Southwold Railway Trust Archive of Wenhaston

History Note #23: Entertainment

History Note #23: Entertainment
From the Wenhaston 'Game' to 'Warblers' and the many 'Players', there has always been various forms of entertainment in the local area

Church Ales were a means of making money for the church. Plays were performed probably on a stage on the back of a farm cart, travelling around near villages. In the Walberswick Accounts for 1493 there is ‘Item payed for bread and drink when the Wenhaston game (play) was shown here - threepence’. Church Ales were sometimes in a form of a wake, for example Alice Foxe in her will of 1546 left instructions that a barrel of beer and food were to be distributed to the parishioners of Wenhaston.

We never had a Fair, but annually there was a show including a donkey race between the Queen’s Head, Blyford, and The Star Inn.

During the last World War in the 1940s, Mrs Ethel Pearce formed a concert party called ‘The Wenhaston Warblers’ which toured locally raising funds for the war.

In 1948 Elizabeth Ashton formed a group called ‘Patchwork Players’. First they appeared in The Hut, forerunner of the Village Hall. They became the ‘Wenhaston Players’, touring local villages. A newspaper cutting of 1963 informed us that a large audience at Uggeshall Village Hall enjoyed a very ‘creditable’ show by the ‘Wenhaston Players’. It opened with a Mexican farce, followed by dances and songs and finally the younger members played ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’.

In November 1978 local talent produced a brilliant show ‘The Wenhaston Pier Show’ with the programme entitled ‘A Guide To Wenhaston Pier 1910’.

‘Blyth Players’ were formed around 1988 and started with a repeat ‘The Second Pier Show’, and later a Southwold Railway theme and Christmas Shows, as did the Womens Institute.

Eastern Angles appeared in the Village Hall from 1982 starting with ‘The School for Scandal’ and performed there twice a year, but now are only to be seen at The Cut. However we still look forward to Circle 67 acting a Shakespeare play at Church Common on a July afternoon.