Venue to the stars boasts a proud 30-year history

Dr Who convention at Ferneham Hall. Pictured is Adrian Cranwell-Child in the Dalek moving round Twins  Phillip and Anne Smith 8 from Hordean  Picture: Paul Jacobs (122896-7)

Dr Who convention at Ferneham Hall. Pictured is Adrian Cranwell-Child in the Dalek moving round Twins Phillip and Anne Smith 8 from Hordean Picture: Paul Jacobs (122896-7)

Stuart Piper with his wife Debbie and children Megan, 10, and 12-year-old Abigail  Picture: Sarah Standing (170385-8300)

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It has seen Cilla Black, Sir Norman Wisdom and Matt Monro grace its stage.

It has seen Cilla Black, Sir Norman Wisdom and Matt Monro grace its stage.

Lenny Henry, Jack Dee and Jo Brand all started their careers with a visit to the venue.

And nearly 17,000 people flocked to see last year’s pantomime, Beauty and The Beast, which starred Ian ‘H’ Watkins from Steps, just as his old band launched a comeback with sell-out arena shows and a reality TV show.

Fareham’s Ferneham Hall has a proud history of hosting some of the biggest names in showbiz over three decades.

The Fareham Borough Council-owned venue has survived the highs and lows of the entertainment industry and economy, not just with sell-out 750-seat shows but also as a multipurpose community facility available for private hire for weddings, exhibitions, parties, flower shows and awards nights.

The purpose-built centre was opened by the Duchess of Kent on April 23, 1982 – 30 years ago. And, to celebrate this anniversary year, the Osborn Road venue is holding a special celebration this weekend.

From 10.30am to 4pm tomorrow, Ferneham hall is throwing open its doors and laying on a host of free activities and entertainment for all the family.

Opened by the Mayor of Fareham, Councillor Dennis Steadman, the event will include backstage tours allowing visitors into normally inaccessible areas.

There will also be demonstrations and workshops in all aspects of putting on a show, from lighting, sound and pyrotechnics to acting, dancing, singing and stage fighting.

For adults, there’s coffee and wine tasting from Molson Coors.

While children can enjoy face painting, a fire engine, goodie bags and ice cream competitions.

Vouchers will be hidden around the site, not just for ice creams but also for show tickets, with Pam Ayres, Joe Brown and The Stylistics all set to appear in the coming months.

On top of all this, the Daleks are returning to Ferneham Hall for the day, after they thrilled excited crowds at a Doctor Who convention there in recent weeks.

Plus there will be displays of Triumph motorcycles and Toffee Bear, the mascot from Fareham Shopping Centre, will be in attendance.

Along with the tours, stalls, displays, workshops, giveaways and special guests, there will be live entertainment all day with performances from local groups that regularly use the venue.

Putting on a show will be Bodyrox, South Downe Musical Society and the Marie Clarke School of Dance.

Rod Cameron, Ferneham Hall’s general manager, says: ‘The aim of the day is two-fold.

‘Firstly, it’s to celebrate our 30th anniversary.

‘But it is also a way of showing our regular customers what goes on behind scenes and throwing the doors open to potential new customers.’

For more information, call 01329 231942 or visit fernehamhall.co.uk

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