthropic contributions to the arts and the community in Cornwall in 2013.
Filling in Back Quay (1)
The River Kenwyn ran through both Back Quay and Lemon Quay in the centre of Truro until the 1920s. Running immediately behind City Hall, the river proved a useful vantage point for the recievership of goods that arrived and departed on the boats which docked at the quays during the 19th century. The river was eventually covered over between 1923-1926 as part of the process of 'filling in' Back Quay. In the mid-20th century, the piazza was used alternately as a car park for a car dealership as well as a public car park during the 1980s-1990s. In the 1990s council chose to utilise the open space as a civic meeting spot for fairs, cattle markets and festivals.
Filling in Back Quay (2)
The River Kenwyn ran through both Back Quay and Lemon Quay in the centre of Truro until the 1920s. Running immediately behind City Hall, the river proved a useful vantage point for the recievership of goods that arrived and departed on the boats which docked at the quays during the 19th century. The river was eventually covered over in the 1920s as part of the process of 'filling in' Back Quay.
Flea market stall layout
City Hall was built in 1846 to house the headquarters of the local council. In the early 20th century, civic leaders decided to make the market hall at the rear of the complex available for public use. This resulted in the market hall operating as a skating rink in 1907 and then as a cinema in 1912. The market hall was then remodelled as a theatre with a stage in 1925 and, following a period of neglect in the 1960s, served as a flea market in the 1970s. This image is a sketch of the layout of stalls for the flea market which was held at City Hall on Saturday the 30th of March c. 1990. Each highlighted number corresponds with a stall holder who had paid a fee to sell at the market. The flea markets took place regularly underneath the huge granite pillars of the Boscawan side of the building and are an example of the myriad uses City Hall had for the people of Truro.
Benjamin Luxon CBE
Benjamin Luxon was the honorary president of the Music Theatre Kernow during the 1990s. Before this, he had enjoyed a successful career as a baritone and had toured the world as an equally renowned recitalist, concert, opera and folk singer. In the late 1980s, Ben bought City Hall's 125 year lease for £1.00 from Carrick District Council at a point when its physical decline was reaching the point of no return. The plan was to then return the complex to a performance venue by launching a series of high profile, community led campaigns to secure funding for the renovations. Ben subsequently played an instrumental part in the community campaign to fundraise and eventually bring about the reopening of Hall For Cornwall in 1997. Visible in the background of this photo was a sign detailing how much money had been raised as part of this initial campaign.
Ann Jennings, Ben Luxon CBE and Chris Warner
Pictured in this photograph is Ann Jennings who ran the flea markets at City Hall, HfC's director Chris Warner and Ben Luxon who bought City Hall's 125 year lease for £1.00 from Carrick District Council in the 1980s. The number they are pictured holding is The Hall for Cornwall Trust charity number.
A music event at City Hall (2)
In the early 20th century, civic leaders decided to make City Hall's market hall available for public use. Since then, the Hall has operated as an extremely flexible and versatile arts, performance and events venue and has held many a function during its 100 year history as a public space. This photograph features the bar staff replenishing the till during a musical performance in the former market hall space, c. 1993-94.
A music event at City Hall (3)
In the early 20th century, civic leaders decided to make City Hall's market hall available for public use. Since then, the Hall has operated as an extremely flexible and versatile arts, performance and events venue and has held many a function during its 100 year history as a public space. This is photograph features the bar in the market hall space during a music event in the period 1993-94.
A music event at City Hall (4)
In the early 20th century, civic leaders decided to make City Hall's market hall available for public use. Since then, the Hall has operated as an extremely flexible and versatile arts, performance and events venue and has held many a function during its 100 year history as a public space. This photograph is from a music event which was held at the Hall in the period 1993-94 shortly before the space was overhauled entirely to become Hall for Cornwall. These music events were relatively low key and followed on from the popular Rock N Rhythm and skiffle competitions held at the hall in the 1970s which attracted audiences from all over Cornwall.
A music event at City Hall (5)
In the early 20th century, civic leaders decided to make City Hall's market hall available for public use. Since then, the Hall has operated as an extremely flexible and versatile arts, performance and events venue and has held many a function during its 100 year history as a public space. This photograph is from a music event which was held at the Hall in the period 1993-94. As well as showing the original layout of the performance area of the building, it also shows contemporary fashions of the time and is an interesting reminder of an era in which smoking inside as a spectator was commonplace.
A music event at City Hall (6)
In the early 20th century, civic leaders decided to make City Hall's market hall available for public use. Since then, the Hall has operated as an extremely flexible and versatile arts, performance and events venue and has held many a function during its 100 year history as a public space. This photograph is from a music event which was held at the Hall in the period 1993-94.