Blast from the past!

We know who two of the people pictured above are - Andy King Standing and Richard Jefries in frock coat, cravat and considerably more hair than he has now - although I can't talk. Andy King has now told me that the other seated person is Andrew Walker, Martin and Howard's brother - thanks Andy.

A history of Sheppey Little Theatre

In 1968 Sheppey Theatre Group and Sheppey Phoenix choir set up a committee to find ways they could help each other. When the chance came in the following year to buy a church hall, in Meyrick Rd, for £1000 it became clear that a new organisation was needed. So Sheppey Entertainment Association and Community Arts Council (SEA) came into being with two founder groups and later the Meyrick Minstrels and Isle of Sheppey Singers.

Surveys were commissioned, planning permission applied for and obtained and plans drawn to convert the building to the theatre that now exists. Queenborough Council agreed the scheme was viable and approved a grant of £2000. This was later topped up with loans totalling £7500 by Swale Borough Council, the last instalment was paid back in November 1989.

A history of do-it-yourself and fund raising by members began in 1970 which still continues. On 25th October 1975 the Theatre was officially opened by the Minister for the Arts, the late Hugh Jenkins MP, who praised the project as a true community effort.

For many years the theatre suffered from lack of storage space for scenery and costume etc. This was remedied in 1991 when the house next door was purchased with the aid of a generous interest free loan and grant package from Swale Borough Council.

More recently a further grant from Swale Borough Council has enabled us to revamp the auditorium, thus bringing a new breath of life to the theatre, and therefore continuing the spirit started all those years ago.

  • Click on these images to make them larger (to return to this page press the back one page blue arrow).

Picture by kind permission of Sheerness Times Guardian

More information

  • History Links

    We are trying to link up with anyone who can tell us about former uses of the church hall which became Sheppey Little Theatre. Here are some Sheppey history links.

    Sheppey Website

    Blue Town Heritage Centre

    Sheerness Heritage Centre

    Kent History Forum

    Theatre history - The War years

    During the Second World War the church hall which is now the Theatre was used to serve up meals to people. Does anyone remember anything more about this? We would be interested to hear from you.

    Theatre history - The 1950's

    After the War, the church hall which is now the theatre was used by various groups including the 8th Sheppey Scouts. Does anyone have any memories of these days? Can anyone remember which other groups used the hall and for what purpose? We would be interested to hear from you.

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