Wickford Public Hall, Jersey Gardens, early 1900s.

The hall that became the social hub of the community.

Wickford Public Hall, Jersey Gardens, was built in 1908 and soon became the social hub of the community. It was built as a meeting hall and had many uses: as well as being used as a cinema, gymnasium and meeting hall it became an extra classroom in the early 1930s, when the schools became overcrowded.

The coloured photo shows the private houses built on the site when the hall was demolished. The Victorian terraces in Elm Road are still standing.

Photograph of Wickford Public Hall, c1910
From the private collection of Chris Hall
The Hall has been demolished and private housing built in its place but the other houses are still standing.
Photo by Jo Cullen, 2011.

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  • I remember going to the gym there back in the late 80-90s
    Ran by a fellow called Paul (maybe?)
    A decent swimmer by all accounts.
    A good old proper gym, no posing just workouts.
    He ended up taking the place over the other side, near the station.

    By Alan Shearing (12/02/2023)
  • Yes the Public Hall did show films. I don’t remember when but it was noisey when it rained as it was covered in corrugated iron.

    By bobcroot (02/12/2016)

    Hi Chris, just found your reply, apologies for delay. I assume that your No. 2 may not be the original number, but would it be possible for me to have a picture of your house for our family records. Would it be OK to add it to my Ancestry file on the GIGNEYS?

    By JOHN WELLS (22/10/2014)

    Further to my previous postings re. the GIGNEYS I was pleased to see the top photo which shows the PUBLIC  HALL, which I understand was built on land donated by the family. Could the original be a Jane Charge/Gigney postcard? Would it be possible to have a scan of both the above, and Trevor’s photograph for the GIGNEY family file I am adding to Ancestry. When was the Hall demolished please.

    By JOHN WELLS (22/10/2014)
  • Born in 1952, I lived in Jersey Gardens all through my infancy into the seniors, and only left when I married in 1979. Always interested in the town, I began taking photographs myself of old Wickford and have a cracking picture of the original Public Hall in situ with the brick wall all around it and showing the cottages in Elm Road together with the Salvation Army Hall. I took the picture in December 1994. All I need to do now is find out how I upload it to the archive.

    By Trevor A. Williams (15/03/2014)
  • I am trusting on memory, but when Wickford cinema closed down in the early 1960’s this hall was used for a short period to show films.  This was before Ripons took it over.  This comment may jog other people’s memories.

    By John Fuller (11/03/2014)
  • I live at 2 Elm Road and I know that the terrace was built by and rented out by James Gigney for a number of years. I have been told by an old Wickford resident that the houses were renumbered in the 1960s. I believe Gigney built all the older houses in Elm Road.

    By Ian Christopher Howe (02/03/2014)
  • Can anyone confirm the exact layout of the houses in the photos? Were the lower numbers ie 1-4 those in the picture? If so then they should have belonged to my wife’s great grandfather James GIGNEY. Does anyone have information on properties EMSCOTT which was in Southend Road, Jersey Gardens, 1-4 Hall Cottages, Rylands on London Road, Victoria Villa, Swan Lane and a pump to rear of 10 Victoria Terrace, was this a water pump?  It seems JAMES GIGNEY sold postcards taken by a JANE EMMA GIGNEY who was a photographer. We have one photo of an unidentified house, copyright GIGNEY STORES, ARE ANY OTHER CARDS SO MARKED, KNOWN TO EXIST?  It is also known that at some stage the local railway timetable carried an advert by Gigney’s stores, are there anymore local publications with GIGNEYS in. Do any other pictures of GIGNEYS VAN exist, other than the one already featured on this site, or can anyone advise the registration mark of the vehicle? Thank you. John Wells

    By JOHN WELLS (27/12/2012)
  • During the 1970s and 80s the hall was owned by Ripons Ltd., who were wholesale newsagents supplying shops in and around the district.  Newpapers and magazines were dropped off on overnight trains to Wickford station and then sorted out into rounds.

    By Geoff Whiter (19/10/2012)

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