Brunner Guildhall – key facts
- The Brunner Guildhall is a Grade II listed building located in Winsford, Cheshire
- Given to Winsford in 1897 by Sir John Brunner (local MP and co-founder of Brunner Mond Ltd), as a Diamond Jubilee Gift in the 60th year of Queen Victoria’s reign
- Designed by A.E.Powles, Northwich, and built by J.Fowles, Winsford, at a cost of £3,000
- Opened by Sir John Brunner on 4th November 1899
- More than 1,100 people processed from Wharton Recreation Ground to the Guildhall for the opening ceremony
- Its use was probably modelled on the first Brunner Guildhall, opened in Runcorn in 1895
- The Winsford Guildhall was to be used by Winsford and district trades unions, friendly societies, clubs and associations as a place for meetings and functions
- Day-to-day affairs were in the hands of a Management Committee, made up of representatives from the town council and the building’s tenants
A video of the Brunner Guildhall can be seen below
Some of the early tenants to have used the Guildhall includes those listed below.
|Agricultural Society||John Brunner Freemasons’ Lodge||Over Silver Band|
|Amalgamated Society of Engineers||Joint Dance Committee||Ping Pong Tournament Committee|
|British Women’s Temperance Association||Lawn Tennis Club||Red Cross Society|
|Carpenters and Joiners Society||Literary and Debating Society||Sons of Temperance|
|Cheshire County Council||National Farmers Union||Vale Royal Football Club|
|Christian Brotherhood||Northwich Building Society||Winsford Angling Society|
|Gymnasium Class||NSPCC||Winsford Saltmakers Association|
|Independent Labour Party||Old Age Pensioners Committee|
|Independent Order of Rechabites (Temperance Society)||Over Bowling Club|
Brunner Guildhall – The Future
Winsford Town Council (which holds the Guildhall in trust for the people of Winsford) is undertaking a major project designed to restore the building and bring it back into use. The vision is to see the Guildhall provide a mix of commercial and social activity that meets the needs and interests of today’s residents of Winsford.
Grants from the Architectural Heritage Fund (£7,100) and Cheshire West & Chester local Members (£2,100) have been secured, enabling WTC to bring in expertise from consultants in conservation architecture, governance, heritage activity and community engagement (see individual profiles).
Under the terms of the AHF grant, WTC is now compiling a detailed report which outlines the scope of the restoration work, the future use and the governance of the Guildhall. The report is to be submitted to the AHF in September 2018, who will then submit it for independent scrutiny. Thereafter, the final report can be used as the basis for major grant funding applications from bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Tony is an accredited conservation architect who lives and works in Chester where he is the Cathedral Architect. Tony is Chairman of Donald Insall Associates (www.donaldinsall.co.uk) an internationally renowned practice specialising in historic building conservation and reuse. Nationally Insall is renowned for its work at Windsor Castle and the Palace of Westminster and more locally for the multi award winning projects such as the Lion Salt Works, Chester City Walls and Tatton Park’s Walled Garden.
(Public Engagement Consultant)
Chris is an experienced heritage professional, specialising in research and community engagement and consultation to inform options appraisals for the sustainable reuse of heritage buildings, as well as Activity Plans to accompany applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund. She has a background in teaching and has led museum education programmes at Quarry Bank Mill, Styal and at MOSI (the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.) In 2006 she set up her freelance practice and since then has worked with clients on a wide range of heritage projects, helping to lever in over £20m to the heritage sector.
(Project Management Consultant)
Andrew has lived in Winsford since 1990 when he worked for Vale Royal Borough Council as Project Director for the restoration of the Lion Salt Works and subsequently acted as heritage advisor to Age UK on a Heritage Lottery Fund project to restore George Street Chapel, Oldham. He was previously Deputy Director of Research and Archaeology at the Mary Rose Trust in Portsmouth excavating and raising Henry VIII’s warship. He is a director of A&A Fielding Ltd and of Ecosal-UK, established to promote the study of historic salt making processes and associated culture, an Honorary Research Associate at Salford University and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Archaeologists.
After 15 years in sales and management in the printing industry, Viv moved across to the arts sector and has worked for both large and small organisations. For over 20 years she managed Business in the Arts: North West, a charity that recruited business volunteers to advise and guide cultural organisations in management and business areas. A governance specialist whose own board experience covers the private, education and arts sectors, she has delivered training and development to well over 150 non-profit organisations and provided legal structures advice to over 140 non-profits in the cultural sector.
Do you have any photographs or postcards of the Guildhall, or any stories or reminiscences about it? They will help us with our understanding of this landmark Winsford building. If you do, please contact us – we would be delighted to hear from you.
If you have any views on the building and its future use, or any other issue relating to the Guildhall, please contact Mark Bailey, Town Clerk on (01606 593582) or email at email@example.com Alternatively, use the feedback form found here.
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