The future of a stalwart of Borders theatre is hanging in the balance due to a lack of volunteers.
Founded in 1951 by George Harvey, St Boswells Drama Club reached its 60th birthday four years ago, but since then the celebratory champagne has gone flat – and the balloon could burst should people not step into the breach to remedy the situation.
The last full production staged by the club was 2012’s The Odd Couple, meaning that two years have now passed without a St Boswells cast treading the boards.
Treasurer Anna Assing has herself only been involved behind the scenes for the past four years and now feels like she is fighting a battle to keep things going.
“People just don’t seem to have the gumption to keep it going.
“Many members have fallen by the wayside, but for the purposes of the accounts side of things, I have to remain as treasurer.
“Four years ago we were on a high with the 60th birthday which I remember The Southern covered with a big picture spread, and for the following two years things were alright. The lack of interest started in 2013. One woman was insistent on putting a show on, but unfortunately she then had to pull out, so it fell through completely.
“Last year we aimed to put on our annual spring production, but it got the better of us.
“This year would have been difficult anyway due to the fact that the hall we normally use wouldn’t have been available until this month, but since last year there hasn’t been much interest anyway.
“I got in touch with the Edinburgh Drama Club who put an SOS call out in their publications to try and drum up some support, but it never really came.”
Outgoing chair Christine Lawrie has been a loyal servant to the drama club for nearly half a century and hopes that a return to its glory days isn’t an impossibility.
She told us: “We desperately need volunteers to fill the committee positions – without a full committee we can’t operate.
“Things are very much in limbo at the moment. Eight months have passed since our annual general meeting, but we still haven’t made any progress.
“We can’t just let it go – the club is an institution in the village.
“I’ve had a lot of good times with the club and for us not to be able to put on a spring musical was very upsetting.
“I understand that there are other organisations who are in the same boat due to a lack of volunteers, but what is a particular shame for us is that the facilities in the village hall are the best they have ever been.
“We need some young blood to join our ranks. I was thinking of replicating the famous General Kitchener poster, but with ‘Your local drama club needs you!’.”
A member of the Scottish Community Drama Association, St Boswells Drama Club’s first full production was Granny, in 1953, and this was followed by the likes of Mr Pimm Passes By, Bunty Pulls The Strings and Candied Peel.
More recent shows include Surprise Package, Find The Lady and Culture Crazy.
Anyone interested in joining the drama club committee should make contact with Anna Assing as soon as possible as there are plans afoot for an extraordinary meeting of the club to decide what to do next.
Email Anna on email@example.com.