Anyone who has been reading my accounts of the "Old Courts" music & arts venue in Wigan will already know that we have been holding events in order to raise cash for the provision of disabled access.
The "Old Courts", as the name suggests, is a massive Victorian building which used to be courts of law, but which now provides several venues capable of hosting live concerts. The Victorian Architect who built it would probably never have considered disabled access, but we now need to make provision for those who cannot manage the huge staircases.
This need came into sharp focus last year when my friend, Joan Blackburn, died. Joan was an extremely talented musician and singer/songwriter who, for the last couple of years of her life, had some serious mobility problems. She would have loved attending our regular folk events, but was prevented from doing so because of her disabilities.
The "Old Courts" is a not for profit venue, run by and for musicians and artists. Entrance is either free or very cheap, and each concert room has its own well stocked bar. The knotty issue of disabled access became a priority, which was addressed by the formation of a local charity in honour of Joan. "Doing It For Joan" has raised quite a bit of cash, with local musicians donating money and raffle prizes. (I bought and donated two nice guitars)
There is much more to do, but we do now have a machine which can get disabled people safely up and down the many staircases. It is a Tracked Caterpillar vehicle, which probably weighs about half a ton. This Caterpillar contraption must have some sort of anti-tip device fitted, as it is rock solid on the stairs.
As I have previously mentioned this venue and our objectives, I thought it only proper to update you on our progress so far.
Any non accordion related chat & banter in here, but try and avoid religion and politics!
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