NorthNet Committee members, friends and guests from far and wide gathered in Leeds, at The Carriageworks Upstairs Studio recently to honour Jim Laws as Philip Windsor “Spanner Award” Recipient for 2014.
In presenting this “for furthering our knowledge of performance lighting”, together with a framed citation, ABTT CEO Robin Townley paid fulsome tribute to Jim’s outstanding record as a collector and chronicler of Lighting History, whilst passing on this invaluable knowledge to the technicians of the future.
After the opportunity to socialise over some Yorkshire hospitality, Jim, who was accompanied by wife Pat, delivered an illustrated lecture on Theatre Lighting in the First Half of the Twentieth Century.
Needless to say, Strand Electric featured prominently in this, but not to the exclusion of other pioneering manufacturers. The programme included sections devoted to lighting controls, from Teak fronted, through Bracket handle boards, Grand Masters, Light Consoles to early Memory systems; not a dry eye in the house as folk recalled their experiences!
Naturally, also included was Lantern Development down the years, with particular comparisons being drawn between “families” showing their sometimes logical progression. Reference was made to American and Continental examples.
All in all, a most illuminating event, which underscores the importance of the newly-launched Backstage Heritage Collection.
Robin Townley presenting James (Jim) Laws with the 2014 Spanner Award.
Photo Credit: John Beecroft