The web address for this site should have had Harbour Theatre in it, but due to a misunderstanding, it has my name instead. Sorry about that, that's not what I wanted. If you're trying to find MY OWN personal site, click here - http://andybaird.weebly.com
Anyway - this is a history - not THE history, but A history - of Harbour Theatre, the amateur drama company of the Harbour Arts Centre in Irvine, Ayrshire, from 1968 to 2003. As we’re no longer active and are flung far and wide now, it’s mainly nostalgia for ex-members, but if you’ve stumbled across it, welcome anyway. Feel free to look around. My name’s Andy Baird and I was a member of Harbour Theatre from about 1970 to 2003.
Previously on Harbour Theatre -
We were a busy amateur group which met at the HAC, usually performing four shows per year in March, June, October and December. Since the late 60’s the group had been known simply as The Drama Group, but wishing to ‘up’ the game, we adopted the name Harbour Theatre in 1978. From 1980-96, our December production was a Panto after we realised we could write it ourselves to suit our own space and talents. They proved very popular, and at our peak, it ran to 12 performances, including Saturday matinees. One year, we even added a late Saturday night show, but were so knackered afterwards that we said ‘Never Again’! They were hard work of course, but were a lot of fun and a lot of laughs, as amateur theatre should be. We did virtually everything ourselves - wrote the scripts, built and painted the sets, made the costumes, sold the tickets, recorded our own backing tracks, only hiring or buying when necessary.
Not only did we have our own rehearsal/performance space at HAC, but we had a tremendous amount of freedom, which we couldn’t have existed without. HAC was both a Registered Charity and a social club, run by a voluntary Board of Directors and Committee, and had various user-groups - drama, orchestra, camera club, art group, etc.. (Latterly it was run in partnership with North Ayrshire Council) Raising money for each production was problem-free. Our kind HAC Treasurer told us we could spend virtually what we liked, so long as we got it back in ticket sales, and I think I can safely say that only on a small handful of occasions, we made a small loss. Generally though, with careful budgeting, we made a nice profit and contributed hugely to HAC’s running costs over the years. Our last show was in 1999. There followed a long period of complete inactivity, due to lack of numbers, so we officially wound up Harbour Theatre in 2003.
In 2005, following a successful Lottery application, the Company and the Club were also wound up, ending all Voluntary input for all time. HAC has been completely rebuilt and is now run and staffed entirely by North Ayrshire Council.
So enough gibberish, and on with the show. On other pages, you will find lots of photographs and some behind-the-scenes stories, some of which will bring back happy memories to ex-members. There were many, many times when we thought, "Why do we DO this?", like when it was past midnight and we were still in the middle of a tech rehearsal, (Macbeth!) but we’ll also revive old memories of people and times long gone and wonder at how young we all look!
I’ve built this site a) because I can. b) I’ve got all this archive stuff and don’t know what to do with it, so I might as well share it in some way. c) At the time of launch, it's fast approaching the tenth anniversay of our last show!
If you want to share stories or memories why not sign the guest book . If you’ve any photos or programmes you think should be added, email them to me as JPEG files here. If you can put names and dates and such like to your photos, so much the better. If you can’t do the electronic stuff, email me using the link for my postal address. If you can help with missing names on any of the entries, let me know that too.
NOTE - I can’t do streaming video, so please don’t send old VHS’s etc.
So anyway, grab a coffee or a drink, and prepare to take a trip back.
If anyone has a real objection to their coupons appearing on this site, please accept my apologies, and let me know.