Scout and Guide Shows.
March 1969, the first Group Show was presented for parents and friends as part of an Open Evening which included a Going-Up Ceremony. The Show with a cast of 40, comprised of Cubs, Scouts, Venture Scouts and adults, was devised by Colin Harle and Leroy Grubb and written by David Wilshire.
So began the annual show which was, over the next seventeen years, to become a traditional annual showpiece of the 1st Midsomer Norton Group and the envy of many Groups.
In 1970 the show moved to December. Produced by Janet Shearn ran for four performances and included the Rock Hall Guides. Again several items were written by David Wilshire and also included Ralph Reader's Gang Show material.
1971 saw a break from the traditional type of Scout Show material to include several popular 'musical' items. The new stage, together with Stage lighting, backcloths and wings was 'baptised'. Janet Shearn was joined by Colin Harle in the production.
1972 The cast grew to 60, production was taken over by Jack Perkins and music by Olive Goode.
From 1973 the Show improved each year. Production was shared between Jack Perkins and John Church. Music under the direction of Olive Goode set a very high standard. Staging and lighting, under Jack Gearing, became more sophisticated. Costumes by Pauline Moore and Shirley Sellars were exceptional given a very limited budget, particularly considering the cast had grown to 120 by 1977. The 'highlight* of the shows were the Scouters items which included the Can-Can and Good Ship Lollipop. No challenge was too great; 'Gilbert and Sullivan', 'Oliver' and the Blitz were all
attempted and delighted full houses.
By 1978 piano accompaniment had developed into a six piece band. Music standards remained high and Steven Hathway replaced Olive Goode. Later Bernard Wight with Sarah Travis (piano) and a group of musicians from Norton Hill School added a further dimension to the musical content. Popularity remained until 1985.
An enforced break during the building of the new Hall only reinforced the enthusiasm for an eager return in 1987.
This brief history has been compiled by Rex Phare Group Chairman, from various sources, not the least of which being the notes for production of an appeal leaflet produced by Jack Perkins in the early 1980’s during the fundraising for the current Hall.