Heritage

  • Women’s Rights at the Old Town Hall

    By Wac Arts on 20/05/2019
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    Women’s Rights – Suffragettes at the Old Town Hall The suffragettes were founded in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst. Their aim was to fight ‘with deeds not words’ for women to be allowed to vote in this country. Members of the suffragettes were prepared to use militant action, including violence, to get what they wanted. Some of their actions included going […]
  • The Gay Liberation Front

    By Wac Arts on 20/05/2019
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    Hampstead Goes Gay – Hampstead Arts Balls and LGBT Hampstead – In Conversation with Chris Barlow Tuesday 13th November 2018 Between 1947 and 1955 Hampstead Town Hall hosted a series of fancy dress balls arranged by the Hampstead Arts Society. The first one was announced in the Sphere newspaper under the headline “Hampstead Goes Gay.” A Pathe news reel of […]
  • Notable Events at the Old Town Hall

    By Wac Arts on 01/05/2019
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    The Old Town Hall has been the locus of a number of exciting events throughout its 140 year history, from tea dances and balls, including the inaugural ball of the London Nigerian Women’s Association in the 1950s; a series of avant garde fancy dress balls arranged by the Hampstead Arts Society, with a Pathe news reel of the 1951 masked […]
  • Tales from the WAWA

    By Wac Arts on 30/04/2019
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    From the 16th to the 18th of April Wac Arts Ignite Easter project saw students thinking about the history of the Old Town Hall building in Belsize Park, home of Wac Arts. The result was a digital storytelling podcast (listen below) project called Tales from the WAWA which included elements of drama, sound design, music, interviews, visual art, research and […]
  • Hampstead Town Hall Marriages

    By Wac Arts on 29/04/2019
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    T.S. Elliot One of the most notable early marriages conducted at Hampstead Town hall was that of T.S. Eliot. Prior to becoming arguably the greatest poet of the 20th century, Thomas Stearns Eliot was living in Soho with no recorded occupation. On 26 June 1915 he was married at Hampstead Register Office to Vivienne Haigh-Wood, an English governess and writer, […]
  • T.S. Eliot vs. Animal Farm

    By Wac Arts on 29/04/2019
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    A lot of animals have passed through Hampstead Town Hall over the years – although sadly they’ve not always been alive. In 1972 the town hall hosted a stuffed animal sale, described as the ‘the largest scale of natural history specimens the world has ever seen’, ranging from tiny stuffed fleas to large taxidermies of elephants and camels. Enthusiasts and […]
  • Hampstead Town Hall – A Pivotal Place for Political Activism

    By Wac Arts on 29/04/2019
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    David Thomas Pitt (1913-1994), Baron Pitt of Hampstead, was Britain’s longest serving Black Parliamentarian. A doctor by trade, he spent his adult life campaigning for equality. He was active in the anti-apartheid movement and was instrumental in agitating for the Race Relations Acts of the Labour government. Born in Grenada in the West Indies, David Pitt was selected the Labour […]
  • A Place of Charitable Aims

    By Wac Arts on 29/04/2019
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    Raising money has been high on the agenda for Hampstead Town Hall over the years. In 1881, almost as far back to when the building first became used as a public hall, the Metropolitan Police Minstrels ran a performance to raise money for the Police Orphanage. Still active today, the Metropolitan Police Orphanage was established in January 1870 and supports […]
  • Hampstead Town Hall in War Time Britain

    By Wac Arts on 29/04/2019
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    Hampstead Town Hall played an important part in helping protect civilians in the area during World War 2. Between 1939 and 1945 the building became an Air Raid Precautions (ARP) station. The ARP refers to a number of organisations and guidelines in the United Kingdom dedicated to the protection of civilians from the danger of air raids. Made up predominantly […]
  • Una Marson’s Caribbean Voice

    By Wac Arts on 29/04/2019
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    Una Marson was a Jamaican feminist, activist and writer and was employed by the BBC in 1932, becoming the first black producer at the BBC. She produced the seminal BBC West Indian service on Caribbean Voices and worked closely at the ‘Beeb’ with two other writers connected to Hampstead Old Town Hall, TS Eliot and George Orwell. But Hampstead-based Una […]
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