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Exhibition celebrates Haverhill Arts Centre’s past

Haverhill Arts Centre ANL-140721-124935001
Haverhill Arts Centre ANL-140721-124935001

An exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of Haverhill’s Arts Centre will also celebrate the building’s association with the town council.

In 1994, conversion work took place on the nineteenth century former civic hall, to turn it into an arts centre for the whole community.

Soon after, Haverhill town council relocated its offices from their premises in Bevan House to the Arts Centre.

An exhibition marking these events is being put together by Haverhill Local History Group.

The exhibition will open to the public in the Arts Centre’s bistro on January 12 at 5.30pm.

Tony Turner, the archivist for Haverhill Local History Group, said: “It’s an exhibition of 17 panels showing photographs taken at the time. The exhibition boards were put together by Haverhill company Stylize.

“The work to convert the building took place in 1993 and 1994 and there was a lot of conversion work that needed doing.

“There was no bistro and the walls and doors were all open. Before, instead of offices, there were reading rooms and community rooms, as well as a billiards room.

“It had been used as some sort of social club.

“The town council moved in at about the same time, deciding the would like rooms there.

“We’ve got a couple of grand old pictures. Before the conversion, the hall was mainly used for choral productions. We’ve got some lovely iron work with Daniel Gurteen’s initials on it. There’s also a clock that used to be in the main hall.

“I hope the exhibition promotes more of a love for the building. It’s a lovely old place. The problem is, I’m sure, that people don’t walk up here much any more. The town centre, for a lot of people, stops at Jubilee Walk.”

The Arts Centre is open from Monday to Saturday between 10.00am and 4.00pm. The exhibition runs until the end of March.

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