Woodhill Hall celebrates 130 years of community heritage

Earlier this year, Woodhill Hall marked a significant milestone, celebrating 130 years as a cornerstone of the local community.

Originally founded as a courthouse in Townsvale (Veresdale), it was accompanied by a police station, jail, and jailhouse. When the courthouse was decommissioned, the government sought tenders for its removal. It was purchased for a negotiated price of £5 to be relocated to a more central site.

For the relocation, residents assembled a team of 44 bullocks to lift the building. After a day’s journey, they reached the Veresdale Hotel. On the second day, chains kept breaking while pulling up “Hiscock’s Hill” and were repeatedly repaired by Hopkins & Hiscock’s Blacksmith before successfully placing the building “whole and uninjured” at its current location.

The original committee comprised local residents Richard Day, George Fredrick Plunkett, Verdon Hinchcliffe, David Day, John Hopkins, David Ferguson, William Hiscock, and George Willson. The hall was managed and maintained by dedicated community members, a tradition that has continued for 130 years. Many who ensure its upkeep today are descendants of the original committee.

The current executive, including Brian Manderson (President), John Gittins (Vice President), Arthur Day (Secretary), Delma Day (Treasurer), and Tammie Jones (Public Relations Officer), boasts a combined total of over 200 years of voluntary service.

Over the years, the building has undergone numerous changes, such as the installation of a new dance floor and the first extension on the northern side. The past thirty years have seen multiple coats of paint on the exterior, and the old walls and ceilings have been completely redone.

These updates have revitalized the hall, ensuring its continued use and preservation. While the appearance of Woodhill Hall may evolve over the next century, its rich history will be cherished and remembered well into the future.

History of Woodhill Hall

1894 – The hall started life as a courthouse.
1909 – Lighting changed to acetylene bulbs.
1929 – The first extension on the northern side took place
1941 – A new piano installed
1947 – A 10-foot verandah added with posts in the inside of the hall removed and replaced by a supporting beam.
1948 – A War Memorial was erected in front of the hall after World War II. This was paid for by funds remaining from a community war fund for packages sent overseas to serving members on the war front, and cost £90.
1951 – Electricity connected to the hall
1963 – The School of Arts changed its identity from the “Woodhill School of Arts” to “Woodhill Hall Committee”, with a board of trustees.
1971 – Arthur Day appointed Hall Secretary and has served in that role since.
1990 – Became an Incorporated body “The Woodhill Hall Association Inc”, while still holding trusteeship of the facility.
1993 – The hall was re stumped.
2014 – A disability ramp installed.
2016 – The trusteeship was relinquished and passed on to Logan City Council.
2026 – The current 10-year lease with Logan City Council expires and is reassessed.

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