Significant Buildings
Clyde Public Hall and Mechanics Institute (1928)

It was during the 1920's that fund raising for the building of a public hall began in Clyde. The total cast was more than £700.

Land for this public building was donated by
Mr. A Wenn. Prior to this the Methodist church and the school were used for public meetings and polling booths. 

Many concerts and socials, and a fund raising bazaar, were held in the school building.

At these functions there were a variety of local entertainers -Tom McKay, Bill Manks, Mr. and Mrs. Ratford, Cyril Croskell, Sam Lecher, Mr. and Mrs. Lecher, Claude Bailey, Lila Forrest accompanied by the music of Doreen Wenn and her father Albert Wenn were among the most notable. By April 1928 the hall was completed and officially opened by Mr Walters, M.L.A.

The hall was built by Edward Thomson of Cranbourne. During the early years, it was regularly used for euchre, parties and dance nights. Fortnightly silent picture shows were conducted in the hall. Music for these shows was provided by a hand operated gramophone. In the 1950's films were also shown for pupils of both Clyde primary schools.

Community services that have operated in the hall include Baby Health Centre, Country Womens’ Association, Mechanics’ Institute meetings and its Library, Klyde Klub, and ballroom dancing classes.

In 1935 the Mechanics Institute Library boasted of owning 1,200 books. During the 1940s and 1950s the library was very active and one of the trustees, Phil Dawson, delivered books by bicycle to the locals. It is said that Mr Phillip Dawson faithfully came to the Hall each Saturday to supervise the Mechanics Institute library. Funds for restocking the library were not available and the library closed in 1965. In the late 1970's the Dandenong Valley Regional Library Service used the hall's facilities as a depot for their Mobile Library.

Regular dances cabarets balls, including fancy dress balls, and official community farewells to residents leaving the district have been conducted on numerous occasions since 1928.

Throughout the years improvements have been made to the hall. A modern kitchen, a large foyer, improved cloak rooms and modern toilet facilities are among these alternations.
Fencing and car parking improvements were also added.

The Clyde Hall Committees over the past years have maintained the interest of local people to ensure that a community project begun over 85 years ago does not lapse. The present hall is a credit to all previous committee members and deserves the future support of the residents of Clyd

Clyde Hall Jubilee: What really happened in September 1978? Where you there too?
Back to Clyde September 1978
by John Campbell

The first Victorian Mechanics' Institute was established in 1839.
This movement had its roots in Glasgow in 1799 when Dr George Birkbeck conducted a series of free lectures to bring education to working class men.

The term “mechanic” at that time meant artisan or workingman.

The movement caught on in Australia just as the land was being opened up and new towns were being built.

The better-educated wealthy classes saw the mechanics institutes as worthy subjects for their philanthropy and frequently helped to construct and equip the buildings as well as providing books for the libraries.

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1. The Argus on-line, Country News, (2 Nov, 1925, 26 Jun 1926, 22 June 1927, 24 April 1928, 2 Sep 1935)
2. A Clyde History
3. Clyde Residents' memories.
4. Mechanics Institute Origins: Mechanics Institute
5. Letter of Don Round 1998 (Committee of the Clyde Mechanics' Institute and Public Hall)