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The Wilford Players

This website is a tribute to the Wilford Players, and a resource for anyone interested in the world of amateur dramatics in Nottinghamshire. It has been compiled from materials collected by my mother, Sheila Plumb, a leading light throughout the time of the Players, from a scrapbook in which she collected programmes, photographs and other materials relating to the group. Because scrapbooks are fragile, and the internet allows much wider access to materials of this kind, this site has been created as an archive for some of them.

Roberta Dewa (nee Plumb)

A Brief History

The Wilford Players Amateur Drama Group started life in 1952, and was at first affiliated to South Wilford Women’s Institute, whose members were active in both acting and producing plays for performance at the Church Hall, Wilford. From the beginning, the group took its actors, producers and technical personnel from members of the local community, and produced both one-act plays and later full-length three-acters, usually producing plays twice a year, in winter and spring.

There were many amateur dramatic groups in the county during the 1950s and 1960s, as the country recovered from post-war gloom, many of them attached to church or community groups: the Friary Players, St Faith’s, West Bridgford Dramatic Society (still in existence today).

Wilford Church Hall
Wilford Church Hall

The venue for all the performances, the stage of Wilford’s church hall, was never ideal for the demands of the players, and had to be extended with the addition of an ‘apron’ every time a performance was scheduled. Also typical of the time was the players’ self-reliance, making their own scenery and costumes, and acquiring skills in set design and lighting.

The plays themselves were always family entertainment, sometimes comedies by Kenneth Horne or Wilfred Massey on the lines of the Whitehall Farces, sometimes classics such as Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit and Hay Fever. Cutting-edge drama of the time was not considered suitable for the audiences the players performed to, although they became more ambitious in the 1960s, as they began to enter for the local Rushcliffe Arts Drama Festival, winning in 1968 with ‘Rock Bottom’ and coming second in 1969 with a play with music, ‘A Kiss for a Princess.’

As the 1970s progressed, society began to change, and amateur drama groups struggled to attract audiences. The players continued to the end of the decade, entertaining the community with plays, tableaux, and coffee evenings. For members of the drama group, the players provided a learning process for those interested in the creative arts, and a genuine fellowship. I’m proud to have been one of their number.

Browse Scrapbook Galleries

From my mother’s scrapbook, I have taken a selection of photos and programmes from the 1950s, the 60s and the 70s. I hope you enjoy browsing through them, and if you recognize yourself or a family member, please get in touch.

Wilford Players’ Productions

1950s

Fools Rush In

The Day’s Mischief

Charity Begins

Love in a Mist

1960s

One of these Days

Home for Christmas

The Time of your Life

It’s a Record

And This was Odd

Murder in Mind

Friends and Neighbours

Count your Blessings

Candied Peel

Fish out of Water

Toad in the Hole

With Vacant Possession

No Time for Fig-Leaves

The Bride and the Bachelor

Rock Bottom

A Kiss for a Princess

Blithe Spirit

1970s

The Piper of Orde

All’s well that Ends

Hay Fever

Midsummer Mink

Played in a Dream

Cat Among the Pigeons

The Reluctant Debutante

Out of the Question

Gloucester Road

A Phoenix too Frequent

Money’s no Object

Basinful of the Briny

Rock Bottom

This Happy Breed

Crystal Clear

Wilford Players’ Cast & Backstage Members

Ashmead, Cyril

Ashmead, Marion

Bagley, Brian

Baker, Dennis

Ball, K

Bambridge, Kathryn

Bambridge, Ken

Barnes, P

Barnet, Iris

Bates, Valerie

Belfied, Dora

Bennett, Norma

Birchmore, Joanna

Bradley, Delphine

Brewill, Betty

Bromley, Martin

Butler, Nora

Clark, Robert

Clarke, Frances

Deakin, Cheryl

Dewa, Peter

Diggle, Jack

Everett, E

Fisher, Barbara

Geldart, June

Goodyear, Michael

Greaves, Barbara

Holmes, Christine

Holmes, David

Jackson, Hazel

Keyte, Gordon

Keyte, Linda

Kirk, Dorothy

Marshall, Linda

Marshall, Robert

McManus, Hazel

Mee, Janice

Mercer, Valerie

Merryman, Lynne

Merryman, Phyllis

Mills, Frank

Moles, Noel

Morland, Doreen

Norris, David

Norris, Margaret

Pleat, Joseph

Plumb, Roberta

Plumb, Sheila

Price, Paddy

Reed, Algar

Richardson, Joan

Richardson, Len

Richardson, Margaret

Robinson, May

Rodgers, Molly

Rodgers, Norman

Rowe, David

Shipway, Madeline

Smart, Margaret

Smeeton, Iris

Smith, Barbara

Smith, Cherry

Smith, Eric

Smith, Geoffrey

Smith, Joan

Smith, Susan

Spicer, Valerie

Spittall, Bill

Spittall, Evelyn

Spittall, Michael

Spreckley, Elizabeth

Steel, Joyce

Suggit, Mary

Terry, Milly

Trussell, Jean

Tuxford, Anthony

Tuxford, Catherine

Walker, Roger

Williams, Vernon

Wilson, Ida