ON THE afternoon of Saturday September 30, 1911, the new Sauchie Public Hall was opened by Alexander P Forrester-Paton of Inglewood House, one of Alloa’s best known benefactors.

It was built on the site of the former Holton Gardens on the corner of Fairfield Road and Mar Place and was to be used as a public hall, library, reading room and for recreation.

Costing around £3,000, it was built to designs drawn up by John Melvin & Sons, and William Kerr, architects in Alloa with the Clerk of Works being Alexander Cairns, also of Alloa.

It was a very ornate building with the front part facing south being where the library was situated along with the reading room and the recreation room.

The library contained 1200 books for people to borrow while the reading room on the west side of the tiled corridor was ‘fitted up in the most up-to-date fashion’.

There was modern comfortable seating with tables and magazine and newspaper racks. This room was flooded by natural light coming in from the large bay windows.

In the east of the building was a large billiard room furnished with two billiard tables.

There was also an arched recess for playing draughts, cards, and dominoes, but gambling for money was not allowed.

Again, natural light flooded in from large bay windows.

The main hall was accessed via a vestibule on the east of the building. Like the corridor, it was beautifully tiled.

The hall was built to accommodate around 600 seats and was accessed via double doors.

It had a platform or stage for speakers and lecturers, or plays to be performed, behind which was a room on the same level.

This room was accessed by a door either side and it boasted ornate windows on both sides to let in the light.

In this part of the building were also two cloak rooms and toilets along with the janitor’s store.

Above the main hall was the lesser hall, capable of holding around 100 people.

It was intended for committee meetings and smaller gatherings.

Its balcony projected into the main hall below so could act as a gallery if necessary.

In 1925 the hall was extended by Melvin and Kerr, with further additions following in the late 20th century.

It is worth noting that these two architects were also responsible for the war memorial within the grounds of the Hall, which was executed by R. McGee in 1922.

The hall is available for hire from Clackmannanshire Council.