The foundation stone for Birkenhead’s Workman’s Hall was laid by Mr John Laird
on the 16th May 1864. The building was formally opened on 3rd August 1865. The idea, and much of the money for building the hall, came from the working men of Birkenhead, with assistance from Mr Laird
. The building was to provide education and entertainment for the working men, it served breakfast lunch and tea at a nominal cost and hoped to provide an alternative to the many pubs in the area in the evening.
The building was large and imposing, providing all the comforts of the clubs frequented by the “upper classes”. There was a main hall measuring 38 feet by 21 feet; a smoking room which was also used for chess, draughts, bagatelle and other games, the same size as the main hall; two club rooms; a lecture theatre; a bar; kitchens and accommodation for the caretaker. On the upper floor was a large, well lighted and ventilated room intended for concerts, public meetings etc. It had seating for about 1,000 people.
The building faced onto Claughton road with a side elevation to Kendal street. The building was in the Italian style, the architect being Mr James Fisher. Mr Thomas Lund of Tranmere was the builder.
The source of the information for the above is the Liverpool Mercury
for 4th August 1865, however in their book, The Silver Screens of Wirral, P A Carson and C R Garner give the opening date of the Queen’s Hall as 21st January 1862, but the address is the same (Corner of Claughton Road and Kendal Street).