Holme Valley Sharing Memories

Holme Valley Sharing Memories / News / Mon 03 Sep 2018

Your chance to perform in stories of Hope Bank Pleasure Grounds

Your chance to perform in stories of Hope Bank Pleasure Grounds

Would you like the opportunity to take part in a short performance as part of Honley Feast on Saturday 22nd September?

Local arts organisations, Holme Valley Sharing Memories and Chol Theatre, are currently looking for adults aged 16 and upwards who wish to be involved in a brand new community production, either as actors or as members of the backstage crew.

Sticklebacks and Swingboats is based on real life stories about the former Hope Bank Pleasure Grounds in Honley. Holme Valley Sharing Memories, which runs creative projects with older people, has been collecting people’s memories of Hope Bank over the past two years and wanted to use them to inspire a bigger event.

Sharing Memories Project Manager, Sally Brown, said:

“We’ve been talking to members of the public who remember visiting the pleasure grounds both before and after the Second World War.”

“We had phone calls from people living as far afield as Aberdeen and Skegness, all eager to share their memories.

“So we decided to create a performance piece, using drama and singing, which would celebrate the history of Hope Bank.”

Chol Theatre, whose previous community shows include ‘The White Line’, ‘Life’s a Beach Hut!’ and ‘HD100’, will produce the show, which will be directed by Joe Gilmour-Rees.

Artistic Director, Susan Burns said:

“Sticklebacks and Swingboats will be created using the amazing material gathered by Sharing Memories. Everyone is welcome and there will be opportunities to help shape the final performance. “

No previous experience is necessary as participants will be supported by a professional production team.

Hope Bank Pleasure Grounds was the dream of John William Mellor, who purchased the land in 1895. By 1906 there was a merry-go-round and a miniature steam train and visitors paid a penny to go in plus extra for the rides. At its peak, in 1948, the attraction drew crowds of up to 50,000, nearly five times the then population of Honley itself.

The pleasure grounds included two boating lakes, ornamental gardens and flower beds, a novel bicycle railway, a zoo, tea rooms, donkey rides, miniature railway, indoor roller skating rink a shooting gallery and many more attractions, including a helter-skelter. Hope Bank finally closed in 1955 and Brook Motors, a factory which made electric motors, was built in its place.

If you would like to find out more about taking part in the performance there will be taster sessions on Saturday 8th and 15th September from 11.30am-1.30pm at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield. Further rehearsals will take place from Monday 18th to Friday 21st September from 4pm-7pm in Honley. For further information contact Susan Burns at Chol Theatre on 07830 345007 or email susan@choltheatre.co.uk

The final performance, which includes new songs written and performed by singer/songwriter Jenny Goodman, adults from Sharing Memories, Amazing Acapella and Far Cry and pupils from Honley Junior School and Southgate Special School, will take place at Honley Feast on Saturday 22nd September at 1.30pm and 2.30pm.

Sticklebacks and Swingboats is funded by Arts Council England, Holme Valley Parish Council, One Community Foundation, Lions International, Chol Theatre and Holme Valley Sharing Memories. The project is also part of Our Biennale, a brand-new festival of arts and culture for children and young people in Kirklees.


For further press information about the Sticklebacks and Swingboats project contact Sally Brown, Holme Valley Sharing Memories on 07950 870864

News Location

Honley Feast

Honley Cricket Club
Far End Lane, Honley, Holmfirth HD9 6NS

Telephone: 07950 870 864
Email: sally-brown@btconnect.com

News Details