About GADS - a potted history and introduction - GADS Gosforth

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About GADS - a potted history and introduction

About GADS

GADS is based in the village of Gosforth, in the county of Cumbria, England.
We are on the western edge of the beautiful Lake District.

Yes, there is another Gosforth, over in the North East just north of Newcastle, but that’s not us.

If you want to know exactly where we are on the map,
then have a look at our Where we are page.

The original society, as far as we know, was also called the Gosforth Amateur Dramatic Society, and was formed in 1932, shortly after the Public Hall was built.

Its first production, in Dec 1933, was “The Farmer’s Wife”, a 3-act comedy by Eden Phillpotts.

This society was short-lived, being disbanded at the outbreak of the Second World War.

These are two of our earliest photographs - from Baa Baa Black Sheep in 1934.


There was also something in the 1920s and 30s called “The Gosforth Shakespearean Players” but we are not sure if they were a properly organised society or just an ad hoc group. If anyone out there knows about this group and their activities we would love to hear from you. These are two photographs that we have of the Players.


There are lots more old photographs here.

The present society was formed at a public meeting in Gosforth School on April 20th 1948.
The officials of a governing committee for Gosforth Amateur Dramatic Society were elected
and it was decided to join the Cumberland Drama League.
A report of the meeting was passed to the Whitehaven News, for publication on Thursday April 29.


The newly formed Committee next met on May 3rd 1948.
It was chaired by Will Wilson with about 27 members present.
We still have the first Minutes book covering the period April 1948 to May 1952.
In those days, the Society had a semi-permanent Producer (Mr Bell) and Stage Manager (Mr Wilf Lightfoot).
These days, they are appointed for each production.


At the next meeting, on May 20 1948, it was revealed that a meeting of the old Gosforth Dramatic Society had been held and that the Society had now disbanded. Its funds of £1 4s 0d had been handed over to the new Society.
At this meeting, the new Society was re-named Gosforth and District Amateur Dramatic Society.
Producer, Mr Bell, gave suggestions for Christmas entertainment, including the reading of an old Cornish Play "St George and the Dragon" together with a selection of songs, dances and stories.
At a meeting on 28 June 1948, the programme for the Christmas show was decided. A Variety was considered most suitable, with a programme of one act plays, sketches and musical items. There would be two performances - on Thu 9 and Fri 10 December.  A band would be used and the Friday performance would be followed by a dance.
On 15 November, it was confirmed that a 6 piece band (The Astonians) would be engaged at a cost of £10. 100 chairs would be obtained from Seascale, a gramophone and records would be sourced and Mr Bell was empowered to obtain flex and electric light bulbs! At the next meeting on 15 December, Mr Bell suggested that lighting dimmers be made for the stage.

How times have changed.


Although we set ourselves high standards and do not suffer prima donnas gladly, we are a friendly group with a down-to-earth attitude and members of all ages and from all walks of life.

We make most of our own scenery, props and some costumes (but not dimmers for the lights!) - so there is lots to do other than acting.

We don't have a gramophone or records any more but we do have modern sound equipment, a set of 12 radio microphones and modern lighting equipment.

If you would like to find out more about us and our forthcoming productions, or if you want to find out how to join us, then it’s all here on this site - or, if you prefer, you can email us.



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