Friday, 25 April 2014

Welcome To The Windsor!

It seems as if the old Windsor Theatre (read our article here!) is being given a breath of fresh air!  Thank Goodness!
The building is currently being used as Sandwell Snooker Club and although for the last few years it has been sadly neglected there are plans afoot to restore and renew the theatre to its former glory.

Dating back to 1930 The Windsor Theatre on Bearwood Road was originally opened as the 'picture and theatre venue' playing host to the latest films of the time.
Its distinctive and imposing facade became a focal point in Bearwood with its domed roof 
dominating the skyline.
Closed during the war it re-opened as a theatre with famous stars of the time in attendance showing many amateur dramatics, plays and pantomimes.  

We recently bought this Humpty Dumpty programme which dates from 1958 from an antiques fair.
The 1960's saw the building converted into an ice rink (Mrs B Snr remembers ice-skating there) and in the 1970's, for a short time, it became a night club.
The premises then remained empty and unused until The Sandwell Snooker Centre was established in 1982.
With 11 full size, match standard snooker tables, bar, lounge area and function room, (gosh it’s bigger inside than we thought!) the owners are currently in the process of refurbishing the interior much to the delight of its loyal and longstanding members. 
Julie Fletcher who has recently been brought into help her father couldn’t wait to tell us more. “I’ve always been passionate about this building’, ‘Whenever I look around I always see something new or try to imagine what it must have been like in its former glory. I'm in awe of people who have said to me 'I used to come ice ­skating here’ or ' I saw some famous actress on stage here' and someone recently told me they used to work in the ticket booth in the grand entrance.”
Julie explained that “I have been brought in to help with the business recently and my passion for the building has been re­ignited. We have refurbished the bar, lounge are and function room.”

“Our long standing and loyal member deserve a pleasant and relaxing place to unwind and the the feedback has been very positive.”


We asked Julie what their future plans for the building are and she mentioned that
“we are also looking to develop the stunning 1930's entrance area and upper levels into a
'destination' bar and bistro venue, hoping to enhance the original architecture. Our desire is to restore and renovate rather than renew and alter the heart of the building.”


“Our ultimate aim is to bring the exterior of the building back to its former glory, unfortunately as with most things this will take time and a lot of money, but when I look back at the old photos of the building in its prime, it just makes me even more determined to achieve this.”



“With the newly refurbished interior we are planning a programme of entertainment and we welcome new members and non­ members to our club.”

You can obtain application packs to join the Centre by phoning the Club on 0121 420 3203.  Everybody is welcome.

Julie wants to get everybody in Bearwood involved in the project and she is really excited about the future. “I'm looking forward to the future of The Windsor building and with the support of our members,old and new, and importantly our local community we can try and make it the building it deserves to be.

You can follow the progress made on Sandwell Snooker Club Facebook page right here!

5 comments:

  1. I remember in the 80's the was a charity snooker tournament between all the local football teams - I kept score for Doug Ellis, the then chairman of Villa. I believe Cyrille Regis won the tournament!

    Jenny Pugh

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  2. I also remember ice skating there. Happy Days. Good that they are improving the building. Fingers crossed it goes well and the wider public get to enjoy the building.

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  3. Thanks for your comments Jenny and Coral. It's so fantastic to hear such wonderful memories. We can't wait to see what it's like inside when they've finished all the work.

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  4. Thank you for such positive feedback. We are hoping to put on some Motown, 60's Disco and free and easy nights soon, all are welcome. Please feel free to call in. Also if anyone should have any 'old' photos of past events or anything of relevance to The Windsor we'd love to have a copy to display. Thank You. Julie.

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