Northenden Assembley Hall Of JWs (Manchester, UK) - A Little History

by pale.emperor 20 Replies latest jw experiences

  • snugglebunny

    Does the organ come up through the floor?

  • stan livedeath
  • KW13

    i went there too as i was in a congregation in/near manchester

    The ornate, decorative features are original. Around the platform you can see the decoration that once went around the screen from it's time as a cinema!

  • Pubsinger

    Drove past it less than 2 weeks ago. Had to go to Didsbury from Halifax to pick up a rather nice guitar I had bought, and was blindly following my sat nav on the way back because I wanted to call in at the Trafford Centre to do some shopping. Next thing I know I’m passing a big sign saying Northenden and everything thing seemed so familiar. I also thought the building looked fantastic. They certainly know how to protect their investments.

  • Lostandfound

    Remember it wellthe first Assembly Hall to open in UK, there was a lot of work going on down south re Bowes Road, but legal complications dragged on there, Dudley was also on the stocks but Manchester was the first to be owned by ‘a charity’ with a group of local throughout ts area ‘suggested’ as Trustees by branch. Derek Carter was sent from London to be the Hall Overseer, as he had been at the forefront of establishing AHs in UK, and Bowes Road,was,still dragging on. A semi detached house at the rest of the hall was purchased by the trustees to be a home for Derek. In many years he was a tireless worker on coping with the old building, its wiring, plumbing, air ducts etc. He oversaw the initial quick fix to get it open and running and coped with all sorts of difficulties. In time the local authority insisted on changs to restore the listed building to its original state. 4 fllagpoles at the front had been removd and had to be reinstated although no flags ever flown. When hot food servic ceasd the big area above reception wih the kitchens at one end, were converted for use as a Pioneer or other School. Lots of work done but it was stopped bu council who insisted on it being restored. An Ice Cream machine was poular as was the Donut machine, each weekend a different set of cleaners from the circuit having as assembly cleaned and damaged or lost vital parts of these two machines so in the end Derek C always hands on personally cleaned them and secured equipment, In time the WT arranged that 2flats be built in the void above the stage, 1for DO, one for Hall Overseer and family, DC. Selling the home at a tidy profit. Moving his wife and him to an isolated flat , high in the sky wih no sunlight almost, with a lift for access, and scores of steps when it not working. no garden, no neighbours apart from DO.Amazingly after many years, the society replaced DC for no apparent reason, with a person who acted more as a keyholder than a constant maintenance man. This was extremely unfair on DC who had almost alone kept the hall going and coped with the ‘trustees’ interfering but not with any help. That started me thinking about the unfairness and thinking generally, so the startcof exiting from borg. T(3 initial quick paint job internally was pretty gross, and the council insisted on restoration of some semblanc of the places feeling. On either side of stage were the fronts of the now gone organ, I was DO office, on right up a hidden staircase was the audit dpartment for assemblies. Edited to add Sorry about spelling I type faster than ipad reacts and have difficulty rectifying things

  • WingCommander

    The motif on the wall looks like an organ? I'm kinda surprised the JW's left it like that, seeing as how it's some sort of "symbolism" or something.

  • Lostandfound

    WingCommander as a listed interior the council refused permission to change those shapes and first JW paint job was pretty hideous, but to be fair, it now looks remarkable. The local authority has insisted on several changes mad by the WT, back to reflect the era it was built. Up on the front end roof, which was flat , was a large shed used for the sandwich making team of sisters, On level of old kitchen there was a sideways staircase that took you up onto that roof, the shed was quite large, plumbed in and wired for power..

  • Simon
    Seven of those tickets would get you a bar of that mint chocolate

    Yes, that "not quite chocolate" stuff made by "Hellas" and had a little devil icon on the packet. I guess the profit margin was enough to make that OK.

  • Mickey mouse
    Mickey mouse

    Ha ha I had totally forgotten about Hellas chocolate

  • Lostandfound

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