Grimsby Central Hall Trust has received £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Grimsby Central Hall’s Hidden Heritage project, it was announced today. Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to engage as many people as possible in uncovering the hidden heritage of the Central Hall on Duncombe Street in Grimsby. The project will engage at least 30 volunteers in researching archives and collecting memories from visitors, performers and staff over the 82 years it has been open.

The project aims to explore themes relating to the Hall including its use as a Methodist Church, the music it has hosted, its architectural heritage and the Fishermans Chapel and create a book, an exhibition and audio tour to share findings. Guided tours of the Hall will form part of the final exhibition alongside a Heritage Concert, bringing back some of the performers that have played at the Hall.

Volunteers will learn new skills including research techniques, oral history collection, developing an audio tour and also event management.

The Hall was originally built in 1936 by the Methodists and was a culmination of 3 other Methodist churches in the area. World-famous orchestras such as the Hallé and the BBC Symphony have shared the stage with heavy rock bands Iron Maiden and Hawkwind, though not at the same time! International jazz legends Stéphane Grappelli and Humphrey Lyttelton helped establish the Hall as a home for jazz whilst Sasha Distel, Gilbert O’Sullivan and Showaddywaddy were amongst those who have dominated the pop charts.

Commenting on the award, Trustee Angie Burnett said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. Grimsby Central Hall is a unique building with amazing acoustics and is also a very much loved community venue. We would love to hear from anyone who has memories and stories to share of the place or have artefacts such as ticket stubs or concert posters from back in the day, or even photographs of the Hall. The parents of our very own Centre Manager Howard Mills were the first to be married at the Central Hall and we know there must be lots of people out there that the Hall has touched in some way. We really want people to get involved to showcase the Hidden Heritage of this amazing art deco building, a gem in the heart of the East Marsh. Volunteering opportunities will be available for people with all different skills sets and interests and we are hoping to host a Heritage Concert as part of the project.”