"Guiseley - A meeting presided over by Mr M W Thompson
of Park Gate, was held in the Guiseley Church Schoolroom on Monday last, for
the purpose of examining proposed plans, determining a site, and transacting
any other necessary business in connection with a public building which it is
intended to erect in this improving and important village.
The building is to comprise, besides a
lecture hall of sufficient dimensions to accommodate a fair proportion of the
inhabitants who are likely to attend lectures, concerts or public meetings -
offices for town and other public uses, news room, library, school-room,
class-rooms and all appliances of a good mechanics institution.
The site fixed upon is a portion of
ground at the principal entrance to the village and opposite the Commercial Inn
and is offered by Mr W Womersley (who is also a handsome subscriber) at a
reduced price. The estimated cost of erecting the building, according to the
proposed plans is about £2,500; but the subscribers expressed a wish to have
these plans modified in some respects. Mr Thompson has promised, in aid of it's
erection, the munificent sum of £1,000, and other gentlemen in Guiseley have
given promises for about £500, thus making a present total of about
Image reproduced by kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive, research by Edwy Harling
Further information by Christine Lovedale
Sir Matthew William Thompson was a generous benefactor to
Guiseley, he paid the total cost of street lighting in 1866, equipped the brass
band and paid most of the building costs of a new National school (now St
The Town Hall cost almost £3,000 to build, the bulk of which he paid,
his daughter laid the foundation stone in 1866.
It was opened on December 26th
1867 with a performance of Handel's Messiah.
The Commercial Inn was renamed The