(Dressing Room Improvement Project) - £250,000 needed
Since 1924, when
the Barn first opened to the public, the toilet facilities at the back,
in the dressing room areas, have remained unaltered except for new fittings
and decorations. No segregation, only two WC's and those accessed directly
from the dressing rooms, a generally unsatisfactory situation particularly
when we have a large show cast. So, after almost 90 years the trustees
are planning to address this issue and provide newly built facilities
adjacent to the stage door. However during the last year or so the sub
committee appointed by the trustees has moved further on and the proposal
is now to redesign the whole backstage area to make each dressing room
independent with a through passage to the stage wings either side.
The total cost of
these alterations and additions is estimated at close to £250,000 which
is a far greater amount than we thought when discussing simply adding
a new toilet block. It is proposed that the works are staged as we did
so successfully for the Barn 2000 extension. Phase One would be to get
the new toilet block in position, Phase Two would see those toilets
fitted out and brought into action and . Phase Three would be the final
alterations to the existing dressing rooms and provision of air conditioning
to those new areas we will have created. We would hope to start construction
during the Summer of 2015 but this will be dependent on whether we have
raised sufficient monies to complete phase one by that time. Fundraising
will be ongoing from now and throughout the works and I would ask for
your support in helping to ensure that this project is able to proceed
in a timely manner. Final plans approved by the Barn are with Tandridge
District Council for grant of planning consent at the time of going
to press and hopefully, by the Parade performances that consent will
have been obtained.
The Trustees are
delighted to support the Barnstormers in their epic production of Parade
both in Oxted and Cornwall at the prestigious Minack Theatre and are
most grateful that any profits from those productions will come direct
to the DRIP fund. The Barnstormers, under the leadership of Richard
Allen, have been a tower of strength to the Barn providing many thousands
of pounds over the years to help with financing the improvements we
have made to ensure the comfort and enjoyment of our patrons and I am
sure that you will enjoy the show.
you can help in any way please contact
Oxted and Limpsfield Barn Theatre Ltd, 15a High Street, Westerham, Kent.
Telephone 01959 561811 or Barntheatre@btinternet.com
Fund Boosted by £18,603
the December 2013 Sunday Club DRIP received a massive boost to the funds.
was given in total made up by:
Elvis and Starmakerz £2,011
Kenley Holiday Workshop £350
Let Us Entertain You £6,067
Musical Memories £2,325
(with £2,325 going to Help for Heroes)
Oxted Operatic Society £500
Oxted Pram Race £350
- £88,000 raised
For a number of
years now the theatre has been very busy through the summer months,
something you will be surprised to hear is a fairly recent phenomenon.
In years past the theatre was closed all summer as there was no call
for space and instead the time was used for completion of maintenance
work, at a leisurely pace!
of Barn 2000 the trustees have been considering the next major project
for the theatre and with the continuing popularity of the summer youth
productions and outstanding summer weather of recent years, air conditioning
has been high on the list of priorities.
Finally the decision
has been taken to formally announce that “air conditioning to the
auditorium“ will be the next major project to be undertaken.
The trustees will
be consulting with specialist engineers to ascertain the most cost effective
means of providing a system that can be installed into the auditorium
without destroying the aesthetics, which we all value so very much.
Whilst we have some
reserves of cash we will need to start fundraising if we are to achieve
our aim in a reasonable time and we should like to think that a system
could be up and running for summer 2008. The events here at the theatre
later this year, ‘This is My Song’, ‘ABBA UK’ and ‘Christmas Cracker’
will all be dedicated to this appeal to be known as ‘BarnCool’ and hopefully
with the support of all our users we will soon be able to firm up our
From the information
we already have we are expecting to need to raise an additional £50,000
minimum but after Barn 2000 that’s chicken feed!!!!!!
Fundraising Begins with Kenley Holiday Workshop
Such is the enthusiasm
for our 'BarnCool' project that no sooner than it had been announced
Sally Dallosso from Kenley Holiday workshop was on the phone offering
to hold a special raffle and to restart the infamous bucket collections
that did so well for Barn 2000. As a result of Sally's enthusiasm £518.20
was raised during KHW's production of Seussical the Musical which was
a fantastic start to our fundraising programme.
Whilst the design
and budget for the new installation are still being finalised we are
pleased to hear that the Oxted Players also dusted off the buckets for
their production of Party Piece and hopefully the trend will continue
with shows during the foreseeable future. We do hope you will feel able
to support us again with contributions to the buckets which raised over
£27,000 for Barn 2000.
Continues to Grow
Earlier this week
Bruce was delighted to receive, with grateful thanks, a cheque from
Chris Bassett, Chairman of Oxted Operatic for £1000 towards the BarnCool
project. This donation was a result of auction of promises held on the
occasion of the societies 60th birthday and profit on a very enjoyable
and successful quiz night held in the Barn recently. The fund continues
to grow and we are waiting to see what this weekend (just gone now!)
brings, as we are promised a cheque from Barnstormers following their
tour to the Minack Theatre in Cornwall earlier in the Summer with that
tremendous show, Scarlet Pimpernel. I believe the amount of the cheque
is announced elsewhere in this paper but the total was a well guarded
secret until day of publication. Nevertheless a big thank you to Richard
and the Barnstormers for a great show both here at Oxted and in Cornwall
Achieved in Less than 18 Months
Less than 18 months
after launching the appeal for funds to install air conditioning to
the main theatre auditorium we are delighted to announce that the appeal
target has been reached and the generosity of our supporters and patrons
means that we have an additional amount that will allow for us to incorporate
other small additions to the proposals.
Apart from those
little red buckets, which, once again have excelled and raised the amazing
amount of £8000 the FOBs, have given donations totalling £10,000 and
there have been other substantial personal donations which have ensured
the success of this project.
been appointed and the theatre will officially close from 1st June through
to the 6th July for the works to be completed. This is a very tight
programme for the installation but we are confident that the system
will be in operation for the charity concert, Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance
3 which opens on the 10th July.
The works will be
concentrated in the loft area over the auditorium and when the ceiling
is opened for the air distribution grilles to put in place there will
be much dust, that horrible dust only found in old lofts and which penetrates
everywhere. We already have seat covers but do not want these to be
ruined so if you have any old cotton bed sheets or clean dustsheets
which you are able to donate please do bring them down to theatre next
time you come and they will be used over our existing covers. We need
them for early on Sunday 1st June please.
Apart from protecting
the seats, all the stage lights have to be removed from the stage and
auditorium, stage curtains and fittings are to be taken down and the
building generally left suitable for the works to proceed from the following
day when contractors arrive on site.
Following the major
part of the works and prior to final commissioning the auditorium has
to be thoroughly cleaned, redressed with lights and curtains etc ready
for the reopening
After 2 years of
planning and 18 months of fundraising, Sunday June 1st was the day the
theatre closed for a month and preparations started for the arrival
of the builders and engineers during the following week. Apart from
installing air conditioning to the foyer and auditorium, we were scheduled
to complete many other works of improvement and maintenance whilst we
had the opportunity of an empty theatre, so there was much to do. The
trustees with others set to and by the time Sunday Club that day started,
the theatre was ready for works to commence.
On Monday 2nd June
I was at the theatre to open up and get the kettle on at 7 a.m. ready
to welcome the various and diverse teams of subcontractors due during
that morning. Frank Boonham followed me in, as he too had specialist
theatre electrical engineers coming to complete various works and alterations.
By 9 a.m. the builders were starting work in the foyer and clearing
the loft of years of dust and rubbish, scaffolders were busily erecting
the main access scaffold to the rear gable, air-conditioning engineers
were modifying the existing equipment in the bar area and the stage
electricians were busy cleaning and PAT testing all our stage lights
that had been removed on the previous Sunday morning. The noisy fan
heaters in the auditorium were being removed for the replacement high
efficiency radiators and Lofty our electrician was preparing for the
hundreds of meters of cabling that needed to be installed for the new
AC units in the loft and at the rear of the kitchen externally. All
this, whilst we were also trying to redirect the nursery school mothers
who couldn't park as normal due to lorries on site and Oxted School
parents who still considered it a right to use our car park for dropping
off their children!
By the end of the
first day we were flying - everything was falling into place and any
initial problems or queries were resolved immediately. The contractors
had all been appointed as known entities and many had worked closely
together on other projects for me so I knew the team and was delighted
we were together again.
Tuesday was another
good day and by the end of that first week both Frank and I were amazed
at the progress that had been made by all the team. There was no stopping
us now, the back was broken and we knew even at this early stage that
we would have no problems with getting the theatre open again for business
by the date we had forecast.
The end result was
that we commissioned the new air conditioning four days earlier than
planned and after a hectic few days and a weekend cleaning, dusting
and reassembling, left the theatre ready for business as from 30th June
as promised. At The Oxted Players AGM on the following Wednesday, I
suspect people were wondering what we had been up to for the last month!
My personal thanks
to Frank Boonham, who, whilst convinced that I am crazy at times, always
give his full support and professional input to all our theatre projects.
To the trustees and FOBs for their help and support and to those others
who turned up to help with stripping and reassembling the theatre before
and after the works. I must also congratulate and thank all the contractors,
who without exception, worked extremely hard to provide a discreet and
successful installation that I hope will serve our patrons well.
None of this would
have been possible without your help fundraising, so a big thank you
to you all too.
2000 - £250,000 raised
was raised to improve the theatre by:
covered access to the gallery
Disabled toilet facilities
A Green Room with more bar space!
A new dressing/band room
to see a slideshow of the works.
is how the theatre used to look
This is what it looks like now work has commenced
appeal known as Barn 2000, A Vision for the Millennium,
is the largest project undertaken by the trustees of the charity since the theatre
opened in 1924.
ambitious scheme of radical improvements, the main object of the proposals is
to extend the theatre on the West side to provide a large new green room and bar
together with an internal staircase to the gallery. Additionally the theatre will
also be providing toilet facilities for the disabled adjacent to the foyer, creating
extra full height wing space on stage with an external loading facility and a
further dressing room. Wheelchair access to the stage from the dressing rooms
has been incorporated in the new plans and modifications within the ground floor
of the auditorium are also planned. These further improvements will sustain the
policy of equal opportunities for patrons, actors, musicians, technicians and
indeed all that choose to cross the threshold of this very special venue.
supplement continuing fund raising and increase the profile of the theatre, all
the residents of Oxted and Limpsfield have received an appeal brochure setting
out details of the proposals. The response to date has been overwhelming and the
current total of partnership funding from this and other fund raising activities
is now over £196,000 and rising steadily. A magnificent sum that would not have
been achievable without the support of all our friends and supporters.
works started on the 14th May 2001, almost 78 years to the day after those to
the original building commenced and the archaeological exploration that continued
whilst the digger was on site found nothing of particular interest except a broken
plate. Excitement built as the archaeologist proclaimed she could date this fragment
accurately. On the back of the plate were the date of 1944, the initials GR and
the Royal Crest! Obviously a remnant from when the theatre was used as army billets
during the war. Otherwise nothing of significance was found.
a very busy summer last year the works on Phase One, the construction of the weatherproof
external shell are complete and a very successful opening was held in December
2002 attended by many friends and patrons of the theatre. Fundraising for Phase
Two, a minimum of £80,000, is still continuing and before the fitting out and
furnishing works to the interior can be completed we need to raise another £30,000.
However the works have started and a glance through the door to the gallery stairs
will reveal our progress so far in the Green Room. I am sure you will be impressed.
Apart from this the new dressing room backstage is in full use as are the enlarged
wings and scenery dock on stage. The preparation works to join the Green Room
to the auditorium are well advanced as can be seen from the new brickwork clearly
visible in the auditorium.
you are interested in having a tour of all we have achieved since last December
do make a note in your diary to come along to our Christmas Drinks and Nibbles
on Sunday 7th December. All are welcome and this is an opportunity to look around
in a relaxed fashion whilst meeting old and new friends who love this theatre
We are looking
to very exciting times at the Barn during the new millennium and if you wish to
be part of this by making a contribution to the appeal fund or in any other way
please telephone or write to Bruce Reed. Any contribution large or small helps
our vision become reality.
don’t forget that support for the shows at the Barn is another direct way of contributing
to the appeal fund whilst enjoying yourself too and details of forthcoming productions
are to be found in the calendar.
celebrities Ronnie Corbett, Dame
Judi Dench, Richard Stilgoe and Peter
Ainsworth MP are patrons of the appeal and Tandridge Council have committed
£10,000 to the scheme; a good indication of the support for this delightful
theatre and these exciting proposals.
A TAX EFFICIENT GIFT AID FORM PLEASE CLICK HERE OR
IF YOU CAN HELP IN ANY WAY PLEASE CONTACT
Oxted and Limpsfield Barn Theatre Ltd, 15a High Street, Westerham, Kent.
Telephone 01959 561811 or Barntheatre@btinternet.com
interior of the extension at Christmas 2002
Ramage painting the mural in the new extension in 2003
The new bar almost completed,