Stychfields Hall, Stafford

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Description:This photograph of the Stychfields Hall site was taken in 1967. The buildings were completed around 1960 for the English Electric Company at Stafford to provide large scale catering facilities and for a variety of social functions for the many thousands of employees who worked on the site at that time. The Stychfields Hall complex was formally opened on 9 March 1962 by the Chairman, Lord Nelson (George Horatio Nelson), 1st Lord Nelson of Stafford and Lady Nelson.

Inside the building there was a fully equipped Theatre Hall which could seat around 500-600 people with additional seating on a balcony, the Hall also had a sprung floor for dancing. There was a large kitchen area with another kitchen on the first floor. On the ground floor there was also a snack bar, the main canteen (which could cater for 2000 meals during lunch-time), a junior staff, a senior staff and visitor’s dining room and an executive dining room.

In Later years with fewer employees working on the site these categories of dining were changed with only the Theatre Hall available for all lunch time dining. Around this time a new bar area known as the Red Lounge was created to be used during functions in the adjoining Hall and for private hire for parties etc. During these changes the first floor dining area was converted into offices for the Site and Distribution Services management and for the Central Shipping and Heavy Transport offices. Several years later these offices and the former large canteen section of the building became part of the Computer Services Division which subsequently moved to a separate site at the Hollies on Newport Road in Stafford. The ground floor snack bar was converted into offices and then occupied by the Head Office Accounts department.

Over the years the main Theatre Hall was used for many types of social functions and in addition to catering for employees it was hired for dinner dances, wedding receptions, concerts, parties, badminton competitions, Police boxing matches, model railway events, Apprentice recruitment evenings, book sales and furniture sales etc. also on one occasion the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow was broadcast from there.

During a major redevelopment of the Lichfield Road Site the demolition of the Stychfields buildings began during April 2006 and by July 2006 it was a pile of rubble. Later the site became part of a housing development.

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Donor ref:BM-337 (192/31940)

Source: Mr Bob Metcalfe

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