Blue plaque for Frances Hale set to be unveiled

Salisbury Civic Society and Salisbury Soroptimists will be unveiling a blue plaque dedicated to Frances Hale on 13 April outside the Cosy Club on New Street.

There are currently many blue plaques around the city but only four celebrate women, this will be the fifth.
Frances Hale’s life was researched as part of Salisbury Soroptimists’ project, Her Salisbury Story.
The project also inspired the current exhibition at Salisbury Museum.

Frances Hale inherited the building business that her father had passed to her husband.

Once widowed, Frances’ management of the company expanded the workforce from less than two dozen to over 400.

She built several notable buildings around Salisbury, including the Cosy Club, formerly the Literary and Scientific Institute, and the corner of High Street and Fisherton Street, which is now used by Barclays Bank but originally housed Richardson’s Wine Store.

She restored Britford Church and built part of St Peter’s Church in Bournemouth, extended St Paul’s Church and built the Congregational Church on Fisherton Street.

As an aid to recruitment, Mrs Hale used to make sure that newspapers reported the summer outings she organised for her workforce. The firm also had a cricket team playing in local competitions.

The plaque unveiling will be followed by a visit to the museum exhibition and a tea reception at Arundells for invited guests.

The blue plaque dedicated to Frances Hale will become the fifth dedicated to a woman in Salisbury, the other four are:
● Dorothey Sayers (unveiled 2011) at Godolphin School
● Charlotte Cradock (unveiled 2017) in the Close
● Agnes Bottenham (unveiled 2017) Rai D’Or public house
● Dorothy Brooke (unveiled 2020) Malmesbury House.

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