Unlocking Stourport's Past
The Drill Hall, Lion Hill
The Drill Hall, Lion Hill, Stourport on Severn
The Foundation Stone
plaque, relocated from
the Drill Hall to under the archway at Villeneuve
7th Worcester Regiment 'C' Company
This DrilI Hall was erected in 1911
on December 30th
The Rt Hon The Earl of
GCMG, GCVO, PC
The land was leased by
the Urban District Council for 99 years. Thomas Vale and Sons were the
builders and Pritchard & Pritchard of Kidderminster were the
architects. The cost of the building was £I,700.
On opening day the town was suitably decorated and large numbers of people were out to welcome the
Earl of Dudley when he arrived from Witlev Court. Troops lined the
streets, including the Earl’s own regiment,The Worcestershire Yeomanry 'C'
Company. On arrival at the Drill Hall. the Earl was met by a party
of civil and military dignitaries, including Stanley Baldwin, MP. His
lordship hoisted the Union Jack and declared the Hall open.
During the First World
War the Hall was the centre for the recruitment and initial training of
many local men. At the end of the War, peace celebrations were organised
on a grand scale and on 19th June 1919 a dinner was arranged at the Drill
Hall for all returning service personnel.
In the 1920’s life
quickly returned to normal. The legendary Ike Nunney and his family
occupied the Sergeant-Instructor's house and the recruitment of local lads
remained at a high level. The Hall also became the centre of many local
events such as dances, boxing matches, flower shows, orchestral and choral
In the days of uneasy
peace in the late 1930’s many young men joined the 'Terriers’, and on that
fateful Sunday morning, 3rd September 1939, were called to the Colours.
Once again, the Hall became a hive of activity with local men reporting
for service. Following the desperate days after Dunkirk the Home Guard was
formed and the Hall became the local headquarters for these part-time
volunteers. In the evenings the Hall became the venue for dancing, with
several service units supplying the bands. With the arrival of American
forces at Burlish Camp things really took off with their bands playing
music in the "Miller Manner".
At the end of World War
lI the Hall again became the centre of many local activities but as
leisure pursuits changed so did the fortunes of the Drill Hall. With the
ending of National Service in 1960 the military services scaled down their
use of the Hall. The Territorials and Army Cadet Force used the Hall but
as the building was not in permanent use it gradually deteriorated. In
2002 it was sold to a housing developer on the understanding that the
Sergeant-Instructor’s house would be incorporated into the new scheme
the Drill Hall itself has gone we still have something to remind us of the joys
and sorrows of Stourport's past.
The Drill hall has now been demolished and redeveloped as
Though the Stourport Drill Hall was built in 1911 the town
has a much longer volunteer tradition.
Look at the historic bugle with a Stourport connection
This page researched by Geoff NeaI, and illustrated by John Cook
This page last updated 28 November 2006