Report on our meeting held 22nd February 2016
Prior Rick Hudson welcomed members and then introduced the speaker, Andrew Aldis. Andrew is the General Manager at the Spa and he talked about how he came to the Spa, the history of the Spa including more recent successes, and the exciting plans for the future.
As an introduction, Andrew gave is an illustrated tour of his own history and how it led to his role at the Spa. He has always wanted to work in the theatre, but began life in the “boring” job of graphic artist. Later he was involved in computer programming and technical support, at one time working for the “Prince’s Trust”. But he lived in London and was struggling to pay the rent. He then took a job as a theatre usher earning more money and satisfying his early ambitions. He worked his way up the tree moving from theatre to theatre. He became deputy manager at the Apollo Victoria which he regards as the most beautiful theatre building in London. He took the job at the Spa because the building was brilliant and the job challenging.
Andrew then showed a film about the history of the Spa from its rise from the ashes in 1932 after a devastating fire to the refurbishment of the building in 2012. This included posters of the “golden age” of seaside holidays, and many photographs of the inside and outside of the building taken over that 80 year period.
He then reflected on the activities at the Spa in the years of his tenure including the introduction of season long “showtime” song and dance spectaculars, and the outreach to Sewerby Hall and Burton Constable Hall with entertainments such as “Pass the Porter”. Andrew looked forward to events planned for this year including “When Ivor met Amy Johnson”, a portrayal of a fictitious meeting allowing us to enjoy the music of Ivor Novello. This will again tour around the East Riding with more venues in prospect. This year’s “showtime” at the Spa will be “At the Movies – a life in pictures”, and the pantomime at the year’s end will be “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. An excited Andrew reviewed these and the other shows lined up for this year.
Andrew is proud of the productions he and his team have presented and have in the pipeline, and the fact that they have turned a loss into an operating profit. It is clear that Andrew is enthused and excited by his job and has the personality to add success onto success.
The vote of thanks was given by Joan Turner. She thanked the speaker for his review of the Spa history and the plans for the future. She recalled that when she was active in local politics the Spa was always a drain on finances, and it is pleasing to note that the finances have been turned around.