At the weekend I performed in Bach’s B Minor Mass alongside the Grimsby Bach & Philharmonic Choirs.
Our venue, the Grimsby Central Hall is one of those typical circular meeting-house structures, with a high stage and big upstairs balcony (where the audience congregates because the sound tends to better for classical concerts). The news had recently been announced that the building is to be put up for sale because the organisation which owns it can no longer afford to maintain it. Without a major overhaul, minor issues may become major concerns for health and safety and the old-fashioned heating and lighting are already uneconomical to run.
It’s a great shame to hear this as, apart from the hall in which we were performing, there was another fantastic big space upstairs. Walking to the Hall from the train station it was clear to me that it is situated in a part of town which may once have provided many congregants but which probably provides few supporters of classical music. The financial challenge for the building’s owner is undeniable, but so too is the need for such a resource to remain available to the musical community in Grimsby.
It will be a great shame if another established music venue passes out of use in this way and leaves the local musical community short of a place to perform.