The President’s Address

1969, early September, the Group was formed in the Library at Woodlands School, Wetherby Road, Harrogate. We were mostly parents (PTA) and teachers who had connections at the school, along with the remains of Wayside Players who had lost their home and needed a new venue.

Our first entry was a one act play in the Nidderdale Drama Festival 1970 “Isolation at Eyam”. We had nine ladies to take the nine parts, some of them had never acted before, I was one of them. We started with rehearsals and I really got the bug! I asked my husband to take me down to Eyam, in Derbyshire so I could get the feel of the place.

We had a very interesting day out and I really felt the part. However, two months later I realized I was expecting my third son ……. but the show must go on and they continued to push me around the stage during rehearsals as I did not tell anyone until after the play party. We won five trophies and my two sons who were at Woodlands School had the pleasure of taking the trophies around the classes to let the students see our achievements. Glory for Woodlands!

I was a founder member of Woodlands Drama group since 1969, been Committee member, Treasurer, Secretary, Chairman acted in many plays and directed a few, prompted and done various backstage jobs and now have the honour of being President. I have seen people come and go and leave their stories with us. For instance the boy who did not have a job but got a part in a play, he then got a job as a courier and was killed in an accident on his first week at work. He had nothing – he had two achievements – he was dead! The lady who was married three times whilst she was with us and still ended up without a husband! Deryck Steele who directed and acted and was a great part of the group for many years. Pam and Peter Moulds who were our first Chairman and stage manager and put hours into the group. Ruth Timmis who was secretary for many years and Ian Clarke who took over as Chairman when we were almost falling apart and brought new members and interest to the group and lastly Vicki Day who is our present Chairman and keeps it altogether. I would like to mention everyone associated with us over the years but that is an impossible task so thank you everyone. Lastlly I would like to mention a member Graham Porritt who was a ‘perfect’ Treasurer when I was Chairman, always there at the right time with the figures worked out. He is still a member today! Thank you for your neverending loyalty to the group. I know what you did in difficult times. I will always be grateful to you.

2022 is almost with us. A new beginning for the group, may we go from strength to strength. Many thanks go to the officers and Committee who have served us well over years. Also many thanks to all the talent we have had and now we take with us to the future of Woodlands Drama Group.

Your President

Pauline Summersall

(President, Woodlands Drama Group)