The history of the Workmen’s Hall dates back to the 1880s, when meetings were held to canvass support for a place where workers could meet to socialise, read, discuss the issues of the day and play games.
The Blaenavon Company, the town’s main employer, took a subscription of a halfpenny out of each worker’s weekly wage to support the new venture. From 1883, the Workmen’s Institute was based in a small building in Lion Street. This was soon no longer big enough to support its growing membership and in 1891, the Institute bought a parcel of land on Waun Field from the Blaenavon Company. Work on the imposing new building was completed in late 1894.
The magnificent Victorian building is arguably one of the finest of its type in South Wales. It was a venue for social gatherings and concerts and had a comprehensive library, reading room, billiards room, refreshments, committee rooms and impressive auditorium. A cinema was added during the early 20th century, showing the first ‘talkies’ in the 1930s.
Today, the Workmen’s Hall offers a contemporary digital cinema, concert space in the auditorium and snooker and table tennis facilities. It is also the home of Blaenavon Community Museum and many groups and societies, as well as host to conferences and meetings.
For many years, Blaenavon Workmen’s Hall has been at the heart of the community, and the current Board and dedicated group of volunteers are working to ensure that community is back at the heart of the Hall!
Visit the new website here: blaenavonworkmenshall.uk