11 October 2021
All this month we are celebrating Tramshed turning 50. Our history is a big part of where we are now and who we are now, so let our Artistic Director Jeremy take you back in time...
'In 1971 Ewan Hooper was asked by the Royal Borough of Greenwich to establish a Youth Theatre. Ewan agreed and this was the start of a incredible journey. Ewan discovered a church in Burrage Road up above Woolwich that the perfect place to start the Greenwich Young People's Theatre (GYPT).
While he was looking for that home for GYPT he discovered the Tramshed in Woolwich a then defunct Transport infrastructure building and pitched to the Royal Borough of Greenwich the concept of an alternative venue. And so the Woolwich Tramshed, a venue for cabaret, comedy and live music came to be. Over the years it became the home of the Fundation a variety theatre & comedy troupe of which Hale and Pace were original members, gradually it morphed into a comedy and music venue through the 70’s and early 80’s.
So up on Burrage Road GYPT was busy pioneering the Theatre in Education movement before moving to the Royal Arsenal and on General Gordon Square the Woolwich Tramshed was buzzing with live events.
Eventually the Woolwich Tramshed closed but GYPT was going strong, creating new relationships across South East London and expanding into Lewisham to become the Greenwich and Lewisham Young People's Theatre (GLYPT)
In 2009 GLYPT moved into the Woolwich Tramshed building as a permanent home, bringing live performance back to the venue and providing spaces for community groups to meet, sing, dance and eat.
As the building became more and more a part of Woolwich's arts and community landscape, with people of all ages now attending and creating all together, it was clear that the organisation had grown out of just being a 'young peoples theatre' organisation.
In 2019 we changed our name to Tramshed. We committed to being a resource for our communities, a place to meet, a place to be entertained, a place to learn and a place to create.
We want to celebrate all the elements of our history and honour Ewan Hooper's ambition to bring arts and entertainment opportunities to everyone in our local area.'
All this month we are celebrating our 50 year anniversary. We want to hear your stories of the Tramshed and GYPT as we know that people make a place!
So if you have a story you want to share get in touch with us; send us your story however you'd like, write about it, video yourself having a chat, send us a voice note, create something! However you want to share we're here for it.
You can pop in and add to our Share your Stories board or have a chat with our lovely staff, we're at 41 Woolwich New Road SE18 6ET.