Report brought back my Grand memories
As a regular reader of the Gazette’s Barry Band’s contributions to Memory Lane, I am particularly interested in his recollections of The Grand Theatre productions as I will have seen most of them.
As an amateur actor I’ve played in every local theatre over the years - except for the Opera House.
Not surprisingly as a straight actor and an original member of the town’s leading company, The Green Room Players (GRPs), I got a lot of experience at the Grand.
In fact, for a number of years we were the only amateur company to play full weeks at this superb establishment. Recently, going through programmes of our productions, I got to wondering how many of the members who had appeared with the GRPs were still living. After all we were formed in 1948 and only the death of the founder, Wilson Barnes in the 70s, ended the society’s appearances. I, personally, made my acting debut in 1970 with a play that set another record that I doubt Mr Band will ever come across in the professional theatre. The play concerned was a drama, ‘Portrait in Black’ by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts and the record The Green Room Players set was to present it first, for a week in October 1970 at the Grand and repeated over the Christmas period the same play again for a week at the Winter Gardens Pavilion.
Finally, may I wish good luck to current amateur companies whenever they get the opportunity to play in this famous Matcham designed theatre, it’s a joy.
Stamford Avenue South Shore
A tale of two lemmings
“Right, it’s time to jump”, insists lemming number one, “after all, jump means jump”.
“Jump off the cliff, why that’s just plumb stupid!”, replies lemming number two incredulously, “why on earth would we do that and get ourselves hurt?”
“That’s the decision, it’s the will of the lemmings and there’s no going back now”, answers number one, with his eyes gleaming manically.
“But it’s not that bad here and I can’t see any of those straight bananas The Daily Lemming has been warning us about for the last 40 years”, protests number two.
“And we were told it would be easy and safe, no-one would get hurt and everything would be wonderful and now that’s turning out a pack of lies.”
“Oh, do stop moaning, lemming number two,” snaps lemming number one angrily. “We have a cunning plan devised in the 18th century by the brilliant Mogg Lemming.
“Nigel Lemming has been paid to organise the jump with his megaphone but unfortunately he’s having to stay behind to collect his pension afterwards.
“And of course Grayling Lemming will be waiting at the bottom with a specially commissioned ferry to pick us all up promptly and safely before Boris Lemming navigates us to a glorious sunlit lemming land where we get to vote for him, even when there aren’t lemming elections.
“Best of all, Trump Lemming has been invited to watch the jump and he’s offered to buy our old lemming land for a golf course, so we’ll be rich too!
“What could possibly go wrong?”
Lemming number two, shaking his head, answers: “All the other lemming tribes say we’re crazy and we’ve become a laughing stock.
“Perhaps we should ask the lemmings again, now we’ve had the chance to see the cliff you want us to jump off.
“After all, two million old lemmings have gone to the great cliff in the sky and two million new lemmings might have a different view with their lives ahead of them.”
“You traitor”, screams lemming number one.
In the background, ominous groups of Tommy lemmings wearing blackshirts start emerging from the undergrowth ...
Having pride in our island life
A current campaign for HBSC has posters that say we are not an island.
But of course, geographically we are! Indeed a famous historical tome about us is entitled An Island History.
That’s why we haven’t been invaded for centuries, and why we haven’t closer ties with continental Europe. It explains the importance of maritime trade, and our links further afield to other nations that have a strong water-based history.
We should be proud to be an island.