Dugdale Centre in Enfield town officially opened
By helenochyra | Thursday, February 11, 2010, 20:44
Councillors, local arts providers and Enfield residents gathered at the Dugdale Centre on Cecil Road in Enfield Town tonight to celebrate the official opening of Enfield's newest venue.
Mayor Eleftherios Savva opens the new Dugdale Centre
Children's International Voices of Enfield sang a medley of choral songs
Thomas Hardy and Florence Dugdale performing Hardy's poems
The Dugdale Centre is an exciting new focal point for Enfield Town, offering a black box studio theatre, conference and events hall, exhibition space and cafe. It promises to be a flexible community hub and arts venue and offers local groups a venue to rehearse, perform and exhibit their work.
The grand opening began with Mayor Eleftherios Savva's official opening speech before guests made their way into the auditorium for further speeches and performances.
Councillor Micharel Rye explained that the centre has been given the name Dugdale in honour of Thomas Hardy's second wife, Florence Emily Dugdale, who was born in the town in 1879 and taught at St Andrews School on the site of what is now Marks and Spencers.
Later, players from the Principal Theatre Company (Enfield) played the roles of Thomas and Florence, reading several of Hardy's poems including Under the Waterfall, The Darkling Thrush and Between Us Now, and Children's International Voices of Enfield led by Founder Director Dr June Keyte performed a medley of beautiful choral songs including two rousing solos by local talents Joe Thompson (tenor) and Sara King (soprano).
Dr Keyte summed up the general feeling when she exclaimed: "I've waited decades to stand in an Enfield venue that is not a church and not a school." The Dugdale Centre is off to an auspicious start.