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ABTT Fellowship 2017
UK - This year the Association of British Theatre Technicians honoured Dr David Wilmore by bestowing on him an ABTT Fellowship. Dr Wilmore is a leading consultant for historic theatres and the only person in the UK to hold a PhD in 18th & 19th century Stage Machinery.
At a packed Christmas Party, held 8th December 2017, at the New London Theatre, generously supported again by ETC and Really Useful Theatres Group, ABTT Fellow, Iain Mackintosh, paid tribute to his old friend and colleague, enthralling all with tales of their encounters over the years.
Although originally educated as a geologist at Newcastle University, an opportunity to restore the 19th century stage machinery at the Tyne Theatre & Opera House led to a fascination for old theatres – the three-year project also creating the ideal material for research towards David’s PhD at Hull University.
Completion of his thesis was marred by the news on Christmas Day 1985, that a fire at the venue had resulted in severe damage to the fly tower and the historic stage machinery. It led to the formation of David’s consultancy practice, Theatresearch, the first project being to once again restore the theatre.
Although primarily known for his work in theatre, throughout his 40-year career David’s invaluable knowledge has made his services sought after for both period television and film productions. In addition, and in parallel to his consultancy practice, he has been a prolific writer and publisher.
On receiving his Fellowship, David spoke to the assembled guests, saying: “This is fantastic. It’s been an extraordinary journey from geology to being here today, being involved and meeting so many fantastic people in theatre. Words fail me and I’m really moved to have this honour and thank you ABTT. Having been Chairman of ABTT, taking over from John Faulkner, who did a fantastic job in turning the ABTT round in important, if not difficult days, we’ve moved on since then and many chairmanship’s later, the ABTT continues to grow and be an industry leader. That’s important and really why we are here today. But, looking around, the other thing to say is just how many
people that I know and that I have worked with over the years are here today – so many of you aren’t just colleagues in the industry but also life-long friends. Thank you.”
The full list of 20 living ABTT Fellows now reads as follows: David Adams, Ian Albery, Peter Angier, Jason Barnes, David Blyth, Tony Bond, William Dudley, John Faulkner, Tim Foster, Roger Fox, Chris Higgs, Geoffrey Joyce, Iain Mackintosh, Richard Pilbrow, Peter Roberts, Paul Sadler, John Simpson, David Spink, Mark White and David Wilmore.
Those previously appointed ABTT Fellows but now deceased: Fred Bentham, Richard Brett, Roderick Ham, Ethel Langstreth, Maurice Marshall, Francis Reid and Ken Smalley.
In picture: Robin Townley, ABTT CEO with the newly honoured Dr David Wilmore and Iain Mackintosh.
19th December 2017
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