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Portsmouth Guildhall and Civic Offices Video

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Associated Web Link: www.portsmouthguildhall.org.uk
To listen to Portsmouth Guildhall's chimes (pompey chimes) click here

Transcript Of Narration
We now move to the city centre where we will find the Guildhall and civic offices. Portsmouth Guildhall located in the city centre is the home of Portsmouth City Council. The Guildhall houses a large auditorium, which is used for many shows and conferences.

On 21st April 1926 it was announced that Portsmouth was raised to the status of a city and the town hall was renamed The Guildhall. Then in 1928 the King gave the title of Lord Mayor to the Chief Magistrate of the new city. On 10th January, 1941, there was a major enemy air attack on Portsmouth and the Guildhall was hit by incendiary bombs and flames soon spread throughout the length and breadth of the building. In early 1945 the Guildhall was a shell due to it having been bombed during the second world war and it was not until 8 June 1959 that the Guildhall was reopened by Her Majesty the Queen.

The Guildhall consists of a foyer, small conference hall, main concert hall, lower banqueting hall, first floor reception areas, the star chamber, crystal constellations, council chambers and parlors for the mayor and mayoress. The main concert hall has a capacity of 2,228 people and is 29m by 25.3m. The ceiling is 13.4m above the floor and the roof is another 3.8m above that. The organ that is located in the main concert hall was purchased at a cost of over 17,000. The lower banqueting hall will hold 200 people for meetings or 150 for banquets.

The Star Chamber has the theme "Heaven's Light Our Guide". The huge mural which covers the north wall depicts many historical scenes of Portsmouth s past and is made of glass and mirrors.

The Council Chambers are used for council meetings and can seat a maximum of 100 but normally has 64 council members. In the chambers there is a Mayoral Record Panel which depicts all the mayors dating back nearly 800 years, the dates they were mayor from and any memorable events that happened. The pictures round the edge are taken from the memorable events that have happened.

The Guildhall Clock was installed in 1950 at a cost of 4,000. There is a large amount of civic treasures housed in the Guildhall, which can be seen on a tour of the Guildhall.

Opposite the guildhall are the civic offices where many council employees now work, this is a newer addition to the square. The layout of the civic offices and the steps associated with the civic offices provide an ideal open air auditorium for events.