The Tarpots Hall

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By Jenny Day

Can you remember the Tarpots Hall which used to be where the Co-op supermarket now stands? 

Photo:Tarpots Hall can be seen on the left

Tarpots Hall can be seen on the left

R.F. Postcards

Have you any information of the various functions held there or maybe a photograph taken of a wedding or party held there?

The following announcement from the "Benfleet Weekly Gazette" of 22nd February 1929 certainly gives a feel of a grand facility.  It was officially opened on 23rd March 1929 and was hopefully well used at the time. 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Tarpots Hall' page

This article, taken from the same newspaper, reads as follows

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Tarpots Hall' page

What certainly must be regarded a great acquisition to the Tarpots area of the district is the New Tarpots Hall, now rapidly nearing completion.  Built by Messrs. G. Brittain & Son, the Tarpots Hall stands, as its name implies, at Tarpots Corner, on the North side of the London Road .  Recently our representative was privileged to inspect the building, and above everything else he was struck by the careful attention that had been paid to every detail affecting the comfort of the public using this hall.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Tarpots Hall' page

“The building contains a Main Hall 44ft. x 35ft., with a stage 19ft. wide, a comfortable side alcove fitted with stove and seats, and a well-designed refreshment buffet; an entrance Hall opens on to side rooms, available for use either as Cloak Rooms or Committee Rooms, one of them having direct communication with the main hall.  Above these are two more committee rooms, one very large one, large enough, in fact, to be used for Whist Drives, etc., and having communication with the smaller one which is fitted with

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Tarpots Hall' page
conveniences for preparing refreshments so that a separate function could be held in these rooms, distinct from what may be going on in the main hall.

“The stage in the main hall looks rather curious at first sight, being unusually high above the floor level, but it has been purposely so arranged, as provision has been made for the contingency of the hall being used as a Cinema, and one of the upstairs rooms has been arranged so that it could be utilised as an operating room.   The stage will then be at a required height for a Cinema Screen.  Behind the stage spacious dressing rooms have been provided.

“The whole building is splendidly lit with electric light, and heated with hot water radiators, ensuring warmth and comfort.

“Although the official opening night is to be Saturday, March 23rd, when a Grand Dance is being held, it will actually be used for the first time on March 21st, when the Proprietors are allowing its use for a District Rally of the Boy’s Brigades of the district.”

Sadly the hall was eventually demolished and replaced with shops.

Photo:The demolishing of Tarpots Hall

The demolishing of Tarpots Hall

Gilbert Wines

Photo:The same area now!

The same area now!

Eileen Gamble

 

This page was added by Jenny Day on 13/11/2011.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

I am astounded by how much it has changed since then.  Now [2011] both the gas stations have been pulled down, the Texaco is now flats, and the Q8 garage is now a Tesco extra.

By shane
On 13/11/2011

My memories of the Tarpots Hall, apart from the very popular Saturday night dances, is being in a stage play "Junior Miss". A few of us from the drama class at Hadleigh Youth Club were "co-opted" into the Playmakers Society by Vida Braby in 1948/49

By Bob Smith
On 24/07/2012

I was born at 40 Church Road in 1950 and one my best friends at primary school was Ian Roberts whose Dad ran the fish shop, 2 shops west of the hall. One of my favourite occupations in the late 50's was to sit on the seat just outside Tarpots Hall on a Sunday night watching the long queues of traffic going back to London.

By Peter Renaut
On 15/04/2013

I well remember the Tarpots Hall. During 1942/3 I used to belong to the Air Training Corps and we used to have our weekly meetings there. One night, before the meeting, I stood in front of the stage and saw all the electric light sockets screwed into the actual stage and when looking into one of them could see the two brass terminals.... (We only had gas at home) ... I poked my finger in and got a heck of an electric shock and landed flat on my back. Fortunately I was wearing a cheap pair of 'Bata' shoes with rubber soles. Round about the same time, and just up the road on the same side was a clothing factory called 'Glanvilles' and my brother and sister used to work there making army and navy uniforms. Both of them were eventually called up in the services. Peter Watts (then resident in Pound Lane North Benfleet.)

Editor note: Peter, we have a page on the factory on this site,  Glanfield's

By Peter WATTS
On 03/06/2013

My dad had his own band, going back to 1935 for a few years before the war, he used to play, Tarpots, Benfleet, Pitsea in any of the local halls. Does anyone remember this? His name was Percy sometimes went under his middle name of Laurie. Another band member was Bunny to his friends, I think there were three maybe four in the band. This is the first time I have seen a picture of the Tarpots Hall.

By Mavis Ann Thurley nee Turner
On 01/09/2013

I lived 18 years above the Fish Shop mentioned (By Peter Renaut) just 2 shops to the west of Tarpots Hall, and have very fond memories of growing up there. I do remember that as a youngster around 7 years old of 'sliding' down the outside of the corrugated roof of the hall, how I never fell through it I'll never know! Another memory I have is of the 'Tarpot' pub, during the summer months in the 50's many 'Beano' Coaches used to stop over on their way to Southend and stop again on the way back, there were SO many that not a single inch of car park was left.

By Ian Roberts
On 06/10/2013

I used to dance in the Tarpots dance hall every Saturday night. I met my first girlfriend in there. Her name was Dorothy Emery. We later became engaged. I lived with my father at The Clock House Cafe, South Benfleet from the mid-40s to the late 50s. The band was excellent!

By Bernard Hagon
On 03/12/2013

Remember being sent round to Roberts' fish shop. They also sold crisps with the little blue salt twist and bottles of pop and cola. Wasn't there also a wet fishmongers? At the other end of the parade of shops was a hairdressers which sold bits of costume jewellery in the window. Nearer the Tarpots pub was a pet shop which smelled of Bonio dog biscuits. This was the Fifties and Ian Roberts, son of the chip shop man was at my school.

By Pat Chapman
On 16/08/2014

The Tarpots Bakery shop to the left of the Hall was run by 2 ladies "Lil" and "Elsie", who then had the Bees Restaurant built over the road on the corner of Hatley Gardens, this building is now Fisk's estate agents.

By Mike Street
On 31/03/2015

My parents owned the cafe across the road from the hall during the war and mum often catered for the dances held there. My sisters used to lay out the suppers and pour the tea for them. They remember the ATC boys gathering there for training.

By Susan Mackenzie
On 25/07/2016

My parents took over Macs Cafe in 1962/63. 

By Dee Driver
On 27/07/2016
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