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The Memorial Hall is ideally situated in the middle of Whitland and was originally erected on a piece of land in Market Street which belonged to the Whitland branch of the Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers Federation. An old Army hut known as "The Institute" stood on the land and was used by ex-servicemen and became a popular club for Billiards and Snooker. In November 1927, the land and hut were handed over to the town of Whitland and Trustees were elected to administer it. One of the clauses of the Deeds states:
"The Trustees shall stand possessed of the premises to erect or permit to be erected thereon a Hall with club rooms, billiard rooms, offices and suitable outbuildings and to permit the said lands and premises to be used in perpetuity as a place of recreation and social intercourse for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Town of Whitland without distinction of sect or politics.
The new Memorial Hall embodied these aims and soon developed into an active centre. One of the larger rooms consists of the main hall, where a tablet containing the names of the fallen in World War I as well as a frame with pictures of each serviceman was erected. A second tablet was erected at the end of World War II to commemorate the fallen of that war, and a short service and laying of wreaths is still held there every Remembrance Sunday before the parade to a local church.
The local Magistrates Court met in the main room for many years, only ceasing with the centralisation of the Courts when local J.Ps were moved to Carmarthen. This room was, and still is used as a Polling Station during local and national elections. New regulations regarding health and safety and changes in the habits and interests of people as well as the introduction of TV, Computers, etc. have brought on many changes in the organisation and running of the Hall. The Clinics and Registrar have moved to the local Medical Centre and the Snooker Club is no longer operative. The Management Committee tried very hard to maintain interest in billiards and snooker by inviting locals to organise meetings and also offered to lease it to local organisations, but with little success and it did not generate much income.
As a result of the work of the current Management Committee promoting the Hall the interest in the Memorial Hall has increased in recent years. Due to the need for extra space the Committee decided to sell the two snooker tables and equipment, thus making another large room available for the use of the public. This means that two large rooms are now available, as well as the small committee room and kitchen. Events provided for at present include public meetings, elections, twinning celebrations, whist drives, W.I. meetings, garden and flower shows, birthday parties, funeral teas, choir practices, keep-fit and various other classes, British Legion. All the rooms are also used by the Management Committee itself for fund raising events such as fayres, coffee mornings, strawberry teas, concerts etc. A number of new and younger Trustees have been appointed recently - all eager to modernise the Hall with more sustainable and lighting systems and to provide a pleasant, well-decorated surroundings for the clients.
Ever since its inception, the Memorial Hall has held a warm spot in the affection of the town and districts inhabitants - something not shared by the other halls. Whether this is due to its designation as a Memorial Hall or the fact that it was the first hall to be handed over to the town is not known. The Trustees would prefer to believe that it was an affection earned! - and they are anxious to ensure that this happy relationship is maintained.
Thursday - Mar 7, 2013 3:04 pm
Local author Tanya James whose book "Sid and the Cwmhendy Dog Show" has just been published will attend the March Whitland Produce Market and Craft Fayre. It will be an excellent opportunity to buy the book and have it signed by the author.... Read more...
Thursday - Mar 10, 2011 11:36 am
A commemorative plaque marking the official re-opening of the Memorial Hall was unveiled by the Hon. Robin Lewis OBE, Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed on Friday 4th March. Read more...
Tuesday - Aug 3, 2010 2:50 pm
Work has started at the Memorial Hall as part of its rejuvenation and
modernisation. The Hall was awarded a total of just over £50,000 in
grants to add to its own £5,000. Grants were received from the CWM
Environmental Fund, Carmarthenshire County Council Collaboration Fund,
Rural Development Fund Axis 3, Big Lottery Awards For All Wales and
Carmarthenshire County Council Community Fund. Read more...