Friday, July 20, 2007

Ealing Labour Hall estb 1926

An idea that originated five or six years ago ill the minds of" a few enthusiasts has been consummated in the erection, by voluntary labour, of the Ealing Labour Hall in Dorset Road, Ealing, London

Mrs. J.R. Clynes visited the hall on Saturday afternoon, and performed the chief office in its ceremonial opening, Mr. A W. Whinnett (the secretary) recounted tlie history of the scheme.

The idea of a Labour Hall for Ealing, he said, arose in the minds of a few enthusiasts some five or six years ago, and they rightly thought that the progress of the Labour Party would be stimulated if a building could be erectedrom which the organisation might be directed of the Party's many activities, both political and social.

Under the secretaryship of Mr. Whinnett a committee was formed, and a start made in the building up of financial resources.

This, Mr Whinnett said. was essentially a long process, because the money
had to be collected in small amounts of sixpences and shillings.

In spite of trials and difficulties, the committee raised a sufficient amount to purchase the plot of land upon which the building stood, and the tennis court adjoining at a cost of £154 (about £45,000) when the purchase of the land was completed.

Mr Wilson found that he could no longer carry out the duties of secretary, and He was succeeded in March, 1924, by Mr Yeo, who filled the post very efficiently until the end of the year.

It was during this time that the business of the` building was turned into a company and registered under the Friendly Societies' Act and affiliated with the Co-operative Union.

The speaker followed Mr. Yeo in the secretarial office,
At that time the committee was faced with the fact that it had very little money left, and it also appeared that interest in the scheme was flagging.

A scheme was organised to get members of the Party to take shares and tthis arrested the drift of thought from the end in view.


When, however, estimates came to be obtained a new and serious impediments to the speedy realisation of the Party's objective arose.

The tenders ranged in price from £620, without lighting or heating, to £950 inclusive.

Then largely on the counsel of Mr. Loosley the committee decided to undertake the full responsibility of erecting the building.

The total cost, including furnishing, was about £500 (Now about £150,000). The carrying out of the work by contract would have cost £900, and he thought it might be regarded as a notable achievement that by direct, voluntary labour so large a saving bad been effected. A sum of £300 had been borrowed from the Co-operative Wholesale Society Bank, and the Party found the balance.

Mr. Whinnett in conclusion, thanked Mr, Loosley, Mr Axten his lieutenant and Messrs Mitchell, Mr Wilson for work in connection with the foundations, inside work, etc. Messrs Barrett, Bushnell and Bright for painting decorating and glazing, Mr A. Smith and his two brothers for plumbing, Mr Hay for sign-writing; Messrs Evans, Thursby and comes for electric wiring and fitting and the womens section for much appreciated co-operation with these helpers.

Useful gifts in kind had been received from Mrs Lewingdon, and Messrs Hendy and Melhuish

Mr J.E. Robinson secretary of the Labour hall who presided at the opening and the President Mr A. H Chilton JP was unable to attend through illness

Mrs Clynes opening the hall referred to it, very aptly, as a delightful acquisition to the Party’s resources saying that it was evident that only a splendid and sustained ffort could have brought about such a result. The Labour Party all over the country had obtained a foothold by similar sacrificial service; the speaker hoped that members would regard this achievement as a humble beginning and in course of time they would add to the structure as others had done elsewhere

Mr G. H. Pratt proposed a vote of thanks to Mrs Clynes, Mr F.G. Taylor seconded and Mr J.R.O. Jones supported

Tea was afterwards served and in the evening a social was held

Ealing Labour Choral Society rendered part songs, and individual soloists were Miss K. Hurley, Mr A. Chudley, Mr H.R. Edwards and Mr Jones

Miss K. McNulty and Mrs H. Farley recited and Misses Gladys and Ida Ball gave exhibition dances

Misses E and K Hurley sang duets and Mr F. M. Costello entertained with magic and ventriloquism. Mrs Mutton was the accompanist

The Hall which should prove a valuable asset to the Labour Party is certain to be in pretty constant use; but it can be hired for meetings etc on application to Mr J. E Robinson of 150 (?) Felix Road, West Ealing,London

West Middlesex Gazette 16th January 1926


The Ealing Labour Hall was later renamed the Sherman Labour Hall (probably after the prominent member of the Joe Sherman Ealing Trades Council secretary during the 1926 general strike
and Ealing Labour Party Secretary in the 1930'sr)

The other Labour Hall was Ruskin Hall at 16 Church Road, W3

Southall Councillor, Middlesex County Councillor, Labour candidate for Windsor in 1929, prominet in the National Union of Railwaymen (NUR) and Wesleyan Minister

Mr A.H. Chilton was accidentially killed while on duty as station foreman at West Ealing Station (must have been in the early 1930's)