A Burnley teacher rubbed shoulders with the Royal family this week when he was invited to the annual garden party at Buckingham Palace.
Thomas Whitham Sixth Form’s Drama teacher, Russell Lane was invited to the prestigious event by Lord Shuttleworth, Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire for the work he had done over the past year within the community.
Russell was the leading light behind a Lottery Heritage project ‘Our Tommy’, which was a theatrical
telling of the life story of Thomas Whitham, who received the Victoria Cross in 1917.
The play, which was devised with Theatre Studies students from the sixth form, was seen by over 1,000 pupils across Burnley, Pendle and Ribblesdale and was supported by The Imperial War Museum North, The Royal British Legion and The Muslim Heritage Centre in Manchester.
Russell said: “You do the work because it’s important that people are able to experience a live theatre event.
"Sometimes because of economic or social constraints this isn’t always possible and young people in particular respond in a really enthusiastic way to seeing live theatre.
"It is nice to get recognition for making a positive impact, although that doesn’t enter your head when creating the work”.