THE long-term future of the historic Drill Hall which is part of Warrington’s Town Hall complex now seems secure following a decision by borough planners.
Members of Warrington borough council’s development management committee have given the go-ahead for the re-roofing of the Grade 1 Listed building which is part of the East Annex of the Town Hall.
They were told urgent work was necessary to prevent water leaking into the building, which was used by the military until 1975 when it was taken over by the council.
In recent years the Drill Hall has been considered for conversion to a theatre but the proposal never went ahead and it remains in use for offices and storage by the council.
Warrington Town Hall was built in 1750 as a family home for successful businessman Thomas Patten. It was regarded as the finest building of its type and period in what was then Lancashire.
It was purchased by the borough council for use as a Town Hall in 1872. Its grounds became Bank Park.
The Drill Hall was built in the late 19th century as the headquarters of the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment. It was decommissioned around 1975 when the successor regiment, the 5th/8th (Volunteer) Battalion The King’s Regiment moved to Peninsula Barracks at Orford.
The roof of the building will be re-slated to match the existing roof which is now letting in rain. There will also be a heritage-approved glazed roof light system and new rainwater goods. The scheme has been drawn up by the council itself.
Planning officers recommended the scheme go ahead and were confident the work would not cause harm to the structure and would help to secure its long-term future.
Pictured below is a photograph supplied by Warrington Worldwide reader Brian Handley from one of his grandparent’s photo albums, which he believes records a celebratory dinner that looks as if it could relate to VE Day after World War II.
His grandfather Harry James, is on the left-hand front table, third from the left and was the Works Manager at Joseph Crosfields at the time and also headed-up a Fire-Watch group.