Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Historic Guildhall celebrates 75th anniversary

Swansea's historic Guildhall celebrates its 75th anniversary on October 23.

To celebrate the historic day the Local Authority will be offering pre-bookable tours of the landmark building which is currently under going a multi-million pound revival.

And Swansea Civic Centre-based West Glamorgan Archive Service is also laying on a special online exhibition including documents, images and a short movie about Swansea's previous town halls and how the Guildhall came to be built.

Originally scheduled for the October 18, the opening ceremony for Swansea's Guildhall took place on Tuesday October 23, 1934.

Historic accounts tell us it was a damp autumn day but, nonetheless, the people of Swansea turned out in crowds to witness the arrival of His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent.

The Duke was greeted by the Mayor Alderman Edward Harris and other civic dignitaries at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery.

When he arrived at the Guildhall he met veterans of the First World War and received a ceremonial key from the architect, Percy Thomas.

The most important part of the day took place in the Brangwyn Hall, where the Duke declared the Guildhall open for public use.

A sumptuous five-course luncheon followed in the Patti Pavilion.

After lunch, the Duke inspected other sites in the town including the new housing estate in Townhill, Townhill School and the Seamen's Mission before leaving from High Street station.

Music was provided by the Swansea Borough Police Band, the Swansea and District Male Choir and soloists and Dr W. H. Harris, organist of St George's Chapel in Windsor.

The Mayor wrote at the time: "I express the hope that the new buildings will conduce towards making Swansea the town of our ideals and that in the new Law Courts justice will, as in the past, be administered without fear or favour, and that in the new Council Chambers, as well as in the new administrative offices, the best and noblest traditions of Local Government will be continued and developed for the enduring benefit of the town and the general well being of the community."

And 75 years on the Guildhall is still at the heart of the community and part of Swansea Council.

Over the last few years the Council has spent millions of pounds in returning the Guildhall to its historic glory and to stay that way with the help of all the benefits of modern technology.

Contractors are currently in the latest stage of a £30million project that aims to make the Guildhall a working landmark for generations to come.

And 75th birthday celebration tours of the Guildhall civic rooms will be held on October 23 at 11.30am and 2.30pm with limited numbers followed by tea with the Lord Mayor. They must be booked in advance by contacting Swansea Council's Corporate Marketing Team on 01792 637554.

The archives online exhibition is available at


Post a Comment

| Home | Main Site | About Us | Contact Us | Follow us on Twitter | Join us on Facebook |