Royal Hall

Updated 17 September,2007

Lectures by prominent people were given by the Harrogate Literary Society in the Royal Hall and Charlie took a groups in the evenings on a regular basis.

The Royal Hall, or Kursaal as it called until the First World War, is shown on this postcard, posted in Harrogate in 1907, to an address in Westmorland (a county no more).

The Society presented Charlie with a gold Omega pocket watch bearing an appropriate inscription and this watch was left by Charlie in his Will to one of his former pupils.

The Royal Hall Restoration Trust web site includes an abstract of celebrated artistes who appeared at the Kursaal/Royal Hall from 1903. the entry for 17 January,1950, is 'Joan Hammond, singer'; was this our Joan Hammond or perhaps the more famous artist?

By Kevin Cheeseright:

Charlie was President of the (Harrogate) Royal Hall Lecture Society; every Thursday we all trooped down to the lectures at the Royal Hall and the speaker would always have tea and supper at Norwood. The senior boys would sit at the top table or later, have tea and supper in his front room (1st floor 3 Leeds Road), where we could fire questions at the visitor. All the notables of the day arrived - even our own Terrence Alexander.
By Alastair Buchan:
Dr.Jacob Bronowski (from the BBC's Brain's Trust Programme and lecturer at Brunel University) came up from London to give a lecture at the Royal Hall; afterwards he visited Norwood before I took him to the station in Charlie's car. He said he would be delighted to return in the year 2000 if he was still alive, but sadly he died in 1974.
It would be interesting to know why Dr Bronowski visited Norwood. Could Charlie have mentioned that the Physicist Lawrence Bragg was a tutor of Charlie's when a student at Manchester University?

By Hugh Lythall: (29 August,2007)

(dates and lecture titles taken from the Restoration Trust web site mentioned above; if anyone recalls others lectures the web site may jog your memory about the content and other speakers)

Charlie was President of the Harrogate Literary Society for at least two years as I remember, and for the first of those two years he would introduce the guest speaker without a microphone because he felt he could project his voice to all corners of the Royal Hall; by the second year he was using a microphone.
Who else can remember the visiting speakers being entertained at Norwood prior to their lecture?
I remember meeting or at least seeing:
      Dr. Jacob Bronowski in 1963 lecturing on The Year 2000 and what
      it meant - sorry I can`t remember what he said!
      Cricketer Trevor Bailey
            26 November,1964, 'Cricket with a Camera'
      Group Captain Leonard Cheshire V.C.
            13 January,1966, ‘Mission for the Relief of Suffering’
      Mountaineer Chris Bonington
            3 November,1966, 'The North Wall of the Eiger’
      Sheila Scott, first female aviator to fly solo round the world.
Anybody remember anyone else?

By Richard Bennison: (17 September,2007)

Each Thursday evening after dinner, Boarders were treated to a lecture and lantern show at the Royal Hall, presented by notable persons. Subjects were varied and usually covered interesting topics about the speaker’s adventures somewhere in the world. I found the stories/adventures fascinating, conjuring up in my mind the possibility of doing likewise and visiting interesting places in the world at a future date.

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