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Last dance at Northwich Memorial Hall to celebrate its history
DECADES of Northwich’s history were celebrated through dance to officially close the town’s memorial hall on Saturday.
Performers and musicians wended their way through the town centre to the hall, led by a street sweeper and followed by an intrigued throng of onlookers.
The ‘COLLECT: Live’ procession culminated in a performance under magically lit trees at the back of the hall before everyone crowded inside for a last disco and the chance to collect memorabilia and take some final photographs.
Clr Gaynor Sinar, from Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC), welcomed everyone to Northwich Memorial Hall for the final time and said: “It is great to see everyone here, especially the children, who look so colourful and it was nice to see you all outside jiving away.”
Dancers were drawn together by Cheshire Dance and included professional artists as well as dancers from Hartford High School, St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School, Cheshire Dance Boys and Hot Steppin’.
Performances were based on residents’ memories of the hall spanning more than 50 years.
The hall has closed to make way for a new centre called Memorial Court, set to include a theatre, swimming pool, sports facilities, bar and cafe.
Clr Brian Jamieson, from Northwich Town Council, said: “This place has been a big part of Northwich for 50 years.
“It’s always sad when something everyone knows goes but we’re going to have a new hall and a fresh start.”
In her speech Clr Pam Booher, CWAC chairman and Lord Mayor of Chester, said she had performed on the hall’s stage herself as a member of Mid Cheshire Amateur Operatic Society and eaten at the Hayhurst Room while serving as a magistrate and the neighbouring courthouse.
She explained something of the hall’s history.
“The inaugural meeting was held on November 16 1945 and it was to raise funds to provide a memorial hall to commemorate the victory we had in the war and also to remember those who gave their lives for our country at that time,” she said.
“£42,837 was raised by local people and organisations and also Northwich Town Council and the hall itself opened on June 1, 1960.”
Katayoun Dowlatshahi, lead artist for Northwich’s regeneration, said: “More than anything, this event was about bringing people together to celebrate what this building has meant to the community and really marking the occasion.”