Sheela-na-Gig aka Jeanne Rathbone

BAC celebrating 120 years of Battersea Town Hall/Battersea Arts Centre.

Posted in Battersea Arts Centre/Battersea Town Hall 120, The Great Hundred Battersea Arts Centre by sheelanagigcomedienne on January 21, 2014

This was taken on Friday 15th November 2013 at Battersea Arts Centre. This was shot from the gallery overlooking the stairs down to the foyer. Joan, the longest serving Trustee wearing red, was invited to cut the cake alongside Eddie Lister who recalled seeing the show “All the counsellors men” back in the early days of the centre. The mayor Angela Graham is behind and I am on the left of her. You can also see Geraldine James who lives locally.

BAC Great 100

We went to the members library for  some more speeches. It is on the left side of the old council chamber and has a balcony overlooking Lavender Hill from where appearances and speeches happened in the Battersea Borough Council era.

This was another event in Battersea Arts Centre’s fundraising The GREAT ONE HUNDRED.

Battersea’s former Town Hall,the home of Battersea Arts Centre, is 120 years old:1893 to 2013.
To celebrate the occasion of its birthday and helpraise funds for its future, Battersea Arts Centre is inviting the public
to nominate The Great Hundred: people who played a memorable part in the story of this great London building.
A “great hundred” used to stand for one hundred and twenty. So “The Great Hundred” of Battersea’s former
Town Hall will be a list of one hundred and twenty people selected from the building’s one hundred and twenty
year radical history.
Staff at Battersea Arts Centre have begun researching and choosing names by spending time
hunting through two archives s: the archive for former Town Hall held in Battersea’s library on Lavender Hill
and the arts centre’s own archive from the last 33 years.
As The Great Hundred list is compiled, Battersea Arts Centre will be inviting another one hundred
and twenty people  to join “
The Great Hundred Club ” helping raise money to restore the building Club.
A three year membership will mean donors :1. have their name celebrated in a specially commissioned
piece of art at the front of the building in which they can choose to be associated with one of the figures
from The Great Hundred ;
2.  gain access to an intimate and exclusive talks programme with Battersea Arts Centre’s
Patron Toby Jones in conversation with leading cultural figures in the UK
3. be part of a special opening party for the building when the renovation is complete in 2015
The Great Hundred Club will raise £360,000 towards the £13Million project for the building.
BACTown Hall
TThe motto of Battersea Borough Council was Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis.
batt arms                                                                      Battersea Bee
batt bee 2
The atrium Foyer of the Grand Hall and the hall which is regualy used for tea dances and the last great show we saw there was ORPHEUS based on the music of Django Rheinhardt which was wonderful and will be returning.It is performed as cabaret style.
grand hall
Foyer atrium at BAC           grand hall 2



I have been involved with Battersea Arts Centre since its inception. We went to Jude Kelly’s wedding there when she was the Artistic Director and The National Theatre of Brent performed which included Jim Broadbent. We have seen it evolve over the decades and I have performed there both as Sheela-naGig Sheela 06-05-2009
and more recently in Nic Green’s acclaimed TRILOGY in 2010 when I was one of the naked women dancers and enjoyed the experience immensely.Trilogy naked
This was from a male reviewer.
Nevertheless, the main reason for still recommending this play is that you are unlikely ever to experience anything quite like it. It demonstrates just how powerful theatre can be, because when at the end female audience members are invited to drop their clothes on stage and sing Jerusalem naked, a significant number do just that. Before witnessing this for myself, I would never have believed that any theatrical moment was capable of moving people to such an extent.
Find out more about the Great Hundred. I belong to a consortium of 4 in support of this known as Battersea Labour women and we are associated with the fantastic Charlotte Despard as she the Labour candidate in 1918. I played her in the Voices of Radicalism Revue which we staged in the Lower Town Hall

Voices of RadicalismCharlotte Despard played by YouTube


Other names associated with Battersea Town Hall and with Battersea Arts Centre include Caroline Ganley Labour MP 1945-1951, John Archer Black Mayor of Battersea 1913, Shapurji Saklatvala, Paul Robeson etc. The names are contained in this booklet.
john archer john archer plaque caroline ganley Saklatvala

ISSUU – The Great Hundred_Battersea Arts Centre_Book #2 by


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