Horticultural Hall may be unassuming from the outside but it has a remarkable social history.
The Victorian Horticultural Society Hall, affectionately known as Horti Hall, was the hub for the Society’s program of meetings and flower shows, and housed its important library.
But it’s also been used by myriad community groups for ‘concerts and similar entertainments, lectures, political and other public meetings, bazaars and such purposes requiring both day and evening, Sunday religious services, Balls, select quadrille and dancing assemblies, friendly society’s meetings…’ since it was built in the 1870s. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century it was rented to groups as diverse as the Italian anti-Fascist Matteotti Club, trade unions and the Commonwealth Bureau of Meterology.
Social history project
We’re now looking for stories, memories, photographs and objects to build a people’s history of Horti Hall. These may relate to you or your friends, parents or grandparents. They may be fairly recent or relate to the more distant history of the building. We want to record and collect material to initially flesh out the history of the building online. It may also feed into onsite interpretation.
Main photograph on homepage shows the Matteotti Club, who rented Horti Hall in the early 1930s. Photograph kindly supplied by the Italian Historical Society at CO.AS.IT.