The New Worcester Concert Hall, Lowesmoor

  • 16 Jan 2012
  • Theatre
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At the gates of the Port of Lowesmoor, on the eastern corner, was the Navigation Inn, kept for over 24 years by John Hill, a very popular resort of the watermen and others using the wharf, where the usual bar entertainment could be enjoyed. In June 1869, John Hill was joined by a Mr. Brook, and the building was demolished to make way for a new music hall called The New Worcester Concert Hall. It was built on an unusual triangular site. The building stands today, looking end on, like the bow of a large vessel, but the street facade is long, and once had imposing stucco pilasters, but these have been lost under a crude rough-cast restoration.

The New Concert Hall opened in the first days of August 1869, under the management of Mr. Fred Lawson, with a company which it was claimed, was not surpassed in the provinces. It was filled nightly, and on the Wednesday, which was an 'open night' to all, the house was crowded almost to suffocation.
The prices of  admission were : front gallery and stalls, 1s -  with the body of the hall 3d. Refreshments were served continuoously in all parts, with wines and spirits available 'obtained direct from the docks'; and the management boasted of a 'New Oriental Lounge, which for elegance and comfort is unsurpassed'.

The opening of the New Concert Hall with its weekly press publicity notices, stimulated the Alhambra to do the same, and we are able to see the flourish of activity among the Worcester houses of entertainment. At the end of the year, not only were the 'Old Alhambra' and the New Concert Hall in daily evening rivalry, but the Music Hall in the Cornmarket was billing 'star' turns, though often for three nights only and a matinee, sometimes for one night only. The Theatre Royal too, re-opened after 'extensive alterations' with a 'Variety- Musical Show', and there were special appearances of illusionists and such at the Natural History Rooms in Foregate Street.