The Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall is best known as the headquarters of the Apprentice Boys of Derry but there is much more behind the doors of what is affectionately known as “The Mem”
As well as the Apprentice Boys meeting rooms there are meeting rooms for both the Orange Order and the Women’s Orange Order and the Royal Black Preceptory.
The Hall is also home to the Society Social Club which organises social events for the members of all the organisations which use the hall. They also organise the “Crimson Balls” after the two main Apprentice Boys Celebrations in December and August.
Two of the finest flute bands in Northern Ireland also call the Hall their home. The Churchill Flute Band, the oldest flute band in the world and the William King Memorial Flute Band both practice every week in the Hall.
The Crimson Players drama group bring the stage in the main hall to life with their pantomimes and variety shows. They are best known recently for providing the period re-enactment of the Relief of Derry at the start of the parade each August.
The Associated Clubs of the Apprentice Boys of Derry is essentially a number of separate Clubs who came together to form the organisation as it is today.
There are eight Parent Clubs based in the City of Londonderry, symbolising the regiments formed during the siege to defend the city.
Museum and Expansion
In 2013 work began on a new museum and exhibition space beside the hall on Society Street. The extension will enable the Association to continue to develop the work in promoting understanding of our history and culture.
The new Siege Museum and Exhibition is a permanent display of the history of the Siege of Londonderry and of the Associated Clubs of the Apprentice Boys of Derry, including artefacts, video and interactive media.
Visitors will also have the added attraction of being able to view one of the finest collections of meeting rooms used by the ‘Loyal Orders’.
There are separate rooms for each of the orders:
- Apprentice Boys of Derry
- Orange Order
- Women’s Orange Order
- The Royal Black Institution
The new purpose-built museum and visitor centre opened in early October 2015.