Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GETTTING TOGETHER - CLUB WI

AMER­SHAM & HARD OF AFTER wel­com­ing mem­bers back from the sum­mer break, Kate in­tro­duced our guest speaker for the Septem­ber evening meet­ing, Mr Stan Pretty

The club was very ex­cited to play host to Mr Pretty, hav­ing waited some three years to se­cure his pres­ence, in be­tween his com­mit­ments as a work­ing ac­tor, to lis­ten to his talk about the Amer­sham Play­house 1936-1949.

Mr Pretty started by ask­ing if any mem­bers knew the Amer­sham Play­house dur­ing the war years.

Sev­eral did re­mem­ber, lis­ten­ing to their rec­ol­lec­tions and con­firm­ing the lo­ca­tion as be­ing in Sta­tion Road, Amer­sham in the auc­tion rooms – cur­rently oc­cu­pied by Pretty and El­lis. Orig­i­nal fea­tures of the Play­house were dis­cussed, and it was es­tab­lished that lit­tle has changed to this day.

It emerged that both Mr Pretty and a mem­ber of the club, Ian Ains­ley, an ac­tor by pro­fes­sion, had trod­den the boards at the Play­house too.

Other no­table ac­tors in­clude Sir Robert Stevens, Den­holm El­liot, Pa­tri­cia Troughton and Dirk Bog­ard.

Mr Pretty de­scribed two re­mark­able women – Sally La­timer and Caryl Jen­ner – who ran the Play­house dur­ing this pe­riod, stag­ing weekly reper­tory the­atre and main­tain­ing a gru­elling sched­ule of 11 per­for­mances a week come rain, shine or air-raid warn­ings, to a ca­pac­ity au­di­ence of 245, while re­hears­ing the fol­low­ing week’s play as well.

It was re­ported that au­di­ences were swelled at this time by evac­uees from London but when they re­turned home, it meant a re­ver­sal of for­tunes for the Play­house. Ra­tioning con­tin­ued and the ‘en­ter­tain­ment tax’ also took its toll, lead­ing to fi­nan­cial de­cline and bank­ruptcy.

In ad­di­tion to di­rect­ing the per­for­mances, the two women un­der­took all as­pects of man­ag­ing the Play­house, wrote a piece to the au­di­ence each week called ‘My Dear Pub­lic’, gave act­ing classes and ran a the­atre club.

After a sec­ond bank­ruptcy, Caryl Jen­ner went on to es­tab­lish a mo­bile the­atre group, vis­it­ing schools and vil­lage halls, even­tu­ally rent­ing the Arts The­atre in Le­ices­ter Square and then es­tab­lish­ing the well-known Uni­corn The­atre for Chil­dren, near City Hall London.

Mr Pretty took fur­ther ques­tions and en­ter­tained mem­bers with hu­mor­ous ex­cerpts from the reviews of plays per­formed, au­di­ence re­quests and ob­ser­va­tions pub­lished in the Bucks Ex­am­iner.

Thanks were given by Kate. HYDE HEATH THE Oc­to­ber meet­ing com­menced with Mrs Deakin giv­ing a fas­ci­nat­ing talk and slide show on New Zealand, which she and her hus­band vis­ited for their 25th wed­ding an­niver­sary a few years ago.

The orig­i­nal Maoris came from Poly­ne­sia and call the coun­try The Land of the Long White Cloud, be­cause the clouds do seem to form long lines across the sky. We were taken on a won­der­ful tour round both North and South Is­lands, vis­it­ing some popular and re­mote parts of this beau­ti­ful and var­ied coun­try.

It takes about three hours by ferry to travel be­tween the is­lands.

Fol­low­ing the talk, Pres­i­dent, Jayne Faver­sham, an­nounced the sad news that a re­tired mem­ber, Au­drey Begg, had died on Septem­ber 13 and four mem­bers had rep­re­sented the group at her fu­neral.

col­lec­tion was made for do­na­tions to The Brompton Foun­tain in her mem­ory.

The Jig­saw Chal­lenge team of Mary Collins, Pam Ruff and Doreen White, en­joyed the com­pe­ti­tion, which was well sup­ported by 18 teams.

The next walk, or­gan­ised by Pam Epps and San­dra Stevens, will be on Oc­to­ber 23. There will be a char­ity cof­fee morn­ing at Pam Ruff’s house on Oc­to­ber 24 be­tween 10am and noon, with a raf­fle and bring and buy sale.

The Christ­mas Party with en­ter­tain­ment will be at 7.15 for 7.30pm on De­cem­ber 11. Tick­ets at £7.50 should be pur­chased by Novem­ber 30. There will be a hot buf­fet din­ner pro­vided by the com­mit­tee


mem­bers and con­tri­bu­tions of desserts by mem­bers.

After a num­ber of years of stal­wart work on the com­mit­tee, Chris­tine Rich­field An­drews has re­signed fol­low­ing an op­er­a­tion and a re­quest for new be­m­bers was made.

On Novem­ber 13 at 8pm the An­nual Meet­ing will be held. Con­tri­bu­tions for a bring and buy and sales ta­ble were re­quested.



OUR Oc­to­ber meet­ing was a cel­e­bra­tion of our 55th birth­day, with mem­bers en­joy­ing a glass of wine and some nib­bles and a lovely birth­day cake made by Pres­i­dent Gill with our tea and cof­fee.

Our speaker was Janey Good­earl, who talked about the Alexan­der Tech­nique, which she likened to re-ed­u­cat­ing the body rather than a ther­apy.

Janey passed around a heavy tin ex­plain­ing that it weighed 11 pounds, roughly the weight of a hu­man head, which is sup­ported by the spine. Us­ing ‘vol­un­teers’ to demon­strate, we were shown the best way to sit on and to rise from a chair.

Dur­ing the past month, the craft group have met to con­tinue work on their var­i­ous projects and the gar­den­ing group have been busy plant­ing more than 200 bulbs in the vil­lage flower-bed.

We con­tinue to serve re­fresh­ments at the Farm­ers’ Mar­ket and, with Christ­mas in mind, also have a stall with crafts for sale. Our lat­est Story Sack for St George’s School, which is ‘There was an Old Lady who swal­lowed a fly’, is pro­gress­ing well, and some mem­bers at­tend the knit and knat­ter morn­ing each Mon­day in our Com­mu­nity Li­brary.

At the be­gin­ning of the month a group vis­ited the Hari Kr­ishna tem­ple which was very in­ter­est­ing and an af­ter­noon at the Wa­ter­side The­atre in Ayles­bury to see The Im­por­tance of be­ing Ernest was also very well sup­ported.

A Scrab­ble evening is planned for the end of Oc­to­ber and our An­nual Meet­ing will take place on Novem­ber 11.

We meet on the sec­ond Tues­day of each month in the Vil­lage Hall, Cokes Lane, at 7.45pm and vis­i­tors are wel­come.

Brenda Flem­ming, chair­woman of Lit­tle Chal­font Good Com­pan­ions Club, with Mary Phillips

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