Temperance Hall’s history recalled as it goes for sale

The Temperance Hall in Dromore Street Banbridge � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1425-228EB
The Temperance Hall in Dromore Street Banbridge � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1425-228EB

The old Temperance Hall situated in Dromore Street, Banbridge, is currently on the market.

The historic building now almost 140 years old, is for sale with Osborne King Commercial Property Consultants who have been instructed to seek offers in excess of £50,000 for the property.

Chris Sweeney, senior surveyor with Osborne King, said: “The property was recently sold as part of a portfolio of sales. The current owners are now considering their options, and may choose to resell the premises individually.

“The property would be best suited for commercial use or perhaps even a church organisation.

“It has lain empty for a number of years prior to now, and so far we have had a bit of interest in it.”

The historic building provides accommodation over 2 floors and benefits from access from Dromore Street and Burnview Terrace. Its two floors comprise a total of 2,739 sq ft.

The hall was first opened in April 1876. John Smyth of Milltown House at Lenaderg was very proactive in the Temperance Movement and was a trustee of the Temperance Hall. It is believed he, along with a John Simms of Parkmount, were responsible for the building of the hall.

In the same year the hall was opened, John Smyth was one of several speakers at the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Temperance Association where he served as President. Showing his great conviction for the principles of the Temperance Association, John gave a long and strong address on what he believed to be the greatest evil of all - “intemperance.”

Two years after the hall was built an address by the members of Protection Lodge No 85, of the Independent Order of Good Templars paid tribute to John Smyth.

In it they said: “It is well known that you have from early life taken a deep and active interest in the welfare of the people of Milltown and the surrounding locality.

“As a strict Total Abstainer, you have set a noble example, while by your voice and your pen you have laboured to promote the sobriety, comfort and happiness of all around.”

John replied: “It has no doubt been one of the dearest wishes of my heart, to do all I could to promote the happiness and material welfare of those about me. I soon, however, found the drinking habits of society the great obstacle to this end, and hence my chief efforts were directed to their suppression”.