PERMANENT EXHIBITION CHARTS TOWN HALL'S HISTORY

Issued: 15 August 2008

ADMISSIONFREE
10AM – 6PM MONDAYSSATURDAYSFROM 20 AUGUST
TOWNHALL, BIRMINGHAM

Town Hall Birmingham will unveil a permanent exhibition, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and The Patrick Trust. The exhibition celebrates the concert hall?s place at the heart of Birmingham life from its opening in 1834 to the successful re-opening in October 2007 through a series of paintings, photos, prints and posters. All the images have been selected by members of the public and an accompanying audio guide includes some of their personal memories.

The 66 images aim to capture Town Hall?s energy, radicalism and community spirit as well as its rich and varied performance history, from its earliest days as a venue for classical music, political speechmaking and public meetings, through its influential position in jazz, rock & roll and heavy metal history to the recent £35m renovation and Re-opening Festival.

Many of the images are from the collections of Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, Birmingham Central Libraries and Birmingham Post & Mail along with other individual photographers and members of the public. Also included are a number of images of material donated by members of the public as part of last year?s appeal for Town Hall memories and memorabilia.

Town Hall Exhibition is in the Lower Bar at Town Hall. Admission is free. Normal opening hours are 10am – 6pm Monday to Saturday. Visitors are advised to call Town Hall on 0870 761 0616 to check whether the building is open to the public.

ENDS

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Note to Editors

Extracts from personal memories featured in the audio guide accompanying the exhibition:

?We liked the Town Hall because it was warm and welcoming. It had dark red velvet seats and it was a very pleasant atmosphere, except sometimes, when the music went quiet, we couldn?t always hear it because it used to be a starling roost and they made such a noise.? Betty Lawton

?I think ? most people in Birmingham have been to the Town Hall at some time or other over the years, whatever it might be: a concert, popular music, jazz, symphonic music, an exhibition, prize-giving day, a competition that?s being held here, a BBC programme, and they all remember something. And it still is so versatile.? Tony Evans

The Town Hall Memories & Memorabilia Appeal took place in July 2007. 400 individual items were donated to Birmingham Central Library to expand a lasting archive of Town Hall events. 35-recorded memories were also made. Several images of the donated material were used in an exhibition at Birmingham Central Library in October 2007 and in a display of material at the BBC Mailbox in September 2007.

Notes to Editors: The HLF enables communities to celebrate, look after and learn more about our diverse heritage. From our great museums and historic buildings to local parks and beauty spots or recording and celebrating traditions, customs and history, HLF grants open up our nation’s heritage for everyone to enjoy. Since 1994 it has supported more than 22,500 projects, allocating over £3.6 billon across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk

THSH is grateful to The Patrick Trust, a Birmingham based charity, for their support of the exhibition.

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a registered charity. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events a year, designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and a thriving education/community department reaches a further 20,000 people of all ages.

Town Hall Birmingham re-opened in October 2007 following a £35m renovation funded by Birmingham City Council (£18.3m), Heritage Lottery Fund (£13.7m), European Regional Development Fund (£3m).