St. John’s Church House, to the side of St. John’s Church, is another fine example of the work of the eminent local architect, Sidney Colwyn Foulkes. This community centre, built in 1936 and now a Listed Building, was funded by public subscription and replaced the YMCA building in Beach Rd.
The first Literary National Eisteddfod was held here in 1941 as a wartime substitute for the normal festival, and was visited by David Lloyd George, the former Prime Minister. The former Church House is no longer associated with the church. After a period when it was vacant and in need of repair, it became used as a children’s entertainment attraction although this use has now ceased.
St. John’s Church House, to the side of St. John’s Church, is another fine example of the work of Sidney. Colwyn Foulkes. The original and interesting symmetrical front elevation is curved, with a hipped tiled roof and two finely detailed fluted ornamental chimneys.
Windows, in the form of two pairs each with four windows flank each side of the centrally located recessed doorway. Flat roofed structures mark the left and right hand ends of the long curved front elevation, each having two windows.
Of particular note is the finely executed brickwork, in Flemish bond, with the cable moulded brick string course. Two foundation stones commemorate the building of the Church House, the one to the left records the names of the vicar and churchwardens in 1935; the one to the right the name of the person laying the stone on All Saints Day 1935.
The boundary to Cliff Road is marked by a low brick wall, with moulded coping bricks and with tile creasing below.
The hall lies behind the elegant front, with clerestory windows at high level. Note how the mass of the high fly tower at the rear has been terminated by a band of rusticated brickwork which forms a frieze.
St. John’s Church House was listed Grade II in 1994.
Acknowledgement: David Birch
Read more about Sidney Colwyn Foulkes and his work here.