THE COLLECTION

Truro and Cathedral, Cornwall, UK, 1946 (b/w photo)

© Historic England / Bridgeman Images

Method - under licence only Date - under licence

Truro and Cathedral, Cornwall, UK, 1946 (b/w photo)

Date: 1946

Record Number: HFC:2020:108:L

Truro and Cathedral, Cornwall. The Gothic Revival Cathedral was begun in the 1880s. Aerial view by Aeropictorial. July 1946.

Method - under licence only Date - under licence

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Victorious Penghaligon

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Political activity inside City Hall (aerial shot)

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Carousel Programme Lead Page

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Programme cover for Kismet at City Hall

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Programme frontispage for Kismet at City Hall

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Hall For Cornwall fundraising brochure, ' A Space For You'

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Memories of the Fur & Feather Shows

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Memories of the Cinema

There were 3 cinemas in Truro when I was a youngster, the Plaza, the Regent, which was in the City Hall, and the Palace. I grew up on St.Clements Terrace, and there would be 4 or 5 of us around the same age who would congregate, deciding which one to go to, depending what was showing. I can remember going into the Regent Cinema, on a Saturday morning, the matinees and seeing the usual films and having an ice cream. In those days it used to be two films, the one they showed first was the B film and then you had an interval with the adverts, and then the main film would be the second one. And the old Pearl and Dean adverts. Then we’d usually all come back and play football in the afternoon. That was I suppose just before the end of the war and just after the war. 

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Memories of the New Years Eve Dance

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Memories of Queen

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Memories of a Royal Visit

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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. 

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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 cafĂ© 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. 

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Memories of Shows & Malteasers at the City Hall

As a teenager I had a box of Maltesers and just as the show started I dropped them and they went all over the floor making a noise with people helping to pick them up and the audience telling me to shush!

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Memories of the Cinema, Carrots & Swedes at the City Hall

My husband when he was a child at the Regent cinema (which was the City Hall) was given chopped up swedes and carrot to eat instead of sweets as they were cheaper and they chomped them right through the show.

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Memories of Working at the City Hall

My husband’s friend worked for the gas works cleaning out the filters and when he was at the Regent everyone knew when he was there because he smelled of gas! 

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Postcard Memories - The 'Avenging Angels'

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Postcard Memories - Under The Clock

Mrs Proctor - "Mr Biscoe, I’ve lost my council tax bill – you must find it else I’ll end up under the Town clock and then I’ll be for it! "

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Postcard Memories - Footsbarn's

Saw my first theatre at the Hall – Footsbarn in ‘Giant’. I was a very small boy and was transfixed and transported. I can still see the Giant 50 something years later in my minds eye and remember how much I laughed. 

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Postcard Memories - The Addams Family

I used to run an Air BnB and as guests we had the Grandma from ‘The Addams Family’, a character from a play about business, an operatic singer and a violin player. It felt like we were part of the show.

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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’. 

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Postcard Memories - Going to the Circus

Roughly in 1948, when I was a little girl, my family went to the circus. 70 years ago. Well, a Lion got out and passed between us – what a memory!  

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Postcard Memories - 'Old Thyme'

I remember doing ‘Old Thyme’ musical on the old stage when it was the market in the 1970s. 

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Postcard Memories - Musical Memory

I liked Joseph and the musicals. It was really good. 

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Postcard Memories - Family Memories at the Hall for Cornwall

Hall for Cornwall is synonymous with my son – Dandy Dan in Bugsy, Claypole in Oliver, Backstage crew, Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk, and Bottom in Play for the Nation.  

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Postcard Memories - Fatstock shows, Dinners & Concerts at the City Hall

I have memories of the Cornwall Young Farmers club’s Christmas dinner and dance in the 1960s. The Hall still had the pillars either side. Truro Fatstock shows. Brenda Wootton concert in the 1970s. 

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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.  

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Postcard Memories - A Piano Recital

I remember coming as a child to hear my mother’s headmistress, Blanche Watkiss, play the piano at an elderly age, and she forgot her music halfway through! This was the 1950s or 60s. She was head at the boarding school in Newquay. Thelema – now Phelema. I remember the hall as very dark with deep seats, we were very small.  

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Postcard Memories - Favourite Memories of the City Hall & Hall for Cornwall

My favourite memories are of Mr Maker! Patrick Moore playing the Xylophone, The Levellers, Stomp! And Ballet Rambert. 

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Postcard Memories - Memories of a Steward

As a HFC Steward from 1997-2017, the memorable shows I have seen are anything by Kneehigh Theatre, Ballet Rambert (especially the Rolling Stones dances), Stomp. There were fantastic bands. Hot Chocolate stands out. Stewards were dancing in the back row. The Chinese state circus. Russian Ice Dancers, Barnum, The Nutcracker. Also I remember the opening. The week before the shows started, I took crates and sold the first programmes.  

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Postcard Memories - Dancing On Ice

Dancing on Ice, I’m in awe as to how they can do what they do, at such speed, in a small space. The first one, the lead Ballerina came out in Ballet shows en pointe on the ice. We expected she would slip and slide but she didn’t! We came back for the solid 60s each year. Freddie and the Dreamers, The Tremaloes, Marty Wilde. My aunt used to do shopping for Marty Wilde’s grandmother.  

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Postcard Memories - Pirate FM Cornwall's Most Wanted

I remember trying to catch Pirate FM Cornwall’s most wanted in the foyer of the theatre! The flea markets in the barn downstairs. So many fantastic shows. The scenery for Chess was too large for the stage! I remember the great staff. I was a member for Priority Tickets.  

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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!  

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Memories of the City Hall - TAODS

Joyce : when I joined TAODS there as a waiting list to be a dancer.  They only had 12 dancers and you had to be over 16.  I was 15 when I joined and had just turned 16 when the show was staged in September.  We loved performing in City Hall. Our shows were very popular, especially our plays and the carolaire where there was always a great atmosphere. We also used it for other events – one year we were staging Carousel and held an Autumn Fair in the Hall . We managed to get hold of a proper carousel and put it in the hall for the fair – we made a lot of money that year.   Keith 2 : I joined TAODS because I wanted to chat up Joyce who was already a member there.   Keith 2 : the guttering was inside the back of the building. When it rained you could hear the water running along back stage.  There was also a metal bar at the top of the stage area to keep the pigeons out – they made a lot of noise and you could hear them when the performances were taking place.   Chris : there was always dancing at City Hall – there was a different band every Saturday night and famous people like Victor Sylvester came to Truro.   Joyce : there were also professional pantomimes at City Hall – one year Alan Gale staged a panto.  Keith 2 : when I was stage manager I had a crew of about 9 or 10 people . They were a wonderful team. We sometimes had up to 22 back cloths for a show which had to be changed. We built a gantry and had women up there who would lower down the cloths. It was a hectic time but a great time.   Keith 1 : there was a corridor at the back of the stage which had a cast iron stair case.  When I was the call boy I used to go down the stairs whistling and singing to let people know I was coming as it was a very popular place for a quick snog.  

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Memories of City Hall Annex - TAODS

Keith 1 : the annexe was used a lot for different things, including rehearsals for the main shows.  One Saturday evening we had a singing rehearsal in the annexe. There had been a caged bird show in building next door and the birds tried to join n the singing.  

Chris : it used to be used for teas for the cast between the matinees and the main evening show. On the last night everyone on the stage would be presented with a gift and during that day families would be coming in with presents which were stored in the annexe until after the final performance had ended.  

Keith 1 : we also entertained it to entertain other societies from across Cornwall. We also went to other places.   

Keith 2  : when you had a show which was very popular you would open up the annexe as well – there was restricted views but it let more people in.  

Joyce : there was a proper bar in the annexe  

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Memories of Cecil Gill -TAODS

Joyce : My father Cecil Gill , known as “Cec’, did the sound for all TAODS productions for more than 50 years.  He owned an electrical shop in Pydar Street and as well as doing the sound for TAODS, also provided the sound for key events in Truro, such as the Mayor Making and the Fatstock shows via his van with speakers on the top.  

Keith 1 : Back then health and safety was not thought off and I remember having to climb up a ladder to the beam at the top of the stage and then having to shuffle on my bottom along the beam dragging electrical cables behind me while Cec was shouting instructions from below. Cec also used to go to the City Hall the night before ticket went on sale to supervise the people who were camping out.  

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Memories of Queueing for Tickets - TAODS

Joyce : Ann and Jill always used to camp out in front of the hall overnight before a show so they would first in the queue to buy them.   Keith 1 : eventually more people started queuing overnight and one day there was a big queue with dozens of people camping out to get the best tickets. It was a really rough night with wind and rain and they were all getting wet, cold and miserable when the caretaker opened up one of the dressing rooms so they could sleep inside.  

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Memories of Past Shows - TAODS

Keith 1 : I remember Joyce and Chris taking part in a performance of Kismet.  Along with another girl they were the “three princesses” and came out of baskets and did a dance on the stage.   Joyce – as we were all dressed in the same way the only way people could tell us apart was because “ I was the only one who had boobs”.   Chris : we did Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – that was a real wow – one of the best shows we ever did.   Joyce : we had professional artists such as make up artist Jules Martin and musicians come to help with the shows.  We had our own stewards and front of house people, people who did the wardrobes and worked back stage and a social committee who used to sell the programmes – the women always wore long dresses and the men wore dress suits.  The shows were opened by the Mayor   Keith 1 : It was always recognised that Truro had high standards – when we did Fiddler on the Roof one of the audience said “ I saw the original in London and this knocks it into a cocked hat”   Keith 2 : a man called Les painted the flat for us – he was amazing. One time he did a back cloth of Truro Cathedral which became fluorescent when it was flooded with UV lighting – that got a round of applause in the middle of the show.   Ros : I loved the carolaires – they were such happy times.  Bill White played while the audience was coming in.   Chris : we had some wonderful MD’s – Harry Jordon, known as the ‘lady chaser’, and Hubert who used to banter with a Truro lawyer. They had great rapport with the audience.  

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Memories of Last Night Antics - TAODS

Keith 2 : We never did anything to damage the show but we did have some fun on the last night At the end of our production of the Sound of Music Johnny Moon went up the mountain with the children. It was an amazing sight. On the last night we put stage weights into his bag to make it heavier.  On another night we were doing a plan in which people had to bring a trunk onto the stage. It was usually empty but on the last night we filled it with concrete blocks and other items from below the stage.   Keith 1 : during the performance of the Vagabond King the rogue has to run away and jump into a vat of red wine.  On the last night the inside of the barrel was lined with holly – he was wearing tights and a short tunic and the language was interesting.  Chris : on one last night Anne was due to be presented with a plate of food during the play – on the last night someone got two pigs eye from the butchers and put them with the food on the plate. When she lifted the lid off the plate she had to try not to laugh.   Joyce : we were a family – back stage / front of house – we were all a family.  

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Memories of Moving to Redannick Theatre - TAODS

Keith 2 : we miss the City Hall – we had been told that the Hall For Cornwall would be a hall for the whole of Cornwall – but amateur societies cannot afford to use it. We have lost out . Redannick Theatre is much smaller which means we cannot put on the same kind of shows  it is not the same ….. we had some wonderful years and made lots of money for charity.   Joyce : the shows were the highlight of our year and the highlight of the audience’s years – they were happy days and we miss them. The society has gone down to a small number – we have lost our young people. We did everything to the best of our ability – and it is a great shame.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Memories of 'Bits & Pieces'

I always liked singing when I was young. I used to sing in school at playtime and we had little shows outside the back of our house, by the garage, put a dress on and act and stuff – it was our own entertainment. I used to love tap dancing, but you had to pay for the lessons and we could never have afforded them. We just didn’t have the money for it and those things were out of reach for us. I wanted to be in a dramatic show, but I always felt they were too posh for me, so I never even tried for one. There was one show – Bits and Pieces it was called - there was a comedian and singers, dancing, different things on. There was a woman who was supposed to sing, but she was taken ill and they said, well could you do it, Joan? I said, I don’t know but I’ll give it a go. I remember having a photograph taken of me in a lovely dress – it was green, a satin dress. I was a poor singer though. In the end I sang ‘Blue Moon’ first and then I sang that old Irish song ‘I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen’. I’d never been on the stage before and they threw me right in at the deep end. I couldn’t run fast enough. I stuck it out though. Oh, I will take you back, Kathleen To where your heart will feel no pain And when the fields are fresh and green I'll take you to your home again!

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Memories From The Buyer & Seller of Unconsidered Trifles

Entertainment doesn’t just happen on the stage, you know. Far from it. I’d led a sheltered life until I became a buyer and seller of unconsidered trifles. I started life as a reluctant farmer on my father’s farm. Showed my sheep at the Fat Stock show at City Hall, led them up the ramp they put up over the staircases, though I never went to see any of the entertainment there. When he retired, my father passed the farm to me and when I discovered the flea market I passed it on to my son. I never looked back. You could find anything at the flea market. Anything. People used to describe it as like going into a magic cave. They came from all over; a temporary community gathered for just this one thing. The atmosphere in there was something else. At its height there were seventy stalls selling everything from bric-a-brac to fine art, each one falling over the other, floor to ceiling with the world’s unconsidered trifles. For us it started as a way of getting rid of the old rubbish from our house and ended up with us running a regular stall. It was mostly woodworking tools we sold – beautiful things they were too, brass, ebony, rosewood. They were stamped in capitals with the names of the makers and we’d look out for the names that sold well. NORRIS made woodworking planes and they were always in demand. I knew nothing about this when I started, mind. This was long before the time of upcycling, before vintage became a buzz word, and we made it up as we went along. In fact, I used to make antiques in my garage by the box-load. I think my wife’s fingernails are still full of Brasso from polishing up lamps even now, and this was forty years back, mind when Lemon Quay was still a carpark, Marks and Spencer a garage and Wetherspoons the offices for The West Briton. The early days were the best. The buzz of knowing that the things we sold could end up anywhere in the world, the people we met who came from all over just for the flea market. It opened my eyes to life beyond Truro and for entertainment value, there was noting like it.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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Animated Oral History 4: Christine Holmes

The fourth in a series of four animated oral histories, depicting people's memories of life in Truro at City Hall and Hall For Cornwall. Episode four features the story of Christine Holmes who volunteered at the Hall For Cornwall from its beginnings in 1997, right up until it's final performance prior to transformation in 2018.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Clock Tower, atop City Hall, 1914

A photo showing damage to the clock tower following a fire which destroyed much of the structure in 1914.

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Radio Times, February 1955

A radio programme on BBC Radio detailing the songs and stories of The Public Rooms and City Hall, Truro. Broadcast in the South West at 7pm on 8th February 1955.

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Her Majesty The Queen Mother admires the magnolias, 1962

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Her Majesty The Queen Mother inspects the exhibits, 1962

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Flower Show at City Hall, 1959

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Judging the Constance Spry Cup Competition at City Hall, 1961

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A collection of handbills

A selection of handbills pasted up on the walls backstage in the building at different times. The handbills, posters and cast lists were pasted on top of each other and left to fade away as new posters were added. Each poster shows changes in acts booked to perform at the hall, the changing tastes of the public and indeed the changing name of the building. It is alternately named as City Hall and its earlier name, the Regent Theatre within the posters. In-house bands such as the City Hall Trio are also named.

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A handbill advertising Babes In The Wood pantomime performance at the 'Regent Truro'

A selection of handbills pasted up on the walls backstage in the building at different times. The handbills, posters and cast lists were pasted on top of each other and left to fade away as new posters were added. Each poster shows changes in acts booked to perform at the hall, the changing tastes of the public and indeed the changing name of the building. It is alternately named as City Hall and its earlier name, the Regent Theatre within the posters. In-house bands such as the City Hall Trio are also named.

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Robert Moreton at City Hall

A selection of handbills pasted up on the walls backstage in the building at different times. The handbills, posters and cast lists were pasted on top of each other and left to fade away as new posters were added. Each poster shows changes in acts booked to perform at the hall, the changing tastes of the public and indeed the changing name of the building. It is alternately named as City Hall from 1926 and its earlier name, the Regent Theatre within the posters. In-house bands such as the City Hall Trio are also named.

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Ticket, Angus & Julia Stone

Angus & Julia Stone are an Australian folk pop band. Also performing on stage in 2014 were acts including Ruby Wax, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Suzanne Vega and The Gruffalo.

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Rollerskating Rink at City Hall

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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.

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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!'

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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.

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Paint Your Wagon

Paint Your Wagon centres on the California Gold Rush of the mid-19th Century. Joining the many crews of minors, each hoping to strike gold, the plot focuses on the lives of a small group of colourful individuals on their journey to success and possible fortune.

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TAODS Ensemble I

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TAODS Ensemble II

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TAODS Ensemble III

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TAODS Ensemble IV

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Fashion Show at City Hall

Fashion shows were held regularly in the 1960s- 1980s at City Hall. These were organised by external companies who invited local clothes businesses to display clothing selections from the forthcoming seasonal fashions. Shows were curated seasonally and often involved invitations to model for local young residents of Truro.

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Without You, There Is No Us, Callum Mitchell

Commissioned during the Covid-pandemic of 2020, Hall For Cornwall Associate Artist, poet Callum Mitchell prepared a dialogue and accompanying animation detailing the importance of interconnectedness for creativity and sustainability within heritage projects. He asks specifically for people to donate their memories of Hall For Cornwall to the Revealing City Hall project.

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Keeping Truro's Clock Ticking

An important Truro landmark, City Hall's clock tower has had an eventful past. A fire in 1914 almost destroyed the entirety of the tower although the clock itself was largely saved with its facade built back up around it. The clock's wheels, cogs and pulleys were built by J. Smith & Sons of Derby, specialists in manufacturing hand-wound turret clocks.

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City Hall's Clock I

An important Truro landmark, City Hall's clock tower has had an eventful past. A fire in 1914 almost destroyed the entirety of the tower although the clock itself was largely saved with its facade built back up around it. The clock's wheels, cogs and pulleys were built by J. Smith & Sons of Derby, specialists in manufacturing hand-wound turret clocks.

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City Hall's Clock II

An important Truro landmark, City Hall's clock tower has had an eventful past. A fire in 1914 almost destroyed the entirety of the tower although the clock itself was largely saved with its facade built back up around it. The clock's wheels, cogs and pulleys were built by J. Smith & Sons of Derby, specialists in manufacturing hand-wound turret clocks.

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Weights Case

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.'

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Windy Pig

Windy the squeaky pig puppet is a prop created especially for the 2016 pantomime run of Jack & The Beanstalk, produced by Hall For Cornwall. He comes complete with his own bed and wicker basked for transportation!

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Windy Detail

Windy the squeaky pig puppet is a prop created especially for the 2016 pantomime run of Jack & The Beanstalk, produced by Hall For Cornwall. He comes complete with his own bed and wicker basked for transportation!

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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.

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Decorative Element of loft room at City Hall II

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.

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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.'

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We Need A Hall Campaign I

An active community campaign was launched in the early 1990s to spearhead the effort to fundraise and advocate for a permanent venue in Cornwall for the performing arts. City Hall was sited as the venue, and over a couple of years, the campaign was successful. The building which housed City Hall was partially re-configured to become Hall For Cornwall, opening in 1997.

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We Need A Hall Campaign II

An active community campaign was launched in the early 1990s to spearhead the effort to fundraise and advocate for a permanent venue in Cornwall for the performing arts. City Hall was sited as the venue, and over a couple of years, the campaign was successful. The building which housed City Hall was partially re-configured to become Hall For Cornwall, opening in 1997.

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We Need A Hall Campaign III

An active community campaign was launched in the early 1990s to spearhead the effort to fundraise and advocate for a permanent venue in Cornwall for the performing arts. City Hall was sited as the venue, and over a couple of years, the campaign was successful. The building which housed City Hall was partially re-configured to become Hall For Cornwall, opening in 1997.

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We Need A Hall Campaign IV

An active community campaign was launched in the early 1990s to spearhead the effort to fundraise and advocate for a permanent venue in Cornwall for the performing arts. City Hall was sited as the venue, and over a couple of years, the campaign was successful. The building which housed City Hall was partially re-configured to become Hall For Cornwall, opening in 1997.

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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.

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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.

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The Curious Incident Of The Dog in the Night-Time Programme

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Jeeves & Wooster Programme

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The Woman in Black Programme

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