I can just about cast my mind back to that fateful day in the late 1970s when the Rev. David Lambert, at the instigation of Bill Edwards, called a meeting of local folk to see if there was enough enthusiasm to start a local drama group based in the Parish Church Hall in North Ormesby.
Obviously there was, since 30 years later you are here, attending our production of The Boy Friend. Like Trigger’s broom in Only Fools and Horses we have had new brush heads and new handles but essentially we are still the same group, with the same ambition, as we were all those years ago.
Over the years we have received fantastic support from you, our audience, and we hope that you have enjoyed the many shows and concerts that have been brought to you in that time. Many Minstrel members have come and gone, we have celebrated exam success, weddings, christenings and, sadly, a few funerals too, but there has been an enduring thread that has continued to weave its spell. I calculate that around 250 “artistes” have trodden the boards and during over 400 performances we have put over 65,000 “bums on seats”.
To celebrate the event we have selected to perform for you a show that is pure pleasure from start to finish and offers the opportunity to display the talents of our young members. We are presenting this as an all round Minstrel experience, even the intervals are designed to entertain you, and we hope you will not be disappointed. Later in the programme you can read about the mad idea we had to undertake a 30 hour Dramathon to mark our 30 years and find out how it went.
In 2003 another milestone was reached when we transferred our activities from the old hall to the Trinity Centre and have taken up the new challenge of performing in a multi-purpose space. At the time I wrote and performed a little ditty to celebrate (full version available on www.northormesbyminstels.co.uk) and I recently updated it with these two verses:
As we reach this milestone in our 30th Year,
Who knows what the future will bring to us here
We set out on our journey with no firm goal in sight
But we’ve had lots of fun, got it right on the night.
So join with me now and be of good cheer!
There’s always a chance, when some Minstrels appear
Of a song and a dance, and a joke and a tear
Well, we could still be good for another few year!
Hoping to see you again at our next show