Scrapbooks

Background

In its early years, the Group had a predilection for (OK, an obsession with!) self-documentation. This took numerous forms, but perhaps the primary example was the scrapbook. In the pre-digital age of the late 1970s, this was a distinctly analogue equivalent of this web site, but compiled almost as soon as the action had taken place, rather than being pieced together 40 years after the event! Instigated by the Group's first president, Keith MacDougall, it collected artefacts from recent productions and activities, alongside specially written articles by Group members. Most people loved the scrapbook, though to be fair a few were (or are now) less keen. To the latter minority, I apologise now ...

Rediscovery and Repatriation

While the original version of this web site was being built, it was generally assumed that the scrapbooks were long gone, consigned to the great recycling facility of history. It was only when the site was announced, via email to a few dozen old hands, that the shock news of the survival of three editions came to light. For this we have to thank the late Patrick Burton and his daughter Olivia. Remarkably, the three scrapbooks had sat in the Theatre Group office (formerly also LURG's office) for around 40 years !! Quite how or why they were never thrown out, will remain a mystery.

Thanks to the good offices of LURG alumnus Dr George Green (LU dept. of English and Creative Writing), the scrapbooks were recaptured in mid 2018. (Kind thanks to Sophie Goodman of LUTG for succumbing to Dr Green's charms/emails). Once Dr Green had recovered from the emotional shock of being reminded of the days when he had hair, the scrapbooks then passed to Tim Stevens (former president, producer and Self Documenter 1st Class).

Official Handover

On the 24th of August 2018, the formal repatriation of the three recovered volumes took place, when Tim handed them over to Lawson Wakefield, Self-Documentation Overlord (digital division), witnessed by the latter's overseer better half, Linda. Coincidentally, the day of the handover marked the exact 40th anniversary of the opening night of LURG's 2nd Edinburgh production, Lancashire Hot Pot. Appropriately, the three old hacks present at the ceremony represented exactly 33% of the cast of that show.

Lawson takes delivery of the scrapbooks from Tim.
Linda completes the defensive wall.

(More handover photos at the bottom of this page.)

Which Scrapbooks Have Been Recovered ?

The three recovered volumes are:

Volume 2

Covers the Michaelmas term, 1976, including substantial material on the Group's 3rd show, The Free Tenth Unit. A lot of focus on the new challenges of integrating a substantial 1st year intake, a deluge of material and a first full Nuffield show. Also documents the Group's early TV appearances on the nascent STS.

Volume 3

Records the first half of 1977, the new leaner and meaner (well, meaner anyway) Wakefield era. Documents When The Boot Goes In and Golden Mouldies, including innumerable photos from the latter. Also, the Blackpool trip in March (brrrrrr!), the Durham Rip Off, the first annual LURG Awards and the County disaster.

1980s Volume

A rather sparsely populated edition, covering roughly 1980-1983. Includes the original beermats which Puritan Mealtime was written on. Also, a Lancashire Evening Post article promoting 1983's Shame, with a photo of 11 Group members.

While some of the material in each volume duplicated that already present on this site, they have still provided a rich seam of facts and memorabilia, as listed in the September 2018 section on the Recent Additions page. [Note: A certain degree of editorial discretion has been necessary, when selecting material to reproduce, to protect the innocent/guilty.]

The Missing Scrapbooks

The recovery of three scrapbooks raises the almost impossible hope that others may still be out there. Several others are known to have been compiled, particularly:

Also very likely to have been compiled:

Do you have any information regarding the missing scrapbooks?

More Handover Photos

A few more photos from the ceremonial scrapbook handover.

Linda pretends somebody said something funny.

Tim: "Does he really not know how to work a self-timer??"
Linda: "Shhh!! You'll only make him even more grumpy!"

Lawson forgets where the camera is.

And Finally ...

The scrapbook editor faced perennial difficulties in soliciting contributions. Here's an early reminder from Keith, regarding the first volume, being compiled in February 1977. Note in particular, the highlighted P.S.