Musical heritage 1965 In the beginning...

1896 Before the hall was constructed, Masters’ Exotic Nusery stood on the site. Dismantled in 1896, it was a notable, 30 acre, exotic garden with two mineral springs. This map illustrates the site in 1822. World War I 1915 From 1915, the drill hall was the base for the 4th & 5th Battalions of the Buffs and the Royal East Kent) Mounted Rifles. Between the wars 1918 Between the wars, the Victorian building next door to the drill hall was knocked through to make a larger space, and the foyer given its existing art deco fittings. Dances 1920 It was common practice for drill halls to be used for dances and dinner events. This invitation from 1920 is one example of the many events hosted in the hall. The Buffs 1908 From 1908, the hall was used by the 4th Battalion, The Buffs, Companies B and C. Mothers' Union 1927 Records show the hall was used for a Mothers’ Union conference in 1927. A new name 1937 In 1937 the Territorial Drill Hall, as it was then renamed, was still the base for the 4th Battalion of the Buffs, and also used by the Duke of Connaught’s Own Yeomanry RA385. Air raids 1944 The hall narrowly survived a World War II air raid in 1944, when a bomb destroyed the nearby Barrett’s buildings. Besides continuing use as a drill hall, it was also briefly used as a hospital during World War II. Peacetime use 1955 Since the war, the hall has been used for numerous community events after the war, such as the Christmas fayre in 1955 shown in this picture. 1970's onwards 1970 Known simply as “the drill hall” after the war, the hall was taken over by the Council in the early 1970s and renamed as the Westgate Hall. From then onwards, to the present day, it has been used regularly by diverse groups, such as: Belly Dancing CEROC Salsa-asi National Blood Service Antiques Fair Postcard Fair Dolly Daydreams National Childbirth Trust Beverley Big Band Canterbury In Bloom Guy and Mavis The hall was a well-known venue for the Canterbury Sound in the 1960’s.

The hall is built 1899 The hall was built between 1899 and 1900. Although it’s not clear if it was built specifically for the local Rifle Volunteers, early in its history it was known as St Peter’s Lane Drill Hall and was used by them. The Rifle Volunteers were amalgamated into the Territorial Force in 1908.

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