COMPARED with the castle and cathedral, St Nicholas’ Hall may not have been among Arundel’s most notable buildings.
But when the hall was demolished last week, to clear the site in Mill Road for work to begin on the town’s new museum, townspeople witnessing the event may well have recalled fond memories of social and sporting occasions within its four walls.
There was certainly evidence of enjoyable times spent in the hall, found by the demolition contractors – numerous table tennis balls underneath the building, which must have fallen through holes in the floorboards, and an old bottle discovered between the wall panelling.
As Arundel Museum Society member Al Dunn wrote in his monthly column on the museum in the Gazettte in November, the hall is thought to have been built before 1918 and is said to have been used as a temporary hospital during the First World War.
Little is known about the hall’s use after that until the 1960s, when it was used for table tennis fixtures and practice sessions, as well as Scout and Guide meetings. In more recent times it hosted many art and craft exhibitions.
The museum society is now working with the Arundel community to capture memories of the hall and has asked townspeople to come forward with their recollections and any photos and documents related to the building over the years, which will be included in a display in the new museum. For more information, visit the museum’s temporary home in Crown Yard, Arundel.
Before work starts on the museum, an archaeological survey of the site will be carried out which could well yield some interesting exhibits – and in time they could become part of the museum’s collection.
The Gazette would like to thank the Arundel Sussex Facebook site for use of its photographs in this feature.