1900s - 1930s
In 1901, the second Colston Hall was opened. In 1919, the second Hall was bought from the Colston Hall Company by Bristol Corporation for £65,000 and has been managed by the City Council ever since.
Material from this era is quite limited, We know that audiences could arrive by tram, which passed by the front of the hall, but we have found records of only a few events.
From 1904 - 1935 evening services ‘For the People’ were held every Sunday night. Not surprisingly, some of the records that we have found relate to the First World War – on 12 June 1915 David Lloyd George, then Minister of Munitions addressed a meeting at the hall and on 15 February 1919 a Roll of Honour event for Bristol officers and men who were awarded decorations during the Great War was held here
In the 1920’s we do know that the great Rachmaninov performed at the hall. In 1935, the hall was closed for remodelling and in December 1936 the third Colston Hall opened – now everyone, no matter what seat they were in, could actually see the orchestra!
One of our patrons, Mrs Joan Wallis of St George Bristol can remember paying 2/6d in March 1939 to hear the great Paul Robeson perform. She even got to sit on the stage while Robeson sang to her.