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End of an era as St John's Hall's council chamber closes in Penzance

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: March 18, 2014

Penzance Town Council has staged its final meeting in the chamber at St John's Hall.

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THERE was a photocall in St John's Hall on Monday for members of Penzance Town Council as they held their last meeting in the building's council chamber.

For almost 150 years – since 1867 – regular town council meetings have been held in the impressive chamber.

It is dominated by the sternboard of HMS Association, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell's flagship which sank in a storm off the Isles of Scilly in 1707 with the loss of 800 men.

Work on the redevelopment of St John's Hall is due to start in a few weeks, with an estimated completion date of April 2015. In the meantime, Penzance town councillors will hold their meetings – 46 of them in a year – at Penwith College.

There had been a suggestion that the meetings could be held at St Clare where they could use one of the ageing committee rooms for free.

However, it was agreed that the more modern facilities at the college – and particularly the wi-fi access – were more suitable for a council in the 21st century.

It is likely that the cost of holding meetings at the college for the year will approach £1,000.

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