In Memory of
03 . 03 . 1930 – 01 . 06 . 1987
Wick News – May/June 1987 – Betty Dawes wrote :
“Before I get on with Company business, I have to record the very sad news that Frank Hurrell died on the morning of June 1st in Worthing Hospital where he had been for 18 days,
He had apparently collapsed at home having suffered a massive stroke and lay undiscovered for 24 hours. In deep coma he was taken to hospital. He never regained consciousness.”
Barrie Bowen wrote to members, from his home in Tongdean Road, Hove, this letter introducing the The Frank Hurrell Memorial Fund idea ..
“Frank Hurrell joined the Southwick Community Association in 1951. Then, just twenty-one – and working under the direction of the late John Bunyan he was one of the team of highly dedicated and skilled volunteers who worked tirelessly to create the beginnings of what was to become so important and affectionate to hundreds of fellow members and thousands of patrons alike – The Barn Hall and Theatre.
In those early days Frank was a young diploma student, committed to a career in the Electronic Industry. In 1954 he graduated to membership of the Institute of Electronic Engineers and the continued to develop his career in television transmission engineering, finally becoming responsible for the shift management at Television Centre Programming Networking of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
His long and distinguished training and experience also found expression in the development of his pastimes interest. He played a full and active part in the engineering development of The Barn stage, sound and lighting equipment.
Much of the sound equipment still in use today was designed and fashioned by him.
There can be very few who have not been “lit-up” by Frank at some time of other. He was one of the back room boys so absolutely essential to those of us out front. To appear in the gaze of his lights with complete confidence in his cueing, balance and precision timing, is an experience we have all appreciated at sometime.
His keen sense of loyalty to work and friendship and his kindness and tireless and patient effort, will be sadly missed. The professional standards he set himself and which have benefited Barn Theatre traditions and its users alike will, together with his foundation work in the theatre, be a long treasured legacy.
I don’t think it is generally realised that, without his generous help and support, it would not have been easy for the Southwick Community Association to fund the installation of the new lighting power control for The Barn and so avert the treat of closure.
The Barn sound equipment, the construction of which was very much Frank’s particular project, was about to be the subject of a new scheme Frank was to work on. Indeed some preparatory study had started.
The Barn Theatre and its Control Room and the Resident Theatre Companies and their members, meant a great deal to Frank and he to us. We will all mourn his passing in our own private ways, with our own particular memories. I believe also it would be fitting for us to make a collective expression of our memory and appreciation for his life and service to The Barn and the Community Association. I am therefore pleased to be able to announce with the support and approval of Frank’s family, the establishment of The Frank Hurrell Memorial Fund, with the aim of contributing to the major re-equipment of The Barn Sound System.
It would be desirable to think we could introduce equipment changes that will significantly advance the Barn’s capabilities to the benefit of all users, whether for music, effects, or pubic address relay. Of special benefit would be the introduction of effective recording facilities, enabling performers to better monitor and develop vocal, instrumental and communicative skills.
I know Frank would wish to see such changes and improvements made to complete the refurbishment work he helped to institute three years ago. It is deeply regrettable that he has passed so prematurely and that no recognition for his long and valued service was able to be rendered to him personally. I am sure he would be no less proud and pleased at the installation of a memorial sound system in the place he loved so much.
I therefore take this opportunity to invite you to support this memorable cause, which will receive every care and attention. All donations will be receipted and cheques and postal orders should be made payable to “The Frank Hurrell Memorial Fund” and addressed to me as above.
It is also intended to produce a small commemorative book for supporters to sign. It is hoped that it will be possible to display such a book or document with a commemorative plaque.
Thank you for taking time to read this letter. I do hope you will be able to support the fund as generously as possible and look forward to hearing from you soon.
With best wishes
Programme Note Fund Organisers : Betty Dawes, Barrie Bowen, Andrw Theaker wrote :
Frank Hurrell joined the Southwick Community Association in 1951, and working under the late John Bunyan as one of a team of dedicated volunteers, worked tirelessly to create the beginnings of The Barn Hall and Theatre.
In those days Frank, a diploma student committed to a career in the Electronics, graduated to membership of the Institute of Electronic Engineers and developed his career in television transmission engineering and Programme Newtorking for BBC-TV.
His training and experience also found added expression in his pastimes interest, playing a full and active part in the development of The Barn stage, sound and lighting equipment. Much of the sound equipment still in use today was designed and fashioned by him.
There can be very few who have not been “lit-up” by Frank at some time of other. He was one of the back room boys, essential to those of us out front. To appear in the gaze of his lights is an experience we have all appreciated.
His keen sense of loyalty, kindness and patient effort will be sadly missed. The professional standards he set himself and which have benefited the Barn Theatre, together with his foundation work, will be a long treasured legacy.
The Barn sound equipment, very much Frank’s particular project, was about to be modernised by him. With this in mind
we thought it would be fitting to make a collective expression of our memory and appreciation for his life and service to The Barn and the Community Association. Thus the Frank Hurrell Memorial Fund was established with the express aim of achieving a major re-equipment of the Barn sound system to assist in the improvement of presentation standards. Other plans for major Barn improvements are at an advanced stage for which this project will form a valuable and integral part as well as serving the Barn until those plans come to fruition.
Frank would have wished to see such changes and improvements made to complete the re-furbishment work on stage lighting he helped to institute three years ago. It is deeply regrettable that he has passed on so prematurely and no recognition of his long and valued service was rendered personally. He would be no less proud and pleased at the installation of a sound system in his memory in the place he loved so much.
Tonight’s Concert is the initiative of Gary Brighton who as a director had worked closely with Frank. We are indeed indebted to him and the Southwick Opera and friends for their efforts in staging this presentation. The proceeds are to be donated to the Memorial Fund, which at the time of writing has reached £1,750, and with pledges made is expected to exceed our original target of £2,000.
Naturally, the greater the fund th better the improvements which can be made. If you hae not previously been invited to consider this fund and wish to make a specific donation please ask an attendant for details.
Finally, thank you all so much for coming along to give your support tonight.