I AM writing as the latest - but not necessarily youngest - Trustee for Taunton Theatre Association. You may know me as a Wiveliscombe based Independent councillor on Taunton Deane, 10Radio founder and presenter as well as organiser of live music at Cotleigh Brewery and running Cinema Obscura film society.

My interest in the Brewhouse goes back many years, having moved with my young family from London where arts and cultural experiences were daily occurrences, to a smaller, but diverse area where trying to follow theatre, music and artistic events was harder to do – but, if you persevered, you were richly rewarded. My first Brewhouse visit was to see the Christmas show, The Wind in the Willows, starring Robin Bush as Toad – those that remember Time Team will know him well – and the role of Toad fitted him to a T! I can also remember going to a 1988 exhibition of Beatles photographer Robert Freeman.

Years went by and then something akin to an atomic bomb hit the Brewhouse as it entered financial difficulties - but not because people were not attending shows. So fellow Independent, Steve Ross and I decided to take action, setting up public meetings for those who were interested in saving the theatre. Out of those meetings the Taunton Theatre Association was formed. Under the chair of Val Hammond we convinced the landlord – Taunton Deane - to bring the Brewhouse back into action again. Digital projection equipment was crowdfunded and BrewCinema was born, taking advantage of new developments in ‘event cinema’ screenings.

Combined with input from a friend we assist the Artistic Programming Manager to curate Oscar weekends, international and family favourite cinema for Brewhouse audiences. Coincidentally I remember helping an elderly lady down the stairs after a sold out screening of The Beatles Eight Days a Week – when she said to me “I went to Arts School with John Lennon” - for me personally this Beatles, Brewhouse connection was now complete.

As a new trustee I want to see the Brewhouse continue to develop and enrich the lives of the local community, as it did for me and my family when we first came to Taunton, while positioning the Brewhouse as a leading artistic venue for the South West. My other wish is for people to come and see this year’s marvellous Christmas musical The Railway Children!

READ MORE: The Railway Children at the Brewhouse this December

Column by Eddie Gaines, Taunton Theatre Association Trustee