Setting the stage at Hebden’s Little Theatre

Hebden Bridge Little Theatre.
Hebden Bridge Little Theatre.

Sowerby Bridge manufacturer J&C Joel has helped set the stage at Hebden Bridge Little Theatre.

The theatre has had new front of house curtains manufactured and installed by J&C Joel after their old ones were badly damaged during the devastating Boxing Day floods.

The velvet velour curtains measure 4.30m wide, with a 4.35m drop. J&C Joel salvaged the original applique from the flood-damaged drapes and reapplied it to the new ones, ensuring some of the theatre’s history was preserved.

They also manufactured and installed a matching shaped valance and doorway curtains which also featured the original applique. The replacement and restoration was made possible thanks to a grant from the Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge.

The Little Theatre was formed in 1924 and is run by a team of dedicated volunteers. Since the deluge it has undergone a full refurbishment including replacing all the carpets and white goods after they were condemned.

Sue Riches, theatre secretary, said: “The support we received after the floods was tremendous. Everyone from the army to the general public were here helping us salvage what we could and remove everything that was damaged. We have been amazed by the grants we have received from various different places.

“We’re particularly grateful to the Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge for the grant to replace the curtains and pelmet. We’re delighted with the work the J&C Joel team has done. They have been fabulous and the new curtains look fantastic.”

Natalie Hoyle, J&C Joel’s creative Co-ordinator, said: “We were pleased to be able to manufacture and install the drapes at Hebden Bridge Little Theatre. It’s always nice to be able to reuse or restore an original feature like we did with the applique for these curtains. It’s like preserving a little bit of history.”

J&C Joel was established in 1978 by John Wheelwright, whose family had been involved in the textile industry for more than 150 years. The business now exports to more than 80 countries worldwide, providing products such as front of house theatre curtains, stage backdrops and projection screens.