A THEATRE school has been forced to close its doors after more than 50 years because of a lack of staff.
The Beach Theatre School had been running in Shoreham since 1959.
Linda Seears took over as principal in 1994, but when she decided to retire earlier this year, she was unable to find anyone to replace her and has been forced to close the school.
"It is disappointing," said Linda.
"I really wanted to pass the school on to somebody and keep it going."
The school held its last ever presentation day this month and Linda said she was "supremely proud" of all of the dancers.
"It was a happy, but sad occasion," she said.
"Some of the senior girls made up their own choreography and gave me a little dance, which was a lovely surprise.
"I am really going to miss the children. They are all like family."
The Beach Theatre School, then known as The Beach School of Dancing, was first opened in 1959 by Miss Angela Peacock at Huntingdon Hall, in Buckingham Road, Shoreham.
She also opened a Steyning branch at Jarvis Hall, in Jarvis Lane.
In the 1960s, she moved classes to the newly opened Shoreham Centre and began putting on shows and entering festivals.
In 1977, Josie Peate took over the Steyning branch and, in 1985, Miss Peacock changed the name to the Beach Theatre School and began training Linda Seears as a dance teacher.
After becoming principal in 1994, Linda put forward pupils for exams two to three times a year and staged several shows, including Hansel and Gretel and Sleeping Beauty.
Her dancers also played a major role in Adur Theatre Company's popular annual pantomimes.
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