Most of you will have seen the hall as it is now but do you remember how it was before modernisation?
The original hall was built around 1933 in memory of those who fell during the Great War.
In the early days, the building was used by locals as a place to play ping pong, billiards, darts and draughts.
During the Second World War the fire service used it for training, and later the British Legion held regular dances and organised a special party for the Coronation in 1953.
Back then, the hall was heated by two cast iron fires, one in the main hall and one in the billiard room.
The Women’s Legion, many of whom were the wives of ex-servicemen, regularly used the hall in the earlier years as well as the Women’s Institute in the 80s.
Many of you may remember the old entrance with our film box office and dated facilities (see photos below). The photo with the chairs shows the old main hall (looking out towards Waen Dirion).
In 1977, a new committee, changed the hall’s name to Benllech Community Hall – a move which did not go down too well with some locals. In 1996, following an application to register with the Charities Commission, the hall was given its present name.
For many years the hall was a regular venue for films. There are many residents in the village today who could recall watching films with their umbrellas up while the rain battered the corrugated roof and dripped through the holes!
AFTER years of fundraising and applying for lottery grants to give Benllech’s hall a new lease of life, a major refurbishment took place in 1999/2000 to give the hall a new lease of life and modernise the hall.
A large extension to provide the additional space we see today at the hall was built giving the hall much needed committee room facilities and disabled access along with new toilet facilities.
Following completion of the refurbishments in the year 2000, the hall was reopened by locals in the form we know it today.
With the hall now being used for entertainment, parties and meetings, and one-off bookings here and there, there is an average of over 1,300 locals using the hall every month. Today dance and entertainment is also still a very important part of community life in Benllech and we are glad to be a part of it. The hall is used on a regular basis by more than 20 groups who are proud to call it their home.
In 2008, the hall celebrated our 75th anniversary and to celebrate the milestone, a service was held with local historian Dewi Jones who told residents all about the hall’s interesting history.
With all the dedication and hard work of the committee and community, the hall is still going strong today with many improvements still taking place such as Solar Panels and LED lighting bringing us into the world of energy efficiency and doing our bit for the environment at the same time.
It it through all this hard work and commitment that we plan to keep the hall in tip-top condition for many years to come for the residents of Benllech to use and enjoy. It will remain a symbol of those lost in the Great War for all generations to enjoy.