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Graeme Fisher

Drill halls

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Dragon
33 minutes ago, KevinBattle said:

Here in Ninfield we have the oldest Cinque Ports Artillery Drill Shed still surviving, as our Memorial Hall.

We're pretty confident of 1865 for its construction, paid for by Thomas Brassey, the railway contractor (NOT in the Beeching sense!) for his son, the future Lord Thomas Allnut Brassey.

 

We have recorded it, but we didn't have the construction details you've provided and there isn't a photo as neither of us was travelling around that part of Sussex at the time. Interesting that it is extant.

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Dragon
20 minutes ago, 593jones said:

 

 

That's excellent, had I been less lazy and disinclined to read all 49 pages of the thread I would have seen them 

 

 

I don't think anyone would have the time to read 49 pages of a thread. I suppose that a general forum search on Birdwell might have found it, but I haven't tried so I don't know.

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MBrockway
3 minutes ago, Dragon said:

 

I don't think anyone would have the time to read 49 pages of a thread. I suppose that a general forum search on Birdwell might have found it, but I haven't tried so I don't know.

 

There is an option in the search box to limit a search just to the current topic - select the "This topic" instead of "All Content".  The option appears once you move the edit point into the search box.

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593jones

Being something of a Neanderthal regarding computers I'm embarrassed to admit failing to consider the search option, but I shall bear it in mind for the future.

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Buffnut453

Alternatively, try using standard Google with the term Great War Forum and then whatever criteria you're looking for.  In my experience, that usually throws up any threads that include content covering the subject-matter.

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mbriscoe

I was in Dunblane yesterday and took a few pictures of the Victoria Hall because it looked like a Drill Hall but when I checked later in Always ready, I found the Drill Hall was the old Free Church in the High Street.

 

But "Stirling Observer - Saturday 24 October 1914" refers to a social evening in the "Old Drill Hall" which suggests that there must have been an earlier one.

 

 

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Dragon

Perhaps it might be worth looking closely at the town on old-maps.co.uk if you haven't already done so.  Our database was built up from Kelly's Directories and it doesn't seem to have a precise address for the DH in Dunblane..I can't find any mentions in the newspaper records we have, but my version hasn't been updated for a while.

 

There are some mistakes in the book you mention.

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mbriscoe

I just posted because someone with local knowledge might know more. 

 

It can be frustrating because newspapers tend to just refer to "the drill hall" because everyone in the area would know where it was, 

 

 

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MBrockway
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, mbriscoe said:

I was in Dunblane yesterday and took a few pictures of the Victoria Hall because it looked like a Drill Hall but when I checked later in Always ready, I found the Drill Hall was the old Free Church in the High Street.

 

But "Stirling Observer - Saturday 24 October 1914" refers to a social evening in the "Old Drill Hall" which suggests that there must have been an earlier one.

 

 

 

5 hours ago, Dragon said:

Perhaps it might be worth looking closely at the town on old-maps.co.uk if you haven't already done so.  Our database was built up from Kelly's Directories and it doesn't seem to have a precise address for the DH in Dunblane..I can't find any mentions in the newspaper records we have, but my version hasn't been updated for a while.

 

There are some mistakes in the book you mention.

 

I've had a look on 'Old Maps' and the only halls that are obvious to my Mk I Eyeball are the Victoria Hall and the Hall next door to the Free Church in the High Street already mentioned.  Neither are labelled as Drill Hall of course.

 

Dunblane was home for a unit of the Perthshire Rifle Volunteers.  Their details might aid tracking down the drill hall.  Its genealogy is ...

 

1859 formed as 6th Perthshire Rifle Volunteer Corps

1860 joined 1st Administrative Battalion

1880 redesignated as 'C' Coy, 1st Perthshire VRC

1885 became a coy in 4th Volunteer Battalion, The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

1908 4th VB redesignated as 6th Battalion, The Black Watch

 

Grierson suggests they had their own rifle range, but does not give details of any drill hall.

 

Mark

 

Edited by MBrockway
Clarified that the Dunblane coy was only a PART of 4th VB

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mbriscoe

That saves me digging my book out!  I will do a few more newspaper searches later using those unit names.

 

 

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chaz

Do you have an address for Bromham hall? I've a unit there and can have a look round for a picture.

also Chippenham is a strange one, you have a picture of the yelde hall but the butts is around 1/4 mile away and Bath road in opposite direction , or was there 3 or 4 in the towns I'll also try to find melksham and Trowbridge . Not sure about Holt, could be 10 mins from me or bottom of the county?

 

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mbriscoe
5 hours ago, chaz said:

Do you have an address for Bromham hall? I've a unit there and can have a look round for a picture.

also Chippenham is a strange one, you have a picture of the yelde hall but the butts is around 1/4 mile away and Bath road in opposite direction , or was there 3 or 4 in the towns I'll also try to find melksham and Trowbridge . Not sure about Holt, could be 10 mins from me or bottom of the county?

 

 

The recent GB1900 transcription project produced an index of place names on the OS Six Inch maps.  It can be accessed with the Six Maps on the NLS or on the GB1900 website.  Links in the NLS Recent Additions.

 

 

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Swift and bold

The one in bournemouth, holdenhurst road is still there....kind of 😓. Would like to know more myself about the local ones to me.

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mbriscoe

This is Victoria Hall at Dunblane, it looks like a Drill Hall but no mention in the history on their website.

 

At the opening of the hall, there was just talk of it being useful for meetings of any kind.

 

This does not prove anything, probably just a convenient local hall.

 

Quote

Dundee Advertiser - Saturday 02 November 1889

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

DUNBLANE. Military Funeral. — Yesterday Mr David Morris, who died on Tuesday at the early age of 22, after few days’ illness, was interred with military honours. The volunteers mustered in full force at the Victoria Hall, commanded by Lieutenant James Watt, and marched to the residence of deceased. The coffin was covered with wreaths, and carried shoulder high by four volunteers.

 

 

Quote

Dundee Advertiser - Saturday 10 August 1889

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

VOLUNTEER INTELLIGENCE. C Company (Dunblane) 4th V.B.R.H. — On Thursday evening the distribution of the prizes won at the annual midsummer competition took place in the Victoria Hall, and at the same time the prize money won at the regimental competition at Whitemuir was handed to the men. Captain Reid presided, and, before delivering the prizes, said that it gave him great pleasure in presiding that evening, more especially seeing that this year they had the honour of winning the challenge shield and also the cup. After Captain Reid had delivered the prizes, Corporal Cramb proposed a vote of thanks to the subscribers. Sergeant Cameron thereafter proposed a vote of thanks to Captain Reid for presiding, and referred to the great interest he had all along taken in the company. The shield was competed for by fifteen men, and was won with tram! total of 1203 points, showing an average 80 points per man.

 

 

 

 

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mbriscoe
Posted (edited)

Found a bit more about Dunblane

 

Quote

Perthshire Advertiser - Saturday 13 May 1939

Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

Plebiscite Of Dunblane Ratepayers

FUTURE OF VICTORIA HALL TO BE DECIDED.

Recently the trustees of the Victoria Hall, Dunblane, approached the Town Council to take over the building.

For some years there has been an adverse balance of approximately £800 on the accounts and in recent years it has not been possible to reduce the deficit to any extent. The hall is in need of redecoration and certain minor repairs.

The Town Council appointed a committee to go fully into the whole matter and they have now recommended, and the Council have approved, that plebiscite of the ratepayers be taken as to the acquiring of the hall. In addition to the £800 of debt, the re-decoration and external repairs are estimated to cost £200, and it will take another £100 to meet the legal exjienses of going to the Court of Session to have the trust dissolved. On the credit side the hall and furnishings are valued for insurance purposes at £10,000.

The hall was originally built in Queen Victoria’s jubilee year, 1887. It was destroyed by fire in 1926 and rebuilt on modern lines, and the deficit at the reopening was in the region of £1000. The trustees are the representatives of all the local public bodies, including the head of the Volunteers or Territorials, and some of the landed proprietors. The Territorial Association have no objection to the Town Council taking over the hall as they are to erect a new Drill Hall and Instructor’s house at Duckburn Park.

 

This is Duckburn Park, TA Centre there in 1965

 

https://canmore.org.uk/site/187264/dunblane-stirling-road-territorial-army-centre

 

 

Edited by mbriscoe

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Dragon
On ‎27‎/‎05‎/‎2018 at 12:52, Swift and bold said:

The one in bournemouth, holdenhurst road is still there....kind of 😓. Would like to know more myself about the local ones to me.

 

This is our (unfinished) website. http://www.drillhalls.org/index.htm Click on Database to bring up a list of counties uploaded so far.

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HERITAGE PLUS
Posted (edited)
Quote

Chippenham is a strange one, you have a picture of the yelde hall but the butts is around 1/4 mile away and Bath road in opposite direction

 

Chaz 

 

The Volunteers moved from the Yelde Hall to Bath Road - the Bath Road site just 0.4 miles from the Yelde hall was demolished last year. 

 

The Butts have no connection with the Volunteers it  being the site of the town's archery butts.

 

Dave

Hon. Curator Chippenham Museum 1988-90

Edited by HERITAGE PLUS

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MBrockway
Posted (edited)

Also it would not be unusual for a rifle volunteer unit's drill hall and its rifle range to be some distance apart!

 

As an example check out mbriscoe's topic on the Cow HIll rifle range at Fort William here

 

Edited by MBrockway

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Dragon
Posted (edited)

In Knutsford both the premises used as a drill hall and then the purpose-built drill hall were close to the town centre, the military storeroom was behind a shop five minutes' walk away (supervised by a Waterloo veteran) and the shooting range was relatively handy for the store but a ten minute walk from the drill hall.

 

These things were not necessarily conceived as a whole project. Often the facilities ideally desired by a unit had to be built as and when funds became available, such as by fundraising events, donations or loans. The hall was usually the priority, then stores, and when the debt on the hall had been paid off they might be able to turn their attention to rifle ranges. For example, Salford, which is a large hall, didn't get a rifle range for nearly five years after it was opened. Sometimes there were problems finding and buying a suitable outdoor site. (Neighbours whose homes adjoined drill halls objected to the incessant noise of men marching and firing weapons inside the building almost every evening.) Sometimes a compromise might be found, such as a miniature range.

 

One issue with the distance of a rifle range was the cost for a man in getting to a range. In 1885 Sir Edward Hamley drew attention to the distance from the range for some men; in one city area he cited, (London, I think), the cost of the rail fare for each man was one shilling each time he went to shoot and a further problem was that his journey there and back might be two hours. Yet in a congested city, having secured enough land for a drill hall, the options for having an outdoor range close to the drill hall were limited. In Manchester, some parks were used but for some units, travelling outside the city (eg to Ringway, then a rural area - though this was mainly used for riding exercises) were necessary. The lack of outdoor practice showed when they joined other units for training camps. Men tended to lose interest when they had no facilities for practising outside - concrete was no more appealing then than it is now.

 

There are numerous examples of fires caused by storage of weapons and ammunition, some disastrous, and I understand that safe keeping of this equipment separate from the drill hall exercised the thoughts of some of those involved in planning the unit's facilities.

Edited by Dragon

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