Worcester Music Halls -1868 to 1885, from The Era Almanack

  • 16 Jan 2012
  • Theatre
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The Era Almanack was published annually by The Era, a weekly theatrical newspaper, one of several appearing in the 19th century. Each Almanack was retrospective as to the theatrical events of the previous year. There were always separate lists of theatres and music halls in Great Britain. The first issue was the 1868 Almanack.

Year                                   Name of Hall                                                       Proprietor

1868                         Railway Bell                                                        W.S.Smith
1869                         Railway Bell                                                        W.S.Smith
Alhambra                                                            W.Harris
1870                         Railway Bell                                                        W.S.Smith
Alhambra                                                            W.Harris
Alhambra                                                            Hill & Brooks
1871                         Worcester                                                           J.Hill
1872                         Worcester                                                           J.Hill
1873                         Worcester                                                           J.Hill
1874                         Worcester                                                           J.Hill
1875                         Prince of Wales                                                    J.Hill 
1876                         Prince of Wales                                                    J.Atkinson
1877                         Worcester                                                           C.H. Gordon
1878                         Worcester                                                           Smallwood                 
1879                         Worcester                                                           Smallwood
1880                         Palace of Varieties                                               F.Winwood
1881                         Palace of Varieties                                               F.Winwood
1883                         Palace of Varieties                                               F.Winwood
1884                         Public Hall                                                           F.J.Spark               
1885                         Public Hall                                                           F.J.Spark

Some explanation of the above list is necessary, remembering that the dates given are retrospective and refer to the previous year. The gap in 1870 (proprietor Hill & Brooks) is due to the fact that when the New Concert Hall was first opened it was called the Canterbury Music Hall, but in the same year the name was changed. It appears that The Era could not accept the New Concert Hall, and ther being no rival, from 1871 to 1874 listed it as 'Worcester'. In 1875, the New Concert Hall officially became The Prince of Wales, then in 1877, back to 'Worcester'; then in 1880, to be listed as the Palace of Varieties. The compilers were wrong for 1883, for the Salvation Army had taken over the hall in 1881.