The Theatre Roof and the Roof Appeal

One of the Trust’s major areas of expenditure over the years of its ownership of the theatre has been in maintaining the roof of the building.

In a 100 year old building this will be a continuing liability.  In 1997-98, for example, the Trust was informed by the local authority that its theatre licence would not be renewed unless significant structural wok was undertaken to the roof.  One of the authority’s main concerns at the time was the weight of snow falling on the roof after a heavy fall.  The interesting aspect of this finding is that history obviously repeats itself because, over 140 years earlier in 1855, just such an eventuality had occurred with the first Theatre Royal building, then in Bridge Street.    In 1997-98 the cost of carrying out the work (£50,000) presented the Trust with a major headache in view of its somewhat limited funds.  Fortunately, on that occasion, a public appeal brought in sufficient funds to enable the work to be undertaken without the necessity for a closure period.  The contributions are acknowledged on a plaque in the theatre foyer.

In view of its continuing liability for roof maintenance and the necessity in 2010 to undertake further works costing £15,000 to make the roof wind and weather proof, the Trust Board decided to launch a ‘roof appeal’ and, through the Friends, is arranging a series of fund raising events, including raffles and bucket collections at the theatre.  The Trust wishes to acknowledge the grants it received for the work undertaken on the roof and other works in 2010 and in and the past from Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services, the Rainford Trust, the Unnamed Players Drama Group, Pilkington Operatic Society and the Friends of the Theatre.  All donations to the Theatre Royal Roof Appeal should be made payable to the ‘Theatre Royal [St Helens] Trust and sent to the Company Secretary at Alpine House, 28 Church Road, Rainford, St Helens WA11 8HE (tel 01744 882081).