Lincoln Drill Hall
|Lincoln Drill Hall|
Broadgate frontage of the Drill Hall (the modern entrance is at the rear)
|Built for||War Office|
|Architect||Goddard and Son|
The building was designed by architects Goddard and Son for the 1st Lincolnshire Rifle Volunteers and construction was financed by Mr. Joseph Ruston, a former M.P. for the city. It was opened in 1890 and, although purpose built for military training, community and social events were held in the hall from an early stage. The 1st Lincolnshire Rifle Volunteers evolved to become to 4th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment in 1908. The battalion was mobilised at the drill hall in August 1914 before being deployed to the Western Front. The 4th Battalion was reconstituted after the Second World War and amalgamated with the 6th Battalion to form the 4th/6th Battalion in 1950.
Various forms of entertainment were held at the hall - the most notable performance being a gig by The Rolling Stones' on New Year's Eve, 1963; the following day they made their debut on the BBC's Top of the Pops television show.
In 1967 the 2nd (Duchess of Gloucester's Own Royal Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire) Company, 5th (Volunteer) Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment was formed in Lincoln. The building continued to be used for military training for most of the rest of the century but increasingly fell into disrepair and closed in 1999. However, by public demand it was reopened four years later following a £2.6m refurbishment programme. The principle contractor was local company Lindum Construction. In 2010 the Council passed day-to-day control to the independent Lincoln Arts Trust. The building is now managed by the Ruston Hall Trust, a subsidiary charity of the Lincoln Arts Trust. The building (with the adjacent clubhouse) is a grade II Listed Building.
The main auditorium has a maximum capacity of around 500 and it has hosted various bands - Buzzcocks, The Damned, Stiff Little Fingers, Seth Lakeman and The Subways being notable examples. The venue has also hosted some brilliant comedy acts including Russel Howard, Marcus Brigstocke and Mark Thomas. It also acts as a cafe with a seating area inside during the day. It also hosts the Lincoln Beer Festival each year.
Following the construction of the city's new music venue, the Engine Shed - which has enabled big name, established bands to visit the city - the Drill Hall has become the first-choice venue for up and coming bands from across the United Kingdom when they are in Lincoln. As well as bands, the Drill Hall hosts theatre, literature talks, films, classical music, the Red Herring Comedy Club among other comedy nights, workshops and business meetings.
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- "Article". The Times. 26 May 1890.
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- "31 December 1963". The complete works (of the Rolling Stones). Nico Zentgraf. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
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- "Comedy news". Lincolnshire Echo. Retrieved 18 May 2013.