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School Play July 1950

The cast of "A Cartload of Villains"
From the private collection of Tony Betteridge

Click on the image to open a large version in a new window

The play was written and produced by Mrs Wells.  It was performed on two evenings in July 1950 in the Abinger Hall, Portslade and this photograph of the cast was taken in the back playground of the school.

Standing from Left to Right:-

Brenda Hawkes (Fairy Onyx), Judith Stringer (A Bird), Unknown, Ann Clark (Lady Arnold), Anita Wilkins (Lady Percy), Unknown, Unknown, Eileen Ayling (Princess Eleanor), Unknown, Barry Woodward (Lord Percy), Frank Piner (Lord Arnold), Valerie Grant (A Bird), Brenda Swann (Fairy Pearl)

Seated from Left to Right:-

Marion Godsmark (Fairy Flitterwing), Doreen Baker (Saphir- a nasty witch), Christopher Root (Evil Edward – A remorseless desperado), Barbara Ellis (Baroness Malerolenta), Wendy May (Lady Anne), Tony Betteridge (Roderick, the Prince Regent), Barry Morgan (Prince Guy), Valerie Ayling, John Collins (Jasper Murker-a No1 stock villain), Brian Cherriman (Shocking Stephen – A remorseless desperado)

Christopher Cotton played Prince Guy in one performance, but is not in the photograph.  I have a small group photograph which includes Christopher.

Perhaps there is a contemporary out there who can fill in the missing names?


Comments about this page

  • Thanks so much for posting that Tony. I recognise several performers, though I am only in touch with Chris Cotton who is in Auckland, NZ.

    Marvellous days, always sunny, carefree and exciting. Hard to believe that we are all almost 80 now! Can you please post the photo with Chris (Prince Guy) as he has no computer, and I can send a print to him . 

    By barry flahey (26/12/2017)
  • Hello again  Barry.  I was hoping that you would log in and see this, and, yes, I have submitted for publication the photo that included Chris together with some comment about the summer of 1950.  When you send him a copy of the photo please send my regards and best wishes for his big birthday next year.  I have a cricket team photo to submit next and may get round to that tomorrow.

    By Tony Betteridge (31/12/2017)
  • Tony. Are you the same Betteridge who attended Hove Grammar and lifted 600 schoolboy hearts by bowling RH first ball in the Masters/Boys match?

    By Geoff Stoner (01/01/2018)
  • Yes Geoff, that was me and it happened in July 1956. I was fortunate enough to play in four Staff v School matches having broken into the 1st XI when I was in class 4A.  My main role was as opening bowler and I collected quite a number of staff scalps in those matches.  In the years up to 1956 Rex Hepburn was probably the best of the cricketing staff and I was particularly proud of that one since my father had come along to watch. In 1957, my final year, the staff team was augmented by John Woods the new sportsmaster who had been appointed after the retirement of Basher Bates.  John Woods was an accomplished batsman and played for Brighton and Hove Cricket Club.  Perhaps the other star of the staff team, albeit well past his prime, was ‘Black Bart’ Campbell who was reputed to have played with (or perhaps against) Keith Miller, the Australian fast bowler while in the RAF in WWII.  I had hoped to have been appointed captain of the school 1st XI that year, but the job went to Colin Casemore (deservedly) and my other hope, that of scoring a 50 in the match against the staff, was also consigned to the pyre of unfulfilled ambitions when I went for 28 just before lunch in the 1957 game but we went on to win it, mirabile dictu, as Black Bart would have said.

    By Tony Betteridge (02/02/2018)
  • Tony, your feat is recorded in the ‘Magazine Jottings’ section of the HGSB website. All of the jottings are genuine extracts from the magazines, except for that particular one, which I confess to having fabricated (although it certainly should have been there!). Unfortunately I seemed to have guessed at the wrong year. You will also find your photograph in the ‘Gallery’ section.

    By Geoff Stoner (05/02/2018)
  • Just stumbled across this image, I think the top row 4th in, is my Gran Anita Wilkins sadly no longer with us, she grew up in same area and had two brothers Ken and Alan and a sister called Betty if it is my gran then wow as I don’t have this picture in the family album 🙂.

    By Greg prior grand son of Anita Wilkins (11/08/2019)
  • Yes Greg – this is your gran. I’m very sorry that she has passed on as have several others in the photograph who I know about. I rarely saw her after we all moved to our secondary schools, but I remember her well – a happy, gentle girl with a big smile. If my memory serves me correctly the family lived in Mile Oak Road.

    By Tony Betteridge (30/08/2019)

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