Pavilion looks to the future as it celebrates past

the Newly Reopned Bentley Pavilion
the Newly Reopned Bentley Pavilion

BENTLEY Pavilion has just celebrated its 80th birthday and to mark the occasion a celebration ball was held.

The Friends of Bentley Park and Pavilion organised the event, which featured music from the decades -all the way through from the 1930s to the noughties,

The result was that all tickets sold out within a week demonstrating the enduring affection folk still have for the pavilion.

The pavilion has been the primary civic building in the community since it opened on November 28, 1931, after the Miners’ Welfare Committee raised funds to build it by deducting one penny from every miner’s wage packet. The building was then “gifted” to the then Bentley-with-Arksey Urban Council.

The structure has special heritage value as an early example of reinforced concrete construction, which at the time was considered to be the material of ‘modernist movement,’ used to make bold statements and expressed the flexibility and strength of the material.

The splendidly named Yorkshire Hennebique Contracting Company Ltd was awarded the contract of £10,000 to build the pavilion under the supervision of a local man, Percy C. Woodhall, who was the colliery site engineer at the time.

The pavilion suffered in the 1980s and 1990s mirroring the decline of the mining industry in the area, however over the last decade it has enjoyed a renaissance brought about by a number of passionate people and Doncaster Council investing in it.

To continue the renewed interest, and in light of the public sector cuts, the council has been innovative in supporting a new social enterprise formed by its staff which has now taken over its running, bringing an even greater focus and drive.

Andy Woodhall, managing director of The Pavilion (Bentley) CIC said: “We are delighted to have launched as a social enterprise, coinciding with its 80th anniversary, All the staff and volunteers are looking forward to working together for the benefit of the pavilion and the community.”

Chair of the Friends of Bentley Park and Pavilion Jim Hopper added: “Many of the older generation have fond memories of the pavilion with many meeting their partners at dances, and then having their weddings and parties at the venue.

“We all wanted to join in and celebrate the success over the last 80 years and toast to another 80 years of success, and even play a part in the future as cupids for future generations.”

If anyone is interested in holding a function at the pavilion you can contact 01302 875027 or e-mail

Finally, back to that name Hennebique. For the curious among you: François Hennebique was a French engineer and self-educated builder who patented his pioneering reinforced-concrete construction system in 1892, integrating separate elements of construction, such as the column and the beam, into a single monolithic element.

The Hennebique system was one of the first ever appearances of the modern reinforced-concrete method of construction - so now you know.