Cinderford Miners Welfare Hall.
The town of Cinderford is on the western edge of the former Forest of Dean
coalfield and the heart of an ex-mining community. At the early part of the 20th
Century the area had five deep mines in production and was surrounded by a
network of railways and tramways and mining was the district's major employer.
By 1965 the last deep mine had closed as had all the branch lines.
Cinderford Miners Welfare Hall was built between 1923 - 1929, funded by public
subscription, assisted by the Miners Welfare Commission. Local miners paid 1d (one old penny)
per week from their wages towards the cost and the Commission provided equal
funding to achieve the total building cost of £8,000.
During the Second world war American servicemen used the building and installed
the sprung timber dance floor and the hall was known as the "Yankee Ballroom" - by
far the largest hall in the area and now the sole survivor.
The Hall has been extended twice since then. Once in the 1960's with the addition
of a skittle alley and again in the 1970's by the addition of a floor for a lounge bar
known as the Warren Wing built above the skittle alley.
Around this period the front of the building was altered to provide additional W.C's (Toilets).
By the 1990's the hall was beginning to show its age and beginning to look
dilapidated and in 1999 the management committee started to investigate repairs
and improvements to the building. An initial feasibility study was undertaken and set
out budget costings and a proposed programme for future actions to develop the
Two potential major funding bodies were identified, The Community Fund (National
Lottery) and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust. In 2001 the CRT grant-aided a full
comprehensive study to undertake a revised scheme with more detailed costings
and public consultation.
Cinderford Miners Welfare Hall remains a building of local significance and today is
the only known example of a miners welfare facility being retained in regular