Empire Medal for 92-year-old St Helens theatre veteran

David Chadderton

Founder member of the group that raised the funds to reopen St Helen's Theatre Royal in the 1980s, Enid Pennington, received her British Empire Medal for services to the performing arts, awarded in the New Year's Honours List, at Liverpool's Athenaeum Club at a special ceremony on 11 May 2017.

Enid joined the Unnamed Players in the 1950s where she was appointed director in 1986 but played her first principal role with St Helens Amateur Operatic society in 1948 in The Student Prince, going on to perform in The Merry Widow South Pacific, Carousel and Maid of the Mountains amongst others.

When the Theatre Royal closed in 1984, Enid was a founding member of the Friends of the Theatre Royal, which raised funds to re-open the theatre. She is currently the organisation’s Chairwoman.

She said, “what a delightful honour it is to be acknowledged like this. It was wonderful to share it with my friends and family who travelled from far and wide for the occasion.

"The Theatre Royal has a special place in my heart, and I have the pleasure of working with a wonderful group of people, The Friends of The Theatre Royal, who dedicate their time organising countless fundraising and charity events for the venue and the Theatre Manager Chantelle Nolan and Regal Entertainments, who have been incredible advocates of the theatre.

"I can’t imagine St Helens without the Theatre Royal and will always continue to do all I can to help keep the arts alive in St Helens.”