Back Quay c. 1995-97

In 1995, enough funds had finally been raised to begin the refurbishment of City Hall. This photograph shows the River Kenwyn as it’s sent into it’s cover underneath Back Quay. Until the 1920s, the River Kenwyn ran through both Back Quay and Lemon Quay until the river was covered over as part of the process of ‘filling in’ Back Quay. Also visible in the background are the cranes operating on the refurbishment of City Hall.

City Hall refurbishment

Husa at Hall for Cornwall is a co-working space for Cornish creatives, entrepreneurs, social enterprises, freelancers and small businesses that’s situated in the south wing of the building. This photograph was taken during the refurbishments of City Hall in the mid 1990s and features the space above what would eventually become the Husa space.

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.

Cinderella at Hall for Cornwall, c. 1997

City Hall Truro’s theatre opened as the newly refurbished Hall for Cornwall in November 1997. During its first Christmas season, Hall for Cornwall, in association with Albemarle Montrose Productions and C&A, staged the Cinderella pantomine. The production ran between the 19th of December and 10th of January and featured Heather Jay Jones as Cinderella and Robbie Dee as Buttons. The newly refurbished Hall also included a restauraunt called Stars which was housed on the mezzanine level overlooking the main entrance and boasted ‘an enviable reputation for first class cuisine.’

Plan of Truro new public hall, 1924

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.