A Brief History of UMT

On March 1st 1911, following correspondence in the local newspaper the Western Telegraph, a meeting was held in the Urmston Public Hall resulting in the formation of Urmston & District Operatic Society which subsequently was renamed as Urmston Amateur Operatic Society in 1947 and then Urmston Musical Theatre in 1997. Among its founder members were Fred Millington, Tom Teare, Fred Clark and Arthur Dyson. The first production, H.M.S. Pinaforewas in January 1912 and the annual subscription was 7s 6d.

The Urmston Amateur Operatic Society circa 1911

Two years later came World War One and with it the impossibility of carrying on with regular productions. Whilst many members fought for their country, others helped the staffing and maintenance of the B.R.C.S. Wibbersley Auxiliary Hospital. Over £2000 (a great deal of money in those days) was raised by Concerts, Carnivals, Fetes, Garden Parties etc. In 1919 following the end of the war the Society resumed its normal productions starting once again with ‘H.M.S. Pinafore’.

Unfortunately by 1930, due to a series of losses, the Society was in serious financial trouble with only £3 left in its account. A strong move was made to close down, but members Doris Teare and Sidney Axon spoke up and won the case to continue. Members Maurice Herd, Tim Healey and Fred Colbourn produced several shows without fee. Successful efforts were also made to encourage younger people to join.

With thanks to Anita Partridge, UMT Chairman, for her research into our history. If you have any other historical facts about UMT then either leave a comment or email me at webby@umt.org.uk.

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~ by UMT Stage on May 1, 2011.

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