09 March 2013
Posted in Theatre
By Alannah O’Sullivan
Robert Adams OBE was an extraordinary man. A paratrooper in WW2, he was also a first-rate runner who coached Ghana’s first athletics team and brought them to Britain after the war.
Working back in the UK, he soon became managing director of various firms, the most well known of which was A. H. Mackintosh Furniture in Kirkcaldy. He was awarded an OBE for his services to the industry.
His charitable works are numerous and, on retirement, he created a whole new profession for himself in writing, becoming chair of the Writers’ Guild in Scotland in the 1990s. One of the good friends he made through the Guild was Alan Plater.
Bob’s wit was legendary and he was sought after as an after-dinner speaker. His plays, The Roup and Scrappy, have toured Scotland. He recently had two books published and had just completed a new play based on his experiences in wartime. He was a truly heroic individual and will be sorely missed.
The funeral will be held on Tuesday, 12 March at Dunfermline Crematorium.
05 March 2013
Posted in Theatre
Ian Buckley on why he felt compelled to put his Communist father's story on the stage
Being the son of a Savile Row tailor, and visiting his small Soho workshop over many years (including stairwell and toilet-cleaning duties!), I got to know the trade of high-class tailor very well.
I also got to know Soho very well. The reason? My father worked from a small, somewhat dark, workshop in a well-proportioned Georgian terraced house that had seen better days. When I knew it in the early 1960s, it was full of tailors like my father, working in their often cramped little rooms, for prestigious high-class gentleman tailors whose grand shops were in Savile Row.
My father's employer was one of the most prestigious of these: Henry Poole. Dad's actual workshop was in Broadwick Street, off Wardour Street and, wonder of wonders, it was in the same house that William Blake, the great English poet, had lived in. It had the blue plaque to prove it! Unfortunately this national treasure has not withstood the march of progress. In its place now stands a squat, ugly block named William Blake House - they haven't even bothered to replace the blue plaque.
Like many tailors my father was, and still is, a strong communist (as is my mother). Fighting against Hitler led him to believe communism was the only system that could withstand fascism. He was also a strong trade unionist, joining the NUTGW (National Union of Tailor & Garment Workers) and fighting for better conditions for his fellow tailors. He combined his communist party duties with his obligations as a trade unionist all his life.