The Christmas Members’ Evening on 16 December was a very jolly affair. Entertainment for the evening was “Do Your Own Thing” with a Christmas Theme, organised by Hermin Daley. 16 Members entertained us with a most enjoyable programme, very ably accompanied on piano by Maureen MacFarlane, Eddie Stabler and Terry Turner.
Our Chairman, Duncan MacFarlane, presented Hermin Daley with a silver brooch as a tribute to her 50 years with the Society and Margaret Watton compiled a display board of some of the many parts Hermin has played over the past 50 years.
On Saturday July 15th members of our Society supported the village Fayre & Flower Show, as we have done for many years, by hosting a Bottle Stall. The stall generated £390 which Tony Watton handed over to the Fayre & Flower Show organisers.
We were treated to another of John and Betsy’s entertaining quizzes for our August members evening, and the event was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. Many thanks to them and also to all the ladies who helped to organise and provide the excellent buffet supper.
On February 11th we all enjoyed a Shakespeare Revue, devised and directed by Judith Dredge and featuring sketches and songs with a Shakespearian theme varying from Victoria Wood to Stephen Sondheim. The entertainment was stylishly presented and it was wonderful to see such a mixture of old and new faces on stage. Members Evenings are such a good opportunity for those who can’t always commit to a full scale production but who would like to “tread the boards” occasionally.
I am sure that everyone who attended our Christmas Members' Evening had a very good time. We were treated to a marvellous mini pantomime entitled Cinders by Geoff Bamber, which was produced and directed by Margaret Watton and narrated by Rona Williamson. This of course followed the usual basic story line with many interesting twists and variations as well as various odd characters. It was pleasing to see so many of our members take to the stage, in some cases for the first time, in order to entertain us, which you did so very well.
At our August Members evening on Saturday August 20th we enjoyed a production of last years Chairman’s Challenge winning play, The Three Graces of Garth dramatised by Linda Stabler from an original story by D F Bruce. From the opening on the platform of a remote Scottish station to the ironic conclusion, this was the story of how one person’s deception, for purely selfish reasons, had unnecessarily affected the life of a family for many years, believing that the family had a history of madness. The recently orphaned young Felicity Brown, played by Janet Methley, arrived late at night by train on her way to see if she and her young brother Daniel, played by George Whiffen, could come and live with their Aunts. Being late at night she is befriended by the Station Porter, Tammas, played with a unbelievably realistic accent by Duncan MacFarlane. She is given a lift by the Laird’s nephew Simon, played by Simon Hendry. The two aunts are completely different. Maria, Margaret Watton, is kind and caring, while Eliza, Hermin Daley, is very selfish. Despite being poor due to having had to sell the estate to pay their grandfather's debts when he died, they do have a maid, Jenny played by Linda Stabler. The sisters cannot agree on whether to let Felicity and Daniel live with them so they decide to ask the Laird, Eddie Stabler, to decide. It was good to see Eddie complete with kilt and Scottish accent away from his usual spot in the lighting box. A special mention must be made of George Whiffen, who for his first appearance with us, came down from Surrey for rehearsals and the performance, and played the part of Daniel superbly. Congratulations to Duncan and Maureen MacFarlane for stepping in at short notice and producing a lovely supper.
As in previous years the Society ran the Bottle Stall at the Annual Fete and Flower show in July. Despite a slight turndown in the number of tickets sold we managed to produce a profit of £327 which was passed over to the Fete and Flower show committee. Our thanks to all the people who donated bottles and to all the willing helpers on the day.
The February members evening was a complete change from our usual format in that it was an informal event to try and get members to mingle, reminisce about the history of the society and to look to the future. Margaret and Hermin raided the archives and produced a wonderful display of memorabilia, photographs and records for us to peruse as well as competitions including How Well Do You Know Your Committee? which were great fun for all concerned. Also on display were our wardrobe and lighting system. Special thanks must go to Estelle and her helpers for the wonderful finger buffet that they provided for our delight.