Thursday 16 February 2012: Grandfather above my head
Sitting in the current-but-soon-to-be-no-longer-kitchen-living-room watching the football on TV and wondering what I should blip I thought about the framed poster above my head. A poster for my grandfather's play, Man About The House. Apparently at the time there was talk it might transfer to the West End, but if you look at the date you might see why it never happened. I think there's a press cutting from the sixties somewhere where a theatre critic speculated if bigger circumstances hadn't intervened my grandfather might have beaten George Osborne to the establishment of the 'kitchen sink drama' by a decade or more. As it was my grandfather remained largely involved in local amateur dramatics. He did write several plays, some of which were performed on radio. In fact there's one I want to track down again, a one act ghost story. He often wrote in Yorkshire dialect, and had a column under the name 'Old Amos' in a local paper. He also wrote a history of the Amateur Theatre and founded the magazine Amateur Stage, which is still published today. It now also has an online existence. Wonder what he would have made of the internet. I'm sure he would have loved it, the ability to be in touch with people with common interests all over the world. He died 34 years ago this month, when I was still in my early teens. A shame I never had the chance to get to know him when I was an adult, to talk to him about his play-writing and his politics. He was a conscientious objector in WWII and was imprisoned in Lancaster Jail and worked in the docks as a labourer. All this as well as working full-time in a local mill. I should take more inspiration from his life - what can be done when you make the time for it.