Pembroke Dock The Temperance Hall

04 Feb

Temperence Hall group December 1932 Maureen Powell (2)The Temperance Hall was built as a non alcoholic social centre for organisations  such as the Rechabites’ Friendly Society. It offered an alternative to the  town’s many inns and public houses.

In 1845, the “earnest and eloquent” speeches of a visiting orator had focused  the energies of local temperance supporters, particularly the public spirited  businessman Mr Richard Tregenna. The idea of a Temperance Hall was well  received, and two benefactors funded the project.

“The only public hall in town” in the nineteenth century soon became a centre  for more general entertainment and events – fundraising concerts and exhibitions  for the Mechanics’ Institute, penny readings, lectures, regimental band  concerts, and performers ranging from the Pembroke Serenaders to the visiting  “Hoffman’s organophonic band”. Popular RAF dances were held  here before World War II.

Rooms in the block behind the main hall accommodated smaller meetings, such as  committees. The monthly County Court, for some time after 1872,  convened at the Temperance Hall.

Early in World War II, during the oil tank blaze, exhausted Bristol firemen were  sleeping in the Temperance Hall. Bombers returned, and the hall took a direct  hit. Some firemen were badly injured, but all escaped with their lives. The hall  was wrecked. Today’s Pater Hall stands on its site, continuing the old hall’s  function as a community centre for meetings, entertainment and dances.