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Wolverhampton Grand at 125: Renovation marked a new era

By Marion Brennan | Wolverhampton | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

Their smiles say it all. Sixteen months after closing suddenly, a new chapter in the Grand Theatre's proud history was about to start.

Site agent Frank Smith flanked by Tony Southall(left) and Mike Jennings

Throughout the major renovation of the Wolverhampton venue in the early 1980s, the fundraising campaign to pay for it continued.

Work began on the £756,000 facelift in May 1982 and was to continue for the next 15 months.

The main contract was won by a Solihull firm called Tarmac Refurb who were helped in their task by volunteers from the campaign to save the theatre.

Site agent Frank Smith is seen flanked by Tony Southall, chairman of the Grand Theatre Club, on the left, and Mike Jennings, chairman of the Save The Grand campaign.

Both pledged that the campaign fund, which had just been boosted by £1,200 form a spring fair at Wulfrun Hall, would continue during and well after the work was completed.

They used this picture opportunity with the Express & Star to appeal to Black Country residents and businessmen, now that the theatre renovation was finally under way, to give generously.

The image is reproduced here as the Express & Star joins with the Grand to mark the theatre’s milestone 125th anniversary later this year.

If you have memories or pictures, email 125@grandtheatre.co.uk or write to 125 Memories Project, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, WV1 1DE.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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