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Issue 309 – Opening of theatre’s Snook Bucklar Dock

Members of both the Frome Amateur Operatic Society and Frome Memorial Theatre Trust were highly delighted with the turn out at the recent open day and launch of the Snook Bucklar Dock.

Over 100 people attended the event including 70+ possible new volunteers. Existing members of both the FAOS and FMTT will be contacting those that offered their services shortly to offer them specific roles and responsibilities that require covering.

The opening of the Snook Bucklar Dock, which will offer the theatre much needed extra space adjacent to the stage, was undertaken by Bob Stannard, president of FAOS, and Humphrey Barnes, chairman of FMTT on Saturday 4th September.
Also in attendance was Giles Vallis of NVB Architects, Pete Scholefield the builder, John Hedges the FAOS representative, Rob Toal of NVB Architects and Mike Cole the FMTT representative.
In all its long history (104 years), the Frome Amateur Operatic Society has never owned its own premises. For its shows, it performs in the Frome Memorial Theatre, and these two organisations are inextricably linked. But what about scenery, props and costumes? Up to now it’s been a case of managing as best can be done. Scenery and props are in a couple of lock-ups just outside town, and costumes are scattered in people’s cupboards and attics throughout the town. It works after a fashion, but it’s far from ideal.
Now that’s all about to change. In March 2008, Enid Bucklar, a long-term supporter of FAOS, sadly died. In her will, she very generously left £54,000 to FAOS. This was an agreement made between Enid and her sister, Avril Snook, who was a member of the FAOS for over 30 years and who passed away previously. FAOS decided it was at long last an opportunity to build a permanent building of its own that could house props and costumes and provide some workshop facilities. The Frome Memorial Theatre Trust kindly gave permission for a structure to be built out from the theatre, and indeed out from a wing of the stage.
It’s taken a long time to plan. The extension had to blend in with the design of the theatre and critically not weaken any of the current buildings. FAOS appointed society member John Hedges to do the project management. Architects NVB, based in Frome’s Rook Lane Chapel, created the design, and Scholefield Contractors, also of Frome, were charged with building it. Appropriately it is to be called the Snook Bucklar Dock and in April 2010, work started.
Over the summer the FAOS children’s group ‘Spellbound’ used the workspace that the new dock provides, to prepare for its August show ‘Guys and Dolls’ but the first production to use the finished article will be ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ which runs from 5th – 9th October and for which tickets are currently on sale

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