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Felixstowe Musical Theatre finds new home for costumes

Members of Felixstowe Musical Theatre in the new costume store at Greyfriars Carpets. Photo: Simon Parker

Members of Felixstowe Musical Theatre in the new costume store at Greyfriars Carpets. Photo: Simon Parker

Left with potentially nowhere to store their hundreds of costumes, new home Greyfriars Carpets proved the perfect fit for Felixstowe Musical Theatre.

Members of Felixstowe Musical Theatre outside Greyfriars Carpets, where they are storing all their costumes for their use and for hire. Photo: Simon ParkerMembers of Felixstowe Musical Theatre outside Greyfriars Carpets, where they are storing all their costumes for their use and for hire. Photo: Simon Parker

They had been kept in the basement of the Fabric8 for nearly four decades. When the shop closed, members began searching for alternative premises - going as far as considering containers.

“It’s not just space, it needs to be damp proof, you need lights in winter, you need it to be accessible for people and theatre groups looking to hire costumes. It was such a worry; we’ve got everything from authentic army costumes to fantastic 1920s dresses and hats. It’s stuff you could never replace,” said Nigel Chenery, FMT’s chairman.

A friend recommended Greyfriars, also in Hamilton Road, which had a basement. Thanks to a £500 Suffolk County Council grant from councillors John Goodwin and Nick Barber and volunteers, the walls and ceilings underwent extensive renovation and painting. Electrics and lights were added along with railings so the costumes could be hung from the ceiling.

Travis Perkins provided the materials at trade prices and Greyfriars provided carpeting.

“It was a team effort by FMT members, family and friends. The basement is two rooms about 20ft by 15ft and we started the dirty and dusty work in the middle of January and finished in the middle of May,” he added.

“Greyfriars is three doors away from Fabric8 so on the day of the move we had a chain of people walking clothes between the two, which turned some heads.”

A major improvement on their former home, members are glad to have found somewhere still in the centre of Felixstowe.

“We were so fortunate. With the help from everybody we’ve managed to do it without taking significant amounts of money from our finances to allow us to put on Dick Whittingon and his Cat at Woodbridge’s Seckford Theatre from November 26–28 November.”

FMT is holding the first get together for the pantomime from 7.30pm, July 20, at Trimley St Mary’s Welcome Hall. Visit www.felixstowemusicaltheatre.co.uk for more details.


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