From a tango to Shades of Black
OUR pictures this week come from the collection of Rita Jupp of Bower Road, Mersham.
As all who were young more than 60 years ago, she remembers that people in those days made their own entertainment, and produced this picture taken in November 1952 when, as Rita Ellis, she was in a spectacular production at Brabourne village hall.
It was taken during the finale South American scene in the show staged by Norman and Connie Weekes who lived in the area.
Mrs Weekes was a professional actress and her husband a writer, and among the line-up for the three-night production for packed audiences she recalls John Hanson. George Hickmott, Shirley Quested, Valerie Heathfield, Pat Thornby, Mrs Wakefield and her own mother.
The pianist was Colin Jamieson who later became a professional using the stage name Colin Keyes.
Also in the cast was a Mr Ames, who was the son of former Kent and England cricket star Leslie Ames.
Following recent Remember When stories about bands at the old Corn Exchange in Bank Street, Ashford, she also found pictures of her late brother Mick Christmas, who played with the popular Shades of Black band in the 1960s.
She said: “He played piano and sometimes guitar in the band and I well remember ironing his orange and green stage shirts.
“He lived life to the full and went into cabaret in Margate, but sadly died of bone cancer aged 25.”
Brabourne village variety show in November 1952
Mick Christmas and his group practise in a hay barn in the late 1960s
Mick Startup and Mick Christmas with Shades of Black in the late 1960s