HISTORY of THE MEMORIAL HALL
 

The history of the Hall is best described from Souvenir Programme from the Opening Ceremony and Grand Fete held on September 11th and 18th , 1926 reproduced here -

“Twenty-one years ago, a reading room was opened at Blaenddol, Castell, This, by the faithful service of the librarian, Mr William Hughes, proved to be a great success. Here, especially during the winter months the young people of the neighbourhood congregated for recreation, amusement and mutual help. The feeling was general that a bigger place was necessary and a movement was made to secure such a building. An impulse was given to this by the generous offer of a piece of land for the purpose by Mr David Hughes, Blaenddol.

The project was in abeyance until the Committee of the Talybont and Llandedr United Choir met and on the motion of Mr. Richard Williams, it was resolved to call a Public Meeting to consider the question. This was done in October 1922. A goodly number of the inhabitants came together. The meeting under the presidency of the Rev. Robert Williams, B.A., Llanbedr Rectory, was enthusiastic in favour of the project and pledged themselves to do all in their power to further the scheme. It was also resolved that the Hall should be in memory of the fallen in the Great War. A General Committee was appointed by the Meeting to secure such a building consisting of :-
Rev. Robert Williams, B.A. Llanbedr Rectory (Chairman). Rev. J R Jones B.A. Talybont, Rev. T H Williams, Salem, Mr Joseph Jones, Penygarth,  Mr David Hughes, Blaenddol, Lieut. Commander H. Mahler, J.P. Ffrwd.
Mr John Owen, Post Office, Llanbedr (Hon.Sec) with power to add to their number.

Persons were also appointed to canvas the district for subscriptions and nearly £300 was readily promised. The Llanbedr and Talybont Women’s Institute took keen interest in the movement and its members have been heart and soul helping to get funding. On July 7th , 1923, a Grand Fete was held, and over £200 was raised by this effort. By means of a Concert the school children brought £22 to the funds. After some time had intervened, Mr Summers, Architect and Surveyor, Pwllheli, who had already designed a number of Institutes and War Memorials was asked to draw out a plan to meet the requirements of the district. The building was to contain a reading room, and a billiard room, as well as an auditorium to seta about 450. When estimates were invited from contractors they were found to be much beyond the power of of the people to meet. One well-known firm of contractors estimated the cost of the building at £2,800.

At the juncture, a son of labour, Mr Owen Jones, Bryn Hyfryd, suggested that a public meeting be convened to invite all sections of society to give free services to build the hall. The response was so satisfactory that the work was forthwith taken in hand.

The General Committee became the contractors, and all necessary arrangement for work, for insuring the workmen, for procuring material for the building and conveying it to the site were carried out by Mr. John Owen, the Honorary secretary, who has been untiring in devoted service in all direction from the beginning.

In June 1925, the land given by Mr. Hughes, was conveyed to the Committee , all the necessary legal papers having been prepared free of charge by Mr. Howell Jones, Solicitors, Llanrwst.

The response for free gifts of stones for the building and for free labour was magnificent. A plentiful supply of stones was given by the late Mr. T. Parry Jones, Glanduyn,
Mr Thomas Hughes ,Gwern Felin ; and others. 536b loads of stones were freely carted by the farmers of the vicinity to the site besides 11,500 bricks. About 100 working men , at different times, gave free labour some of whom gave a great deal of their time to do the work. About 3,200 hours were thus given. Mr. Eben Griffiths made it a labour of love to keep a faithful record of this voluntary labour.

Mr Harry Barnes, a practical builder and contractor, gave valuable help in laying the foundation of the building as well as in other ways.

Mr Jenkinson designed the outside entrance to the hall. By diverting the stream he converted a nuisance into a thing of beauty.

A master mason, Mr Evan Roberts , Castell and a master carpenter, Mr. Thomas Williams, Maes Bryn , were engaged to do the skilled labour as well as to direct the efforts of the voluntary workers with the aid of the Working sub-Committee.

The wiring for the hall for electric light and the setting of the grates was done by skilled men   from Dolgarrog free of charge.

The building as it stands is not only a fitting memorial of the dead but also an honour to the living.

Up to date the sum of £630 has been received. To finish the building £800 more is required.

The Committee by becoming contractors, and being so generously helped by free labour and free gifts of material have saved about £1,200 to the people of Llanbedr and Talybont.

“It is not given to mortals to command success” But the people of this district have done better “ They deserve it.  “”