Archive exhibition was a huge success

The Leas Pavilion Archive ‘pop-up’ exhibition was held between 28 April and 4 May 2019 at 69 Sandgate Road, Folkestone. More than 500 people visited the Exhibition and many shared their memories of going to a production at the theatre, or socialising in the Leas Club.

Actor Michael Claughton reminisces with Max Howard.

A private preview event was held at the beginning of the exhibition, which was well-attended.  We were delighted to welcome several actors who have performed at the Leas Pavilion and film producer Max Howard, whose parents formerly owned the theatre.


Carol and Bobbie Warburton stand with the rescued Leas Club sign that still display’s Carol’s handwritten menu

Throughout the week, we had many interesting visitors, some with amazing links to the Leas Pavilion, including the granddaughter of the builder, the drummer from The Maroondogs who performed in the Leas Club several times, the nephew of former owner Charles Vance, and members of the Warburton family who converted the theatre into a popular club.  Several visitors brought memorabilia for us to see and kindly lent them to us for digitising and inclusion in the archive. By the end of the week, our memory board was full of reminiscences from local people who jotted down their experiences of the theatre and Club. Everyone was keen to see this important part of Folkestone’s heritage restored and reopened for the community.

The display boards featured here were designed by Sam Hutchings, a final year student at the EDGE School of Creative and Business at Folkestone College.


The Leas Pavilion Archive received set-up funding from the Coastal Revival Fund.

We are grateful for advice and services provided by Kent Libraries & Kent Archives.

We acknowledge the support of Folkestone & Hythe District Council and Folkestone Town Council, and the Coastal Communities Team.

The Friends of the Leas Pavilion is also grateful for additional funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which will enable us to provide educational material to schools within the National Curriculum, bringing an important piece of local history to a younger generation.

The Archive project has benefitted from the skills and enthusiasm of staff and students from the EDGE School of Creative and Business at Folkestone College.

We are grateful to Smith Woolley for the use of 69 Sandgate Road as an Exhibition venue.

Thank you to Alan Taylor and other members of the Folkestone & District Local History Society for the use of images and other memorabilia, and to Christine Warren’s amazing Folkestone Then & Now website.

We are especially grateful to all the individuals who have contributed their memories of the Leas Pavilion and Club and the hard-working group of volunteers who have helped catalogue!

Particular thanks are due to:

  • Committee members of the Friends of the Leas Pavilion (Leas Community Trust)
  • Ann Berry and Jennifer Childs, Folkestone Town Council
  • Graham Hammond, Folkestone and Hythe District Council
  • Jez Giddings, Matt Rowe, and Samuel Hutchings, Folkestone College
  • Jack Latimer, Community Sites
  • Mike Dugdale, photographer
  • Mark Hourahane, Digital Archive Services
  • Louise Peregrina, Samantha Wraight, Peter Bates, Ashley Dunn, Michelle Webb
    Pat Fincham, Nigel Lelew, Chris Beddoe, Liz Page, Ann Austin and Deborah Bates, our team of volunteers
  • Rob Illingworth, Kent History Centre
  • Philip Clapham, The Folkestone Estate
  • The Warburton family
  • Christine Waterman, St Margaret’s Village Archive
  • Richard Taylor, Nik n Trick Photo Services
  • Alan Taylor and Peter Bamford, Folkestone & District Local History Society
  • Shane Record
  • Michael Claughton
  • Amerigo Sambucci, Rocco’s Café
  • Stuart Peet, Folkestone Printing
  • Darren Kuti, Leas View Development Co.
Architect Roger Joyce is wowed by the 3D video tour of the Leas Pavilion, demonstrated by Sam Hutchings of The Edge at Folkestone College
The preview was well-attended
FLP chair Liz Mulqueen addresses the attendees
A wonderful platter, courtesy of Folkestone College Catering
A range of merchandise was available to buy
Lots of people shared memories of the theatre and club
Shane Record provided a special canvas of his limited edition print of the Leas Club
This chap stood outside the Leas Club for many years and was rescued from a skip!
Max Howard, son of former owners Robert and Sally Howard, and Bettine Manktelow show off one of her scripts
Barbara Woodhams (nee Moore) recalls memories of the Children's Theatre
David Milne conjures the spirit of his Captain Hook role whilst recalling memories of the Children's Theatre
Ian Cheswright, former drummer for The Maroondogs, recalls memories of performing in the Leas Club

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