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Dudley Friends' vow as founder dies at 75

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: January 16, 2014

Geoff Fitzpatrick

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THE Friends of Dudley Hippodrome have vowed to continue their campaign to save the 75-year-old theatre following the death of their co-founder and chairman Geoff Fitzpatrick earlier this month.

Geoff passed way, aged 72, on January 3, following complications after he suffered a collapsed lung two months ago.

The former lecturer at Halesowen College was at the forefront of efforts to save the historic theatre after it was earmarked for demolition in 2011. He was instrumental in gathering 35,000 signatures on the petition that gained the threatened theatre a stay of execution.

Plans for redeveloping the site are currently on hold as further options are explored.

Garry Sawers, of the Friends of Dudley Hippodrome, said: "He was the perfect person to represent the Friends of Dudley Hippodrome, a real gentleman, friendly, inoffensive, and he commanded respect as our chairman. His commitment and enthusiasm for the Hippodrome was infectious, and his memories of the Hippodrome were endearing. What's more, even whilst his health was deteriorating he still kept fighting the cause, and never, ever doubted the Hippodrome would be saved. He will be greatly missed by the friends and I for one am honoured to have known him and to have been a friend of his. RIP Geoff."

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