The Commemoration Hall is jewel in the crown of Huntingdon. First opening in 1842 this impressive building was commissioned as the Huntingdon Literary and Scientific Institution, with the objectives of promoting “Moral and Intellectual Improvement, Scientific and General Information, Agricultural Knowledge, Literature and The Arts.”
These very Victorian objectives are still in the background of the work which the Hall does today. The building has a fascinating history and has been engaged in community activities for well over a hundred and fifty years. During the second world war the cellars were used as air raid shelters and the hall hosted military personnel stationed in the local area. After the war the use of the building declined and the Town Council had plans to change the Hall’s identity into a commemorative community centre but despite rather slow fundraising efforts it was decided that rather than erect a new building, the former Institution building should be adapted.
The building was bought in 1956 and re-opened in 1959 as The Commemoration Hall, with new stairs for the gallery under the octagonal skylight that had housed the library and museum, a new kitchen and booking office, and a maplewood dance floor and a stage in the main hall.
More recently the Hall had been closed with an eye to regeneration of the site but this never came to pass. With the election of new committee and renewed enthusiasm from the volunteers, the building was scrubbed, painted and brought up to present day safety requirements. It was reopened in 2019 with the addition of the very popular Arts Café in the foyer which embodies the Hall’s values of providing a warm, welcoming, safe place for all its users. It continues to provide a diverse range of events, performances, and productions for the benefit of the local community.
Make contact with the Commemoration Hall by going to their website https://www.commhall.org. or facebook page. or email: firstname.lastname@example.org