Maesteg Town Hall

button-theme-womenMaesteg Town Hall

This building has been a Maesteg landmark since the early 1880s, when its construction was partly funded by local coal miners donating a day’s wages. Originally it included a market hall and rooms for public events including wrestling matches, dog and poultry shows, musical recitals, eisteddfodau and early trade union meetings.

Suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst spoke here more than once. She was imprisoned more than any other person who campaigned for women to be allowed to vote in general elections. In April 1907, she told a meeting in front of the town hall about her experiences in Holloway prison and urged local suffragettes to “keep an eye” on the seat of Cardiff Liberal MP Ivor Guest, who had said women should stay at home doing tapestry instead of seeking the vote.

Also at the same meeting was Amy Jenkins of Twmpath, Nantyffyllon. She had recently spent 14 days in jail for taking part in a suffragette protest at the House of Commons.

In April 1910, Emmeline Pankhurst (Sylvia’s mother) addressed a large meeting in the town hall. She urged voters not to support the Liberal candidate in the next election but to vote Labour, which she regarded as more sympathetic to women’s suffrage.

Following remodelling, the town hall reopened with its current frontage in November 1914. In the following years, fundraising events were held here for the Red Cross and other war-related causes. Dancers who entertained here in 1916 were criticised as “shirkers” for dancing while other men sacrificed their lives.

The town hall is now run by Awen Cultural Trust, which provides arts services and venues across Bridgend county borough. In 2018, work began on a £6m redevelopment including construction of a glass-walled atrium and a studio theatre, after the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded money to the project.

Postcode: CF349DA     View Location Map

Website of Maesteg Town Hall