Hepworth Films Logo

Home
References
Copyright
Contact Us

Subscribe to the hepworthfilm.org newsfeed - just click!

Hepworth Heritage Centre CAMPAIGN

2012: The Playhouse has been renamed the Cecil Hepworth Playhouse. This is a fitting tribute to the man who gave the Playhouse to the town, as well as so much of its history.

In addition, a major retrospective of Hepworth films was mounted - but not at the Playhouse, instead at the Riverhouse Barn.

There seems to be no longer term plan to set up a lasting memorial to Cecil Hepworth in Walton on Thames.

 HEPWORTH CENTRE CAMPAIGN UPDATE

Prior to the declared cabinet meeting on 30th March 2011, Elmbridge Council decided to turn the Old Walton Library over to be used by the Citizens Advice Bureau, thus dashing the hopes of the campaign to set up a new Hepworth Centre there, instead turning the building into a "community hub".

Instead, astatement of future intent was made to set up some unspecified tribute to Hepworth in the Playhouse Theatre, Walton, and rename it in memory of Hepworth. The Council had separately agreed to refurbish the theatre. This is a far inferior proposal, being much smaller, non-dedicated, and away from the centre of town. The only merit is that it does concentrate the life and work of Cecil Hepworth in the last remaining building of the Walton Studios. No timescales, budget, nor commitment were given to seeing this through.

Read press coverage here

The campaign is currently considering the implications of the decision and drawing up alternative proposals for a Hepworth Centre within the Playhouse building.

 

 

 

WAKE UP WALTON!

 Hepworth Films LogoCome and find out about your town’s history

Come to a film show and talk on

Tuesday 22nd March 2011

from 7.30 to 9pm

Hear about Cecil Hepworth, the pioneer of British cinema, who created many early films at his studio in Hurst Grove, Walton.

Hear about the Old Library and our plans for it’s long-term future

At St Andrew’s United Reform Church Hall, Hersham Road, Walton KT12 1LG

Several speakers will be presenting talks on Hepworth and his films together with a showing of some of the famous silents that made his name. This enjoyable event is another opportunity for you to get involved in the campaign.


View Larger Map

 

 

D-Day Imminent - Elmbridge Council to decide fate of Hepworth Centre Site on 30th March 2011

In Autumn 2010, 689 people signed a petition asking Elmbridge Council to transform Walton’s old library building into a film and visual arts centre.
This was followed up by a presentation to the Council on 4th November 2010.

Elmbridge Council will decide on 30th March 2011.

HAVE YOUR SAY.

Send a personal email to the Council

This button quickly sets you up to send an to Cllr John O’Reilly, Leader of Elmbridge Council, CC'd to Cllr Jan Fuller, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture, copying the Webmaster.
You have full control over content and addressees and can alter anything.

Click To Email Now

Click HERE  to learn more.

Local Support grows for
Hepworth Heritage Centre
in Walton on Thames

Our dedicated page following developments is here.

Email your views and suggestions.

Get involved in the Forum.

21 November 2010: A 692-signature petition has been submitted to Elmbridge Borough Council to support the case to convert the disused Walton Library into a heritage centre commemorating Hepworth and the local cinema industry.

Walton already has a “Heart” - this could be its “Soul”

The Petition was presented to the Council on 4th November and it was considered by the cabinet on Wednesday, 24 Nov. at their meeting at Civic Centre, Esher at 7 pm.

Hepworthfilm.org fully supports this wonderful local initiative and urges other supporters to lend their weight to the appeal. You can email the leader of the council John O'Reilly and tell him why you think Cecil Hepworth's memory should be honoured in Walton by a permanent centre in which his career will be recorded and young people will be stimulated to follow his innovative example.

 

HOT NEWS JAN 2011

Last autumn, 689 people signed a petition asking Elmbridge Council to give all possible support to transforming Walton’s old library building into a film and visual arts centre. It would be in memory of Cecil Hepworth, the great film pioneer, who worked in Walton from 1896 to 1923. T

The petition was presented to the Council on 4th November 2010. So far, the Council has given no response but will do so on 30th March 2011 at the Elmbridge Cabinet Meeting at 7pm .

The indications are that the Council will reject the petition and give its reasons for preferring the hastily concocted scheme to house the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) and 2 other local charities in the old library. The CAB is a valuable organisation but could be better housed at less cost in purpose-built offices behind Elm Grove House.

If the decision goes against us, the opportunity to link several pieces of Walton heritage together in a meaningful way will be lost forever. No alternative site for the Centre has been identified. This is our best chance so please have your say now before it's lost forever.

We have little time to convince Elmbridge Councillors that the Hepworth Centre scheme has broad public support in Walton and district and is the better option.

You can email the leader of the Council and tell him why you think Cecil Hepworth's memory should be honoured in Walton by a permanent centre in which his career will be recorded and young people will be stimulated to follow his innovative example. You should confirm your strong support for the Hepworth Centre project and express your reasons for doing so.

This history is unique. Only Walton has it!

Send a personal email to the Council

Click To Email Now

YOU can help by:

1) Writing to Cllr John O’Reilly, Leader of Elmbridge Council at the Civic Centre, High Street, Esher KT10 9SD

2) Emailing Cllr O'Reilly at joreilly@elmbridge.gov.uk with a copy to Cllr Jan Fuller, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture, at jfuller@elmbridge.gov.uk and copying at webmaster@hepworthfilm.org so we can reiterate the message. Or use the button above which makes it easy!

3) Attending in Person. Come to the Elmbridge Council Cabinet meeting at the Elmbridge Civic Centre, Esher, at 7pm on Wednesday 30th March to show by your presence your continued strong support for this project.

Only with your help and action will this project succeed. Thank you for your support.

Read on for more details

Walton is a cradle of the British film industry.

What better way to celebrate this historic connection than using the old Walton Library building to establish a Film and Visual Arts Centre.

 Walton already has a “Heart” - this could be its “Soul”

This attractive old building could be readily adapted for this function.

A 692-signature petition has been submitted to Elmbridge Borough Council to support the case to convert the disused Walton Library into a museum commemorating Hepworth and the local cinema industry.

The Petition was presented to the Council on 4th November 2010 and it was considered by the cabinet on Wednesday, 24 Nov. at their meeting at Civic Centre, Esher at 7 pm.

Hepworthfilm fully supports this wonderful local initiative and urges other supporters to lend their weight to the appeal. You can email the leader of the council John O'Reilly and tell him why you think Cecil Hepworth's memory should be honoured in Walton by a permanent centre in which his career will be recorded and young people will be stimulated to follow his innovative example.

Local people "want to give Walton a Soul" read about it here

Newspaper Coverage

What might it look like?

Artist's Impression

of the

Hepworth Centre

View from The Screen Cinema opposite
What it looked like in 1903.

Hepworth would have been familiar with this building since it was between his studios and his house.

He probably borrowed books from here too - maybe some of them inspired his film scripts.

A proposed floor plan for the Hepworth Centre, showing the various visitor zones and cafe-bar.

What a splendid asset to Walton's cultural facilities this would be!

 

What can I do to help?

  • Contact the John O'Reilly at Elmbridge Council and let him know your views. Do it soon!

  • Join our RSS feed to be kept abreast of developments

  • Make your views known on our Forum

  • Contact us to be put on the mailing list

  • Join the campaign

The Library Building

You can see a fantastic photo of the building, taken in 1903, from the Francis Frith Collection.

It is a classic Victorian gothic building, solidly built in 1884, and forms an important part of our local architectural heritage, which is little changed today.

This building, a local landmark, would have been well known to Cecil Hepworth, and probably also used by him, his family, and employees not to mention the stars of his many films.

It has an attractive tower and spire. Despite its age it remains in good condition. Most important, it is directly opposite the Walton Screen, an independent cinema, which occupies the site of a previous cinema made famous by another great local figure in cinema, Clifford Spain.

And of course, the building is close to the site of the Hepworth Studios, including the Playhouse which provides strong synergy of purpose for the museum.

However, being on a prime site in the middle of Walton, the council must surely be tempted to sell it off for housing - there have been at least one precedent of a good public building being sold off like this in recent years.


Can you help? Do you have more information about the events or people on this page? If so, please contact us! Thank you.


© This site hepworthfilm.org - material developed from 2005-2012 - Page Last Updated: 25/08/2013 - Contact us