Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: December 09, 2017.
Webpage updated: December 09, 2017

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The Devonport Teetotal Society was formed on June 7th 1838, when a meeting was held in the Wesleyan Association Chapel, Cannon Street, to elect a committee.  In September 1838 they moved to a spacious room in Cherry Garden Street, where they held weekly meetings.  They held their first Tea Festival on September 14th 1838, by when the Society had some 50 members.  Weekly meetings were also being held in Morice Town.  In October 1840 the Society promoted a public meeting in the Devonport Town Hall.

Theirs was the first Temperance Hall in the area and was located at number 6 Fore Street, Devonport.  The foundation stone of their building was laid by Mr J Beer junior, Mayor of Devonport, soon after 4pm on Wednesday September 5th 1849.  The building was expected to cost 1,500 and the shares of 2 each had already been fully subscribed.  The secretary of the Devonport movement was Mr E Aunger, 12 Saint Aubyn Street.

It was opened by 1852, when the manager of the Hall and Hotel was Mr William Parsons.

The Devonport temperance hall was designed by Mr J Piers Saint Aubyn and was 65 feet in length, 33 feet wide and stood about 24 feet high.  It had accommodation for some 700 people.

In 1877 the Devonport Temperance Hall and Hall in Fore Street, of which Mr J Murch was the manager, was purchased by the Good Templars and re-opened on Wednesday October 10th 1877 as the Devonport Temperance Hall and People's Institute.  The newly formed library contained 700 books, and a reading room and a recreation room had also been fitted up.  Entry was by subscription of one shilling per quarter.