All That Glitters Is Gold! Guest Blog By Mike Gell

I have been associated with The Courtyard since before the building was opened in 1998! When it opened I was a Founding Patron too.

As founder and chair of Alloy, Hereford Jewellers’ Group, I was very involved in organising the jewellery workshop based at The Courtyard, which is still thriving 17 years on, and subsequently in forming the Alloy Graduate scheme. I also collaborated in the founding of the Hereford Contemporary Craft Fair, which moved to The Courtyard when it opened and is still a major artistic event in the calendar.

Our son Max was part of the vanguard of young actors who came up through the early Youth Theatre and went on to dominate the community productions at the Courtyard. He took many leading roles, including with Hereford Amateur Operatic Society, before he went off to Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He also worked in the bar, and I was seen there so often picking him up at the end of his shifts, that lots of people thought I was the manager! Max has gone on to a successful acting career, currently appearing in the series Mr. Selfridge as a reporter, and recently recording the third series.

Our daughter Daisy also took parts in a variety of community and Youth Theatre productions including They Shoot Horses Don’t They, with Max in the lead role, and was one of the girls in Shakers.

But this isn’t just about me and my family; it’s about how people who are given opportunities to perform in a huge variety of fields are facilitated by a wonderful community resource which brings joy, laughter, recreation and intellectual stimulation to a huge number of people of all ages.

Mike Gell NecklaceWe need to make sure The Courtyard prospers!!!

Mike Gell Jewellers have kindly donated a gold & precious stone necklace (worth £500) to the Grand Draw. For your chance to win, simply purchase your Grand Draw tickets (sold singly at £1/ £10 for a book of 10) from Box Office on 01432 340555. Deadline for entries 12 noon on Thursday 30th April. Draw date Friday 1st May.