This weekend it was behind the scenes time again with http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/ 2013. Yesterday I was at St Barnabas Church, off Quarry Road/Camden Road, aiding with enquiries about Grosvenor and Hilbert Park. Much as last year, we had memories of the past, questions about the future, and some lovely homemade cakes in the vestry.
Today I joined in the tours. In the morning a tour around Trinity Theatre with Dr Philip Whitbourn, starting with a talk and ‘slide show’ about the history of the church. The foundation stone was laid in 1827, and is a simple “Commissioners Church” with a Georgian Gothick (with a k) influence. Converted to the theatre 41 years ago by a team of volunteers, we got to see the existing stained glass window hidden behind the stage, and the new digital film equipment in the control box (top photo) – where one small, silver box replaces cases of old film reels. Trinity is still in the midst of the cafe/bar/foyer revamp, started when the Big Top was in place; but the gallery is still open, with the current exhibition by Anne Kelly.
In the afternoon I joined in a tour of the park with Dr Ian Beavis, mainly to get some photos and information for the next park newsletter. Again, an evolving tour, it now includes the new art installed earlier in the year. You may guess from our clothing that the weather hasn’t been too great for the weekend, but I hope that everyone who’s been on a tour has enjoyed themselves.
P.S. On Friday night Kent band Slaves, who feature in a blog back in February, played Tunbridge Wells Forum as support to Drenge. Since we saw them playing on that freezing day in February, Slaves have played the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading and Leeds festival, and then been played on Radio One in the evenings – now on tour with Drenge. I didn’t bother taking a camera, it was already being publicised as a near sell out – it was hot, there was a mosh pit and crowd surfing, and Isaac still uses the most incredible amount of energy in drumming and singing. Good luck Slaves – we need “a band from Kent” to get famous…. 🙂
The man in The Forum with the camera An Audience with The Pope