The Playhouse Theatre, Preston

Great amateur theatre, right in the heart of Preston

EILEEN CHANDLER 1923 - 2015

 

 

Eileen was a longstanding member of The Broughton Players who worked tirelessly for the society, formerly as secretary, a role she held down for sixty years, not a small feat and latterly as president of the society after the death of her great friend Florence Smithies. My earliest memory of her was when I joined the happy ranks of the players in 1969. At that point she was, as always, putting her decorating skills to great use on the stage set for 'Ghost Train'. In those days the members would put in many hours in the church hall on Broadway in Fulwood till late at night as erecting the set began after the service in the hall on the Sunday morning. In the mid seventies Broughton Players moved down to Preston Playhouse, 'a real theatre'!

 

In the years prior to our move to the Playhouse we enjoyed a good social life opening up our homes for parties, quizzes and treasure hunts. On most occasions the hunts began at Eileen's home and were so popular that visitors struggled to find a place to stand, let alone sit! There was much merry making and the evenings always ended with a plate of Lancashire Hotpot and all the trimmings.

 

In her role as secretary, she wrote, before the heady days of email, innumerable letters of thanks and congratulations to anyone who had helped in any way. We never seemed to be short of people willing to give up their free time and many lasting friendships were formed. Eileen was always on hand to make trays of tea and spear-heading the painting of the set. Eileen handed the role of secretary to Wyn Tagg and in 1998 after the death of Florence she became President of The Broughton Players where she was always on hand to give support and help, until 2006 when she had her first brush with illness. Although she came through, she felt that it was time to hand over to someone else and Marie Noblett became our new president.

 

Sadly Eileen died in February 2015. She was a warm, gentle and kind hearted person who livened up any conversation and remained in contact with our members, always interested in what was going on and delighted to receive visitors and hear the ongoing news.

 

She is greatly missed.

 

Adrienne Hurley