West Cliff (Tendring) Trust
The West Cliff Theatre is governed by a charitable Trust whose origins date back to 1984. At that time the theatre was owned by Tendring District Council (TDC) but was only open during the summer for the Summer Show plus a pantomime put on by the Clacton Amateur Operatic Society (CAOS) and three plays a year by the Clacton Amateur Dramatic Society (CADS). Because of this there was some criticism that ratepayers’ money was being wasted keeping a theatre going for just four months a year and there was a very real possibility that TDC was about to close it down. In view of this threat, two prominent members of CAOS, Mike Freeman and Peter Anselmi, formed a group, the Tendring Theatre Association (TTA), to rally public opinion and put pressure on the council to keep it open.
The TTA approached the council with plans for making use of the theatre all year round and to become more involved with the day-to-day running of the theatre. TDC agreed and a Trust (six members from the TTA and three from the Council) was formed to take over the running of the Theatre.
After nearly ten years of showing that it could run the West Cliff successfully, the Trust offered to buy the freehold of the theatre. Tendring District Council agreed on condition that they (the Council) continue to run the Summer Season. And so, in 1995, the West Cliff (Tendring) Trust became the new freeholders and outright owners of the theatre.
Francis Golightly continued to produce the Summer Season on behalf of Tendring District Council until 2001, when he produced his last Cascade Revue. The agreement that the Council itself should be responsible for the summer show ended with Francis Golightly’s last season and from 2002 onwards the Trustees became solely responsible for running the West Cliff Theatre 365 days a year.
There have been many changes in the make up of the Trustees since, each bringing their own particular experience and different area of expertise. However, what they all have in common is a burning desire and determination to make the West Cliff Theatre a success.
Currently the Trustees are:
Norman Jacobs (Chairman)
Irene Tracey (Secretary)
Alan Francis (Treasurer)
Geoff Wiggins (Road Shows & Events)
Chris Bird (Fundraising)
Irene Cartland (Second Act Charity Shop Manager)
David Clark (Assistant Treasurer)
John Goulding (Maintenance)
Keith Harris (Technical Manager)
Terry Mills (Front of House) Brian Markham (Health & Safety) Joan Beatton (Social liaise)
West Cliff Theatre, Tower Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex CO15 1LE.
Registered in England No. 02002819
VAT No. 550071774
Charity No. 1001022