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Graeme Fisher

Drill halls

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I'm engaged in a project to record the premises of Britain's Territorial Army in the period 1908 - 1914.

Many drill halls have new owners and uses; many are unwanted and derelict, awaiting demolition and redevelopment. But either way, these important parts of our military, architectural and social history remain mostly unrecorded, and I an trying to do so before the bulldozers arrive!

A number of businesses and individuals have already provided information and images on the basis that I am not involved in any commercial enterprise, and that copyright for all photos remains with the owner of the original image. It is hoped that the information will become a book or website to make it available to a wider audience. All contributors will be acknowledged.

If you can help this project in any way, please email me, or forward this email to anyone you think may be able to assist.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Graeme Fisher

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The one here in Northampton is still very much alive and listed, and if you care to join us for a WFA meeting sometime, our chairman Dave Parish would happily give your a guided tour. However, I assume you are after the smaller outposts of the TA, and one that springs to mind is the Drill Hall at Oundle, in a little stone building on the main road on the south side of the town.

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A very worthwhile project, Graeme. There are three local ones which immediately come to mind. One is a car showroom now but still has the original marble plaque on the wall commemorating the opening by the Earl of Dartmouth. I'll email you with the locations and if you want pictures I can send some.

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Graeme

7th Royal Warwicks drill hall was in Queen Victoria Rd, Coventry. Sadly it was demolished in the early 1980's and, as you might well guess, is now a car park .

Terry Reeves

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The Drill Hall for the 1st Volunteer Battalion The Royal Warwickshire Regiment which in 1908 became the Drill Hall for the 5th and 6th Warwickshire Territorial Battalions still survives in Thorp Street (next to Birmingham Hippodrome). I can send you a scanned picture if you want.

The front of the building that contained various offices has been converted into a restaurant. The main roof over the drill hall has been removed and the interior is now a car park.

The HQ for Pen & Sword Books in Barnsley is also a fomer Drill Hall.

Regards

Terry

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The Lockerbie Drill Hall still exists in Dumfriesshire, at the south end of the high street. Presumably it was used by some KOSB group.

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I believe what is now the Old Gaol Museum in Buckingham was once the HQ of the Royal Bucks Hussars (Bucks Yeomanry).

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Graeme,

The 8th Royal Warwicks had their HQ next to Villa Park. I believe it is now the 'Villa Village'. If you ever come across a photo I would dearly love to have a copy.

Rob

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Sittingbourne's Drill hall is still in existance as a penticostal church... If you look up at the apex on the gable end you can just see "4th Batt The Buffs" under the paintwork.

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Graeme

The old drill hall at Forest Town, Mansfield, still stands. It was refurbished about five years ago and is now a community centre.

If memory serves, it was built in 1908. No, I don't remember it being built, I've only visited it a couple of times!

There is a South Notts Hussars depot in Bulwell, Nottingham, but I think it is an inter-war replacement.

Cheers,

Jim

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One at Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent, now all closed up. Got a photo somewhere if you'd like it. May have been where my grandfather joined up.

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The drill hall in Retford, Notts is still in existence.

Theo

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I would be very interested if anyone knows of a drill Hall located in Ripon Yorkshire and which unit of the territorials used it.

Regards,

Roger.

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Burnley's (East Lancs)old drill hall is now a children's nursery

Haslingden's is still in use by the army cadets,I think. In the old (disused) T.A. bar hangs a relic Lee Metford rifle which was found during 1970's renovations.No doubt someone got a rather stern "talking to" back in the 1880's/90's when it was lost!

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My grateful thanks to everyone who has posted info so far - keep it coming!

What may seem trivial can often provide so much...

In response to Roger's request, Ripon was home (in 1914) to H Company 5th Battalion The Prince of Wales's Own ( West Yorkshire Regiment), and a detachment of C Squadron Yokshire Hussars.

Regards

Graeme

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Hi Graeme,

The Drill Hall of the 3rd (Volunteer) Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, which in the reforms became the 1st/7th and 1st/8th Battalions of the Lancashire Fusiliers, was located on Cross lane, Salford. An impressive building it was demolished c1960's when a large estate of tower blocks and 'new' housing was built in the area!!

I can supply a photograph of this drill hall if you want one, let me know.

Best wishes Neil.

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Yes please, Neil - I'd love a copy - too many drill halls were swept away to be replaced by something 'better'. Maybe the residents of some soulless seventeenth floor flat would have enjoyed a dance on Saturday night in the drill hall..............

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The Drill Hall of the 38th Middlesex (Artists Rifles) Volunteers - later 28th (County of London) Battalion (Artists Rifles), London Regiment - is now a theatre (for dance?) called 'The Place'.

It stands in Duke's Road, just off the Euston Road and diagonally opposite Euston Station.

What makes it interesting/attractive is that the decorative achitecture of the front of the building still proclaims its associations with the Middlesex Volunteers.

There is a also another former drill hall that is now a dance theatre at the nearby Chenies Street in Bloomsbury.

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Graeme,

There is what I believe was a drill hall just between New Bradwell and Wolverton, in Milton Keynes. It is now something to do with the North Bucks Sport Assn or something similar. I am sure that there is a plaque on it dated 1914, but I am not sure whatelse it says. I can get you some digital photos if you would loke and email them to you.

Regards

Ian

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Came acrros this one in a Remember When section of my local paper.

A Drill Hall located on Redcar High Street that was once the Globe Hotel. It goes on to state that it would have a familiar lay-out to the local men(Yorkshire Regiment) as it was the local bar before the licence was withdrwn in 1910 when the local authorities attempted to reduce the number of liquor outlets.

It goes on to state to the right as they entered was the bar,toilets and store, with an amoury of more than 100 weapons, autility room and an office for the Officer commanding.

On the left was a snooker and games room and adoor into the rear yard and drill hall.

The upstairs rooms were occupied by the sergeant major, appointed to train the men.

It does not say when it closed down or knocked down but Halfords bike shop stands there now.

But the question i must ask is how many drill halls where converted drinking establishments.

Regards Kevin

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Thanks, gentlemen - keep it coming! Offers of photos will always be taken up - yes, please - and copyright on your own photos remains with you.

As far as redcar drill hall/bar goes, one would have thought that the sergeant major would have called 'time' in no uncertain manner...

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I think the drill hall in Chenies Street Bryn refers to was the 12th Battalion, London Regiment (The Rangers) ?

The Rangers' memorial still exists across the road, fenced off as it is within the perimeter of the 'Eisenhower Centre'. a document storage facility in a former London Underground deep tunnel.

As to others; the Lincolnshire Yeomanry's drill hall is now 'The Museum of Lincolnshire Life' in Lincoln; and on the outskirts of the city centre, near the bus station, is the (now disused) drill hall of one of the Lincoln's TF battalions, previously a Rifle Volunteer drill hall; both have the original regimental stonework. (Sorry to be fuzzy on street names, based on recent recollection).

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Thanks, Phil - doesn't matter how fuzzy the detail, it all helps!

I walked past the Rangers' memorial after taking a couple of terrible photos of the Chenies St premises - terrible 'cos the day I went, the front was scaffolded....still, better than going to photograph Wolverhampton's Staffs Yeomanry riding school on the day demolition had begun!

Keep it coming!!

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The Drill Hall in Wolverhampton was located by the city's West Park, just off Newhampton Road. It was demolished last year to be replaced by housing but I have a photo in a book which I can scan if you want.

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There is a post-card of 3VB Lancsashire Fus. Drill Hall at Salford for sale on

www.speedbid.com. on the Photos and Postcards page.

Right click will enable a copy to be taken.

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