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GADS – drama at the heart of the village 1958-1960s

I hope you have all picked up the details of GADS’ next production; Alice in Wonderland in just a couple of week’s time.

Click to enlarge

As we look forward to a new production, it is also interesting to look back, as we said we would, to that first decade of productions that followed the establishment of the drama society for the village.

Yes, this really is the Village Hall stage in November 1959 for the production of  ‘When we are married’ complete with stag’s head and aspidistra!

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As a newly formed group still trying to establish their reputation, the group were quite careful about the plays they chose to produce, about the financial commitments they made and the still unresolved question of whether or not to have raked seating and raised levels to the stage!

The years from 1957 to 1967 brought Rock ‘n Roll, the Beatles, mini skirts, John F Kennedy and the Cold War to the world. In Geddington the tradition of two productions a year became established and a significant decision was made to purchase lighting equipment so that it would no longer be necessary to borrow it. The company had a healthy surplus of £37 11s 4d in their account as a result of their second production, ‘Such Things Happen’ where the profit was nearly £22!

Programme from April 1958

‘Fools Rush in ‘ and ‘Ghost Train’ were the 1958 productions and, as membership of the group had grown, the Society felt more confident about staging more ambitious productions. The audience however were not forgotten and the decision was taken to invest in 100 cushions at 3s 6d each to ensure the comfort of those watching!

The cast of Cat on the Fiddle 1964

By now the meetings and rehearsals were taking place in The Star, membership was strong and those joining paid a small subscription. In 1960 there were 2 new members, Mrs Sylvia Cook and Mr Michael Baker. The Star had also operated as a store for props but a new home for these needed to be considered because the local mice population found the material ideal for their nests! However the show must go on… and Mary Rowles’ production of ‘The White Sheep of the Family’ was opened up to the Darby and Joan Club on the Thursday evening of the run… at half price.

By 1964 the membership was around 25, subscriptions were 2s 6d and the Production of ‘Cat on the Fiddle’ had produced record ticket sales of over £50. Consideration was given to raking the seating in the Village Hall and to creating a tiered stage … but first the question of curtains to cover the kitchen window of the Village Hall had to be agreed. Mrs Rowles, as the Chair, gave the authority for them, Mrs Curtis was to make them, but a sample had to be shown first to the Village Hall Committee!

Fool’s Paradise 1965

‘Goodnight Mrs Puffin’ and ‘A Fool’s Paradise’ produced by Keith Tomlinson were both a success in terms of both audience numbers and ticket revenue. The productions were now more sophisticated; new lighting, costumes and stage management facilities were in place but the Minutes clearly show that the essential informality of a group of friends running the society for the purpose of entertaining villagers was at the heart of what they did and one of the main reasons they gave their time and expertise to the productions.

Goodnight Mrs Puffin April 1965

With 20 successful productions now under their belt the GADS company could look forward to the next decade with confidence and their audiences were assured of an evening of entertainment whatever the genre of the productions.

 

GADS & the Pantomime 2018

Geddington Amateur Dramatic Society

presents their Pantomime 2018

‘Alice in Wonderland’

on 14 – 17 February.

Tickets will be available from 22 January.
Box Office: 01536 742527

For complete details, go to the Diary for that date,
or click on this image to enlarge.

Cricket Club events for 2018

The Cricket Club has sent Geddington.net, a list of its events for the coming year. Looking this far ahead is very helpful for diary entries, but please check dates and times with the Cricket Club as the year progresses. Who knows how many more events the Club can produce?
And when?

Friday 26th January 7pm – Ladies Night
Friday 2nd February 7.30pm – AGM
Sunday 4th February 7pm – Quiz Night
Friday 9th February 7.30pm – Curry Night
Sunday 4th March 7pm – Quiz Night
Saturday 10th March 3pm – Six Nations Curry Night – France v England
Friday 16th March 6pm – Registration Night
Friday 23rd March 7.30pm – Oompah Night
Sunday 25th March 9am – Cricketforce day
Sunday April 1st 7pm – Quiz Night
Saturday 15th April Midday – Pre-season Match Home vs Overstone
Friday 13th April 6.30pm – First Junior Training
Saturday 21st April Midday – League season starts
Sunday 24th June 1pm – Family Fun Day
29th June to 1st July – Beer Festival & Gedd-Stock
Friday 31st August 6pm – Last Junior Training and Junior Presentation Night
Friday ?? November – Senior Presentation Night

Many of these dates are in the website’s Diary, so you won’t need to keep checking this post. However, those without an end time, can’t be accepted by the website’s system, so as soon as the end times reach me, these dates will be in the Diary.

 

 

 

 

The Buccleuch Meadows Wildlife Pond

2018 – A new year,
a new start for nature.

The wildlife pond in the meadows has been growing steadily since the first clearance work done in December 2016, followed by new planting in February 2017.

But growth needs maintenance, especially in this pond, as the years of neglect resulted in complete overgrowth.

December 2016, after the initial clean-up

 

The Parish Council has consulted with The Wildlife Trust and Natural England and have come up with a maintenance plan. Councillor Claire Buckseall advised:

The Parish Council approved a document at the December council meeting, which has outlined a Schedule of Maintenance for the pond (attached below). This scope of work was produced with the support and approval of The Wildlife Trust by Councillor Berry. The recommendations are that a small area of the pond should be cleared sensitively by the end of January 2018.”

Claire also said that if anyone would like to be involved with this work, or have any comments or concerns, they should contact Councillor Philip Berry, who will be happy to assist.

Philip commented: “My role in this has been to gather the relevant information and co-ordinate with Matt Johnson of the WWT, in creating the attached documents.” He added, “The objective is to be as inclusive as possible. We envisage that the work to be carried out, will be done in an extremely controlled manner. The work scope should be read in conjunction with the GCN (Great Crested Newt) Conversation handbook (attached below).

The GCN-Conservation-Handbook_compressed

The Wildlife Trust for BCN – Proposed Scope of Work – Final.docx

To contact either Parish Councillor, go to the ‘Parish Council’ page, accessable from the Home page.

The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas – a revised version of an old story, received by the Plain English Campaign, from a law firm.

Whereas on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real estate (hereinafter called (“the House” ) a general lack of stirring by all creatures The Night Before Christmas therein, including, but not limited to, a mouse.

A variety of foot apparel, e.g. stockings, socks etc., had been fixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St Nick a.k.a. Santa Claus (hereinafter “Claus”) would arrive at some time thereafter. The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e. dreams, wherein vision of confectionary treats, including, but not limited to, sweets, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.

Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as “I”), being the joint owner in fee simple of the House with the party of the second part (hereinafter called “Mum”), and said Mum had retired for a sustained period of sleep. At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear, e.g. kerchief and cap.

Suddenly and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the unimproved real estate adjacent and appurtenant to said House, i.e. the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance. The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of such disturbance. At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter “the Vehicle”) being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer. The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the previously referenced Claus. Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter “the Deer”). (Upon information and belief, it is further assessed that an additional co-conspirator named “Rudolf” may have been involved.)

The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer intentionally and wilfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either expressed or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via the chimney.
Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys and other unknown items. He was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local by-laws and health regulations. Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stockings of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute ‘gifts’ to said minor pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Gift Tax Code.)

Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as ‘lookouts’. Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination.

However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim:

“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”

 Or words to that effect.

 

Haiku Humour

In Japan they replaced the impersonal
and unhelpful error messages
with Haiku.

The words that women use . . .

We’re getting close to the time when plans are being finalised, the food has been organised, the children occupied, but some caring male partner says something and whoosh! from the female! What was that all about?

So with tongue firmly in cheek, and remembering that this is a female putting these words down, here are a few words men may benefit from knowing the meanings behind the words.

  1. Fine : This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
  2. Five minutes : If she is getting dressed, this means half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
  3. Nothing : This is the calm before the storm. This means something and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.
  4. Go ahead :This is a dare, not permission. Don’t do it.
  5. Loud Sigh : This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to No.3 for the meaning of nothing.)
  6. That’s OK : This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That’s OK means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
  7. Thanks : A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say, you’re welcome.
  8. Whatever : Is a woman’s way of saying … YOU! (The . . . ?  I don’t think I want to put swear words in this post, so just use your imagination.)
  9. Don’t worry about it, I got it : Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in the man asking ‘What’s wrong?’ For the woman’s response refer to No.3.

Only in the U.S.A. (but also in GB)

The fifth in this (not to be taken too seriously) series also has a humorous side to it. Consumers are given helpful suggestions and instructions both in the USA and here in Great Britain. A few examples.

“It seems that not all legal disclaimers on websites are the work of humourless lawyers. The ‘Website Terms of Use’ for search engine ‘SearchFeast’ are certainly a change from the stereotypical format. For instance, the copyright clause says, ‘For everyone’s sake, just assume that everything on the site is copyrighted unless we say it’s not. So you can’t use the stuff except how we say you can on this page or anywhere else on the site without our written permission. And like we said before, it’s not likely we’ll give you permission anyway. In fact, even if we wanted to, the lawyers are likely to veto any deal anyway. So it’s better you don’t even ask.’

And following the notes on jurisdiction, the writers explain. ‘If all this sounds kind of mean and un-diplomatic, you should have seen what the lawyers gave to us in the first place. We had to remind them that torture and sacrifice was outlawed in the United States. Boy, did they look disappointed.’

Gt British companies comes up with some plain English. (but are we really this thick or is it them?)

On a hairdryer: ‘Do not use while sleeping’
On a bag of Fritos: ‘You could be a winner! No purchase necessary! Details inside! ‘(Shoplifter special?)
On a bar of Dial soap: ‘Directions: Use like regular soap.’ (and that would be how?)
On some Swanson frozen dinners: ‘Serving suggestion: defrost.’ (but it’s just a suggestion)
On Tesco’s  Tiramisu dessert (printed on the bottom): Do not turn upside down.’ (well … duh, a bit late!)
On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding: ‘Product will be hot after heating.’ (… and you thought ???)
On packaging on a Rowenta Iron: ‘Do not iron clothes on body.’ (but wouldn’t that save more time?)
On a Swedish chainsaw: ‘Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals.’ (was there a lot of this happening somewhere?)
On Boots Children’s Cough Medicine: ‘Do not drive or operate machinery after taking this medication. (oh really!)
And finally:
On Nytol Sleep Aid: ‘Warning: May cause drowsiness.’

Quantas Queries

And for the fourth in this Christmas week series, something quite different. Nothing to do with Christmas, just something to bring a smile to your face on a wet Wednesday.

After every Quantas flight, pilots always complete a ‘gripe’ sheet, which conveys to the mechanics, the problems encountered with the aircraft during the flight. The pilot completes the top part of the form listing the problem, the mechanics read it and then respond in writing on the lower half what remedial action was taken, so the pilot on the next flight of the plane can review the form before taking off.

Never let it be said that ground crews and engineers lack a sense of humour: here are some of the actual logged complaints and responses.

Pilot: Left inside main tyre almost needs replacement
Mechanic: Almost replaced left inside main tyre

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough
M: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft

P: Something loose in the cockpit
M: Something tightened in the cockpit

P: Autopilot in altitude hold mode produces a 200ft per min descent
M: Cannot reproduce problem on ground

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear
M: Evidence removed

P: Friction locks cause throttle to stick
M: That’s what they’re there for

P: IFF Inoperative
M: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode

P: Suspected crack in windshield
M: Suspect you’re right

P: Number 3 engine missing/skipping
M: Engine found on right wing after brief search

P: Aircraft handles funny
M: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right and be serious

P: Target radar hums
M: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics

P: Mouse in cockpit
M: Cat installed

Mammoth Party Time

Mammoth Party Time

Every now and then, people ask me to go to parties.

Most people on meeting a stranger at a party start their conversation with the inevitable question, “What do you do?” I use to answer by saying that I work in direct mail, but that tends to result in people telling me that they don’t read all the junk mail that comes through the door and I don’t know why firms keep sending it out. In vain do I point out that companies wouldn’t use direct mail and we wouldn’t be in business if it weren’t for the fact that direct mail actually works, and that in fact I spend my time helping people get higher response rates.

Next I tried saying that I was in advertising, but inevitably people think this means television advertising and when I started talking about direct mail, we got back to the same problem I had in the first place.

So recently, I have been telling people that I am a writer. This seems to work well, it has a certain cache and for some reason people often think writers are interesting. But the problem is still the follow-up question, which in this case becomes, “What do you write?” When I say I write silly sales letters they never know quite how to reply, so I fill the gap by asking, “and what do you do?”

Just this last week I got the weirdest answer I have ever had. The lady I was speaking to told me that she researched woolly mammoths. It appears that two months a year she works with a team in Siberia searching for remains of the great beasts. Then they ship the frozen remains back to a lab in Moscow and gradually defrost the animal, often uncovering almost complete creatures.

But the oddest thing about this was the way in which the defrosting is done. In order to preserve as much of the animal as possible, it seems they use hand held dryers, working across the frozen remains inch by inch removing all the surrounding mud and stone to reveal the animal itself before delving into the stomach to look for the last meal, testing the hair and tusks and so on. They do this for ten months a year working in sub-zero temperatures, while waiting for the return of the short Siberian summer, for the next mammoth hunting season.

At the next party I think I’m going to change my story!

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