History of Twyford Hall, 1931 – present.

Twyford Hall has been the heart of Merimbula for over 80 years, long serving as a space for community events, celebrations, markets, the arts and so much more.

In the beginning, a trust was established for the hall when a title of land was generously donated by Merimbula resident J.W.Twyford in 1931, who had been raised in the seaside village from his childhood years.

With only a population of around 150 people, the Merimbula community built the hall in 10 months after the tireless efforts of the committee to raise enough money for its construction. It was built during the depression, through Merimbula residents tenacity to achieve their vision.

The Twyford Hall was officially opened in December 1931, a grand occasion with people travelling from all over the district to join in on the celebrations.

The war years ensued, and soldiers were treated to fond farewells and welcome home parties at the hall. This was followed by annual ANZAC services after the war for many years to follow, with ANZAC memorial plaques placed at the front of the hall. It was also used as a safe haven for the survivors of the American shipwreck, the SS William Dawes, with locals providing food, warm clothing and shelter.

In the 50’s, the ballet classes held at the hall that were so popular they were attended by almost every girl, and one boy from the area. They would rehearse and perform at great productions held at the hall attended by many in the community. Since then, the hall has been used for a diverse range of purposes, from church functions, Santa appearances to weekend markets.

Twyford Hall Timeline

1931

  • Trust established when Title of land transferred from J.W.Twyford.
  • Trustees  J.W.Twyford, Sydney Ford & E.T.Boller
  • Construction over 10 months
  • Opening of the Hall, December 1931

1939

  • Mrs Twyford bequest
  • Front porch, two small rooms and Supper Room built from proceeds.

1950s

  • Anzac Day services held in front of hall (photo courtesy Christine Kaine)

Anzac day service in front of Twyford Hall Merimbula, 1950s. Photo courtesy Christine Kaine

1980

  • Trust transferred to Shire of Imlay

New Constitution:

1. The name of the Hall shall be “ Twyford Hall”

2.The object of the Hall shall be to provide a place of public entertainment, social functions, meetings, the delivery of lectures, church services and for such other purposes as the management committee may from to time decide.

  • Imlay Shire amalgamated and Bega Valley Shire becomes Trustee.
  • Land remains “community land”
  • S 355 Committee set up to manage Hall

1995

  • Plans for new theatre drawn up.
  • Town Centre Studies recommend Twyford Hall be pulled down.
  • Long history of community involvement with no Government funding.

2004

  • Retail Shops built with Loan Funds from Council

2007

  • Development Application for Theatre Twyford approved

2010

  • Loan Repaid
  • Twyford Hall Incorporated
  • Twyford Hall Plan of Management approved by Council

2011

  • Construction begins on Toilet facilities of new complex.
  • Management Agreement between Council and Twyford Hall Incorporated signed.

2018

  • Announcement by NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Development, John Barilaro and Bega MP Andrew Constance that the NSW State Government will grant $7.4 million from the Regional Communities Development Fund to build the new Theatre Twyford.

2019

  • Funds released by NSW Government to enable Theatre Twyford building project to commence.
  • Donald Cant Watts Corke appointed as Project Managers for the theatre building project.
  • Winning Building tender announced in December 2019 by Member for Bega The Hon Andrew Constance MP as Monarch Building Solutions. Deputy Mayor Sharon Tapscott and THI President Bill Deveril were also present.