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Tamworth Arts Centre : History

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Tamworth Herald – 28/01/83
Arts Centre’s Georgie moves on
TAMWORTH Arts Centre is looking for a new Administrator following the resignation of Mrs Georgie Jackson.TAMWORTH Arts Centre is looking for a new Administrator following the resignation of Mrs Georgie Jackson.

Administrator for almost two years, Mrs. Jackson is leaving the part-time post to take up a full-time secretarial job in Solihull.

“I told the Arts Centre management committee I would be leaving at the end of March anyway, so it is not a sudden decision,” Mrs. Jackson said.

“Now I have been offered this job with a company in Solihull and will be starting work next Monday.

“Although it is a full-time post, it means I shall actually have more time to myself, I won’t be working evenings and weekends.

I have enjoyed the Arts Centre job itself very much, and the other two staff here and the people who help on a voluntary basis have been marvellous.

“But it is very demanding and I think that after almost two years in the post it is time for someone else to have a go.”

She has organised the town’s annual Drama Festival, sponsored by the Arts Club, for several years.

“I shall still be very much connected with the Arts Centre, because I have so many friends here,” she said.

Tamworth Arts Advisory Council’s management committee, who run the centre, are advertising for a new Administrator.

The job involves the day-to-day administration of the centre, including bookings, promotions, publicity, liaising with amateur and professional companies, general paperwork and dealing with inquiries from the public.

Tamworth Arts Centre

Tamworth Herald – 04/03/83
‘Jobless theatre’ plan for young
Plans are under way to launch a new ‘community theatre’ group in Tamworth – made up entirely of young unemployed people.

The idea is to bring together out-of-work young people in the 18 to 25 age group and form a theatre group which would take productions to schools, youth clubs, old people’s centres and perhaps pubs well.

Masterminding the plan are Gary Holt, new Administrator at Tamworth Arts Centre and the Centre’s technician Jed Moore.

Gary was a member of Tamworth Arts Club before going on to college and then to university, and Jed is a member of TACT – Tamworth Arts Centre Theatre Company.

They hope that unemployed young people interested in the idea will ring them at the Centre in Church Street – phone 53092 – or call in.

If there is sufficient interest, they will get a group together to meet two afternoons a week – Tuesday and Thursday from about 2pm onwards.

Said Gary: “Jed has had the idea for some time and we have just decided to try and get it off the ground.

“The aim is to do something positive to help young people user their leisure time and to take entertainment out into the community, especially to schools.


“The most important thing is that members of the group should be really committed.

“We want young people in their late teens and early twenties, with drive and enthusiasm, who would come along regularly and produce ideas of their own.

“We don’t want to impose our thoughts on them – we aren’t going to shove a script in their hand and say get on with it.

“We want to hear what they have to say and what they think a community theatre group could do.

”Experience isn’t necessary – ideas and commitment are.”

Gary said entertainment put on by the group would have to be relevant to the audiences for whom it was being performed.


“We are going to circulate all schools in the area to find out what kind of things they would like to see.

“We could set up a programme especially for schools, and I would like to see this supplemented with professional productions which could be put on in school halls or here at the Arts Centre.

“Once established, the group could also go out to youth clubs and perhaps to clubs for the elderly and pubs.”

Tamworth Herald – 27/05/83
Two of the best make a dramatic scoop…
TWO Tamworth companies have collected major awards at Burton Drama Festival. Tamworth Arts Centre Theatre Company – TACT – won the trophy for best play and the In-B-Tweens – the youth theatre who meet at the Arts Centre on Fridays – carried off top prize for the best junior entry.

Tamworth Herald – 10/06/83
Scene Around Special
New-look centre with a breath of French air

TAMWORTH ARTS Centre, closed for a month for major improvements is back in business – with a completely new image.

TAMWORTH ARTS Centre, closed for a month for major improvements is back in business – with a completely new image.

The Centre in Church Street has undergone a transformation.

Its old coffee bar has been swept away. Instead it boasts a French bistro-style café with carpet on the floor, check cloths on the tables, magnolia paint on the walls and space for up to 28 people to lunch in comfort.

A new 14 feet brick-built bar, topped with quarry tiles, runs along one wall. The pints pulled there will be real ale.

Gary would also like to see a canopy fixed over the new entrance to the café – completing the French look.

“It would mean applying for planning permission, but it would add a nice finishing touch – especially in green, as we intend to call the new café The Green Room.”

Tamworth Herald – 05/08/83
Arts Centre bar packs ‘em in
The new-look bar at Tamworth Arts Centre has become almost too popular.

Centre administrator Gary Holt told the annual meeting of the Arts Advisory Council that the bar – which provides coffee, alcoholic drinks and lunchtime snacks – was becoming very successful.

“We are packed out most of the time with no spare tables or chairs to be had,” aid Mar. Holt.

“One day there were so many people that we ran out of everything – we ran out of plates and we ran out of cutlery. We just couldn’t cope.”

“We are even busy on Wednesdays, which is traditionally a dead town in the town because of half-day closing.”

The bar is now selling real ale, but Mr. Holt said there was a problem because there was no cooling system in the cellar.

“But we are hoping this problem will be overcome shortly,” he added.

Tamworth Herald – 12/08/83
‘Operation arts centre’ takes off – Promotion drive for members
A BIG drive is on to promote Tamworth Arts Centre. The aim is not only to attract bigger audiences but also to encourage more local people to use the centre to meet friends, enjoy a drink and find out what’s coming up in the entertainment line.

Major changes have taken place at the centre, including improvements for the benefit of both theatre groups and the public.

The most important improvement over the last year was the complete refurbishment of the coffee bar area into a bistro-style real ale and wine bar.

Tamworth Herald – 16/09/83
Musicbox – School bands to star in second Fest
TAMWORTH is all set to have its second major rock festival this year – and it is hoped that it will attract a whole battalion of local schoolboy bands.

The two day event is being organised by the Tamworth Young Peoples Arts Festival and it is aimed particularly at giving a stage to young bands who may never have played in the town before.

“This is an ideal opportunity for all the youngsters in bands to get some exposure,” said Geoff Beales from the council’s recreation department.

The festival has been pencilled in to take place on two consecutive Sundays in October.

And it will take place at one of the town’s premier venues – the Arts Centre: “The whole idea is to give the younger bands a chance where they won’t have to be in the shadows of the older bands,” said Garry Holt, who is helping to organise the event.

The decision to hold the event comes in the wake of the successful open air festival held on Bank Holiday Monday when six of the town’s top bands brought 700 people flooding into the Castle Grounds.

This time the emphasis will be on Tamworth’s up and coming acts – although there may be room for one or two of the town’s more established bands to appear.

“We don’t want to frighten any of the newer bands off by the more experienced groups, but if there is room, we may fit one or two on the bill,” said Geoff Beales.

The indoor rock event is all part of the Tamworth Young People’s Arts Festival which this year looks more ambitious and varied than ever.

The fact that rock music has found its way onto the line up reflects the increasingly healthy state of the local scene.

It is an ideal chance for younger bands like Bambu Curtain and Select Elect to make a real name for themselves and any band that wants to get on the bill is asked to contact Geoff Beales.

Tamworth Herald – 14/10/83
Musicbox – Sounds on Sunday
TAMWORTH rock fans can kiss goodbye to Sunday afternoon boredom this weekend when four of the town’s young bands will be appearing in a special free concert at the Arts Centre.

The indoor festival is all part of the Young People’s Arts Festival and the emphasis has been on relatively new groups. The four acts playing on Sunday are Sitting Pretty, the Mandettas, BHX and Select Elect.

Refreshments are available at the gig – which begins at 2pm and the organisers are hoping for a bumper turnout to ensure that rock music stays permanently on the Arts Festival line-up.

Tamworth Young People’s Arts Festival
Sitting Pretty
Select Elect
Tamworth Arts Centre

Tamworth Herald – 28/10/83
Musicbox – Suddenly Sunday’s a whole lot brighter

Sitting Pretty

SUNDAY is traditionally known as a day of rest, peace and hangovers. It is also – frequently – extremely boring and so the decision to stage Tamworth’s first-ever indoor rock festival on Sunday afternoon was a master stroke.

A healthy sized crowd turned up for the Arts Centre concert which – marred only by the non-appearance of the Mandettas – was a highly enjoyable showcase of new Tamworth music.

First up were Sitting Pretty who have done so much since forming a few months ago that they already seem like local veterans. The set they delivered – although perhaps not quite as sharp as previous performances – was extremely impressive and you could not help but be engulfed by their all-consuming enthusiasm.


The best song on the day was a moving, slow ballad called ‘Inspiration’ which showed that the band are already diversifying from the clean pop sound that dominates their set.

Select ElectNext up were the undoubted show-stealers Select Elect. For a band so young – the duo are aged 14 and 15 – their short set was quite a revelation. Their songs were tuneful, well structured and very accessible.

With youth, a nice modern image and confidence on their side, the potential of Select Elect is awesome. If they can continue to build on the great strides they have already made, there is no reason why they should not become one of the top bands in the area.

Finally up came BHX for another powerful assault on the listeners’ ears. Despite an extremely poor PA system, BHX battled on and clearly won over the large group of rockers in the audience.


All five members of the band performed creditably with songs such as ‘Tales of Modern Romance’ and ‘Superstar’ in their set. BHX really have thrown down the gauntlet to other heavy rock bands in the area. Their message is clear – beat that!

BHX’s energetic performance closed a unique and enjoyable afternoon. Outside it was still boring old Sunday but somehow with all the energy, spirit and potential of the three acts on view it didn’t seem to matter any more…


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