A new set of hoardings has been installed on a high-profile site in the centre of Brixton, to mark the Town Hall’s contribution to life in Lambeth over the last century.
The colourful display, including posters of Town Hall events from tea dances to pantomimes, has been sited close to the Grade II listed building on Brixton Hill, while it is being refurbished.
Lambeth Town Hall opened in 1908 and has been at the heart of the community ever since. It has played host to countless Council meetings, but also hundreds of marriages, citizenship ceremonies and community events, including the “No Colour Bar Dance”, conferences, pantomimes and circus performances.
The hoardings exhibition includes posters from these events and many more, showcasing the role the Town Hall has played in Lambeth life for more than 100 years. It also includes a poster of the “Gay Times Tango” – held at Oval House – and an iconic image of the Brixton community leader and activist, Olive Morris.
The Town Hall closed temporarily a year ago, for extensive refurbishment. The works are part of the ambitious “Your New Town Hall” scheme, which will reduce Lambeth Council’s core office buildings from 14 to two, saving at least £4.5m a year, and provide scores of new homes and a civic centre.
The project will also deliver quality office/meeting spaces for local enterprise, start-ups and the wider community within the Town Hall, plus new landscaped public areas and a new cycle hub with changing/shower facilities and a café.
Construction work is already well underway on the sites around the Town Hall, and the new display is on the hoardings fronting what used to be the Town Hall Parade, on Brixton Hill.
Cllr Paul McGlone, Deputy Leader of Lambeth Council, said: “This project will bring many benefits to the people of Brixton, including new jobs, homes and an improved, open and accessible Town Hall fit for the 21st Century.
“But it also gives us a perfect opportunity to mark the central role this building has played in the life of the borough for more than a century. It has been our administrative centre, but it has also been the scene of some of the most ground-breaking events in Lambeth’s cultural history, including the No Colour Bar Dance in 1955.
“The Town Hall will be improved, but it will always be a focal point of the whole community.”