Pall Mall and the old Central Library buildings, Hanley

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Date:October 1963

Description:The single storey building is the old Mechanic's Institute, opened in 1861. The Institute was a two storey building from 1880 when a third floor was added. The Mechanic's Institute aimed to provide adult education, particularly in technical subjects, to working men. In Pall Mall there was also an art school and a lending library. The North Staffordshire Technical and Art Museum was also in the Mechanic's Institution building from 1890. The North Staffordshire Natural History Museum and the North Staffordshire Naturalists' Field Club, was opened in the same building in 1908. The present City Museum and Art Gallery in Bethesda Street was opened in 1956, and the upper part of the Mechanic's Institution which had housed the museum was demolished. The building then became fully part of its neighbour, the Public Library.

The Free Public Library opened in Pall Mall in 1887 with reference and lending departments, a reading room and local museum. Originally a two storey building, a third was added in 1880. By the 1960s the main city library was housed there and in the adjoining Institute building which also housed a separate reference library, known as the Horace Barks Reference Library. All these moved to the new site in Bethesda Street in 1970. The buildings in Pall Mall were demolished in the early 1970s. To the left of the library is the old Conservative Workingmen's Club, now legal offices.

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Creators: Mr Bert Bentley - Creator

Image courtesy of: Stoke on Trent City Archives.

Donor ref:SD1480/180-19 (204/38212)

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