Original History of the Memorial Hall as a Chapel of Ease for St John’s Church.

Below is an extract from the original opening ceremony souvenir of 1959.

St John’s Chapel of Ease. c.1850

“The Hall is a memorial to the men and women of Beverley who fell in World War II and in gratitude for those who returned.

The Official Opening on Thursday, the 10th September, 1959, which has been entrusted to Colonel the Lord Middleton, K.G., M.C., Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding, is the culmination of 13 years hard and patient work by a Committee with voluntary Officers, starting with a public meeting on the 18th July, 1946, and ending with the first Committee meeting in the new Hall on the 28th July, 1959.

The scheme involved the acquisition of St. John’s Church, Lairgate, which was consecrated in 1841 and ceased to be used for public worship in 1939. An Act of Parliament, which received the Royal Assent on the 23rd May, 1950, deconsecrated the Church and paved the way for its adaptation in two stages – one in 1954 and the other in 1959.

The Memorial Hall Committee have constantly been hampered by the difficulty of raising sufficient funds. Whilst the public and local industries have responded generously to many appeals, costs have risen terrifically over 13 years and the Committee have always been struggling. Finally, after generous grants by the Ministry of Education and a loan of £3,000 from the Beverley Corporation coupled with a grant for 10 years towards running costs, success has been achieved.

The Committee wish to make it plain however, that much remains to be done. A good deal of equipment is still required, many extensions and improvements could be made and donations will be gratefully received by the Hon. Treasurer, Municipal Offices, Beverley.

All that remains is for the people of Beverley and district to make good use of a splendid Hall. The Committee have fixed very reasonable charges and it is intended to provide for all kinds of community activity – dances, stage plays, musical shows, bridge and whist drives, meetings, recreational activities and, in fact, any suggested use of the Hall will be gladly considered on application to the Hon. Secretary, Municipal Offices, Beverley”