Monday, January 28, 2013

Smithfield Institute snippets

Smithfield Institute was destroyed by Fire, on February 8, 1836 the damage estimated at more than £1000 is partly covered by Insurance.  The whole of the 1200 books, a piano and small organ, cricket and football trophies and soldier memorial honour roll were completely destroyed. The charred walls of the building alone are standing.  Residents attempted to save some property but were greatly hampered by an inadequate water supply.  The cause of the fire is unknown.  The institute was opened 53 years ago and was free of debt.

Plans were immediately prepared for rebuilding and extensions; a contract was let, and on Saturday June 20th the Smithfield ‘Phoenix’ was opened by Sir William Sowden, Association President.

The Institute president Mr A. Worden stated that sports trophies had been list, the committee could not replace those, fortunate it had a photographs of the honour roll.  A replica would be made and installed at the Institutes expense.

Sir William congratulated the Committee and appealed to the residents to give greater support to their Institute, which should be intellectual as well as the recreational centre. He also referred to the loss of the Institute during the past 6 years and to the actions of the present Government in partially restoring grants without which the institutes could not be given adequate service.

On the following Wednesday a Ball was held which was attended by about 200 people.  Music by Hannaford’s band, supper again by the ladies.  There is a debt of about £150 incurred in providing much improved facilities.  Special efforts are to be made to raise these funds.

Notes from Local history room

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