Village hosts a night of 1940s nostalgia

Here come the Land Girls, from left - Debbie Chessum, Amelia Barlow, Hollie Chessum, Fiona Barlow, Samantha Walton, Denise Gooderson, Paula Walton, Anne Barnes and Samantha Turner. EMN-150823-150212001
Here come the Land Girls, from left - Debbie Chessum, Amelia Barlow, Hollie Chessum, Fiona Barlow, Samantha Walton, Denise Gooderson, Paula Walton, Anne Barnes and Samantha Turner. EMN-150823-150212001

A 1940s themed concert heralded the revival of a village community drama group.

Billingborough Amateur Theatrical Society (BATS) was formed in 1975 when Sheila Wood, whose husband was the local vicar, wanted some entertainment to follow the Harvest Supper. After a period of inactivity the group has been revived and the debut presentation of ‘A 1940s Concert’ was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience and cast alike.

The evening started off with an introduction from a member of the original BATS, Ivan Spencer, who kept the audience entertained with his witty anecdotes, followed by Carmen Miranda-style songs by Bernice Harris, a musical medley from Flannigan and Allen (Malcolm Barlow, Wayne Chessum) plus a couple of solo performances by Karen Goodale. The choir also sang traditional wartime songs accompanied by Liz Hill on the piano.

To tell the story of wartime years, there were several sketches depicting the often harrowing times of families during the war. These included ‘Call up papers’ written by Rosemary Buchan and a touching ‘Evacuee Story’ with budding actresses Samantha Bacon and Olivia Fay Bowden. Other actors were Matthew Coupland, Samantha Turner and Karen Goodale.

During the evening the sell-out audience of 160 sampled a tasty typical wartime meal of bangers and mash, followed by fruit salad and evaporated milk. This was served to table by enthusiastic Land Girls who also provided a drinks service throughout the night.

To end the evening a good old fashioned 1940s singalong brought out all the golden oldies and plenty of audience participation.

The aim was also to raise much-needed funds for the refurbishment of the village hall, generating a total of £1,204.

If anyone would like to join their enthusiastic team either to act or help behind the scenes, contact Karen on 07958 162503 or Paula at pwalton3@hotmail.com.

They would also like to hear from anyone interested in directing a play for the BATS to act.

The next dates for the diaries are January 17 and 18 when BATS will be performing the pantomime Cinderella.