Lighthouse turns 40 on 1st April this year and we're seeking your memories, anecdotes and memorabilia to form part of a project that will preserve the history of our iconic arts building for future generations.

The largest regional arts centre in the UK, Lighthouse started off life as Poole Arts Centre in 1978 and has been host to many big-name stars over the years including the likes of Sir Ian McKellen, Michael Jackson, Bruce Forsyth and Wham!

“We shared some old postcards of the newly-opened Poole Arts Centre on our Facebook page and were amazed at the number of stories and memories that it triggered for our customers,” revealed  Sara St George, Head of Sales and Marketing for Lighthouse. “So many people had a story to share – appearing on stage, meeting celebrities or even working here. It made us realise just how significant Lighthouse is to people. We started to wonder what other stories we could uncover and realised that we had a responsibility to record and preserve them before they were lost forever.”

So far the hunt for memorabilia has unearthed a collection of scrapbooks and autographs put together by a former stage door keeper at the arts centre, early staff newsletters and even a copy of the competition run in the Poole Herald in 1978 in which readers were invited to name the building.

We are currently seeking funding for an archive film project that will collate all these memories and form the pinnacle of our 40th birthday celebrations in 2018.

If you have a story or memorabilia to share, we would love to hear from you. Please email to find out how your memories could be preserved forever in the history of Poole’s centre for the arts or share your stories with us on Facebook.

Published 19 January 2018