Saturday, 16 March 2013

Remembering Malcolm Fraser

I was fortunate to be invited to attend a small gathering at Buxton Opera House yesterday afternoon to mark the contribution that Malcolm Fraser made to the life of the town. Malcolm - who died last year - was one of a small group of people who had the imagination to see the potential and possibilities in the Opera House in the mid-1970s.

It was thanks to that group of people that the Opera House was saved in its present form - it might otherwise have been gutted - and the Buxton Festival was launched. Michael Williams and Dame Janet Smith spoke warmly of Malcolm's passion and creativity and reminded us of not only what had been achieved, but also of the enduring legacy.

Dame Janet said that it was unimaginable that The Crescent would be up for development as a 5* hotel without the Opera House and the Festival. Malcolm was also instrumental in establishing the Fringe and without his nurturing attention we wouldn't be where we are today. There is an interview with him on the Fringe website.

Incidentally Trevor Osborne - who is behind The Crescent redevelopment - has exciting ideas for the development of the British Legion building which is behind the town's museum. He has plans that could see the revitalization of a number of buildings in that part of the town and the cementing of arts venues. As yet, he says, no one is against his broad proposals. It is very early days though.