A COUPLE who have volunteered at a Monmouthshire theatre for 34 years have been given an award to recognise their loyalty and hard work.  

Mel Hughes, 95, and Vera Hughes, 90, from Llanellen, have served at the Borough Theatre in Abergavenny since the eighties after retiring from their jobs as a plumber and a nurse respectively.  

Since they started volunteering at the theatre in 1986, Mr Hughes has served as a steward, while Mrs Hughes has performed meet and greet duties, and they regularly spend their time outside their voluntary roles watching musicals at the theatre. 

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At the theatre’s awards night at the Angel Hotel at the end of January, the A4B programme – an umbrella organisation which helps to run the theatre, recognised the pair with a special award for those that do not perform on stage, but without whom the theatre could not function.  

“We are delighted, honoured, and very surprised,” said Mr Hughes, reflecting on the evening.  

“The theatre has been a really lovely place to be for the both of us in our retirement.  

“We feel as though we belong to something, which is so important for us.” 


After the couple lost their daughter seven years ago, Mr Hughes said the theatre got them back on their feet.  

“It’s heartbreaking when you see your child die,” he said. “We miss her terribly, but we’ve met so many wonderful friends at the theatre who kept us battling through and have helped us greatly.” 

A4B chair Liz Davies said Mr and Mrs Hughes were shocked to receive the Ken Williams Memorial Award, and that she couldn’t think of a more deserving pair.  

“They hardly ever miss a show and they are without doubt the longest-serving volunteers we’ve got here,” Ms Davies added.  

“They’re the life and soul of the theatre and I don’t know what we’d do without them.” 

Mr and Mrs Hughes are intent on continuing to go to the theatre as much as they can, and are now gearing up for the Borough’s busy pantomime season which kicks off next week.  

“We’ll be in every night next week, working hard and enjoying the company as always,” Mr Hughes added.