Antique expert lends his support to Futurist campaign

Futurist Theatre pre 1968
Futurist Theatre pre 1968

A TELEVISION antiques expert has lent his support to the plight of Scarborough’s Futurist Theatre.

Paul Atterbury, who is one of the best-known experts on the show, was not part of the team who filmed at Scarborough’s Spa Complex last Thursday.

However, he wrote a letter to Futurist campaigner Patricia David to let her know he was still backing moves to restore the theatre to its former glory.

Mr Atterbury wrote: “Thank you for your letter and for bringing me up to date in the saga of the Futurist Theatre.

“Sadly I am not in the roadshow team visiting Scarborough on May 3 and so cannot accept your kind invitation.

However, I am strongly in favour of all moves to save this theatre, whose historical importance and social value, both locally and nationally, is well established.

“I support all your endeavours and wish you luck in the battle to save it.”

Ms David said she was delighted to receive the letter and explained that Mr Atterbury had been on board with the Futurist campaign for some time.

She said: “When we first started researching the provenance of the original building for the listing application, we had to verify without a shadow of a doubt, what the original was made of.

“A number of theatres and civic building were clad in this ‘faience’ material, which was developed by Royal Doulton as an industrial ceramic.

“It looks like marble, but is made to resist the weather and not crumble.

“It’s the same material used at the building which houses Mecca bingo in Albemarle Crescent, which needs to be cleaned but is still in good condition.

“When I was researching it with the National Ceramics Museum, they said you need to speak to Paul Atterbury.

“He gave us some tips on how English Heritage works in terms of listing and we have kept him in the picture of what we’re doing ever since.”

The theatre has other well-known supporters, including Barry Cryer and Ruth Madoc, who have both spoken out about keeping it open. Ms David added that the campaign has been getting a lot of publicity on a national level, in entertainments newspaper The Stage.

She said: “We have been networking on a national level and using our contacts to the full. People up and down the country are recognising that you need to regenerate in your town to attract people.”