Saturday, May 23, 2009
High Street Blackwood, Gwent NP7 1BB
phone: 01495 227206
Workshop 4 p.m. Concert 7.30 p.m.
BMI History Timeline
The final stones on the front of the building were laid on 4th December 1925. Originally opened as a single storey snooker hall it was owned by the Coal Industry and the Social Welfare Organisation and paid for out of the Oakdale Miners' wages at 3d a week.
In this year two further floors are added to the building to include the stage, auditorium, dance floor, reading room, library, ladies room and rehearsal rooms for local societies. Original events staged in the building included tea dances, snooker/billiards, reading groups, rehearsals and union meetings for local miners.
The building fell in to disrepair in the 1970s/1980s with the pit closures and in this year the trustees sold it to Islwyn Borough Council who promised to make it available for community use.
The building reopens in February 1992 as a community arts and entertainment venue thanks to funding from Islwyn Borough Council and the Welsh Office. The opening series of concerts saw local school children perform on the same stage as Ken Dodd, Jasper Carrott and the Welsh National Opera.
The building is currently one of the Arts Council of Wales core regional performing arts venues presenting over 40 shows a season ranging from well-known household names to productions staged by groups based in the local community. The annual pantomime alone attracts a total audience of over eleven thousand people.
Please check availability of tickets and confirm date / start times with the organiser before setting out, as sometimes changes are unavoidable - thank you.