Town Hall

Map of 1948 showing the Town Hall

Map of 1948 showing the Town Hall

The Town Hall in Armadale was sited on South Street on the grounds of where the 'Little Owls' Nursery now stands.

 

Subscription School on South Street and, later the Town Hall

Subscription School on South Street and, later the Town Hall

Snippet from West Lothian Courier 1920s

Snippet from West Lothian Courier 1920s

The building was completed in March 1859, initially for a Subscription School.  In 1896  it was bought by Mr. Readman, proprietor of the Barbauchlaw Estate.  He presented the building to the town, free of feu duty,  and it was made into Armadale's Town Hall  at a cost of £700.  It was opened 4 December.

James Wood had objected to the plans a year before because of his concerns about building a public hall on ground that had not settled since coal extraction below.  However, in 1911, he donated £1,000 for alterations to the hall.

In the 1950's the Town Hall was at the centre of controversy when the Town Councillors swapped the piano for a crate of whisky. Read more about it here

Davie Kerr also wrote a poem about it;

Nae honky-tonk tune ti lichten the gloom.
Nae clue as the Toun Hall pianna
wis taen without trace an selt for a case
o whisky at twelve an a tanner.

In 1955, the Hall eventually had so many faults, it was demolished.

Dais outside the Town Hall for the Queen and Prince Philip's visit in 1955

Dais outside the Town Hall for the Queen and Prince Philip's visit in 1955

Queen Elizabeth II meets Provost William Ferrier on her visit to Armadale

Queen Elizabeth II meets Provost William Ferrier on her visit to Armadale

The Queen and Prince Philip visited Armadale as part of a Scotland tour in 1955. A Dais was installed in front of the town hall for them and they were welcomed by Provost William Ferrier.

 

Eric Liddell 1924 Olympics

Eric Liddell 1924 Olympics

Eric Liddell

Eric Liddell

In 1923, Eric Liddell, the famous runner from 'Chariots of Fire' fame, gave his first Christian sermon in the Town Hall. (Though some people believe it may have been the Baptist Church at the time - now the Windsor Hall)

Read more about Eric Liddell here 

Read more about Eric Liddell's sermon in Armadale here

Read Eric's armadale speech here (re-enactment scene 6, page 18 out of 58)

 

David Blair and John Sibbald from Sibbald Training, who's trainees lifted the cobbles, Heather Naismith wh kindly donated the cobbles to Armadale, and Scott MacKay who organised the uplift

David Blair and John Sibbald from Sibbald Training, who's trainees lifted the cobbles, Heather Naismith wh kindly donated the cobbles to Armadale, and Scott MacKay who organised the uplift

Town Hall Cobbles

Town Hall Cobbles

In 2012, Gibby and Heather Naismith who own Little Owls Nursery, very kindly donated the cobbles from the site of the Town Hall  to the town of Armadale.