The Temperance Hall was built as a non alcoholic social centre for organisations such as the Rechabites' Friendly Society. It offered an alternative to the town's many inns and public houses. In 1845, the "earnest and eloquent" speeches of a visiting orator had focused the energies of local temperance supporters, particularly the public spirited businessman Mr Richard Tregenna. The idea of a Temperance Hall was well received, and two benefactors funded the project. "The only public hall in town" in the nineteenth century soon became a centre for more general entertainment and events - fund raising concerts and exhibitions for the Mechanics' Institute, penny readings, lectures, regimental band concerts, and performers ranging from the Pembroke Serenader’s to the visiting "Hoffman's organophonic band". Popular RAF dances were held here before World War II. Rooms in the block behind the main hall accommodated smaller meetings, such as committees. The monthly County Court, for some time after 1872, convened at the Temperance Hall. Early in World War II, during the oil tank blaze, exhausted Bristol firemen were sleeping in the Temperance Hall. Bombers returned, and the hall took a direct hit. Some firemen were badly injured, but all escaped with their lives. The hall was wrecked. Today's Pater Hall stands on its site, continuing the old hall's function as a community centre for meetings, entertainment and dances. Deep in the Pater Hall's basement, three explorers discover a relic salvaged from wartime rubble. The text commemorates a benefactor of the original Temperance Hall. 1872  The stone has been rebuilt into the Pater Hall  wall in Lewis Street following the refurbishment in 2013. For those of you who respect irony the plaque is mounted in the wall that now encloses the licensed bar THIS TABLET WAS ERECTED BY THE TEMPERANCE SOCIETY, AS A TOKEN OF THEIR ESTEEM FOR WILLIAM GRIFFITHS LATE LESSEE OF THIS HALL,  AND IN REMEMBRANCE OF HIS ZEAL IN THE TEMPERANCE CAUSE.
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Pater Hall Project Archive

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