Posted on 26 July 2008. Tags: Barbara Green, fence-houses, fencehouses, Michael Croft, Theatre, Youth
Hi Money Penny
This photo is certainly a blast from the past! Who are you & are you on the photo? I’m Shirley (was Laidler then). I’m sat on the front row second from right sat between Janice Dodds & Rose Weeks!
Gosh we did have a great time in the Youth Theatre didn’t we! Do you remember all the faces? If so please tell me who they are as I’m racking my brains out here!!!!
I remember most of the girls & John Black & John Lambton but can’t put names to the other boys.
Thanks for taking me back 34 years!!!
Blond lad far right, Stephen Little
im rackin me brains out too…billy forth…colin mckenzie…stephen little ..am a reet…???
Stephen little far right, Trout
Thats me, Karen Minto, Eileen Robson, Valerie Er…?, Tony Stangroom, Bill Forth, Stephen Little, Shirley Black, Margaret Thompson, Rosemary Wells?, Christine ? & now I’m stuck.
Photo by Mrs Green’s husband
Third from left on front row must be Linda Spensley who used to have the top house with Bob. Dont know her maiden name
Was the Valerie??? Francis I think it could be Ken Wood at the very back maybe – five years sitting next to each other and I can’t be sure (sorry Ken)
Definitley Stephen Little (far right, blonde) worked with him a Lambton Coke Works, late 70′s early 80′s
Well this is fun seeing the Theatre workshop on the computer screen.
I was in the original Theatre Workshop with Mrs Green in 1966 or 1967
It would be interesting to know when Mrs Green retired and who led the theatre workshop after her.
She was an amazing force.
A few names come to mind Eric Wilkinson, John Singleton, Christine Burrows , Janice Phillips , jOan Stacey , Neil Smith , Maureen Jackson , Anne Foster, Audrey Tiffin Robin …
I’m sure a few more will come to light.
One of our earliest productions- apart from regular improvisations was the Lambton Worm.
I was the witch “your son will pour doom on the house of Lambton”
I was in the same production of Henry the IV part one, I had a small part of the Inn Keeper I still remember my lines “Anon anon Sir”
Brian Forbes continued in Mrs Greens footsteps for a short while after her retirement. We had a whip round and bought her a string of pearls and a gold brooch. It must be about 32 years ago as my wife and I met her in Houghton le spring front street with our new born baby. Standing at the bus stop some 20 minutes later she appeared again with a dress for our daughter. (Rebecca)
A couple of years later my wife met her again and she explained that her daughter had died of a brain tumour and that she was selling up and moving down south to help look after her grand children.
She was a fantastic teacher my wife and I will always remember her with great affection.
Dennis & Shirley Sharples(nee Black) in same production with no speaking part. (My God she’s made up for it now!)
So Dennis are you the guy with the trilby in the back row or are you sitting in the front row near Eric Wilkinson with …?? on his knee?
I can’t guess where Shirley is?
I knew about Mrs Green’s daughter and grand kids My parents told me.
My mother died 15 yrs ago and my father lives in Kings Lynn…I live in Sydney Aus.
It was amazing to see the photos.
So does the Youth Theatre still exist?
What happened to Brian Forbes> I thought he lived in Chester le Street.
Does the school still exist? or is there a super school somewhere else? I used to live near the BeeHive pub on the way to Newbottle.
I was thrilled to get your reply.
I would be happy to hear from other veteran Youth Theatre participants.
I might remember a few more names as the brain cells wake up.
I think it was Edward ….Spiggins or something
Is Shirley in the later photos in the bottom left hand corner?
How long has the Fence Houses website been set up?
Are you the webmaster?
Have there been any Youth Theatre reunions?
Did Brian Forbes or anybody really get into more serious acting or teaching?
Do you remember there were the Mr Griffiths and Mr Harris who pushed us along as well as Mrs Green.
Were you in the passion plays at Durham Tech?
Did you ever go to those South Shields workshops?
Thats it must get on with my present life and not in the past.
Browsing through Fencehouses website and saw your comments (a bit late to reply – however)
We never had a reunion for the Youth Theatre however when Mrs Green retired in the late 70′s we did have an evening where we combined performances from the existing youth theatre and from ex members.
I ran the Youth Theatre for three years till 1980 when a combination of dwindling numbers (there was no school feed any more) and my own work commitments finally drew down the curtain (theatrical pun!!!).
As far as I know non of the members from our era did anything professional. One of the latter members, Judith Vardy now runs a dance/stage school down south. Of course I suggest we all used our inherited skills one way or another in later life. “All the World’s a Stage” and all that.
The only person I’ve had contact with in recent years is Edd Sproul although elsewhere on this web site you’ll find some chat with John Pallin who provided all the programme stuff. I’ve no further info on Barbara Green. David Harris set up one of the first Performing Arts degree courses in Manchester in the early eighties. The only interest I have now is organising occasional village “events”.
Finally, as a fellow “Class of 66″ member you may be interested in this. Three months ago I was looking through a second hand book shop in Helmsley on the North York Moors near where I now live. I found a book on improvisation written in the early 60′s which referred to a warming up technique used by the author using the Sandy Nelson album “Let There be Drums”. We’ve all been there!
Great to hear from you – Brian Forbes.
p.s. You probably weren’t aware but FHYT did once get a mention in “The Stage” the national magazine for those who tread the boards. At times we were quite revolutionary in our own way (driven by Barbara Green) but we didn’t really know it, we were just having fun.
Am currently using ‘Let There be Drums’ as a warm-up excerise for my sixth form (special needs)Performing Arts module group.
Barbara lives on…
Can any of you remember Margorie Forster, she is married to Fred Forster…I think she was involved in these productions. Also Rhona Harvey (was Forster) (Fred’s younger sister).
Im Rhona’s daughter…she married Harry Harvey who later ran Harvey’s Street lighting business, had the large compound opposite the old co-op behind Morton crescent.
yes i know margorie and fred u can find margorie on facebook
John wht is your surname- i’ll ask margorie if she knows you. I noticed your other thread regarding AF lighting services….what makes you think they arent in business anymore?
Hi, just having a wonderful evening ‘up north’ with my family and stumbled across this page….`i have to say that my experience with Fencehouses Youth Theatre with first Barbara Green and then Brian Forbes at the helm set the standards for my future career! I now live in America, but still run a school for performing arts in Warwickshire, and it was the forward thinking of FYT that set me off on the right foot! I joined `national youth theatre of GB’ and then went on to a professional career …. it would be good to get back in touch with ex members and especially Brian Forbes who was my influence and guide in those early years.
My nephew James Vardy is also showing great potential, and has took the lead in many Durham School Productions!! Most recently The Browning Version. I am so proud of him!!
I look forward to hearing from any ex members!!! – Judith Vardy
Amazing that I looked at FH website the day after you left message.
I try to keep in touch with the centre of the universe once every couple of months.
Lots of water passed under the bridge since we last met. I have seen a bit about your career on the odd web site. You obviously travel a lot (mainly in USA?).Good to hear from you. If you get this reply and you want to swap an e-mail I’m on email@example.com – Brian Forbes.
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