The Age of Self-Made Village Entertainment.


From the 1930’s to the early 1950’s, radio was the chief source of entertainment with the nearest cinema being miles away. It was in these times that Foggathorpe people, seeking to raise funds for local organisations, made their own entertainment in the form of a concert and dance social evening. Mrs Olive Readman and a group of friends would perform short sketches, followed by recitations of poetry and singing around the piano by soloists. Two of the best remembered soloists were Mrs Hilda Hugill and Miss Ruth Beilby, later Mrs Exton, a generous benefactor who invariably donated cake for the raffle.

For a period of about four years, around 1950, dramatic art made a great advancement. An amateur dramatic society was formed under the direction of Mrs. Dolly Rawson, a lady of some stage experience from Market Weighton. Productions over two nights were performed in the council school and, latterly, in the dance hall at Bubwith High Fields. Three remembered productions were; “The Bishop’s Candle Sticks”, “The Monkey’s Paw” and “Red Sky at Night”. Gordon Readman undertook the role of stage manager and known members of the cast were Olive Readman , Margaret Whitaker, Angela Readman, Maisie Jefferson, Florence hall, Mrs Harker, Kathleen Bennnet, Freddy Baker, Sidney Sellers, and Frank Stokes. The society unfortunately folded when it was down to one male actor.

An amusing story that still exists was that Kath Bennet, of Lincoln Flatts, sold a ticket to near neighbour, farmer Stoes Fox of Pear Tree farm, which was further up the road and she would take him to the show in her car. The night before the production, a breathless Mr Fox, all dressed up wearing shiny shoes, arrived at her door saying “Oh Mrs. Bennet I have just made it”. To which she replied, “ But Mr .Fox you are a day to soon”. “I know that”, he said, “but this is a rehearsal for tomorrow night so that I can be sure to make it in time”.

Acknowledgements: Angela Duck for much of the information and the photograph.

Left to right, Frank Stokes , Margaret Whittaker, Angela Readman, Olive Readman, Sidney Sellers and Kath Bennet.

Signing off,

John.


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