Let’s do the show right here!
The handsome male line up in full song
In the period just after the war the only entertainment available to most people was the ‘wireless’. But in Blackham we were fortunate to have Mrs Moth, an accomplished pianist and enthusiastic stager of shows. Mrs Moth created many shows which included singing, dancing, comedy sketches, monologues and any other skill a local performer could bring to the stage of the village hall to entertain fellow villagers. Big chorus numbers were a bit tricky on the tiny village hall stage and the ‘dressing rooms’ (the doctor’s surgery) were a bit cramped, but the shows went down well and eventually some of them were taken to neighbouring villages like Fordcombe. We would love to have your memories of these shows either as a cast member or in the audience.
Since this page was first created with two rather grainy photos of a show called Boomps-A-Daisy culled from the Kent & Sussex Courier, Michael Gibbons, whose family lived at Colestock Crossroads, has been in touch with two photographic prints. We have been able to identify some of the people in the cast photo (above), can you fill in the blanks. Back row: Paul Crowhurst, unknown, Janet Osmond, John King, Tony Gibbons, Mrs Moth, John Hopkins, Pam Moth, Billy Mitchell, unknown. Front row: Sam Coomber, Susan King, unknown, Gillian Baugh, Geraldine Bashford, Jim Moth.
My own memories of appearing in the concerts aged about nine are reciting Stanley Holloway monologues, bits of which stick with me more than  60 years later. My mum was always in the wings with the book in case I needed a prompt. ‘You’ve heard of Samuel Small, perhaps,  A lad of Bulldog breed,  Who saved his Sgt Major’s life,  A most unusual deed.’ I also recall performing ‘There’s a hole in my bucket’ with Jim Moth taking the part of Liza, and he and I also mimed to a Louis Armstrong record, pretending to play the trumpet. The only other personal memory I have is of trying to do some magic tricks, including some Tommy Cooper gags. They helped when I messed up my main trick and the audience thought it was just another gag. We were fortunate to have some talented performers. I particularly remember May Crowhurst and Reg Taylor used to be popular singers and there was a young man, John Hopkins,who was the nearest we had to Dickie Valentine and had all the girls’ hearts a flutter. Richard ‘Sam’ Coomber
Blackham’s ‘Tiller Girls’ with on the back left May Crowhurst, who for some reason wasn’t in the complete cast photo but was one of the leading singers in the shows
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