GEOFF CRAMBIE: Nelson’s popular market hall in the 1920s
This week’s picture from the past is a superb postcard from the 1920s of the grandiose market hall and clock tower which was, without a doubt, one of Nelson’s finest-ever buildings.
This magnificent structure was erected in Cross Street in 1889 at the cost of £10,000 and the imposing turret clock tower was added in 1904, costing £2,000.
This proud edifice soon became a well-known Nelson landmark and photos from Victorian times show dozens of Nelsoners stood outside the market hall chatting about the events of the day.
The Friday night on March 11th in 1932, however, was to bring about the end after just 43 years of the much-loved market hall. A huge fire broke out on that fateful night in the municipal building and, despite the Nelson Fire Brigade being on the spot in minutes, the blaze was already out of control. By 10 p.m. the once-noble Nelson Market Hall was doomed and the very next day on a cold Saturday morning, thousands of Nelsonians came to see the tragic burned-out shell of their once splendid civic Cross Street market hall.
Today, on the very same spot, stands the modernistic square-set, see-through library.