Dudley Hippodrome group urges people to share their memories

Front l - r Malcolm Palmer, Gordon Downing. Back l - r  Gaz Sawyer, Martin Whitehead and Sam Perks with memorabilia from Dudley Hippodrome. 211438L

Front l - r Malcolm Palmer, Gordon Downing. Back l - r Gaz Sawyer, Martin Whitehead and Sam Perks with memorabilia from Dudley Hippodrome. 211438L

First published in News
Last updated

CAMPAIGNERS hoping to save a Dudley landmark from the bulldozers are appealing for people to share their memories.

The Friends of Dudley Hippodrome are calling on people to get in touch if they have old photographs, memorabilia or stories to share about the theatre which is facing demolition in a Castle Hill regeneration scheme.

Campaigners hope to host a history day about the landmark to remind people how the building was in its heyday during the 1940s and 50s.

Gordon Downing, chairman of the friends group, said: “We are looking for photographs taken inside the theatre or any information we can get.

“In particular we would like to hear from people who are still alive and worked there.”

The group has a handful of archive images and there is some video footage of productions at the Hippodrome on the internet.

The friends group is keen to keep the plight of the building in the public eye while consultants for Dudley Council consider a bid from entertainments company Events That Rok to reopen the venue.

Mr Downing supports the plan and believes reopening the theatre would be a boost for tourism in the area.

He said: “The Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton had a grant reduction of £10,000 but no more because of how important it was to draw people to Wolverhampton.

“A council survey said for every £1 of grant aid the city got £14 back. We are not interested in grants, we want to do it purely on our own, we are not after the council’s cash.

“We want it to become one of the major theatres in the Midlands, that would be a great advantage for Dudley.”

Meanwhile, the friends group is set to hold its AGM at the Station Hotel on Castle Hill on Monday June 5 at 7.30pm.

Mr Downing said the group is always looking for new recruits and members of the public are welcome to attend.

People can contact the group through their Facebook page for more information or to share their memories or memorabilia of the theatre.

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