Llandudno Town Hall

Link to French translationLlandudno Town Hall

The town hall opened in 1902, replacing the original town hall of 1854. The design had been put out to competition in 1894, intended to cost £10,000 and to be in the English Renaissance style. In the eight years to completion, there were two lawsuits, three builders and a doubling of the cost!

The winning design, based on Battersea Town Hall, London, was described as ‘dark and flamboyant’ in contrasting white stone and red brick in a ‘Baroque form of Classicism’.  Llandudno Urban District Council was based here, with a large yard at the rear, now a car park. Its assembly hall seated c.250. The council chamber left much to be desired acoustically. A memorial brass plaque to Queen Victoria was put up in the foyer, as was a brass tablet listing local men (follow the link below) who had served in the Boer War.

photo_of_gasmask_distribution_in_llandudnoThe assembly hall was used for many purposes, the first being a public inquiry by the government into the building’s cost overrun. In 1939 it was the centre for the populace to be fitted with gas masks (pictured right).

Air Raid Precautions (ARP) wardens were headquartered in an office here. Nine National Savings campaigns – such as Wings for Victory, Warship Week, Salute the Soldier and Welcome Home – were managed from here. The townspeople raised over £3.8m for the war effort.

In December 1942 a plaque was unveiled here to commemorate the success of Warship Week (described here), and knitted ‘comforts’ made by townswomen for the crew of HMS Llandudno were handed over.

Popular classes for housewives were held here most weeks in the war. The Women’s Voluntary Service ran “Make do and Mend” sessions. Cookery demonstrations sponsored by Bird’s Custard were popular, especially as anyone attending received a free pack of custard or blancmange powder!

In May 1945, the townspeople gravitated to the town hall for an impromptu celebration of peace in Europe. Crowds danced in Lloyd Street while the town band played patriotic tunes. The scenes were repeated when Japan surrendered and the war ended.

In post-war years the town hall was the venue, when it rained, for the show normally performed at the Happy Valley. “If Wet in the Town Hall,” was the famous motto. Today the town hall is home to Llandudno Town Council and the local registration office, where births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths are recorded.

With thanks to Adrian Hughes, of the Home Front museum, Llandudno, and John Lawson-Reay, of the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay History Society

The Boer War tablet

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: LL30 2UP

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