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The proposal to rename The Ridings Arts Centre at The Winterbourne International Academy.

A proposal for the adoption of the name "The Martyn Grogan Arts Centre" was submitted to Winterbourne International Academy Senior Management and the Chair of the Board of Trustees in early May for consideration at a Trustees' Meeting in June, so we are sad that within days of our application this proposal was refused by Adam Williams: this decision fell to him as an ex-officio Trustee and Chief Executive, after consulting with Mr A Lazarides, Chair of the Board of Trustees.

He thanked us for our compelling documentation and acknowledged the impact that Martyn had made on the school and pupils, but that "naming a building after somebody is a serious commitment and, in doing so, there is something implied regarding the efforts and impact of that person above and beyond others who worked there at that time. I am uncomfortable with this implication and would not wish for other staff members, many of whom have given just as much of themselves to their vocation, both within and beyond the Arts Centre, to feel somewhat unappreciated".

One very positive comment has been received so far: "The diverse and impressive line-up Martyn brought about at the Arts Centre is no longer happening. In this case I wonder if the dedication of this building to his memory is really so fitting. In my mind his name should be associated with a building or place where the arts are thriving: a living, breathing, vibrant artistic space - or even a festival or an award. He was, after all, bigger than the building, and his achievements in education and theatre both pre and post-dated it".
If you have a comment, please let me know.

History of the Arts Centre.

The first plans for the Sixth Form block and school Arts Centre were drawn up during Miss Sedgwick's Headship, but it was not until the arrival of Dr Rob Gibson as Head that Martyn Grogan's vision for the completed Arts Centre to become a culture centre for the local and wider area became a reality, with the first show being presented in April 1996.

Martyn and Jan Grogan were a formidable team, and went on to produce exciting programmes of music, Dance, theatre and entertainment for both the school and wider community - and students benefitted from exciting afternoon workshops with the performers. This continued for more than ten years.

Martyn was a very persuasive person - he persuaded both Fred Wedlock and Chris Harris to be regular performers and to become patrons. He persuaded Steve Berkoff to perform his one-man show "Shakespeare's Villains" (1998) and Mr Berkoff was so impressed by Martyn's commitment to Theatre and the Arts that he arranged for the actress Linda Marlowe to premier her new one-woman show "Berkoff's Women" at The Arts Centre (1999 and again in 2001). It was a great privilege for the school and yet another feather in the cap for Martyn.

The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School students were delighted to be asked to perform at the venue and for several years they came along to entertain with their West Country Touring productions, and the National Theatre brought their touring production of "Twelfth Night" in 1998.

Great bands, legendary artists, touring groups, actors and companies, all said the same thing: the venue was exceedingly popular with them because of the warm welcome and respect they were accorded by Martyn and his team of student helpers.

Many of the bands, groups and artists brought their own followers with them: for some performances we had people who had travelled from Manchester, Taunton, London and Essex!

Later on in the life of the Arts Centre, students were given the opportunity to learn stage lighting and sound and used their acquired skills at actual peformances.
The stage lighting and sound system for the use in the Arts Centre as a public venue was part-funded by Winterbourne Parish Council after an application from Martyn to the WPC.

Martyn retired in 2012 after over thirty-five years service. Since then the Centre has no longer functioned as a community venue, but his legacy as an inspirational teacher lives on in the legions of ex-students who remember happy school days with a teacher who shaped their lives.
Steven Berkoff sent his condolences to the family when he heard the sad news that Martyn had died on 30th November, and on the evening of his funeral, many people attended a theatre performance by Gemma Bolwell, one of Martyn's students from long ago. She dedicated that night's performance to Martyn:

"This evening's performance of 'How to Reappear' is dedicated to Martyn Grogan, an inspirational Drama teacher who sadly passed away on 30th November. Without him there would be less thought-provoking theatre in the world and fewer people performing it. He taught us how to face the stage and life with courage, energy, commitment and self-belief. He will be missed"

The recent production of "Oliver" at the school was dedicated to Martyn (Martyn employed both Lewis Groves and Lisa Benbow, current Drama teachers at the school).

Many ex-students expected that after Martyn's death that school Senior Staff in the new school building would take the opportunity to rename the old Arts Centre and Sixth-Form block in memory of an inspirational man and teacher.
The proposal for the adoption of the name "The Martyn Grogan Arts Centre" was submitted on behalf of ex-students to Winterbourne International Academy Senior Management and the Chair of the Board of Trustees in early May for consideration at a Trustees' Meeting in June. We are sad that this proposal has been refused.

Shows at the Arts Centre

    Date             Event    and   Genre

25-Apr-96    Metamorphosis (Everyman)------ Drama
06-Jun-96    Tempest (Everyman) ------ Drama
19-Sep-96    What Four ------ Jazz
25-Sep-96    Mark Eden-Chris Stell Duo --- Classical Guitar
10-Oct-96    End of the Pier (Everyman) -- Drama
16-Oct-96    Rick Payne unplugged ------ Blues
30-Oct-96    Dr Miracle Bristol Opera
06-Nov-96   Caligula (Kaos) ------ Drama
08-Jan-97    Brass, Bells and Barbershop --- Musical entertainment
16-Jan-97    Keith Tippett ------ Jazz
23-Jan-97    Circus Maniacs ------ Circus
30-Jan-97    Fred Wedlock ------ Legend!
05-Feb-97    Bristol Bach Choir ------ Choral
20-Feb-97    Kemp's Jig (Chris Harris) ---- Drama
09-Apr-97    Hess (Kai Barron) ------ Drama
16-Apr-97    Merchant of Venice (Compass) --- Drama
24-Apr-97    Any String Goes ------ String Quartet
04-Jun-97    Duende Folk ------ Latin American
11-Jun-97    Russell Edwards Duo ------ Flute and Guitar
19-Jun-97    Paul Jones and Dave Kelly ------ Blues Legends!
26-Jun-97    Tir Na Nog (Travelling Light) --- Drama
02-Jul-97     Canterbury Tales (BOVTS) --- Drama
10-Sep-97    Benefit Concert ------ Rock
18-Sep-97    Manon Morris Harp ------ Concert Harp
25-Sep-97    Fever ------ Drama
01-Oct-97    Sally Flann and Andrew Bullock, Cello and Pianoforte
09-Oct-97    Surviving Bluebeard (Orchard) ------ Drama
16-Oct-97    Crazy Rhythm ------ Gypsy Jazz
23-Oct-97    Gee Baby I Love You ------ Soul
06-Nov-97   Importance of Being Earnest (Kaos) ------ Drama
08-Jan-98    Courtship (Kim Hicks) ------ Drama
15-Jan-98    Polly ands the Phonics Harmony
21-Jan-98    Keith and Julie Tippett Jazz - contemporary
29-Jan-98    Fabulous Wounds (Earthfall) --- Dance Contemporary
05-Feb-98    Premiere Brass Quintet ------ Brass Ensemble
12-Feb-98    Beemaster (Chris Harris) ------ Drama
25-Feb-98    Twelfth Night (National) ------ Drama
26-Feb-98    Fred Wedlock ------ Legend!
04-Mar-98    Philip Gross and Miranda Garland Music and Poetry
22-Apr-98    Conall Yellowclaw (Kaos) ------ Drama
23-Apr-98    Albion Band ------ Folk Legends!
29-Apr-98    Julie Felix ------ Folk Legend!
28-May-98   Fairport Acoustic Convention ------Folk Legends!
03-Jun-98    Tempest (Compass) ------ Drama
11-Jun-98    Sally Barker Group ------ Folk
17-Jun-98    April in Paris (Hull Truck) ------ Drama
18-Jun-98    Anusha Subramanyam ------ Bharatnatyam Classical Indian Dance
24-Jun-98    Mistero Buffo (Kai Barron) Drama
25-Jun-98    Great Western Chorus ------ Barbershop
01-Jul-98     Under the Greenwood Tree ------ Drama
09-Jul-98     Affinity - All That Jazz
16-Jul-98     Electric Lobsters ------ Rock and Roots
09-Sep-98    Joe Brown ------ Legend!
10-Sep-98    Bibs Ekkel and Slandra Alexandrov -- Balalaika
17-Sep-98    Imule ------ Dance, African
18-Sep-98    Helena ------ Guitar
23-Sep-98    Rick Payne ------ Blues
24-Sep-98    Zi Lan Liao ------ Chinese Dance
28-Sep-98    Bouncers (Hull Truck) ------ Drama
30-Sep-98    Paul Jones and Dave Kelly ------ Blues Legends!
07-Oct-98    Messing With Medea (Orchard) ------ Drama
14-Oct-98    Alice, The Way Back (Everyman) ------ Drama
15-Oct-98    Zubop Jazz - Afro Latin
21-Oct-98    Legend of the Creaking Floorboard (Horse and Bamboo) ------ Drama
22-Oct-98    Huw and Tony Williams ------ Folk
23-Oct-98    Shakespeare's Villains (Steven Berkoff) ------ Legend!
04-Nov-98   Master and Margarita (Kaos) ------ Drama
28-Jan-99    Effie's Burning (Crisp) ------ Drama
15-Apr-99    Kissing Sid James (Hull Truck) ------ Drama
22-Apr-99    Carmina ------ Celtic fusion
28-Apr-99    Metropolis (Kaos) ------ Drama
05-May-99   Rococco Blood (Earthfall) ------ Contemporary Dance
06-May-99   Berkoff's Women (Linda Marlowe) ------ Legend!
10-Jun-99    Crazy Rhythm -------- Gypsy Guitar
17-Jun-99    Rolling Clones ------ Tribute
23-Jun-99    Tim Van Eyken and Robert Harbron -----Folk
24-Jun-99    Spaghetti Western-Super-Mare (Big State) ------ Drama
30-Jun-99    Sweet Dreams (BioDance) ------ Dance
07-Jul-99     Orit Wolf Classical Piano
08-Jul-99     Hard Times (BOVTS) ------ Drama
15-Jul-99     Helen Shapiro ------ Legend!
16-Sep-99    Wurzels + Colvin and Quarmby ------ Legend!
22-Sep-99    Bristol Baroque Ensemble ------ Chamber Music
29-Sep-99    Faustus (Ophaboom) ------ Drama
30-Sep-99    Bob Hall Show ------ boogiewoogie
06-Oct-99    Albion Band ------ Folk Legends!
08-Oct-99    Teechers (Hull Truck) ------ Drama
13-Oct-99    Four Pennies ------ Legend!
20-Oct-99    Project Georges Brassens Gypsy Swing
21-Oct-99    Edge of Day - Laurie Lee ------ Tribute Music and Poetry
04-Nov-99    Golden Goose (Lantern) ------ Drama
12-Jan-00    Ludwig Beatles ------ Tribute
19-Jan-00    Allan Schiller ------ Classical Piano
27-Jan-00    Paul Jones and Fiona Hendley ------ Blues ------ Legend!
02-Feb-00    WAZ ------ Folk
03-Feb-00    Groove Tube - Hot Rox ------ Rock
10-Feb-00    Kemp's Jig (Chris Harris) ------ Drama
16-Feb-00    Beach Boys Inc ------ Tribute
17-Feb-00    Matilda (Imule) ------ Drama
02-Mar-00    Fred Wedlock - Adults Only ------ Legend!
12-Apr-00    Humphrey Littleton Jazz ------ Legend!
03-May-00    Merchant of Venice (Barebones) ------ Drama
27-May-00    Showdown Song and ------ Dance
07-Jun-00    Kelvin Henderson Band ---- Country Music
14-Jun-00    Paul Jones and Dave Kelly ------ Blues Legends!
22-Jun-00    Bristol Baroque Ensemble ------ Chamber Music
29-Jun-00    Julie Felix Folk ------ Legend!
05-Jul-00     Legend of Robin Hood (BOVTS) ------ Drama
06-Jul-00     Rollin Clones ------ Tribute
13-Jul-00     Midsummer Night's Dream (WCT) ------ Drama
19-Jul-00     Abba Gold ------ Tribute 2 nights
14-Sep-00    George Melly and John Chiltern's Feetwarmers ------ Jazz Legends!
20-Sep-00    Nuclear Fish ------ Rock
28-Sep-00    Electric Lobsters and Colvin and Quarmby ------ Ceilidh Band
08-Oct-00    Teechers (Hull Truck) ------ Drama 2 nights
11-Oct-00    Great Western Chorus ------ Choral
12-Oct-00    Gee Baby I Love You ------ Soul
18-Oct-00    Stacey Kent and Band ------ Jazz
01-Nov-00    Sinbad the Sailor (Lantern) ------ Drama
02-Nov-00    The Girl Who Cut Flowers (Horse and Bamboo) ------ Drama
02-May-01    John Mills and Guests ------ Classical Guitar
09-May-01    Frankenstein (Hull Truck) ------ Drama 2 nights
17-May-01    Naked Voices ------ Acapella
23-May-01    Comedy of Errors (WCT) ------ Drama
05-Jun-01    Agamemnon ------ Drama
20-Jun-01    Blues Band ------ Legend!
11-Jul-01     Beijing Opera ------ Chinese Opera
13-Sep-01    Wurzels + West Country Life ------ Legend!
19-Sep-01    Beauty and the Beast (Festival of Fools) ------ Drama
26-Sep-01    Elaine Delmar ------ Jazz singer
03-Oct-01    Spiro ------ Music
11-Oct-01    Allan Schiller ------ Classical Piano
17-Oct-01    Mella Faye and the Big Band ------ Jazz
18-Oct-01    Berkoff's Women (Linda Marlowe) ------ Legend!
24-Oct-01    September in the Rain (Hull Truck) ------ Drama 2 nights
08-Nov-01    Firebird (Multistory) ------ Drama
27-Nov-01    Frog Princess (Lantern) ------ Drama 4 nights
16-Jan-02    Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen------ Jazz Legends!
24-Jan-02    Zango Zimbabwe ------ Dance
31-Jan-02    Young Rock Band Night ------ Rock
07-Feb-02    Fred Wedlock, Hannah Wedlock and the Blue Notes ------ Legends!
21-Feb-02    That's the Way to Do It! (Chris Harris) ------ Drama 2 nights
27-Feb-02    Macbeth and Twelfth Night(WCT) ------ Drama
28-Feb-02    Bob Hall Show ------ Folk
25-Apr-02    Popcorn ------ Drama
25-Apr-02    Whole Lotta Led ------ Tribute
03-May-02    Earthfall Residency ------ Dance - contemporary
09-May-02    Pair of Beauties (Hull Truck) ------ Drama 2 nights
15-May-02    Gordon Giltrap ------ Guitar
23-May-02    Kate and Liesl ------ Flute
29-May-02    Robin Hood (Ophaboom) ------ Drama
05-Jun-02    Yerma ------ Drama 2 nights
14-Jun-02    Chas and Dave ------ Legend!
20-Jun-02    Sally Barker ------ Vocalist
21-Jun-02    Beach Boys Inc ------ Tribute
26-Jun-02    Bharatnatyam ------ Classical Indian Dance
03-Jul-02     Love's Labours Lost (BOVTS) ------ Drama 2 nights
11-Jul-02     Paul Jones and Dave Kelly ------ Blues Legends!
18-Jul-02     Helen Shapiro Farewell Concert Tour ------ Legend!
19-Jul-02     Samba Time ------ Dance
12-Sep-02    Wurzels and Fred Wedlock ------ Legend!
19-Sep-02    Vadim Peaceman and Erika Nastrom Classical
26-Sep-02    Chimanimani ------ Zimbabwe
02-Oct-02    Comets ------ Rock
10-Oct-02    Mella Faye and the Big Band ------ Jazz Funk
16-Oct-02    Hells Bells ------ Tribute
30-Oct-02    Charlotte Salomon (Company of Angels)(Horse and Bamboo) ------ Drama
31-Oct-02    The Great British Jazz Band ------ Jazz Legends
13-Nov-02    Temperance Seven ------ Legend!
18-Nov-02    Can't Stand Up For Falling Down (Earthfall) ------ Contemporary Dance
27-Nov-02    Robin Hood (Lanternfish) ------ Drama 3 nights
15-Jan-03    Blues Band ------ Blues Legends!
23-Jan-03    Whole Lotta Led ------ Tribute
06-Feb-03    Ally Slopers Half Holiday (Chris Harris) ------ Drama
07-Feb-03    Beemaster (Chris Harris) ------ Drama
08-Feb-03    Around the World in 40 Years with Chris Harris ------ Drama
13-Feb-03    The Stones (Travelling Light) ------ Drama
19-Mar-03    Barron Knights ------ Legend!
03-Apr-03    Twelfth Night/Macbeth (WCT) ------ Drama
10-Apr-03    Young Rock Bands Night ------ Rock
02-May-03    Earthfall Residency ------ Contemporary Dance -
07-May-03    Otis Grand and his Big Blues Band
20-May-03    Albert Nobbs (Hull Truck) ------ Drama 2 nights
06-Jun-03    London Pergolesi Sinfonietta ------ Concert
19-Jun-03    An Evening with Roy Hattersley ------ Legend!
03-Jul-03     B'Eagles ------ Tribute
11-Jul-03     Brecht Residency (Chris Harris) ------ Drama
17-Jul-03     Hells Bells ------ Tribute
11-Sep-03    Wurzels +West Country Life ------ Legend!
18-Sep-03    Rock Night
25-Sep-03    Beach Boys Inc ------ Tribute
01-Oct-03    Yakabaka Music from Zimbabwe
08-Oct-03    Lears Daughters (Yellow Earth) ------ Drama
16-Oct-03    Rock Night
23-Oct-03    History of Comedy (Olly Crick) ------ Drama
12-Nov-03    Whole Lotta Led ------ Tribute
26-Nov-03    Aladdin (Lanternfish) ------ Drama 3 nights
22-Apr-04    Life's a Beach (Hull Truck) ------ Drama
09-Sep-04    Wurzels ------ Legends!
16-Sep-04    Kurt Stevens Vocalist
23-Sep-04    Whole Lotta Led ------ Tribute
29-Sep-04    Young Bands Night ------ Rock
07-Oct-04    B'Eagles ------ Tribute
14-Oct-04    Hannah and Hannah ------ Drama
04-Nov-04    Young Bands Night ------ Rock
10-Nov-04    A Strange Event (Horse and Bamboo) ------ Drama
24-Nov-04    Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates ------ Drama 3 nights
19-Jan-06     Pirates of the River Severn (Old Spot) ------ Drama
10-May-06    I Want that Hair (Hull Truck) ------ Drama
21-Sep-06    Ben Badoo ------ African Drumming
27-Sep-06    Virgins (Company of Angels) ------ Drama
12-Oct-06    Young Bands Night ------ Rock
09-Nov-06    Young Bands Night ------ Rock
23-Nov-06    Ali Baba (Lanternfish) ------ Drama 2 nights
11-Jan-07    Sgt Peppers Only Darts Board Band ------ Tribute
18-Jan-07    Gloucester Scaramouche (Old Spot) ------ Drama
01-Feb-07    Young Bands Night    ------ Rock
08-Feb-07    Good Person of Szechwuan (Scene) ------ Drama
15-Feb-07    Paul Jones and Dave Kelly    ------ Blues
08-Mar-07    Night at the Pantomime (Chris Harris) ------ Drama
29-Mar-07    Young Bands Night    ------ Rock
27-Apr-07    Earthfall Residency    ------ Dance - contemporary
10-May-07    Young Bands Night    ------ Rock
14-Jun-07    Tattercoats (Multistory) - matinee ------ Drama
14-Jun-07    Beast in our Backyard (Multistory) ------ Drama
21-Jun-07    Young Bands Night ------ Rock
05-Jul-07     Alllan Schiller Classical Piano
11-Oct-07    Truckstop (Eastern Angles/Company of Angels)    ------ Drama
18-Oct-07    Man Equals Man    ------ Drama
15-Jan-09    King of Spain's Daughter (Old Spot)    ------ Drama
07-May-09   Dancing With Angels    ------ Drama
04-Feb-10    Chancers (Old Spot)    ------ Drama
04-Mar-10    Me and Me Dad (Hull Truck)    ------ Drama
24-Nov-11    Red Riding Hood (Horse and Bamboo)    ------ Drama

The original Arts Centre archives have not yet been found. This list has been compiled from my own notes and sources and may not be complete.
Cast lists and programmes for plays will be deposited in the archives of the University of Bristol Theatre Collection after this submission.
John Kite 16 March 2016

Sponsors of The Arts Centre productions:

   British Aerospace
   Brookers Mobile Bars
   Courtstall Services
   David Powell
   Direct Associates
   Donovan Construction
   Edit Concepts
   Elite Hygiene Services
   Investment SouthWest Arts
   Jarvis Grange
   Joe Public
   Keller Accountants
   Kestrel Design
   Kirby Simcox
   Lionel Saunders
   McKendrick Norcott
   Pearce Construction
   Power Electrics
   Sharemills Building Contractors
   South Gloucester Council
   Stage Coach Tickets
   Tardis Internet
   The Wheatsheaf
   Winterbourne Motors

The University of Bristol has an excellent on-line archive of actors and plays and is well worth a visit at
# The University of Bristol Theatre Collection.