Dome celebrates 100years with new book

WORTHING Dome celebrates 100 years of providing entertainment with the publication of its own history, scrapbook-style,

The book depicts the Dome’s rich story from 1911 to the present day.

The mastermind behind The Worthing Dome Centenary Scrapbook 1911-2011 is the chairman of Worthing Dome and Regeneration Trust, Belle Stennett.

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She says she turned ‘cultural detective’ while compiling the volume: “I went at the research like a lunatic. The process took six months in total and includes original plans of the building from the 1920s.”

Promoter Bill Murray said: “The book takes us through the complete history of the beautiful building, starting from when it was regarded as a general Kursaal, the fashionable name for a general palace of entertainment, its closure in the 1990s, to its mass refurbishment campaign in 1999 which has gives us what the building can be seen as today.

“The Dome’s distinctive tower design is prominent on Worthing’s seafront, distinguishing the town’s shoreline from that of any other seaside resort. For the time it has stood on Worthing’s seafront, South Coast fishermen have used it as a navigational aid, and many still do. Worthing was also the first town in West Sussex where audiences paid to see films.”

Paying homage to the buildings’ unique design, Belle decided to make hers a history book like no other. No, you won’t find long pieces of text here: “I started out writing the publication in the style of a history book but I just got so fed up with it that I decided to put whole pages together as a collage of vintage programmes, photographs and newspaper-cuttings. The aim was to be wacky, not boring.”

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Belle says the book is suited to people of all ages: “I have purposely used bright colours everywhere and have even written on the pages in my own handwriting to add to the scrapbook-style of the book.”

The launch is at anew Visitor Information Centre in the Dome on December 10.

Phil Hewitt

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