People of The Atkinson: Margaret

People of The Atkinson: Margaret

Somebody who has been here from the very beginning. It’s the next People of The Atkinson episode!

Margaret – Box Office Assistant.


“I first fell in love with this place when I visited as a customer many years ago. It seemed like a place where anything was possible, so I applied for a job here the same day. I worked as a Theatre Usher at Southport Arts Centre before the refurb, and I jumped straight back in when the building reopened as The Atkinson in 2013. I’m proud to say I was here on the last night of Southport Arts Centre and the very first day of The Atkinson! Not many people can say they’ve done that…

During my time here, I went on to work for our Tourist Information and Box Office department, but I retired in August 2021. I came back six months later because I love it so much and missed everybody too much! I speak to so many customers, including regulars who I engage with often. They embody what The Atkinson is all about and the love for this place shines through from the staff, the volunteers, and to the customers.

I love working on our panto during the festive season, both in the auditorium and on Box Office. It’s so nice to see families enjoying themselves and having a ball. The Atkinson’s Christmas pantomime is now a yearly tradition for so many Southport families, and to have played a small part in making that happen is such a rewarding sensation.

That’s the best bit of working here: meeting customers and making their day. Hearing their kind comments about our shows, our galleries, and our team. I also get to meet such a wide range of people, which makes it such a great place to work. A career highlight for me was meeting Martin Kemp. I was very giddy! I get to meet a lot of the performers we have on our stage, and I’m infamous for getting my photograph taken with them. I call myself The Atkinson’s resident Groupie!

I’ve seen so many shows in our performing arts spaces, with our theatre and drama offer being my favourite. I particularly enjoy Seven Drunken Nights: The Story of The Dubliners, as the music is just so catchy! The radio play of Sherlock Holmes earlier this year was epic, as I’d never seen anything like it before. Our monthly music evening, Grateful Fred’s, has made me fall in love with the Americana and folk genre.

The Vivienne Westwood exhibition back in 2019 was my favourite. My own coat and set of pearls were donated to the exhibition, which was special. I’ve previously donated some vintage clothing to our museum – they’re currently on display in a glass cabinet with my name on a teeny tiny sign. Look for it next time you’re in our Between Land and Sea Museum.

The Atkinson is unique because it’s a place where you never stop learning. I once did a workshop with Alison Bailey Smith and made a necklace with her, which was such an enjoyable experience. I’m doing a batik class soon, which is exciting. I enjoy being a customer here as much as I enjoy being a staff member.

Covid was especially tough for us, so it is so nice to see us coming out the other side with so many wins to celebrate. I’m looking forward to the next 10 years of The Atkinson, whatever that holds. Whether I’m a customer, a trustee, a member, or a box office employee, I’ll be here to enjoy it!”

Posted on 19 October 2023 under People of The Atkinson

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