E Co. 7th Territorial Force Battalion
Cheshire Regiment (Kelly 1914)
ds 'C' Sqn Cheshire Yeomanry
'A Volunteer Drill Hall was opened here in June, 1901, by Lieut.-Gen.
The Earl of Dundonald K.C.V.O., K.C.B. and is now used by a Detachment
of E Co. 7th Territorial Force Battalion Cheshire Regiment; the shooting
range is in Oakhouse lane.' (Kelly 1914)
The drill hall was officially opened by Lord Dundonald in the afternoon
of 26th June 1901, just after the return of Winsford men from the
Boer War. The occasion included a procession by the Winsford Rifle
Volunteers, members of the Cheshire Regiment 22 Company, two bands,
tradespeople, school children and carriages of officials. It was followed
by a ticket-only tea (one shilling) then a dance which lasted, apparently,
till 3 am. for which tickets cost two shillings and sixpence.
It measured about ninety feet by sixty feet, with roof lights, a shooting
gallery at the side and a main hall with solid floor for drill. The
premises were steam heated. At the side of the hall were rooms for
officers, arms and equipment; at the rear was a large kitchen. Adjoining
the main building was a four bedroomed house for the sergeant instructor
and large yard for outdoor drilling. There was also an armoury.
A side entrance gave access to stairs to the top of the tower, which
was 46 feet high. The Winsford Guardian reported that the tower "gave
a splendid view of the countryside, and on a clear day the Staffordshire
and Derbyshire hills and Welsh mountains could be clearly seen".
The drill hall was designed by James Holland, architect, Northwich,
and constructed by James Fowles and Sons of Winsford on land purchased
from the Verdins for £2750 by the Winsford Volunteers Drill Hall Company.
During the 1930s, the drill hall was converted to a Cinema called
the Palace. It became a bingo hall in the 1970s and remains in use
for this purpose (2005).
3rd Volunteer Battalion Cheshire Regiment ‘E’ Company (Headquarters Delamere street)
Kelly’s Directory, 1914, refers to the Volunteer Drill Hall in Over, opened in June, 1901 by Major General the Earl of Dundonald. There was a shooting range on Oakhouse lane.
We have found no evidence of an extant drill hall on Delamere street and would be grateful for any further information.