Chesterfield Town Hall is 80-years-old today

Today marks 80 years since Chesterfield Town Hall officially opened.

Friday, 6th April 2018, 10:15 am
Updated Friday, 6th April 2018, 10:21 am
A picture of Chesterfield Town Hall when it opened in 1938.
A picture of Chesterfield Town Hall when it opened in 1938.

The prominent building - which cost £142,500 to construct over a three-year-period - was opened on April 6, 1938, by Evelyn, Duchess of Devonshire, the great-grandmother of the present Duke.

Vicky Difelice, property procurement and contracts law manager at the council, has a special connection to the building.

Her mother, Margaret, was one of a group of children from local schools who were invited to attend the opening ceremony.

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Chesterfield Town Hall from Saltergate in 1938.

Vicky said: "When I came to work for the council 26 years ago, my mum told me how she had been invited to witness the ceremony when the building was opened.

"It was after both my parents had died that I was sorting through some of their possessions and I came across an envelope with the order of ceremony from the event, the invitation and a letter that was sent to each of the children who took part.

"The letter is from Mr Jordan, the acting town clerk, and thanks the children for their good conduct and orderliness during the ceremony because front seats were provided for your use enabling you to have a good view of the proceedings, and His Worship the Mayor is delighted that his trust in placing you in such a prominent position has proved to be well founded.

"You can't imagine sending a message like that to a child today."

The town hall's central staircase.

The building was designed by Bolton-based Bradshaw, Gass and Hope. The tender for the build was granted to Robert Carlyle Co Ltd, of Manchester, in 1935.

It was originally conceived as open plan - and the work carried out during a current redevelopment of the historic property will restore sections to their original design.

Chesterfield Town Hall from Saltergate in 1938.
The town hall's central staircase.