Free The Malt Cross And The Industrial Boom In Nottingham Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Music, Theater, Music Hall, Development, Entertainment, Design, Progress, History

Pages: 10

Words: 2750

Published: 2020/09/17

Introduction

In the modern times, the Malt Cross in Nottingham serves as one of the best café bar which hosts many live music events. It serves as a beautiful cozy bar in the 19th century music hall which offers many homemade food and drinks. It is a very relaxing restaurant which features the 19th century history together with its art gallery upstairs. The Malt Cross is located at the St. James Street in Nottingham city center. It is currently owned by Malt Cross Trust Company which was established in 2002. The old Victorian music hall has many cultural heritages and it could provide the public understanding about the history of the Nottingham especially in the Industrial revolution in the late 19th century.
The Malt Cross in Nottingham was one of the few remaining Victorian Music Hall which is standing. It was originally a building as a music hall and a place for gathering of people. The building was created in 1877 and it was named after the monument market square although it was gone in the 20th century. Edwin Hill designed the old Victorian Music Hall which represents the part of the history of the place and its economic progress in the 19th century. The objective of this essay is to analyze the architecture and history of the Malt Cross in Nottingham as well as its history. The essay also opts to evaluate how the old Victorian Music hall reflected the industrial progress of the late 19th century in Nottingham.

History

The Malt Cross monument was cleared in 1806 as ordered by the corporation that controlled the market place. The materials that are recovered from the monument was sold in the market. The sales of the recovered materials are to be used in the expenses of the building or any establishment that should be erected in the monument site. The design of Edwin Hill was used to create the Malt Cross in 1877. It was originally built as the inn Roebuck until it was bought by Charles Weldon. The Malt Cross was rebuilt and enlarged in the management of Weldon and designed it as a music hall.
Weldon planned to rebuild the music hall for only 6 months to function in the Goose Fair in 1877. Edwin Hill is a local citizen of Nottingham and the old Victorian Music hall was the only building which is associated to him. He is not a famous architect in history but his innovative designs in the Malt Cross which fascinated historians and architects in the modern times. The original plan provided by Hill has no stage. Weldon only planned the building to be a public house or inn and a skating rink. The Malt Cross could be perfect place for travelers and guests of the city since it is located near the market place. In 1887, the music hall entertainment surged in the public. Weldon saw this as an opportunity to have larger profit for the building and added the high stage during the construction.
Charles Weldon owned some of the buildings and establishments in the Nottingham during the construction of the Malt Cross. He originally owned the Royal Alhambra Music Hall which was famous in the city during that time. The Alhambra band was also reserved to play for the opening night of the old Victorian Music Hall. After the construction of the Malt Cross, different managers run the business over the years. One of the famous managers that controlled the Malt Cross was Sam Torr which is known for exhibiting the “Elephant man” in 1880s. The Malt Cross was managed by different businessmen after it was foreclosed in 1880.
The Malt Cross was immediately become famous in the city. Due to its large amounts of guest every day, it became the city’s official “day house”. There are many performances in each day and one of it is the trial matinee every afternoons of Wednesday. The Malt Cross became as stage of the rising talents in Nottingham. Fresh talents performed at the high stage of Malt Cross every day. One of the most famous performers in the old Victorian music hall was Little Tich. He is a circus performer which only stands 4ft and 6 inches. He is the one that inspired and influenced John Cleese of Monty Python fame.

Construction and Design

The proposed design of Weldon which was the skating rink was not continued and the planned went through many changes. When it was completed, there are many changes in its original design over the years due to the sequence of events and social changes. The Victorian music hall was built behind the 3-storey building which set as the frontage and for the other establishment area. The original and the built design of the Malt Cross has no similarities to the other pub music hall during its time. There is also no precise counterpart of the old Victorian music hall to the other remaining designs of the music hall.
Like the other famous Victorian music hall, the only access to the Malt Cross is the front bar or the 1st floor of the frontage building. The music hall behind the building was at ground level and it is designed in a flat floor with higher stage. The music hall was 45 feet long, 30 feet wide and 25 feet high which is supported by glazed-roof. The timber arches was designed to support the roof which is semi-circular in shape. The balcony was made of balustrade iron and is supported on three sides with elaborate dolphin caps. It is designed to support the balcony on slender cast iron columns.
The stage is simple since it is only planned during the construction of the Malt Cross. It is designed in a high platform and the front is shaped in a bow. The stage was reflecting the modernization of the music halls which is design to accommodate many audiences as possible, one of the main reason for the stage design is the industrial boom of the late 19th century which develops the music entertainment industry. The dressing booths on the side of the balcony was removed on the original plan. The rooms were created below the high stage to accommodate the performers of the Malt Cross.
Below the music hall there was a balcony which serves as the lower hall. During the early 20th century, the lower hall was renovated and divided horizontally. In the modern times, the lower hall became rooms and is serves as restaurants. The lower hall was originally lighted by a central balustrade well which was located in the music hall. The center of the music hall floor was clear and has banquet seats in the sides. The Malt Cross music hall was design not like the usual café table and char layouts at the center of the floor. The center of the floor and the lighting system of the lower hall was sophisticated and modern which fascinates the historians as well as architects.
A vaulted cellar was created below the lower hall which was studied for cultural heritage and historical facts during the industrial revolution. The roof the Malt Cross is one of the most interesting architectural design in the modern times. The roof was designed to have a cast iron arched beams. However, it was constructed from a laminated wood arches. One of the most unusual design of the Malt Cross which fascinated the historians and the architects is the large arched roof which has no signs of nails or bolts. The large arched roof was held together only by using glue. The woods are secured to hold together and it is considered as one of the innovative design of the late 19th century.
The music hall of the Malt Cross was closed in 1914. Its major restoration was carried out in 1998 by a community based caring operation or trust. The building is unique which looks like a draper’s shop as well as a supper room music hall in the industrial period. The modern design and construction of the Malt Cross was not the same as the original design although some of its major structures are visible. In the modern times, the old Victorian music hall was a leisure place as well as a historical building in the Nottingham.

Music Halls and the Industrial Conflict of the late 1890s

The music hall was an important British theatrical entertainment during the late 1800s until in the 1960s. The music halls originated from a public houses in the 1830s. The music halls has become very popular in the 1850s and their audiences are increasing. There are public houses that were demolished and replaced by music halls all over the cities of England during the industrial revolution. It is the main reason why Weldon agreed to create a music hall in their plan. The Malt Cross was the result of the increasing popularity of the music hall entertainment. There are other music halls that are established in Nottingham but the Malt Cross became one of the most important and popular due to its architectural design and its proper entertainment.
The music halls are design so that the guest can eat, drink alcohol and smoke during the performances. In general, the guest and customers of the music halls are wealthy people. In London, the music hall entertainment industry became an important part of the industrial conflict during 1907. There was a dispute between the artist and the managers which resulted into a strike. The popular songs were created by famous artists but the management are not paying the right payment for the artist as well as the stage hands. Many of the music halls were closed during the industrial conflict. It was also the same situation in the Malt Cross in Nottingham. The foreclosure of the Malt Cross music hall in 1911 was due to the revoked license.

The Malt Cross and the Reflection on the Industrial Progress in Nottingham

The commercial entertainment is growing in Nottingham which resulted to the development of the music halls. The growth in the commercial entertainment was due to the economic progress which is developing in Europe. Many of the middle class are becoming wealthy due to the industrial development and their interest in entertainment are increasing. The musical society was establish in the late 19th century to develop the music industry and to open careers from the early entertainers. There are two music hall that in already opened in Nottingham in 1870s other than the Old Malt Cross Music Hall. After the success of the Old Malt Cross Music Hall as well as the other music hall, Nottingham became one of the centers of entertainment in the early 20th century.
One of the main reflections of the economic progress in Nottingham which was associated in the Malt Cross music hall was the growth of the alcohol industry. The result of the economic progress of alcohol was the temperance movement of the progressive era. The temperance movement was a reform movement which supports the moderate consumption of alcohol. The music halls was one of the main priority of the temperance movement. The Old Malt Cross Music Hall serves alcoholic drinks even in daylight and during the performances. The increase in their customers drinking alcohol was one of the evidences of the progressive era of the late 19th century. The temperance movement also became an evidence of the connection of the music halls to the industrial progress in Nottingham.
There are many social and economic changes that occur in Nottingham during the late 19th century which could be reflected by the progress of the music hall entertainment industry. The living standards in Nottingham are improving and the wealth are distributed to the people. The progress of the commercial entertainment industry was a result of the improvement of the standard of living in Nottingham. People are shifting to the popular entertainment which could offer them homemade food, alcoholic drinks and simultaneously enjoy performances. The Old Malt Cross Music Hall became of the important venue for the middle and upper class during the progressive era. The development of the music halls was also one of the evidences of social change. People are consuming alcoholic drinks that developed the temperance movement.
With the progress of the commercial entertainment, Nottingham became a commercial center in the late 19th century. The progress of the commercial entertainment was due to the development of the music halls especially the Old Malt Cross Music Hall. The cultural and the economic needs of the city was provided by the old Victorian music hall. It was also helped by the administration of the city of Nottingham which prioritized social activities such as the music hall entertainment. The music hall entertainment industry also accompanied the population growth in the city during the early 20th century. Many social and economic changes was reflected by the old Victorian music hall.

Music Halls and its Economic and Cultural Influences

The music al entertainment which is played in the music halls in the 1850s were based from the traditional folk songs as well as songs written for popular drama. The musical entertainment was changed due to the industrialization and urbanization which results from the industrial progress in the 19th century. The music industry was shifting in becoming more humorous and contemporary which was provided by larger house-orchestras. The shift was to accommodate the lower classes which can afford the expenses in the music halls developed in the 1880s. In Nottingham, the Old Malt Cross Music Hall played more attention to increasing the quantity of audiences by changing the target audiences to working class. The entertainment was shifted to a wide range of musical instruments.
The shift or change in the musical taste was due to the rapid industrialization and urbanization in most of the commercial centers like the Nottingham. The traditional folk songs was replaced into more professional entertainment form during the industrial revolution. In Nottingham, their cultural roots was replaced into more accessible forms of entertainment especially for the working class. The increasing population and audience was one of the main opportunities of the progress of the Old Malt Cross Music Hall. The shift in the music industry also resulted to the increase in the demand of professional song writers and entertainers. The Old Malt Cross Music Hall provided the opportunity for early music performers during the early 19th century.
Musical influences and musical styles are fused in the cities due to the emergence of distinct music halls especially the Old Malt Cross Music Hall. Nottingham has many urban audiences but the increasing number of working class is the main source of population growth. The old Victorian music hall needs to gain the attention of more audiences from the middle class. In 1880s, the songs became more associated to particular singers. The rise in the popularity of singers created the gap between the songwriter and the singer and resulted to the industrial conflict in 1907. Although this was the case, music halls composed songs which targets the audiences from the working class. The shift can be associated with the increasing population of the working class due to the rapid urbanization and industrialization.

Conclusion

The Old Malt Cross Music Hall in Nottingham was one of the results of the commercial entertainment progress in the late 19th century. The progress in the entertainment industry was due to the rapid increase in the audience especially for the working class. Although it was not design originally as a music hall, the Malt Cross is an establishment built to accommodate large quantities of audiences. Its sophisticated and complex architectural design made the historians and the architects to be fascinated to the old Victorian music hall. The design of the Malt Cross music hall was unique and it has no similarities to the other remaining music halls. It is a combination of a cultural heritage as well as a symbol of modernization during the late 19th century.
The Old Malt Cross Music Hall was one of the main reflections of the industrial progress that took place in Nottingham during the 1880s. There are many evidences of the industrial progress such as the shift in the cultural and musical preferences as well as the development of the temperance movement. Culture and economics is very important to the old Nottingham and the old Victorian music hall played an important role in keeping the balance. In the Modern times, the history of the industrial progress in Nottingham can be reflected to its cultural heritage as well as its sophisticated design.

Bibliography

Cox-Brown, Jo. “New Act for the Nottingham Malt Cross.” Theatres Magazines. Summer 2014. http://www.theatrestrust.org.uk/store/assets/0000/3977/TM40_Summer2014__lowres.pdf
Church, Roy. Economic and Social Change in a Midland Town: Victorian Nottingham 1815-1900. Routledge, 2013.
“Leftlion.” The Story Behind the Malt Cross. June 11, 2014. http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.cfm/title/the-story-behind-the-malt-cross/id/7088
Nottingham (England). Records of the Borough of Nottingham 1800-1835 (Volume 8). Quaritch, 1952.
The Theatres Trust. “Third Round of Small Grants Announced by Theatres Trust.” Preston Playhouse, July 24, 2013. http://www.prestonplayhouse.com/files/20130722_Pressrelease_thirdroundofsmallgrants_awarded.pdf.
Wylie, William Howie. Old and New Nottingham. Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1853.

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