This timeline gives important elements in the life of the Drill Hall but also some instances of how it was used by the community of Sidmouth. These instances are indicative not exhaustive.
1895 7th Jan. the land for the Drill Hall was given to the Sidmouth Rifle Volunteers by J G G Radford, solicitor, in response to the involvement of his partner Captain Orchard.
1895 4th April the foundation stone was laid by Miss Constance Radford, daughter of
J G G Radford.
1895 15th Oct. the Drill Hall was opened.
1895 16th Oct. the first public meeting in the Drill Hall, the Ratepayers Association.
1896 26th Jan. a Fancy Fair and Ball in aid of the Drill Hall funds. Dancing ‘kept up until the small hours of the morning.’
1897 4th Jan. a Fancy Dress Ball, dancing ‘kept up until 4 am’.
1897 28th Jan the first annual show of the Sidmouth and District Poultry, Pigeon, Cage Bird, Rabbit, Cat and Dog Society.
1897 7th July annual general meeting of Sidmouth Athletics Club.
1898 21st May amateur theatrical performance.
1898 17th Sept. jumble sale in aid of the Workmen’s Club.
1898 28th Nov. meeting of the Regatta Committee and members of the Corinthian Sailing Club.
1899 Jan. 19th first anniversary of the Sidmouth Church Lads’ Brigade was celebrated with tea and entertainment.
1900 Jan 18th a lecture on the Transvaal, illustrated by magic lantern, in aid of the Transvaal War Fund (Widows and Orphans).
1900 Dec. 3rd a meeting of the subscribers and donors of Sidmouth Cottage Hospital.
1901 Aug. 2nd protest meeting about the Sidmouth Market Acts.
1901 Aug. 16th second Sidmouth Cottagers’ and Artizans’ Flower Show.
1901 Sept. 17th annual meeting of the local committee of the R.S.P.C.A.
1901 Dec. 26th an entertainment of ‘songs, dialogues, recitations etc’ was given by the local branch of the Church of England Temperance Society, which was well attended.
1903 Oct announcement of Major Orchard’s impending retirement and Mr Wood’s cancellation of the £600 mortgage he held on the Drill Hall to mark the occasion.
1903 Nov a Reading Room was opened and a board advertising it erected.
1904 June 4th Major Orchard’s retirement.
1929-30 the exterior redone in Art Deco style. Oriel windows and decorative elements removed.