THE JUBILEE HALL
From the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald May 10th 1935 Clifford Chambers
The village was gaily decorated with flags and bunting for the Jubilee Celebrations. The festivities commenced with a service in Church conducted by the Rector, the form being the same used at St. Paul's.
The afternoon was devoted to sports for children and adults, prizes being given for each event. In a large barn kindly lent by Mr. Bluck, the children sat down to tea, and afterwards received Jubilee mugs at the hands of Mr. G. Douty.
At 6 o'clock all the adults were entertained to a dinner which comprised a plentitude of good old English fare. After the meal, there was an excellent entertainment which took the form of conjuring and ventriloquism. The day ended with a large bonfire on Martins Hill and the fine display of fireworks. To commemorate the Jubilee, in the afternoon Mr. and Mr. Rees-Mogg opened the new Village Hall which will be a great acquisition as the village has been without a hall for over two years.
Photo:Clifford Chambers in the 1930's:Celebrations of George VI and Queen Elizabeth's Coronation in 1936 Photo:Homes and Buildings: aerial view of village 1938
It was in 1957 - about 8 years after Mrs. Rees-Mogg's death that a meeting was called at the Jubilee Hall and the Minutes of that meeting presented a sorry picture.
The Jubilee Hall was in an unhappy situation. Expenses were heavy and there was no possibility of a reduction in hire charges. The Rector, Rev Cecil Lake suggested that an extension could be made to build an additional room for general purposes.
A year later the Hall was STILL in a very unsatisfactory situation, so a new Chairman was elected – Tony Green with Miss Hodgson acting as both Secretary and Treasurer, the members being Mr. A Dodd, Mr. Richardson,. Radbourne, Mr. G. R. Gillett, Mrs Hudspith and Miss James, and the Rector ex officio – also representatives of the village organizations
First of all – the most urgent was seen to – the cutting of the grass and attending to the guttering of the the Jubilee Hall IMMEDIATELY! By October 1959, the financial position had improved with £52.4s.9d in hand, and an application was made to Gloucester for permission to grant any party hiring the Jubilee Hall, setting up a bar, and this was completed by May 1960.
By 21st March 1961, the Hall had received the gift of a water heater in the kitchen from Miss M. Adams, but there was an urgency for external painting of the Hall, but no money available. And in 1964, it was agreed to start Bingo at the Hall. In April 1969 the Hall had £106.14.2d in the Bank partly due to the installation of a bar. At last plans for the exterior or interior of the building were in hand!
On 28th March 1969 it was reported the MEB were in the process of re-wiring, and the builders had completed the porch roof. But now another problem had occurred, eight feet of dry rot and decay in the Hall floor. And this section needed complete re-flooring. So it was expected the final cost of this work would be nearer £500, the Hall paying as much as they can, and the balance coming from the Church.
In April 1971 the WI came to the rescue and thoroughly gave the Hall a good clean-over – cleaning and polishing the Jubilee Hall floor, window sills and kitchen. By July the same year several quotations had been received for the exterior and interior painting – the one chosen, Messrs Brookes of £239, the Church paying £100 towards the cost of £105.93 for the exterior
After a lot of discussion, it was decided that as user bodies of the Hall were mostly represented on the PCC, the Hall sub-committee would not continue as such, but would now be run by the PCC,. However the Secretary/Treasurer would still be kept separately, and Mrs. Ullyatt would be asked to keep on with this appointment and would be accepted onto the PCC.
Now things were happening fast, for by June 1972 the Hall were purchasing material for new stage drapes and Mrs. Bramwell and Mrs. Ulyatt had agreed to make them.
On 7th August 1975, an electric slot meter was installed by the MEB at a cost of around £39 , organised by Mrs. Pauline Ullyatt. Then on 31st May 1979, Mrs. Ullyatt reported that new curtains had been fixed to the hall windows and the trestle tables were being repaired. The new window curtains and pelmets were already in position
In 1961 the door curtains in the Hall had been made and hung by Mrs. Ullyatt at the suggestion of Mrs. Kingston who saw the need for a blackout when films or slides were shown.
THEN CAME THE BIG CHANGE IN THE PARISH!
The next Rector would be living at Welford, not Clifford, and Clifford Rectory would be sold. As the Rectory was a place where many Church meetings took place, arrangements had to be made to have a room or rooms added to the Jubilee Hall. Gloucester was asked if we could employ our own Architect to do alterations with any plans being sent to Gloucester for their consideration. They in turn will let us know how much they would be prepared to allow us, towards the cost.
And from the Minutes of 15th July 1981, the Minutes read:-.
“ The Churchwardens had met with Winston Walker who had, since, sent notes on our ideas to enlarge the toilets, kitchen and additional room for the Rector's office, and these were read out by Dr. Bramwell.
It was agreed to accept his ideas for the toilets and the Committee room, but to ask if it was possible to extend this room to make a private office for the Rector. It was also decided to ask him if he could sketch his ideas for the kitchen and to suggest to him the possibility of moving the stairs to the other side of the stage to allow for expansion to the kitchen there.
10th September 1981 A sub-Committee of the two Churchwardens, Mrs. Ullyatt and L Salmon, Mrs. J. Hancox and Mrs. Bramwell will meet to discuss the proposed alterations to the Hall on 30th September, and these plans will be discussed with Mr.Winston Walker. The plans will be brought to our next Council meeting.
10th November 1981 Draft plans were shown and explained by Dr. Bramwell, and the Architect thinks these extensions will cost in the region of £40,000/£45,000. Dr Bramwell will go to see the Planning Department at the Council to see if our ideas would need any modification before they would be allowed to be passed, and then we should press Gloucester to see how much they will be prepared to put up.
14th January 1982 Hall extension. Dr. Bramwell discussed this with local Planning Department who preferred we put a pitch roof instead of a flat one on the new extension. This will put up the cost, but he had had the plans revised and they were now ready to be forwarded to Gloucester together with the estimated costs. Dr. Bramwell would forward them together with a letter being sent to the Rector (Canon Hawkins) and Mr. Ullyatt giving arguments for the necessity for this extension due to the closure of our Rectory, and asking for considerable help with the cost. And a fete was planned for 16th June for funds towards the cost of the Hall alterations.
26th March 1982 Dr. Bramwell read a copy of the letter he wrote to Gloucester with our proposed plans and the estimated cost of £42,000. He then read Gloucester's reply, and they agreed to give us £25,000 towards the cost. We agreed to accept and Dr. Bramwell will write to them. He will also see W. Walker to see if we can nulify the costs and get the plans in for passing.
Mr. Walker has given his costs so far at a very modified rate of £400 which it was agreed to pay - £200 to come from Hall funds and £100 from Fabric Fund plus £700 donation given to Hall.
29th April 1982 Gloucester willing to grant us £25,000 towards the cost . Thanks to Mrs. Ullyatt for all her work she and her husband do at the Hall.
1st March 1983 Tenders had gone out to six firms, five returned: lowest £24,672: top £36,531 for completed job. Winston Walker checking these over with surveyor and Moss' tender being the lowest will be signed.
And, at last on 13th March 1984, the Parochial Church Council met in the new Committee room at the Jubilee Hall under the chairmanship of Rev. George Baisley, the Hall extension at long last being completed and the furnishings now under way, Mrs. Bramwell kindly making up the curtains fr the extension. The main hall floor was to be professionally cleaned and sealed now that all building was complete. The decorating of the main hall to be left until it was known how much Gloucester are paying of the extension account and how much we may have to pay.
When the Hall was completely paid up by Gloucester, it was agreed to have an official opening by the Archdeacon. On 24th September 1984, it was recorded that the Extension, as far as was known, has been paid for by Gloucester of £21,000, we still awaiting the final account by Moss. The Rector's Office to be the only responsibility of the Church Funds. The two Quartermain paintings for the Rector's office have been valued at £500 each. Dr. Bramwell to get these insured.
Then in May 1985. Dennis Reynolds felt it necessary to put 6” insulation over the Hall and stage, this coming to £193.20 plus VAT. Dennis and Lawrence Salmon started on this work on 18th September that year
Mrs. Joyce Dale had left a bequest of £1,000 to the Hall. Dr. Bramwell had already bought 40 new chairs out of this at the cost of £403. It was decided that, from the balance of £600 we should buy some more trestle tables to replace the old wooden ones, and perhaps 20 more new chairs. As there were sufficient funds in the Hall account, it was decided to go ahead with painting the main body of the Hall.
On 8th January 1986 the Minutes stated Insulation credit received £84 – bill came to £157. Materials supplied for sides, and working party to lay this. Electrics - L. Salmon thought it would be a large job to put electrics all on one wall. This to be left until kitchen is done. Floor not done. Dennis Reynolds to investigate this and report. Painting not done – now to be left until roof insulation done. Tables and chairs – extra chairs bought. Small sample table on display which was examined by all and agreed to purchase 6 of these at at cost of £220. New cups had been bought to replace badly chipped ones. 6 new trays also to be bought. Cleaner – position to be advertised at £2 per hour to see if we could get someone back.
On 20th February 1986 it was reported that Dennis Reynolds and Lawrence Salmon had completed the Hall roof insulation and they had enough material left to do both sides of the stage roof and thanks were extended to them for completing this work. Hall floor – Dennis Reynolds had this in hand and hopes to be able to report on this at the next meeting. Cleaner left until AGM as Dr. Bramwell wishes to retire from the position of Secretary/Caretaker. He was thanked from the chair.
Lawrence Salmon took over the job of Secretary Caretaker in May 1986. and reported on 28th January 1987 that he was now responsible for bookings and fees, passing on the latter until the end of the financial year in March when he would have whole responsibility.
EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES AT THE HALL The Womens Institute Mrs. Rees-Mogg introduced the W.I. to the women of the village in 1938 by having an enormous party of over one thousand people in her garden. Some of these guests were from abroad as the party was part of a worldwide celebration of the Associated County Women of the World. The lady-villagers who attended, walked down the drive back home unanimous in two things:- "Yes - it was a lovely party" and "We must start a Womens Institute in our village"
Unfortunately, the War intervened, and it wasn't until 1945 that, at last a W.I. was established with Mrs. Rees-Mogg as President, Miss Dunkley secretary, and Mrs. Timperly the village head-teacher as treasurer. Miss Dodd with her great music ability, trained a choir of members for carol singing, and of course, she made sure that every member could sing with confidence at the beginning of each monthly meeting, the stirring words and music of 'Jerusalem'.
Notes from Maisie Wilkes "I joined the W.I. in 1948. W.I was 'jam and Jerusalem' then, but became a much wider thing later. We had a Drama Group, as well as a Choir. The Drama Group used to entertain at Christmas meetings not only for our own W.I. but for villages around like Preston, Long Marston etc. We also entered Drama Competitions, travelling to Earlswood, and Solihull to take part, and were very successful.
The Choir and other members sung carols round the village on two nights of Christmas week, sometimes tracking through the snow to houses just outside the village. And we had a hand-bell ringing team which also travelled to other W.I.'s
We entered National Competitions of the W.I. and won awards for our Village Scrap book; supper table and many more.
The W.I. thrived during the 1950's/60's because then the W.I. mums of young children, were able to leave their children in care of dads those nights. The W.I. moved on from 'Jam and Jerusalem' then and the topics and talks were more varied and we had started to expand to do more County work and even more competitions
The Drama Group had a lot of fun much to our producers disgust at times. On year, we had to do a hospital play, when four or five of our members at that time were pregnant."
Photo:Clifford Chambers in the 1980's:Founder members WI celebrating 50 years
PANTOMIME - CINDERELLA BY CHOIR AND SUNDAYS SCHOOL TO RAISE MONEY FOR CHOIR GOWNS FOR THE CHILDREN
THE SCRIPT OF THE PANTOMIME “CINDERELLA” Stage Manager's copy with all his instructions.........also additions by Avril to explain various names referred to in the play – and who they were - living in the village at the time (1973)
Trevor - can you make sure the cast have brought the following (note from Avril – this was Trevor Morris!).......1. Chris Rawlings pimps, plastic beaker 2. Ian Cole pumps, plastic beaker, marble........3. Stuart Dodd, Pumps, plastic beaker, marble, fishing basked ,.....4, Christine Carvell, pumps........5.Stephen Leonard-Williams, pumps, twisted root, jacket of Sunday sit, one crown, false ears, one marble.........6. Kevin Roles, pumps, plastic beaker, conker on string, wheel of rusty bike......7. Abigail Barrow, Pumps, plastic beaker, one marble.......8. Ian Brigham, pump, bongo drums.........9. Katrina Barrow, Pumps, plastic beaker, riding hat, whip.....10. Paul Leonard-Williams, pumps guitar......11. Martyn Spragg, pumps, scroll, invitation cards, quill pen.....12,.Carolyn Spragg, pumps, plastic breaker...........13,.Mrs. Scott, knitting, knitting bag red velvet cushion
Do in order – so you can't get lost
CAST:- Cinderella: Denise Reynolds - Prince Charming: Carolyn Spragg - King: Stephen Leonard-Williams - Queen: Elaine Harris - Baron: Oliver Fowler - Ugly Sisters: Paul Leonard-Williams and Ian Brigham - Fairy Godmother; Christine Evans - Buttons: Neville Evans - Dandini: Martyn Spragg Villagers and guests to the ball: Chris Reynolds; Chris Rawlins; Abigail Barrow: Katrina Barrow; Ian Cole; Christine Carvell: Deborah Carvell: Kevin Roles: Debbie Roles: Stage Managers: Trevor Morris and Robin Ashfield -Lighting & Sound – Lawrence Salmon - Pianist – Alex Dodd Production team: Mrs. Scott; Mrs. Leonard-Williams; Avril Taylor
SCENE 1 Trevor – make sure the following are on your side of the stage:- Chris Rawlings – Stuart Dodd – Stephen Leonard-Williams – Abigail Barrow – Katrina Barrow – Martyn Spragg – Ian Cole – Christine Carvell – Kevin Roles – Ian Brighan – Paul Leonard-Williams - No scenery for first scene. Alex Dodd will play through once – then open the curtains ready for Stephen. All villagers on stage playing marbles and conkers spread out over the stage as curtain is drawn back
Villagers singing Morning my friend........Neighbour good day.....Here comes Dandini.......What has he got to say?
To the tune – possibly Big Ben tune striking the hour – but uncertain now after all these years!
Dandini Good morning people All villagers stand and gather around him but spread out...........Dickon What brings you here?........Dandini I have a letter from the King to the Baron. Is this his house?...........Mattie Yes. Here it is..........Willum Do you know what is in the letter?..........Dandini It's an invitation to a Ball at the Palace......... Dickon Isn't there one for me?...........Dandini You! Don't be daft..... Trevor – ring bell as Dandini mimes pressing a bell-ringer.....Enter Paul Leonard-Williams and Ian Brigham.........Minnie Oh good morning Dandini. Oh dear! I haven't taken out my curlers..........Gertie Lucky me! My curls are natural! Goodmorning Dandini – and what do you want?............Dandini I have a letter for the Baron and the ladies of this house............Gertie and Minnie shrieking Oh a letter! From the King! Oh quick! Let's have it. Let's see.........both of them singing to the tune Hallo Hallo – whose your lady friend.......Hallo! Hallo! This has just arrived...Here's an invitation from the King....Just look there.....that's the happy date.....Oh! Oh! oh! I am in such a state.... Hallo! Hallo! What are we to wear?........Nothing that we have will do at all........For we must have a bash at wearing something gorgeous.....Dance dance – dancing at the Ball.
Minnie Oh! Oh! I feel faint. An invitation to a Ball. Oh Gertie! Hold me up!....... Gertie Listen! It says, “To celebrate the betrothal of his son Prince Charming, who will choose his bride from among the ladies at the Ball. Aaaaaaaaah!...........Minnie Me! A Princess!............ Gertie You! You must be joking! With me there-..........Dickon interrupting What about Cinderella. Is she going to the Ball?........Gertie Cinderella! At the Ball!!!.........Minnie A fine Princess she would make – all dusty from the fire and greasy from the cooking!
Enter Baron from right with fishing basket with pike in it which he promptly, drops onto the stage (right) near footlights........... Robin – can you then hand to him the part of the rusty bike, wellington boot, broken jug twisted root and jacket
Mattie Hallo Baron! Been fishing........Willum What's your luck?..........Simon What did you catch?.........Everyone sings to the tune Three Blind Mice....... What's your luck?........What's your luck?...........What did you catch?.........What did you catch?
Baron moves left to where Trevor is standing off stage and sings the reply...........A rusty bike and a Wellington boot......A bit of a jug and a twisted root........And the jacket of somebody's Sunday suit...........And that's my lot........Trevor – can you stand near to Oliver Fowler during this song and take various articles from him as quickly as possible
Baron Actually I did catch one fish.............Mattie Oh what? A salmon?.........Baron walking back to his basket No – not a salmon. A big fine pike (picking up the pike from the basket and showing them. Then dropping it back in the basket )......... Simon Yuck! We can't eat that!...........Dickon Try the Rectory! They'll eat anything!........Note from Avril - The Leonard-Williams boys and their friends were well known for their love of fishing, and were always catching pike in the river – which always finished back at the Rectory for Mrs. Leonard-Williams to cook.
Gertie Oh no you don't! We'll have it for lunch – and Cinderella can cook it. We can't afford to waste anything now.........Minnie We've got to economise. We need the money, you see..........Baron What's all this in aid of? Why are you so keen on saving all of a sudden?...........Gertie Dear Popsie. Guess what! We're invited to a Ball at the Royal Palace.........Minnie And the Prince is going to choose his bride! Oh Popsie! Fancy being a step-father to a Princess!..............Gertie We must have new dresses.......Minnie And cloaks.........Gertie And shoes.........Minnie And underwear......Gertie And jewels..........Minnie And hair-do's...........Gertie And facials.........Minnie And manicures..........Gertie And dancing lessons............Minnie And Elocution lessons.........Both Mustn't we Popsie? Please Popsie?..........Baron If I were a rich man..........Minnie Don't be silly Popsie. When I am married to the Prince, then you will be rich.............Gertie Come on darling Popsie. Let's go inside and talk about money...........EXIT BARON, GERTIE AND MINNIE LEFT
Mattie Poor Cinderella! They are unkind to her. Why can't she go to the Ball.......... Dickon Here she comes..............ENTER CINDERELLA FROM RIGHT............ Everyone Hallo Cinderella............Willum Cinderella, did you know that the King has invited you to a Ball at the Royal Palace?.............Mattie He is holding it for Prince Charming who will choose his bride from among the ladies at the Ball............. Dickon But your sisters won't let you go.............Simon They say you are only fit to look after the fire...........Mattie Is that why they call you Cinder – Ella?............ Cinderella (singing to the tune “Early one morning”with children coming in on the Chorus ) I'm called Cinderella 'cause I sit among the cinders I do all the cooking and sweep the parlour clean Poor Cinderella. Pretty Cinderella How could your Ugly Sisters be so mean?..........The King has invited his subjects to a Party The others are going, but I'll be left behind Poor Cinderella. Pretty Cinderella How could your Ugly Sisters be so unkind..........The loveliest lady will be married to Prince Charming But I'm just a kitchen-girl and haven't got a chance. Poor Cinderella,. Pretty Cinderella. How could your Ugly Sisters keep you from the Dance EXIT CINDERELLA LEFT (THE CAT CREEPS UP FROM RIGHT TO THE FISH BASKET, GRABS THE PIKE AND RUNS OFF WITH IT RIGHT AND EXIT, CHASED BY THE VILLAGERS ALL SHOUTING) CURTAIN
Trevor – for the Second Scene two chairs and round table centre left. Nearer the stage far right place a stool. The white table will only be used at the performance. Use a card table for rehearsals. SCENE TWO - THE PALACE Curtain opens to the King with crown on, sitting on the chair to the right, writing, and the Queen sitting on the other, knitting. Prince Charming standing near the stool looking down at the floor and shuffling his feet around looking fed-up! Trevor – make sure Martyn Spragg is on your side of the stage.......................Queen addressing Prince Charming Really Eldest and Dearest knit four. I think you might help. I'll never get my knitting finished at this rate slip one, knot one, pass slipped stitch over............King How do you spell Lieutenant? …...........Queen Lieutenant? We don't invite Lieutenants purl six...............King This is the Lord Lieutenant my dear. Anyway, what are you knitting?..............Queen Well, it started as a baby's vest knit two together.........King But you haven't got a baby!.............Queen I had when I started it. But he grew – so it turned into a toddler play-suit twist two..............King You haven't got a toddler!......Queen I had – but he grew, so it turned into a football jersey slip one.............King But you don't know any footballers................Queen I did! But he grew, so it turned into a grand-dad vest............King But you haven't got a grand-dad!............Queen Don't be silly dear. It's for our Eldest and Dearest – dear Charming - - and I do want to get it finished before he grows any more............... Charming I'm twenty one. I'm not likely to grow any more...............Queen I married your Father when he was twenty one. He hasn't grown upwards since then, but he's grown outwards – rather a lot..............King There! That's the last five hundred invitations, and if you can't find a bride amongst that lot........Charming interrupting But this isn't any old bride. She will be my Queen and I've got to spend the rest of my life with her............King Well – I spent the rest of my life with your Mother. If I can do it – so can you................Charming It doesn't sound much fun..............ENTER DANDINI LEFT...........KING HANDIND HIM INVITATIONS Here you are. That's the last batch.............King and Queen sing to the tune “She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes” There'll be dancing at the Castle when they come...There'll be dancing at the Castle when they come.....There'll be dancing at the Castle....Postman's knock and pass the parcel......There'll be dancing at the Castle when they come......DANDINI JOINS IN........And the Prince will have to choose his bride.....And the Prince will have to choose his bride......And the Prince will have to.... The Prince will have to.........The Prince will have to choose his bride............ Queen Oooooh! And I'll have to stop my knitting when they come.........THEY ALL SING AND DANCE – with the exception of Charming........Yes. She'll have to stop her knitting when they come..............Yes, she'll have to stop her knitting when they come.........Yes, she'll have to stop her knitting......For it really isn't fitting........For the Queen to do her knitting when they come........THEY ALL EXIT DANCING LEFT - EXCEPT CHARMING WHO WALKS OUT SLOWLY BEHIND THEM - LOOKING FED UP -oOo-
SCENE 3 THE BARON'S KITCHEN
Centre stage back, square table with chair at the back and a chair either side of the table. On the table various dresses, curlers, hair brushes, tongs. At back right is the 'door' leading 'outdoors'. On left 'door' leading to 'rest of house' middle stretch of stage..............Front of stage left and near the footlights - a chest with (a) Cinderella's Ball gown (b) her glass slippers (c) a riding whip and (d) a riding hat - all inside it.. To right of stage near footlights a stool with a washing basket to one side and behind it............When the curtains open, both ugly sisters are just in front of the square table. Cinderella is to the right of the ugly sisters and a reasonable distance from them so they don't hit her as they get ready for the Ball. Buttons is further down stage near the washing basket with the cat..............Minnie is using the hair tongs on Gertie then attempts to get her own corsets on........Gertie Ow! You clumsy thing! You've burnt me!..........Minnie You told Dandini your curls were natural. Pull me in Cinderella........Cinderella does so...........Gertie Well – they are – heat's natural isn't it. More than your waistline is!...............Minnie Ow! That's enough Cinderella. There- don't I look like Twiggy?..........Gertie Twiggy! Tree trunk more like! Give me my dress Cinderella. (Cinderella does so). Don't crumple it like that, you clumsy slut............Buttons Cinderella clumsy! Look at yourself you silly old nag........... Gertie making a threatening gesture towards him What did you say, you cheeky thing?...........Minnie Help me with these eyelashes Cinderella. They are called “Man Catchers”. (Cinderella helps with her eyelashes) Oh! I hope they catch the Prince..........Gertie squirting perfume on her My perfume cost £5 and it is called “Passion Royal”..........Minnie Ugh!.........Gertie There, I'm ready. How do I look Cinderella?........Cinderella You look – very …..fine. Where did you get your dress?...........Gertie At the W.I.Jumble sale. All the best people get their clothes at Jumble sales. They have that 'je ne sais quoi' which one never gets in the shops these days..........Minnie Not if they're mean like you. Mine came from Mary Quant and they cost the earth...........Buttons The more you pay – the less you get – so it seems! Gertie I had a bit of luck with my wig, though I need to wear these false ears with it. I got the wig from the Theatre – through a friend..........Buttons Whose was it? Ratty's (note from Avril – The wind in the willows was on at the Theatre at that time) Minnie moving down stage to footlights There – I'm finished too. I think I look really groovy, don't you think?...........Gertie joining her down stage Yes, like a ploughed field........They both sing – Gertie first........Anything you can wear, I can wear better........I can wear anything better than you.........The two argue in song No you can't - Yes I can.....No you can't - Yes I can.........Minnie No you can't No you can't No you can't.........Any man you can charm, I can charm faster....I can charm anyone faster than you........The two argue in song.... No you can't Yes I can........No you can't - Yes I can.............Gertie No you can't No you can't No you can't........I could charm Dandini – in my new bikini.......Minnie I could do it better in a slinky sweater.........Gertie I can sing like Sandie Shaw.......... Minnie Who wants to do that? So can the cat......Cat Miaow............Minnie Anything you can dance I can dance better........I can dance anything better than you...........Gertie & Minnie No you can't Yes I can No you can't Yes I can No you can't - No you can't. YES I CAN.........CINDERELLA MOVES FORWARD HURRIEDLY TO SEPARATE THEM BARON ENTERS FROM RIGHT...........Cinderella You look very fine. Minnie! Gertie! Now you have all your new clothes, would you lend me some of your old ones, so that I can come to the Ball too?..........Minnie & Gertie You!...........Minnie Who do you think you are? Get along with you! Poke the fire – scrub the floor - clean the windows. How dare you suggest going to the Ball with us............Gertie catching sight of the Baron Popsie! What do you think of us? …....Baron Weeellll..........Minnie Aren't we fantastic?..............Buttons I'll say you are!!!..........Baron Isn't that a bit.......old fashioned.............Gertie This? It's real gear this is.............Baron I see! Isn't that a bit low?..........Minnie But it's the very latest from Carnaby Street..........Baron What about Cinderella! What is she going to wear?............Gertie Cinderella! Don't be silly. She's not going!.........Minnie Come on! The coach is waiting. Goodbye.........BARON AND TWO UGLY SISTERS SWEEP OUT TO THE RIGHT AND BACK OF STAGE......
CINDERELLA MOVES TO THE STOOL AND SITS ON IT AND SINGS. BUTTON STAYS NEAR HER. CAT SITS ON THE FLOOR NEARBY.......... Cinderella singing to the tune …...uncertain........All alone – yes – I'm all alone.......There is no-one left but me.....All alone – and I've never known.......All the fun they share at the Castle there.......Buttons putting his arm around her shoulders and singing........What alone! No! Your'e not alone.........There is someone here with you........Who will dry your eyes and sympathise..........And who lives and dies all alone too.........Button Silly things! Even in that old dress, you are much prettier than they are. If the Prince saw you, he'd want to marry you, like I do. Will you marry me Cinderella?.........Cinderella No Buttons! I'm afraid not, but I'm very fond of you. You're the only person who is kind to me. Oh and you pussy! Oh well, I must go and hang the washing out......Cat purrs and rubs his head against her as she bends down to pick up the basket.....Buttons I'll do that for you Cinderella. I'd do anything for you. Picks up the basket and takes it out right – at back of stage/............ Cinderella sitting down on the stool again Oh dear! I do wish I could go with them. I should love to go to a Ball.
FAIRY GODMOTHER COMES IN LEFT AND STANDS LOOKING OVER TOWARDS CINDERELLA ON THE STOOL. CINDERELLA JUMPS UP AND STEPS BACK IN ALARM.......Fairy Godmother Goodevening Cinderella! Why are you crying?...........Cinderella Oh! You did make me jump. Who are you? Can I help you?............Fairy Godmother I am your Fairy Godmother............. Cinderella You don't look like one................Fairy Godmother I'm a Welsh one.
Note from Avril. Christine Evans, a year beforehand, had been bridesmaid at her sister's wedding to a Welsh groom, and her bridesmaid outfit was the National Costume of Wales. She wore this as the Fairy Godmother – hat and all.
Fairy Godmother Tell me – why are you crying?.......Cinderella sobbing Because my step-sisters have gone to the Ball – and - and I do wish I could go too............ Fairy Godmother Dry your tears. You SHALL go! There – cheer up............Cinderella (standing) I'd like to go - but - I am afraid I can't! I haven't anything to wear – except these shabby clothes.........'Fairy Godmother I have a beautiful dress for you. Now! Where are my mice. (calling to left side) Mice! Mice! Come on!..............Cat looking excited and expectant Miaow...........Fairy Godmother pruning herself up ready for the magic Now – let's get down to work. Sleeves up! Tummy in! Shoulders back! Chin up! Do a little dance (she does so) Now I think we're ready. Calling once more to the mice.) Mice! Come on!..........
The mice enter in a long line going across the stage – round the Fairy Godmother and Cinderella - and the chest – and back again, eventually coming to a stop facing the Fairy Godmother
1st Mouse Four steps forward.........2nd Mouse Four steps forward (looking back to the third mouse) Mind my tail!..........3rd Mouse Four-steps-forward-mind-my-tail......4th Mouse (Looking behind him at the 5th mouse) Ouch!........5th Mouse Ouch.........4th Mouse looking indignantly at the 5th mouse.....No! That's not your line!....... 5th Mouse Four steps forward...........4th Mouse That's better!.........Cat eagerly following after the mice Miaow...........6th Mouse Ouch cat! You're treading on my tail...........Cat Miaow..........6th Mouse indignantly Go away – and get off my tail........Cinderella moving over to the Cat Pussy! You really must behave...........Fairy Godmother Just a minute! There are only six mice. Where are the other two?.......Fairy Godmother goes left to the side curtain Come on! Come on! Don't keep me waiting!.........7th Mouse (rushing onto stage quickly followed by 8th Mouse I had to go and look for the littlest mouse..........Fairy Godmother Oh – tut - tut! Where were you hiding?.............8th Mouse I wasn't hiding! I was fast asleep..........Fairy Godmother Well – open your eyes wide. I have work for you to do. Right mice – open the chest!
The mice gather around the chest – and open it – and take out Cinderella's Ball dress
Cinderella Oh Fairy Godmother! What a lovely dress...........Fairy Godmother Put it on Cinderella. Gather around Mice. The mice gather around Cinderella with some more material they have taken out of the chest. Who's peeping? Mice shouting That cat!.........Cat Miaow...........Fairy Godmother I'll settle that Cat in a minute. He'll wonder what has hit him.........
Buttons enters from right with empty washing basket Buttons. I've hung the washing out Cind...... Why – what is happening?.............Fairy Godmother Out you go young man! You can't stay here while a lady is dressing for a Ball...........Buttons Who are you?.........Fairy Godmother Never you mind. I am getting Cinderella ready for the Ball. Buttons putting down the washing basket in its original place Oh – is she going. I'm so glad...........Fairy Godmother And if you want to be of any help, you can find me a pumpkin............. Buttons We have a big one. We got it from the Harvest Festival. Mr. Harris grew it.
(Note from Avril. Mr. Harris was noted for growing the biggest vegetables each year for the Garden Show)
Fairy Godmother That's good! Put it down outside the door............Button exits right back Fairy Godmother Good! That's got rid of him. We don't want a man here critisizing everything we do, and making out he can do much better. Who laughed just then?.........The mice That Cat!........The Cat Miaow! Spit!.......... Fairy Godmother Right! Another mark on the scoreboard. That Cat certainly has a lot of punishment in store for him,. Cinderella– are you ready?............Cinderella Yes..........Fairy Godmother Come on then. Let's see you. Who is that wolf whistling?.............The Mice That Cat............Cat Miaow..........Fairy Godmother If I hear one more peep from you, I'll magic up forty Boxer dogs to chase you up the tallest tree. We'll start off with Mrs. Haines' dog – and then we'll go on to the Labradors. They'll soon finish you off!
Note from Avril. Mr. Haines was regularly seen walking his Boxer dog with his wife Kay. When Mr. Haines died suddenly, Kay married his best friend Leslie Ball who also loved Boxer Dogs)
Cat Miaow.....The mice gather together front centre stage and sit down. Cat stays where it is.......Cinderella Oh Fairy Godmother! What about shoes? I can't dance at the Palace with bare feet........Fairy Godmother Bless me! I nearly forgot! Here you are! Taking them out of the chest.........Cinderella How lovely! They are made of glass!...........Fairy Godmother They are! They are fairy slippers and will only fit the one person for whom they are made. Now! Off you go and enjoy yourself..........Cinderella How shall I go? It's too far to walk – and I would spoil my lovely clothes...........Fairy Godmother Oh dear me! I had forgotten. I've got transport for you outside – if that young man has done his job properly..... She walks to side stage right at back I just need to wave my wand...........(She does so - Buttons rushes in from that exit and comes to Cinderella)..........Buttons Guess what Cinderella! A beautiful coach! One minute a pumpkin – the next a coach! A golden coach with royal blue velvet seats and gold tassels.........Cinderella Oh! Oh! Oh! I can't believe it!......... Buttons Cinderella! You do look beautiful in that dress........Fairy Godmother moves forward centre stage Fairy Godmother Now then! Some horses! Where are those mice?...............Mice scramble to their feet and stand to attention lined up to one side of Fairy Godmother lst Mouse Here we are! 2nd Mouse All present and correct.........3rd Mouse And standing at the ready...... 4th Mouse With our tummies tucked in...........5th Mouse And our shoulders back-to-front..........6th Mouse If only that Cat would get off my tail............Cat Miaow..........Cinderella Come here pussy. (Cat moves towards Cinderella) Now behave. These mice are not for eating...........7th Mouse Oh dear! I think the littlest mouse has fallen asleep again!...............8th Mouse I'm not sleepy really. Just a little tired..........Fairy Godmother Eight white horses you will be. Now! Quick march! (She points them to the right exit). Outside that door and stand in the proper places. The mice march out in line Mice One two – one two – one two etc.........Fairy Godmother follows behind them and as the last one leaves the stage, waves her wand. Cat M.....i.......i.....i.....i......a......o.....w. He rushes to the chest and throws himself in. Fairy Godmother turning to Cinderella There! There are your horses! Now! A coachman!........Buttons There's a big rat in the rat-trap.......... Fairy Godmother Just the thing! Go and put it by the coach........... Buttons moves towards the right back exit turning to Fairy Godmother to say:-Buttons And there are two green lizards sitting on the wall...........Fairy Godmother Splendid! Then you can have two footmen, Cinderella........ She follows Buttons to the right exit – and Buttons exits Cinderella May I go and have a look Fairy Godmother?..........Fairy Godmother moving right down and pointing to the 'window' Look out of the window my dear – just in case the magic goes wrong...............................Cinderella moves to her side and looks out of the 'window' Cinderella Oh! Oh! Oh! What a beautiful coach – and just look at those lovely white horses. Oh! There's Buttons. He's got the lizards and he's just putting the rat on the coachman's seat.........Fairy Godmother waves her wand Cinderella Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Fairy Godmother! It's perfect!........................................
. Fairy Godmother sings to the tune Where have you been all the day, Billy Boy, Billy
Boy Say goodbye and off you go.........To the Ball! To the Ball..........For your coach is here to take you to the Ball..........It will take you in a trice..........With it's team of mettlesome mice...........To the dancing and the romancing.........With Prince Charming at the Ball..........Buttons enters right back stage......... Fairy Godmother
But wait Cinderella! There is just one thing. Mind you leave before the clock strikes twelve. If you don't, all your lovely things will vanish, and you will be shabby little Cinderella again............Cinderella I won't forget. Goodbye dear Godmother......Cinderella exits right back with the Fairy Godmother and Buttons following her to the 'door , Fairy Godmother and Buttons singing..........Say goodbye and off you go.........To the Ball – to the Ball.........For your coach is here to take you to the Ball.......It will take you in a trice.......With its team of mettlesome mice....To the dancing and the romancing........With Prince Charming at the Ball
DO NOT CLOSE THE CURTAINS UNTIL THE CAT RUNS OUT The Cat clambers out of the chest with a riding whip and hat – and runs after them. CLOSE THE CURTAINS!
ANTE-ROOM AT THE PALACE
The 'doors' are roughly the same as in the last scene – but in place of the square table is a 'Throne' – not quite centre stage and more to the back than in the middle of the stage There is a large vase of artificial flowers left near the footlights The King with oversized crown on, and Queen enter from right and stand centre – the Queen knitting as usual
Queen Well! That's 136 guests. Oh, it's nice to have a crowd at the Palace............. King My crown's too big for me. How can I address my people when I'm speaking through two diamonds and six rubies. I can't think how you managed to get the measurements wrong...............Queen Well – I was in that much of a hurry luv, that I didn't notice you had your gardener's hat on at the time. It looks very nice you know. …........King And I didn't want these people coming here either. I was going to clean out my goldfish pond today. It hasn't been done for two days – and look at my flower bed! There are at least four weeds in it............Queen Never mind Luv. You can do your gardening tomorrow. After all, we don't often have Balls here.......... King I don't like them. They upset my corns. Let's cancel it............Queen But some of them have arrived already. Anyrate – it's for our Eldest and Dearest – bless his heart. Ah me! He was such a sweet little duck when he was tiny..........King That reminds me. I haven't been to see my ducks yet. They'll never lay any eggs if I don't go and talk to them..............Queen I thought you went to see them first thing this morning..............King I did – but I tripped over my pyjama trousers. You made them too big for me, and the elastic's too tight. It digs into my tummy and gives me bad dreams............Queen They're such a pretty colour though. Shocking pink looks so becoming on you luv. Ah! Here come some more visitors. Now, do smarten yourself up luv. (she calls right) Eldest and Dearest! Come on! More guests are arriving, (turns back to the King) Now luv - put your crown on straight and stop twitching your eyebrows.
Enter Prince Charming right Prince Charming How many more guests are coming Mother? He stands beside the Queen.........Queen Three hundred and sixty four. I hope you have found plenty of nice girls to chat to..........King Hallo Charming. Why can't you find a wife in a decent way, like everyone else. I hate Balls! I want to clean my goldfish instead – and my crown is slipping down again....... Queen Hush luv. Here come our next guests........
(enter Dandini from left) Dandini announcing His most Regal Excellency – the most Noble, Gracious, Highly Favoured Esteemed and Wellbeloved Medical Officer for Health, Dr. Ivor McCroscope and his wife Mrs. McCroscope.......
Note from Avril. Mark Harris took the part of the Medical Officer for Health by wearing a kilt and sporran with his white shirt as he entered the Palace.. Dr Bramwell was the Medical Officer for Health for South Warwickshire at the time of this show, and he was renowned for celebrating Burns Night each year complete with kilt, sporran, bagpipes and piping the haggis..........All the guests as they arrive either bow or curtsey to the King and Queen before crossing over stage and exiting by 'door' on right Dr, Mc How do you do your Majesty. How's your temperature today? Take these four times every five minutes.........Queen And this is my son Charming.......Mrs. Mc to Charming My goodness! Isn't your hair long – and your trousers are very tight – aren't they!.......Charming It's the fashion.........Mrs. Mc It's a disgrace!..........Dr. Mc Come on my dear. Let's go into the Ballroom. Start up the bagpipes. They exit Dandini announcing The Master of Ceremonies and General Organiser of village Entertainments – Mr. R. U. Redinou, and his wife Mrs,. I. M. Redinou..........Mr. Red Nice of their Majesties to have invited us to the Palace. I hope they'll join us in a game of darts later in the evening...........Mrs. Red Ah at last! This carpet is very faded. It has a lot of dirty marks on it...........Mr. Red This place is probably used as a bingo hall. (Note from Avril. The village hall was used for Bingo every Wednesday at that time) The furniture isn't very posh. Look at this stature. It should have been thrown in the dustbin long ago...........King But I'm the King!...........Mr. Red Oh – how do you do your Majesty...........Mrs,. Red to the Queen What are you knitting? I can give you a far better pattern. That one is no good. The head has gone crooked and the edges aren't straight........Mr,. Red This stature is a fine speciman. It's got a good figure. How much would you take for it?.......Queen That's my Eldest and dearest..........Mr. Red Is it? What do you feed it? It grows very well.........Mrs. Red Come on dear. I can hear the music playing. I hope we'll hear the Top Ten They exit........Dandini announcing.....The Captain of the Girl Guides – Miss I. C. Gurlzinbleu.........Miss G Hallo everyone. Stand to attention. Line up for inspection, and let me see your reef knots. Hallo your Majesty. Oh I'm glad to see you keep your buttons shining. Your medals could do with a little more polish, and you must get my Guides to work on your crown. With a bit of spit and elbow grease, they could transform it into a shining diadem.........King Could they make it smaller?..........Miss G Yes! Yes! They can do anything. (To the Queen) And what are you knitting your Majesty? Dishcloths?..........Queen This is a Grandad-Vest...........Miss G. A Grandad-Vest! Fancy! Are you working for your Needlework Badge? …...... Dandini announcing The Reverend Dai A'pe Williams..... Miss G Oh – here come some more guests. I'd better leave you to them. She exits.......Rev, Aaaah Majesty. I can't stop long I'm afraid. I appear to have lost my Church Choir. Can't find them anywhere, I suppose you haven't seen them, have you?........King I'm afraid not.......Rev And our Choir Master seems to be missing. It's very unfortunate. Choir practise will be starting shortly and I've got no-one to help me.........King You could always borrow our Court Pianist. He's hanging around somewhere........Note from Avril. The Church Choir Master and organist was the pianist for our show, and was just below the stage on the Hall floor, ready to play the piano.........Rev Aaaah. Thank you He exits.........Dandini announcing.....The President of the Flower Arranging Club, Miss M. T. Varz.......Miss V. Good evening your Majesties. I took the liberty of bringing these buttonholes for you. Oh dear! Who did your flowers? They are much too wide for their height, aren't they! There – that is better. I must go and look at the ones in the ballroom. She exits........Dandini \announcing The Verger, Mr. Ivor Robenstaffe.........Mr. R. Hallo your Majesty. I should sack that young man. He's no good at all. You want a good strong voice like mine to announce the guests. Note from Avril – Jack Radbourne our Verger was well known for his loud voice with the words all joined together so no-one really understood what he was saying – or singing) It's never let me down so far. And I can lead in the dancing if you like. Just strike up the violins and I'll soon get going..........King Thank you. If you go through that door, you might find a young lady who you can take on your arm in the next waltz............Dandini announcing.......The President of the Womans Institute .Miss J. U. Salem.........Miss S. Now then – what's the subscription? Oh, don't we have to pay any? Your Majesty I am delighted to be here and I am looking forward to eating some of your Palace-made cookies. Will there be any cookery demonstrations? I'm longing to try out some new recipes............King I'm afraid there won't be enough time......... Miss S Oh, what a pity, but you will make enough time for us to sing Jerusalem. It's such a stirring tune............King We were going to finish with the National Anthem..........Miss S. Oh, you can have that too – but you must – simply must – have Jerusalem. To the Queen - Oh, your Majesty,. I see you've been doing some knitting. Is it for our Bring and Buy?.........Queen I'm afraid not...........Miss S. What a pity. Perhaps you'll be able to find something for our Jumble Sale instead. Any silver, candleabra, Persian Carpets, golden thrones – or anything like that?........ Queen Well – I don't know.........Miss S Perhaps you'll have a look around. How nice the music sounds. She exits right.........Dandini announcing....The Baron Shoestring and the Misses Gertrude and Minhelma........Enter Baron and Two Ugly sisters from left and approach King and Queen....Baron Your Majesty. May I introduce my daughters to you. This is Minhelma.........Minnie Oh King – would you like to have me as your daughter?........King It's bad enough having you as a brother let alone anyone else! Note from Avril. Stephen Leonard-Williams playing the part of the King was the younger brother of Paul Leonard-Williams playing the part of Minnie) Anyrate – it's for Charming to decide.............Baron And this is Gertrude.........Gertie Your head is very small. Your crown keeps slipping down. Have my ears! She takes off her false ears and places them on the King's ears......... King Thank you! That's much better! What a clever idea.............
Dandini There your Majesties – that's the lot...........King Is that really the lot?...... Dandini It's all I have on the list.........King But we have only had 379 guests so far – and I sent out 500 invitations!............Dandini I know – but there's a Dart Match on, and you know how popular those are............King to the Queen Oh dear! Come on my dear. Let's go into the Ballroom. They both go off-stage right........
Charmingto Dandini There's no-one here that I'd dream of marrying,. They are all as plain as puddings and as dull as dishwater. Whatever can I do? Trevor can you make the noise of horses hooves! Someone else has arrived. Go and see who it is Dandini
Dandini exits left and immediately returns Dandini Indeed – someone else has arrived. Your highness – come and see for yourself............Charming moves left to Dandini – then steps back in amazement as Cinderella enters. They both move to centre stage.............Charming bowing low and taking Cinderella's hand.....Good evening Princess. Your very humble servant........Cinderella curtseying Your highness........Dandini Allow me to take your cloak Princess He does so. Trevor be ready to take it from him.......Charming Princess, will you do me the honour of dancing with me........Cinderella But – shouldn't you be dancing with some other lady?...........Charming For me – there is no other lady.........
Trevor – while Charming and Cinderella are singing and dancing, can you get the following couples in order – ready to come dancing in:- 1st couple – Oliver and Deborah - Nigel and Christine - Katrina and Mark - Emma and Ian Cole - Lizzie and Chris - Stuart and Julie - Stephen and Elaine
Charming singing to the tune Strauss Blue Danube.........O Lady I long......To dance with you........Cinderella I just can't believe......That this is true........I didn't expect......The Prince to meet........Charming.......... I never have seen.........A maid so sweet.......And while we are dancing....Side side.......I'll ask you to be......My lovely bride........Cinderella.......A royal Princess?........Charming.........Nothing less.......... Both.........What a dream of happiness.........They both dance out of the room right
Minnie and Gertie enter from right and come to centre of stage Minnie Well Gertie! Did you see her? Whoever is she?........Gertie She reminds me of someone, but I can't think who! They always fall for those obvious man-chasers. Poor Prince Charming! Mark my words, she'll lead him a proper dance........... Minnie Did you see her shoes? Plastic! That's what they were. Plastic! You could see her toes through them. Disgusting I call it – and no nail varnish either....... Gertie Well, I wouldn't demean myself by making myself cheap like that. Come on Minnie, if the Prince hasn't the sense to ask us to dance, at least we won't be wallflowers..........CUE LAWRENCE FOR STRAUSS WALTZES............Ugly Sisters start to dance as the following couples come in dancing from left - Oliver Fowler and Deborah Carvell - Nigel Barrow and Christine Carvell - Katrina Barrow and Mark Harris - Emma Dench and Ian Cole - Lizzie Bailey and Christopher Rawlings - Stuart Dodd and Julie Pardo - finally King and Queen.......As they dance, Ugly sisters exit left. Lawrence, be ready to switch music from Strauss to Pop Music......... As very loud pop music starts, Ugly Sisters enter left and come straight down to footlights on left, Minnie playing guitar and Gertie playing bongo drums. All the dancers switch from dancing to Strauss and start modern dancing..........When music finishes, Dandini to enter from right...........Dandini announcing loudly......Supper is served ….....All the guests, and the Queen rush out exit to right - leaving the King hidden behind the throne. After a pause, his hand appears at the top of the throne – then the other hand. Finally his head with the crown tipped on one side. Slowly he straightens his crown – then walks slowly and solemnly to exit on right.........PAUSE....Enter Dandini with Queen.........Queen Dandini! Who is that young woman dancing with the Prince?.........Dandini She gave no name your Majesty, but from the way the Prince is gazing at her.......Queen nodding her head...... Enter King from right minus one false ear King Thank goodness for that. I've had enough. My corns are killing me and I've lost one of my ears. How can I dance with my crown lopsided...........Queen Now that Charming has found a wife, there's no need to carry on with the dancing...........King I think it's about time this Ball came to an end in any case. The elastic is going in my trousers, and I can't keep them up much longer...........Queen We'll wait until Charming announces his engagement, and then we'll send everyone home...........King I shall abdicate as soon as I can, and then I shall have time to go fishing...........Queen And I shall be able to finish my knitting........All three exit to right........LIGHTS GO OUT – BUT NO CURTAIN
THREE HOURS LATER LIGHTS!............enter Prince Charming and Cinderella from right.......Charming This has been the most wonderful evening of my life. Lovely Princess, won't you please tell me your name.........Cinderella Oh your highness – what am it to say? How can I tell you LAWRENCE SOUND OF CLOCK STRIKING MIDNIGHT PLEASE NOW What is the time? Please tell me..........Charming The clock is striking midnight.........Cinderella Midnight! Oh, I must go. Cinderella runs to exit left with after an interval Prince Charming following – but not running.........Charming calling after her....Go? But the Ball will not end for hours! Of course you must not go!. Princess - stop - stay!........Dandini enters from left.....Charming still calling after Cinderella....Dandini! Princess – stop! Dandini! Quick!......Dandini Your highness! What is the matter? Where is the Princess?..........Charming She is gone! Dandini, go after her. Catch her! Bring her back. She cannot go.......... Dandini exits left......... Charming walks back to centre stage I don't even know her name!.........Dandini returns from left and shakes his head to Prince Charming.........Charming She is gone then? Where? Which way?.........Dandini I didn't see her. I saw no-one but a shabby kitchen-maid running down the road. No-one else. But I found this. Shows glass slipper to Prince Charming. Charming takes it from him and faces the audience looking at the slipper.........Charming It is hers! So tiny! So dainty! No-one else could wear it. Dandini, I swear to you I will marry no-one except the lady to whom this letter slipper belongs............CURTAIN
SCENE 5 THE BARON'S KITCHEN Square table centre back with a chair either side and one at back of table. On the table the Baron's 'dinner' -possibly the pike!..........Robin – can you line up the couples in the following order :--1st couple Lizzie Bailey and Christopher Rawlings - next Martyn Spragg - 2nd couple Kevin Roles and Abigail Barrow - 3rd couple Katrina Barrow and Ian Cole - 4th couple Nigel Barrow and Deborah Carvell - 5th couple Stuart Dodd and Emma Dench - 6th couple Julie Pardo and Mark Harris - 7th couple Christine Carvell and Carolyn Spragg.........Also make sure the following are on your side of the stage - Elaine Harris and Stephen Leonard-Williams......... Trevor – can you make sure you have on your side, the tray containing the plastic beakers ready to give Buttons
CURTAINS OPEN TO GERTIE AND MINNIE SINKING INTO THE CHAIRS EITHER SIDE OF THE TABLE. BUTTONS IS TO THEIR RIGHT BUT A LITTLE NEARER TO THE FOOTLIGHTS THE BARON IS LEFT STAGE AT FRONT LOOKING TIRED - and IN HIS SOCKS. His slippers are near to Buttons
Gertie I feel shocking!..........Minnie So do I!.........Buttons You look it too!....... Gertie Who told you to speak - impudence! Well – I wonder who the Prince will marry after all that.......... Minnie He didn't even dance with anyone except HER!..... Buttons Who is HER?..........Gertie A strange Princess! Mind you – she was quite good-looking - if you like that type...........Minnie Well – HE liked the type alright. But no-one knew who she was!............Baron I heard that the Prince doesn't know either........... Gertie Fancy! Playing hard-to-get I suppose. The sly thing!...... Enter Lizzie Bailey and Christopher Rawlings - Martyn Spragg (Dandini) Kevin Roles and Abigail Barrow - Katrina Barrow and Ian Cole - Nigel Barrow and Deborah Carvell - Stuart Dodd and Emma Dench - Julie Pardo and Mark Harris - Christine Carvell and Carolyn Spragg(Prince Charming) all spaced out around the stage Buttons in surprise It's Dandini – The Prince's friend!.........Baron looking very flustered....Where are my slippers?...... Buttons gets them for him and he puts them on........Good-day Signor Dandini. What can I do for you?..... Dandini moves to centre stage Dandini I am the bearer of a proclamation from the Prince.......The Ugly Sisters sit up and take notice and as Dandini speaks rush forward to him – one of them bringing a chair..........The Prince has said.......That he will wed.......The lady whose foot.......This slipper will suit.......Ladies! One at a time please. You first Madam.......
Gertie placing the chair down and promptly sitting on it.....Miss if you please........ She snatches the slipper from Dandini and tries it on....... Ouch! Ow! There is something in the toe, I'm sure........Dandini No! The shoe is far too small. Stop Madam, you will break it......... Minnie grabs the slipper from Gertie and pushes her off the chair, sitting on it herself and attempts to put the slipper on her foot........... Minnie There! It's on! Oh how exciting! Where is the Prince?............... Prince Charming hides behind Deborah Carvell.........Dandini to Minnie.....Permit me Madam. Madam! This is a shoe, not a corn plaster!..........He turns to the Baron...”Are there any more ladies in this house?.......Gertie None!........Buttons Yes there is. What about Cinderella?........Dandini Cinderella! Who is she?...........Gertie Only a kitchen wench with feet like a cart-horse!..........Button Cinderella has feet like a fairy!..........Dandini Whoever she may be, she must try the slipper. Go and fetch her! Buttons exit left.........Baron stepping forward and pushing the Ugly Sisters towards back of stage........What these ladies say is not true. Cinderella is my daughter – their step-sister. But I fear it cannot be her slipper. She was not at the Ball..........Buttons enters left bringing Cinderella by the hand. They both face Dandini. Prince Charming steps slightly forward un-noticed by Ugly Sisters, Baron Dandini and Cinderella and Buttons........... Dandini to Cinderella..... Lady, I have been ordered by the Prince to find the owner of this little slipper. Will you please try it on?...........Cinderella sitting on the chair and looking up at Dandini who hands her the glass slipper..... But what will happen if it fits me?.......Gertie Fits you! What impertinence! Do as you are told child and then get back to your work.......... Charming stepping nearer at the sound of Cinderella's voice. Cinderella sits on the chair and tries on the slipper ….... It is she! He steps forward and kneels before Cinderella. Cinderella – will you marry me?.......
Cinderella standing up and facing Charming........But Prince, I am only a poor girl, working in the kitchen and waiting on my step-sisters.........Charming taking her hand and leading her to centre front near the footlights......No matter. When you marry me, you will be a Princess and they must wait on you. Dandini, ask my parents to come here........As Dandini exits right, the Fairy Godmother enters left – with the cat following. Cat immediately smells the Barons dinner and goes over to the table, snatches it, and brings it to the footlights left.........Fairy Godmother standing front facing Cinderella and Charming......Well Cinderella! So you did enjoy the Ball?........Cinderella Oh Fairy Godmother, I owe it all to you. But I wish that I still looked like a Princess as I did then..........Fairy Godmother Come with me, and we will see what we can do.........Fairy Godmother and Cinderella exit left. Baron walks up to the table and finds his meal is gone. He turns and walks towards Charming Baron Well highness – er – son. I'm sorry I can't offer you any dinner (he notices the Cat with his dinner) - but it left in rather a hurry!........ Charming But we must drink. Drink to my future wife and our happiness.........Baron Oh yes! What a good idea. Buttons bring in the lemonade.........Buttons exits left. Trevor be ready to hand Buttons the tray containing the drinks – as quickly as possible...... Buttons returns with tray taking it to first Baron and Charming – and then around the group. Minnie and Gertie huddle in a corner left back whispering to each other
Baron Here's a glass your highness - er - son. Have a drink everyone. Now then, let's have a toast. To Prince Charming and his bride – my daughter Cinderella.......... Everyone Prince Charming and Cinderella..........Baron Now that everyone's drunk the toast, I'll sing a little song.........The cat gives a mighty screech Miaow and spit, picks up the Baron's dinner and tries to exit left, but hindered by various people and chased off the stage by Christopher Reynolds - both exit left...........Mattie Poor puss. I don't think he can like your singing.........Willum Couldn't we dance instead? I'm always ready for a dance.........Dickon We'll sing and dance – that is if you don't mind us dancing over your furniture...........Baron Carry on. It's good strong, sturdy stuff.........All the couples get together and whirl around the stage with one couple dancing on the square table. - all singing to the signature tune of 'The Archers an everyday story of country folk'......... All we hoped has come to pass........Cheers for Cinderella........Through a slipper made of glass........She has nobbled her feller....... To her marriage in pumpkin carriage..........She'll soon be driving in splendour........... So we hope the kindly fairies........Will joy and happiness send her........During the singing and dancing the two ugly sisters have made their way to the front of stage centre left. Baron and Charming return to front of centre stage right. The two dancers on the square table sit on the table listening
Minnie No! That won't work either........Gertie Alright then! You think of something. I've thought of hijacking the coach and.....Baron interrupting.......What are those two talking about?.........Buttons moving forward........They're probably thinking what to put in the advert.........Baron What advert?.........Buttons The advert to put in the Post Office window (Note from Avril - in those days we had a Post Office regularly used – now the home of Myles and Linda Pollock).......Baron What for?.........Buttons To advertise for two husbands of course...........Minnie That's a good idea!.........Gertie And we'll put a notice in the Working Mens Club....... Fairy Godmother and Cinderella - in her Ball gown - enter from left and come to centre stage........Mattie Oh Cinderella – what a beautiful dress...........Phyllis And I do like your hair-do........Bertha You will be a beautiful Princess - Cinderella.........Sue I wonder if there are any younger Princes............Beatrice The very smallest Prince would be just right for me..........Isabel Oh Cinderella, can I be your bridesmaid?........Christopher Reynolds enters left with the Baron's dinner – the cat prowling in behind him........Baron Good gracious! That looks like my dinner.... Fairy Godmother looking sternly at the cat.....It's going to be my supper instead. I think I deserve it don't you. Good pussy, you know who does the work here!..........Cat Miaow!
Enter from right, Dandini, following by King and Queen – still with knitting in her hand. King and Queen come to centre stage standing to right of Cinderella and Charming......... King Well Charming! Dandini has just told me the news. Congratulations. Have my crown! Hands over his crown and puts it on Charming's head..........Charming Thank you father.......King It fits you better than it does me. …....Queen How nice this all is and what a pretty daughter-in-law for me. You can wind my wool for me every morning if you like..........Charming No! She is going to help me rule my Kingdom. She'll be busy opening schools and factories and visiting Hospitals and attending State Opening of Parliaments.........Queen Oh, what a pity! I suppose I'll have to do my knitting on my own. I'd better start knitting the wedding dress. I hope you don't mind being married in orange luv. It's the only wool I have............ Charming Her wedding dress will be made of the finest silk covered with the daintiest lace I can find in the Kingdom.........Cinderella Oh – that will be pretty.........Fairy Godmother I'll have to tell my silk worms to get busy. Pussy are you coming with me?...........Cat Miaow.........Fairy Godmother Goodbye Cinderella. You see, a happy ending comes to all those who deserve it......... Cinderella Goodbye dear Fairy Godmother..........Fairy Godmother and Cat go to side of stage back left but stay by the back curtains for the final song..........
The couple sitting on the square table stand up – and everyone holds their plastic beaker in their hands to sing again:but with the last few lines different words........All we hoped has come to pass.........Cheers for Cinderella........Through a slipper made of glass.......She has nobbled her feller........All that's pretty and droll and witty........We think that we have employed it.........Now our Pantomime is ending...........We hope that you have enjoyed it CURTAIN THE END.
W.I. AND THE SLIDES AND TAPE WE SENT TO NEW ZEALAND
Avril Salmon (then Taylor) attended her first W.I. meeting at Clifford Chambers when she arrived in the village in 1967, having been heavily involved in the W.I. in the village she had come from. Within a year, she had been put on the Committee and given the job of “New Zealand Link” This involved sending correspondence to the link Secretary in New Zealand, Mrs Isla Tait at Gore W.I. after every monthly meeting.
Not quite sure how this 'link' had come about, she was told that Gore W.I. in New Zealand had sent our W.I. food parcels during the last War. When Avril found out many years later, that our W.I. didn't start until 1945, the older members, with their memories, had passed on, so no-one was able to tell her the facts.
However, she wrote letters each month to Isla which she tried to make as interesting as possible. A few months later, she accompanied her letters with little sketches of the humorous bits that took place each meeting of our W.I. But there were some meetings that weren't all that interesting for her to illustrate – or even write about.
Then she had the idea of sending photos, but as the idea of this correspondence was to have it shared amongst all the members of the Gore W.I., photos were not really appropriate.
So she put in her camera a film that would produce transparent photos. And why not – she thought – accompany these slides with a recording of W.I. members talking about the slides – so members of Gore W.I. will enjoy both views of our village and slides of various activities that went on in our village and around the area. Avril asked the W.I .members at the next meeting what they thought about it and would any of them be willing to record a message on the tape to be sent with the slides. The result was a 'yes' and a few put up their hands who were willing to help in the recording.
So after taking photos around the village and the area, and being given more photos by the members, she trundled round the village over many evenings for some weeks, with her very heavy tape recorder, and took recordings.
It was good! And successful! Avril always took care that a reasonable gap existed between each recording, so the voices did not overlap each other. All the members – except one – were willing for Avril to operate the tape as they talked about the photos in their hand.. Only one preferred to be in charge of the tape herself, so Avril left the tape with her, pointing out that the tape was in the right position for recording, with several seconds of tape well past the last recording, and all she had to do was move one knob, at the same time as moving another knob and the recording would start.
This member came to see Avril a few days later very apologetic. She had somehow recorded over part of the previous recording. But when Avril listened to the tape later, she found that fortunately, in an amazing way, both voices could be heard together and the previous recording could be heard easily over the last recording. So she left it, and when she sent the transparencies and the tape to Gore W.I. she explained the problem and hoped they would hear clearly the previous recording.
It was a long time before she ever thought about the slides again. She continued writing to Isla for many years – even though she was no longer able to go to the W.I. meetings. She had married by then and had her first child, but when baby No. 2 came along, he was a child who believed in screaming loudly from 7.00pm to 11.00 pm so all the whole village could hear – and Avril's husband found it was a bit too much for him! And that was the end of Avril's attendance at W.I. meetings though she carried on writing and sending Christmas cards to Isla until Isla's death, and she continued – and still writes – to Isla's daughter.
It wasn't until a friend mentioned to Avril what happened to the tape and slides, that Avril thought she would write to Isla who by now had left her W.I. due to ill health, and she found out that both tape and slides had been returned to Clifford some years later, to the then Secretary, Maisie Wilks. Maisie at the time Avril received the message from Isla, had become very ill and had died. Also the W.I. had ceased to exist, for it was replaced by Chamford.
After a message that she placed in the monthly Clifford News, Avril found the tape and slides had been left with Mary James and with no W.I. now existing, it was decided that the tape and slides would be left with Mary on behalf of Chamford.
However, there was no link with Gore W.I. from Chamford, so Avril, after many difficulties lasting several years, managed to acquire both tape and slides once more. But, unfortunately, found that some of the slides were missing.
But here they are, voices – many of whom are no longer with us – and the slides with just the voices only, where the slides are missing. So click onto here – and enjoy these voices from the past and the slides bringing back so many memories.
FILMS AT THE HALL
During the War the Vicar of Quinton drove every Thursday to Clifford Chambers with the back seat of his car full of projector and stand and latest popular film (black and white of course) and anything else he needed to put on a film show at the Jubilee Hall. Each Thursday he would set it all up, and once the Jubilee Hall was full of an audience of children and adults (and many had to stand as all the seats were taken very quickly), he started the film and then left his audience to watch the entertainment while he went off to the New Inn Pub for a drink
Most probably he had done the same at Quinton, for he seemed to know just when to leave the Pub and go back to the Hall in order to switch over the film to the next instalment – start it again, and go back again to the Pub to finish his drink.
It was a very popular entertainment, with many feeling they just couldn't wait until the next Thursday before they had this fascinating entertainment..
Maurice Woodfield remembers that for a few Thursdays they had to have this entertainment in the Village School as the Jubilee Hall had been taken over for something else. This or course meant a slightly longer walk for the Vicar to reach his drink at the Pub.
There was also dancing every Saturday but not always at the Jubilee Hall. The dance group went from village to village in the area, and the people followed them wherever they were – and sometimes it was Clifford Chambers' turn to have them. .
By the late 1980's, many members were wishing their husbands could come along to the Meetings. And then, when it was realised there were not enough volunteers to form a W.I. Committee, nor likely to be in the future, a vote was taken. It was then very clear that the general feeling was to start an association which would involve men and women, meeting once a month.
A competition was held for the best name for this new association. The winner was Claire Woulfe with 'Chamford' i.e. first part of 'Chambers' and last part of 'Clifford'.
"Clifford Wives were formed in November 1965 by Norah Worth who lived at Red Hill Coach House. They were originally called 'The Young Wives', but when the original members aged and were not so young, it was changed, first to St. Helen's Wives, and then to Clifford Wives, so it could be open to all ladies whether they were a Church member or not."
Clifford 60's Club
Clifford 60 Club was formed in May 1973 by Mary James and Maisie Wilks, with over 50 members, meeting once a fortnight, but in the 1990s, membership had reduced dramatically in numbers, and for many years became just a monthly lunch at the New Inn in place of the fortnightly meetings."
Quest Club – told by Avril Salmon “.....arrived at the Jubilee Hall in September 1982 when the Rectory was sold and what had been called the Sunday School and Children's Church then changed its name to Quest Club. Christine Wheeler and I had been left in charge of this work by Miss Baker, and we were totally unprepared for it! I had a toddler and Christine's son was only a year older. We started in the September. By November, I realised another baby was on the way, and Henry arrived on 27th May the following year, but by then Christine also found a baby was on the way too! So, with her taking over completely during May, I then had to take over completely in August when Calvin was born. It was a struggle . We were helped with the material published by Scripture Union which gave us brilliant ideas on how to tell the Bible story and add to the story, various activities that really attracted the children - involving craft-work, puzzles, games and cooking.
Numbers grew, and by 1989, many siblings wanted to come too. So we used the Rector's Room for the under 5's with a teenager taking them, first Sara Salmon then aged 14, and when A levels took over her life, Helen Sage then aged 14. Both girls also used the Scripture Union material which they found very helpful and the little ones really looked forward to their session on Sunday mornings. When exams loomed for Helen, then one of the mothers took over, Jen Snow and continued to do so until 1998 when the work came to an end.
Christine and I took the 5-8s in the Church Room, but when the older ones reached the age of 12, I knew we had to start another group, this time meeting one evening in the week in the Church Room.
By this time, with both Henry and Calvin starting school full time, Christine had started work again, and had gone into the managerial side. This meant weekend work. Volunteers took over Christine's side of the work (the activities) while I concentrated on the Bible Story and the best way to make it really interesting and applicable to the children. Our two regular volunteers were Janet Reason and Sarah Collins, with Sarah having an amazing gift at craft work. There were some Sundays neither of them could manage, but other volunteers took their place.
Lawrence helped me with the evening Quest Club for 9's to 13's; mainly team games in the main hall which they enjoyed thoroughly, ending with the spiritual side with plenty of questions and interesting discussions. By this time we were calling the three groups Infant Quest Club, Junior Quest Club and Senior Quest Club.
And we carried on growing in numbers - 33 young people coming regularly, and we had to start another group - 14's to 18's , first of all meeting in my house. There were nine altogether in this group, and we called ourselves Yoyo (You're Only Young Once). Welford had three young people in that age group, and they joined up with us. This brought some relief to me, as Welford volunteered to take them 3 Sunday evenings each month and I had them on the fourth.
Then, of course, they went to University, and my 9-13's came into this group - 12 boys and one girl - and all they wanted to do was play football!
They definitely had to go into the main room at the Hall. No-way was I going to have them in my small living room. We joined the Warwickshire Association of Youth Clubs, and were able to buy a table-tennis table, and also some 'five-a-side' football posts to put in the Rec. We also took them on outings to ten-pin-bowling, ice-skating, and to the snowdome, and, for the older ones, paintballing. But they were not interested in discussions or quizes or anything they considered boring, boring, boring. We brought speakers in on First Aid, Self Defence and even Wine Making - but still it had to be football more than anything else.
By this time, I had approached my 60th birthday, and one of the last events we had before I became ill, was a Strawberry Cream Tea with music provided by the talented children in our three main groups. And it was on that very day I caught a virus with very nasty side effects, one of which was that my thyroid glands were attacked, and the start of my back-trouble that I still suffer with. So, with me lying on a board fixed under the mattress of my bed for 5 months and doing nothing else except two trips a week to physiotherapy, everything had to come to an end. This was in 1998.
And now the Church room is no longer used by children, as there is no Youth work for the children of this Parish, and the Rector's room hasn't been used as a room for the spiritual needs of the Parish since that year.”
"Why not hold an Easter Breakfast", the Scripture Union Magazine suggested one Palm Sunday many years ago, "and invite the Church family along?"
It was too late that year to organize one, and after discussion Avril and Christine thought it a Great Idea to have one in the Jubilee Hall for the following year. Avril made a note at the end of her diary, and at the beginning of the following year, she entered it in her new diary, at the same time, placing an article about it in the January Parish Magazine, followed by references to it in the February one.
In the March Magazine, she put requests in for food, crockery, toasters, and hostess trolleys, and peoples' individual preference for food - and the response was amazing!
Ninety people said they would be coming. In the two weeks before Easter, 90 name-places were made of different shades of card in the form of a round stone fastened to an equal number of 'tombs.' (which kept the name-places upright). A table-plan was blue-tacked to the wall of the hall, and as people arrived, (those who hadn't been at the Easter communion service arriving first, and the others coming later), they were able to find their places easily at the tables. And there, in front of them was the grapefruit, or cereal, or yoghurt they had ordered; the next course being toast and croissants kept warm in the hostess trolley.
On a table by the stage was a large wicker basket full of painted eggs. "How many children are coming?" asked Betty Dench when she volunteered, not only to hard-boil the eggs but paint them also and decorate them. As so many people were coming including guests staying with them, plus their children, we weren't quite sure, so we gave her the number of children then living in the Parish, and hoped for the best. Consequently, not only the children, but our senior citizens went home that day with a beautifully decorated egg.
One table was reserved completely for our noisy teenagers who, when all the food was eaten and people were sipping their coffee/tea/fruit juice, performed a humourous play on the stage called "The Sin Busters" which brought plenty of laughter coming from the adults and, when the Sin Busters fought against the two baddies by firing foam sprays at them of all different colours, even louder laughter came from the children. The baddies were pretty well covered with this stuff by the end as they ran off the stage and through the hall, scattering the foam in all directions as they passed the tables. Fortunately the foam came off easily.
We repeated the Easter Breakfast for many years, each time putting on a different type of entertainment. When Christine left Quest Club, Clare Lewis helped with the Easter Breakfast, and eventually took over the organising completely with Avril just helping. Then when a few years later Avril became ill, Clare was joined by Jen Snow helping.
But when first Clare moved out of the Parish and later Jen too, Easter Breakfast just came to an end, and was no more. It's a pity! We still have the hostess trolley with us though, given to the Jubilee Hall at the time of the first Easter breakfast. In fact, it was last used Christmas 2010, and still worked well.
Clifford Jubilee Hall a refuge for a homeless family.
Bobby – (an American citizen) and Emmanuel (a french citizen) and their two year old son Jonathan (born in the u.k.) arrived in the village, living at The Manor – Bobby as gardener at The Manor. But their stay there wasn't long!
Bobby with his long hair tied back, and Emmanuel were from what one would describe as the hippy set, and Bobby had been caught growing canabbis in the Manor greenhouses
They were thrown out straight away with their little boy, and they came to Avril seeking help. Brian Oulton allowed them to stay one night only at his flat; after that they slept in a child's tent pitched on the lawn of Doug and Clare Lewis' house in The Nashes. But that night, it poured with rain. The tent was not waterproof – so more had to be done for them.
Tony Reason took control. The Jubilee Hall was used as a refuge for them for a few days while Tony sorted out the legal work, first of all to get them married in order that both could go back either to America or France, and to sort out with Social Services a place for them to stay until all the legal work had been done.
In the meantime, Emmanuel had wonderfully transformed the Jubilee Kitchen into a homely living room and kitchen, and the Rector's room into a bedroom, using rosy pink material draped over the lights to soften the room and a large mattress on the floor with colourful bedding. .
The wedding was fixed at the Registry Office, and Bobby with a braided cap on his head, Emmanuel with flowers under her hat, little Jonathan speaking both English and French behaving himself beautifully, Tony (with camcorder) and Janet, Clare and Avril all suitably attired for a wedding and holding bags of confetti, attended.
Social Services found a B & B for them in Stratford, and later a caravan, so Tony, in particular, could relax knowing we had done all we could for them.
It wasn't so good for the family. Bobby's father said he would have Bobby back to work for him permanently, in USA, but Emmanuel's family had a proposition regarding Emmanuel and Jonathan. Her father, in France would pay for private schooling near his home, for his little grandson, and give work to Emmanuel, but although he had no objection to Bobby visiting his wife and son, Bobby was not to live with them! He was not a citizen of France – neither did he hold a French passport. The private school offered to Jonathan would give him the best education that Bobby and Emmanuel could ever wish for. The other grandfather in USA could not offer that. So the last we heard was that Bobby was living and working in the USA and Emmanuel and their son were living permanently in France.
A sad story, but what a story to add to the events going on at our Jubilee Hall.
GREAT FUN AT CHRISTMAS AT THE JUBILEE HALL – 2010! Avril Salmon's story
“Fourteen people were coming to us for a Christmas celebration, who included two very active children, one active toddler and one baby crawling everywhere - so we booked the Jubilee Hall for the Tuesday after Christmas, so that the children would have plenty of room to move and have their being.
Then the ice-weather came, and builders' sand was spread over the pavement and the path leading up to the Jubilee Hall. People coming to events, walked in and out of the Jubilee Hall, and the sand spread its dust over the mat in the entrance hall and into the hall. The hoar frost came. The world looked beautiful, but the inside of the Jubilee Hall looked even more sandy, especially the mat.
Then a thaw came and, at last we were able to scrape and sweep up the sand and place two bucketfuls in a plastic container and place it beside the sandbags for future use. In place of the sand, we sprinkled salt, and Avril could start cleaning the Hall mat and floor.
She started the first on her knees scrubbing it with a nail-brush - but it worked, and the mat didn't look quite so yellow. On her knees she began washing the main Hall floor - and this was when she heard the sound of water coming, as it seemed, from a plug near the Hall floor.
It was 'The Leak' that had puzzled the Hall Committee for some two years, once it was realised that the Hall's water bill was higher than it should be. Searches could not find 'The Leak'. The plumber was called and the matter was dealt with.
Then the snow came. It was when Avril had finished cleaning the main Hall floor and started, the next day on the floor of the smaller room, that she found out no water was coming from the taps. "Oh no!" groaned Lawrence who, at that time was caught up in helping to prepare the Church for a candlelit service (with P.A. which had to be brought from the Jubilee Hall to the Church.)
This time the plumber was unable to come out, but acting on his suggestion, the heating was turned on in the smaller room at a low temperature. The door leading to the kitchen remained open, but the other closed, so that the heat would circulate into the kitchen. Lawrence opened the doors of the cupboards under the sink and draining tops, so that heat would reach the pipes inside.
Then, on Christmas Eve, when Avril went to the Jubilee Hall to start decorating for the celebration, she found water pouring down on the inside kitchen window, bouncing off onto the draining boards below and from there, onto the floor. "Oh no! groaned Lawrence leaning on his broom, his face grey from exhaustion as he attempted to sweep the snow from his garage door. "Oh no!" and his eyes closed in despair.
Worse was to come, for inspection revealed that water was also pouring from the light in the gents' toilet. Water was seeping from under the fridge in the kitchen - which didn't come from the fridge, but somewhere among the pipes. The plaster around the kitchen window was damp. All stop taps were turned off - everywhere.. The light circuit bringing light into the toilets and the main hall were also turned off. Avril still worked, decorating the main Hall each day, until late afternoon, and had to fumble her way out to the entrance door and Hall path in the dark.
But the Hall looked good with the dark green curtains decorated with Christmas baubles; one large Christmas tree in one corner with a half-moon of chairs plus four children's chairs, all resting on warm red carpeting. Tables placed alongside the stage, were laid for 14 people with decorated cloths and candles. Many thick candles were placed on the stage on tinfoil in front of the decorated green curtain, and scented candles were on all the window sills. A small silver Christmas tree by the hatch, and a taller silver one at the other end of the stage all added more light.
"You're not lighting those candles" said Lawrence when he first saw all the candles. But we had to, with the Hall in darkness. Only plugs were working in the main Hall, so we used two of the Jubilee Hall lamps to give a little more light.
It was beautiful - but hard work, as we had to bring so many jugs of water to place in the kitchen, and some more in the ladies toilet for washing hands, and two buckets of water to flush the toilets.
The Hall supplied us with a hostess trolley for warming up the plates and sausage rolls etc. The toys kept below the stage, were brought up to keep the children amused, and they loved racing up and down the length of the Hall with small bicycles and prams and baby walker (with the baby in it!). There was a Thomas the Tank Engine tent to crawl into. We portioned off a section of the length of the Hall with chairs draped over with duvet covers (Thomas the Tank Engine being one, and a Manchester United another!) plus sheets, so that a railway could be set up and played within that area, so little babies didn't crawl in and break it all up.
And our Christmas celebration was all in candlelight. Delightful!
'Great Fun' you ask? Well - yes - for you couldn't possibly say we had a boring and dull time over Christmas. Hard work - but yes - it was fun - Great Fun!”