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Tenants Hall's history

Tenants Hall may now offer super new facilities for the community, but it also has a rich history.

The hall itself dates back to 1955. The building was actually instigated by Middleton’s residents and it was run by the Middleton Tenants and Householders Association.

Resident Vera Humphrey believes Middleton was first community in Leeds to have a tenants’ hall.

Here’s an excerpt from the community association’s article in the It’s Our Paper free community newsletter from Middleton in 1985:

“We first started in 1939, meeting in each others’ houses to play whist, have raffles and Christmas draws and to raise money for the association by selling sweets and jewellery etc.

“We’ve now got 1,500 members, who each pay 50p a year. In 1955 we got the Communal (Tenants) Hall, which has been the thriving centre of our activities ever since.

“[The] aims of the association include to give advice to all members of the community with social and housing problems and ensure a good working relationship with all authorities and departments concerned.”

Typical activities from 1955 included community hymn singing, whist drives, a Darby and Joan Club, adult social evenings and youth nights.

2011 saw a new centre opened thanks to £1.6 million of central government and  European Union’s European Regional Development Fund money.

The building is owned by the council and run by Health for All.  It aims to encourage business and enterprise activities within Middleton and south Leeds as well as providing local people with a place to meet up and take part in social activities.

Local people and community organisations are still very much at the heart of Tenants Hall.

Tenants Hall hosts an exhibition of Middleton's history which was put togetehr by the Middleton life local history group. The exhibition is open for the public to attend Monday to Friday, 9.30am-4pm. All welcome.

- This article first appeared in a special Middleton heritage edition of South Leeds Life magazine in July 2012.

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