August 21, 2014
The Central Hall
I saw this really grand looking, but derelict building in Birmingham. The Central Hall, it is called, and some research has told me that this used to be a Methodist church. About a hundred of these were built all over England between 1880 and 1945, for the Methodists to provide both entertainment (films, theatre, concerts) and services to the working classes, to keep them away from alcohol. They were deliberately designed not to look like churches. You can see the whole building better on its Wikipedia site.
Only 16 are still used by the Methodists. This Hall in Birmingham used to house a night club. It is Grade II listed, which means it is particularly important and of more than special interest to the country, and you can´t do anything you want with it, even if you happen to own it. Now it stands empty, but according to an article on BBC news from a couple of years ago, they are thinking of turning it into flats. I wouldn´t mind living there!