Black Country building brought back to life dramatically


The former antiques market, Salop Street, Wolverhampton

The former antiques market, Salop Street, Wolverhampton

A bank and council have helped a theatre group bring a Black Country building back to life again as a theatrical resource for the whole West Midlands region is being relaunched.

Wolverhampton’s Central Youth Theatre (CYT) has moved more than 10,000 theatrical costumes into the city’s former antiques market in Salop Street.

Now, with the help of Lloyds Banking Group (Birmingham Midshires) volunteering team, the building is being renovated to help provide a costume hire facility for schools, colleges, community, voluntary and theatrical groups throughout the region as well as for CYT.

CYT director Jane Ward said: “For the last five years we housed our costumes in an empty wing of Northwood Park Primary School, Bushbury.

“However, this summer, the school needed to take the classrooms back to meet the demand for more places at the school.

“Thanks to Wolverhampton Council we were able to rent the empty antiques market building.

“We moved the costumes in a huge operation involving members, past members, Trustees and volunteers but shortly afterwards flash-flooding hit the building and we needed a big clean-up.

Some of the costumes after the move to the antiques market

Some of the costumes after the move to the antiques market

“Now we want to get the building in tip-top shape and the Lloyds (Birmingham Midshires) volunteering team, based at Pendeford, Wolverhampton, who have painting, cleaning and DIY experience, very kindly came in to help us out on Tuesday 30th and Wednesday  31st October.

“This will help to provide a space for costumes which will be a resource for the whole region.”

“It has some great features – especially the dressing room which dates back to the 1960s when the venue was The Woolpack Civic Restaurant and was packed as it hosted dancing and live bands such as the N’Betweens, Californians and Montanas.

“Drummer Don Powell, lead guitarist Dave Hill, Jimmy Lea and Noddy Holder transformed the N’Betweens into Slade (http://youtu.be/A0NpJ7mcfPo) and went on to huge success – as did Robert Plant, who also performed there, when he went on to become a key part of the Led Zeppelin supergroup.

“Glenn Hughes played there with Trapeze and he went on to join Deep Purple.

Poster for Trapeze at The Woolpack Restaurant

Poster for Trapeze at The Woolpack Restaurant

“In a way I suppose we are restoring the link with entertainment the building had.

“We will continue to develop the building but the costume hire side has now been relaunched and anyone who wants to take advantage of the amazing range of costumes should contact us by calling 08450511167 or emailing info@theactorswardrobe.co.uk”

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