Your building, your party: Pavilion to recreate classic moment

THE De La Warr Pavilion has launched a major drive to recreate a classic moment from its past.

Thursday, 1st July 2010, 4:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:15 pm

A photograph printed in the Daily Mirror in 1936 shows the last Bexhill performance of the Daily Mirror 8, a dance troupe funded by the newspaper.

Crowds pack the balconies and rooftop, and more of Bexhill's public jostle for position in the courtyard below.

For Pavilion Director Alan Haydon, the shot, taken one year after the building's 1935 opening, has been an inspiring image throughout the building's multimilion pound overhaul which began in 2004.

Now, as part of the 75th anniversary celebrations, staff at the Grade I listed arts venue are asking Bexhill residents to help them re-create the scene this August Bank Holiday Monday.

"We would really like to involve local people as much as we can," said Sally Ann Lycett, head of communications at the Pavilion. "We'd like to make a modern-day version of this picture, and to do that we need the whole town to think this is something for us to get into."

In fact, staff judge at least 600 people will be needed, all of whom will plied with tea, cakes and given a postcard of the final picture.

"The whole point is that we want it to involve everybody," said Sally. "We would like people to participate in a bit of history marking our 75th birthday."

Julian Porter, curator of Bexhill Museum, said the Daily Mirror 8 were present at Britain's first ever motorcar race in Bexhill in 1902.

"They usually performed at the Colonnade," he added. "But in 1936 they were able to put on a show behind the newly built De La Warr Pavilion."

This August, a parkour - or freerunning - team will replace the elegant eight, and the Pavilion are asking locals to come and perform alongside them.

"Anyone who can play an instrument, or sing, whatever else their talent is - we want them to get in touch," said Sally. "The real message is this is your party, to help celebrate your building."

Musical talent of all ages is needed to make up numbers for a spontaneous orchestra and choir.

And the performances will be followed by a street party, with a different tune for each of the 75 years since the building opened.

The Daily Mirror of August 6, 1932, reports: "Until the last bar of the National Anthem rolled out from the broadcast van, the attention of the hundreds there was gripped by the perfect precision of these eight splendid specimens of young English womanhood."

Living up to the legacy of those splendid specimens will need a joint effort: to book your place at the start of the next 75 years, contact the Pavilion on 01424 229111.