Abbot Hall Social Centre Dowkers Lane, KENDAL LA9 4DN
There are 2 rooms in the Club. The Main room and the Betty Limb room There is a folding wall between the 2 rooms. Bookings are for morning, afternoon or evening sessions. For regular bookings the charges are Main Room £20 Betty Limb Room £25 For occasional bookings the charges are Main Room £25 Betty Limb Room £30
For Commercial bookings the charges are Main Room £50 Betty Limb Room £60
There is a single kitchen, shared use will have to be agreed.
All users should complete the booking form to make sure that clashes (particularly noise) are avoided.
The parking at the building is very limited and should only be used by disabled drivers. The alternative is to turn left before the park into Peppercorn Lane Car Park, signed for the Abbot Hall Art Gallery.
There is a footpath bridge through to the park.
Currently the regular users are Beacon Church Cumbrian Crafters Club Dowker Lane Bridge Flutes & Co www.flutesandco.org.uk Kendal Art Society Kendal Bridge Club www.bridgewebs.com/kendal/ Kendal Labour Party Trefoil Guild Westmorland Geological Society www.westmorlandgeolsoc.co.uk Kendal Chess Club https://sites.google.com/site/kendalchessclub/ U3A American History, Art, Bridge, Calligraphy, Country Dancing, European History, Folk Music, Moving to Music, Philosophy, World History, Wine Group
History of Abbot Hall Social Centre
In 1964 the original building, with capacity for 100 people, was opened as the ‘Old People’s Welfare Centre’. A 100 year lease of the land had been granted to the Trustees by Kendal Town Council and an appeal for £10,000 had been made for donations to pay for the building. At the time of the opening £6,000 had been raised from 33 companies, 54 organisations and 144 individuals. It was expected that the balance would be raised for further subscriptions, covenants or promises. The use of the building was restricted to people over 60 and organisations for the over 60s. Membership, at 2/6d per year, was open to men over 65 and women over 60. The on-going running costs in excess of membership fees were met by donations, particularly from Kendal Town Council, and the Scott family trusts.
In 1997 a substantial legacy funded significant refurbishment and meant that external support was no longer needed. The name was changed to ‘The Abbot Hall Social Club’ and the over 60s restriction no longer applied. Hiring charges were introduced, subsidised from the income from investments.
By 2017 Kendal Bridge Club and various U3A groups had become the biggest users of the Club. Kendal Bridge Club was offered a significant gift to help fund their own premises. This proved difficult to find but, with great help from the Trustees of Abbot Hall Social Club and SLDC, it was agreed that KBC could build an extension to the club to provide an additional room, with capacity for 80, to be sub-leased to KBC. The SLDC lease was renewed for 100 years. To meet the cost (£250,000) the original gift and donations from members supplemented by several grants from local and national charities, including a donation from Cumbria County Council, were needed. The new ‘Betty Limb Room’ was opened in November 2017.
The opportunity was taken by AHSC to make improvements to the existing premises. When the new room is not required by KBC, it is available for booking by others groups.