“Archive”: n. a collection of historical documents

Wick Theatre’s archive is a collection of documents but not all located in one place.

There are papers in Ralph and Betty Dawes’ ownership. Ray Hopper gathered photographs and production ephemera; posters, programmes, news clippings; storing these in binders in the attic of the Community Centre’s Homestead building.  Peter Joyce, in building web pages for each production noted gaps in reviews and raided Worthing Reference library’s micro-film of past issues of the Shoreham Herald.  The East Sussex reference library also provided film of the Brighton & Hove Gazette and the Sussex Daily News.

Prints of articles entered the production binders but we are always talking of paper.

And we also recognised that the founder members were dwindling as final curtains fall. We need to respect the remaining stores of memories.

To respect the fragility of both paper and memory we told the HLF:

“The Wick Theatre Company’s membership includes individuals who have memories of its earliest days and anecdotes relating to productions down through the years. The intention is to capture this intangible heritage digitally, from half-a-dozen members.

The Company is aware that some archive material’s physical state is weak and cannot be expected to survive long-term storage outside of controlled conditions. Through a program of digitising material relating to each production will be preserved and presented to those accessing the Company’s electronic heritage records.”