The Forest of Dean.

Bygone Days

Bygone Days

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 project.

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 community use.


Go Home.