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The Royal Hall, Harrogate

This year’s GEHS excursion took us to the splendid Royal Hall, Harrogate and was accompanied by super weather. The event was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who also appreciated the spacious coach as well as its air conditioning. 

The Royal Hall is a Grade II listed performance Hall and theatre and was opened in 1903 as the Kursaal. The word Kursaal is from the German name for a public building, at a spa, in which entertainment is provided.  The Hall was built on the site of the Cheltenham Pump Room. Due to the public’s feelings in 1914 the building became known as the Royal Hall.

Our knowledgeable guide gave us an excellent tour bringing the building to life. This glittering palace, with all its gold and red velvet curtains was definitely worth a visit. The dress circle is supported by a cantilever system rather than lots of pillars. This improved the views of the stage.

The building was fitted with electric lighting throughout, and most of the lights in the auditorium are the original ones. An early kind of air conditioning system was built into the structure. Over the rear balcony there was a sliding roof to let smoke out and fresh air in. The boxes around the auditorium have shutters which could be raised so that people could see and hear daytime concerts, which still work today.

Due to safety issues the Royal Hall had to close in 2002 and it is only due to the efforts of the Royal Hall Restoration Trust that the building and its programme of events still exists. The building was re-opened on 21st January 2008 by Trust Patron HRH Prince of Wales. 

Following this wonderful tour, there was time to explore Harrogate and its many features.

Thanks go out to  Rose Gilmour for organising this special event.


Picture courtesy of Rose Gilmour


A group of twenty-five members from the Greater Elland Historical Society had wonderful time when they visited Cooper Kitchen & Bar last week. Brett Rhodes and his team have transformed the property and made it into a smart and inviting venue with a strong link to Elland’s past.

The party was served with refreshments in the newly decorated function room and listened to an informative talk by Brett on this project. An original Moorgate Penny Farthing designed and crafted by Cooper Kitchen in the 1880’s hangs from the bar wall. Some of Elland’s most famous landmarks are being drawn along corridor walls, local artefacts and photographs all add style to the building.

We would like to pass on our thanks to everyone at Cooper Kitchen & Bar for their hospitality and wish them well in this new venture.

Special thanks go Rose Allinson from the GEHS who organised this local event and ensured everyone had a splendid time.

Open daily at 12 noon this is well worth a visit

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