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Final countdown for Northwich Memorial Hall
Roberts Bakery, whose band will play the last concert on February 24, has a long history with the hall. The bakery used to hire the hall for the week before Christmas to help them fulfill demand for bread during the festive season.
MEMORIES are still being forged as Northwich residents come out in force to celebrate the last weeks of their memorial hall.
The hall, in Chesterway, will close on March 2 to make way for a new lifestyle centre called Memorial Court.
Final events commemorating more than 50 years of history at the hall started at the beginning of February with its last pantomime, Beauty and the Beast, staged by Barnton Variety Theatre Workshop.
Since then hundreds of music fans have enjoyed a Back to the Morg night to celebrate the police discos of the 1980s, and a concert of live music with The Dusk and Beaver to mark gigs at the hall, from the Beatles, the Drifters, the Rolling Stones and The Who to Pink Floyd, the Cure and the Charlatans.
More events are planned, including comedy and soul nights, a children’s show and a concert by Roberts Bakery Band, in a nod to the variety of events held on the famous sprung dance floor throughout the decades.
Phil Harding, hall manager, has worked at the hall for 20 years and it has always played a part in his family’s life.
“My gran lived in Whalley Road and worked here from the day it opened until she died, my dad watched it being built and my mum still works here,” he said.
“I’ve tried to programme the last month in a way that reflects the history of the hall.”
One of the final events will be a thank you party for staff past and present.
Phil said: “The staff here are an unusually close team and a lot have worked here for more than 30 years.
“I’m very lucky that my team, without exception, have been fantastic.”
He said most of the staff would have jobs elsewhere with Brio Leisure, which looks after west Cheshire’s leisure venues.
The hall, which has also hosted ballroom dancing, wrestling, boxing, indoor bowls, family history research and carnival retinue training during its half century, has an enormous place in residents’ hearts.
Phil said: “I have dozens of people a day asking if they can come in and take pictures, having a bit of a reminisce, and it’s people of all ages as well.
“Now the closure is so close it’s starting to seem more real. It’s sad.
“I love this building and do have a connection with it but I do feel that it’s time for it to go and I am excited about the new building.”
Last events at Northwich Memorial Hall
• Purple Cactus Comedy Club on Friday, February 15, which boasts Michael McIntyre, Rufus Hound and Sarah Milligan among the acts who have appeared during its seven year history.
For its last night of stand up at Northwich Memorial Hall, the comedy club will feature Silky, Al Lubel, Addy Van De Borgh, Raymond and Mr Timpkins.
Tickets for this are £10.
• A ‘Farewell to the Morg’ Northern Soul and Motown night has been planned for Saturday, February 16, but sold out before Christmas.
• Pinocchio is the earliest recorded children’s show at the hall and will also be the last.
A production of the much loved tale will be performed at 2pm on Thursday, February 21.
Tickets are priced £8 for adults and £6 for children.
• Roberts Bakery Band will be the last to play at the hall with a concert at 7.30pm on February 24.
Tickets are priced £6.
• For tickets ring 01606 814640 or email email@example.com.