2017 AGM

 A healthy percentage of our current membership arrived on cue (for the most part) for the society’s AGM on 17th July.

The committee, players and crew members were rewarded with an excellent evening buffet at The Old Hall in neighbouring Threshfield.

President Joan Whitaker was encouraged by the support shown by members while Chairman Mary Wilkinson reviewed the success of the previous year and looked to the future with Treasurer Zarina Belk reporting a healthy picture.
The existing committee were re-elected unanimously en-masse and their hard work was commended by all.

Rehearsals are starting now for the autumn production, scheduled for October 19th-21st. Mr Bennet’s Bride by Emma Wood is a new play which is a prequel to Pride and Prejudice, chosen as this is the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. With a strong cast directed by Paula Vickers and Zarina Belk, the production promises to be a great excuse to show off the skills of the Players costume and make-up team.
We continue to appeal for new members, especially in the ‘middle’ age range 20-40 to appear on stage, and for new Directors.

Anyone interested in joining the company
should contact Mary Wilkinson on
01756 752740 or call informally to
rehearsals to meet some of the company
on Mondays or Thursdays at 7.30pm at
The Devonshire Institute (Town Hall) in

Photos needed for the website

 As I have taken over most of the day to day stuff here I was asked to take down the Calendar Girls nudie pics. I duly did and I realise that we need some more up to date compositions.
Does anyone have anything from Hay Fever, Oh What A Lovely War, or The Dickensian Music Hall show that I could use?  I'd be most grateful. 
However I do claim final editorial decision, but with such ultimate power comes ultimate responsibility, so I will endeavour not to upset anyone at all. Send them to me by email to [email protected]
Many thanks in anticipation
David Whatley-Holmes

Handover of Calendar Girls Funds

Following our world premiere amateur performance of the play Calendar Girls in August 2012, the Grassington Players girls handed over £5223.56 to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.  All the cast 'girls' and five of the real Calendar Girls met on the village green at Threshfield for the official presentation of the funds raised.  Chairman Sue Clement said “The cast and team wish to thank our hugely generous and supportive audiences who have made the donation possible. Now that all the production expenses have been paid and the figures calculated we are able to give this substantial sum to help the very cause that Tim Firth’s record-breaking play championed.  We were delighted to have been the first amateurs to stage the play and have been able to lend our support – and props – to other groups all over the country who have also embraced the story.” The amount raised  included not only profit from ticket sales and bucket collections at the performances themselves, but also the sale of a Christmas card, which reproduced the December scene depicted at the end of Act 1 of the play, with the girls gathered around the piano wearing only Christmas hats. The opening Gala night was generously sponsored by The Courtyard complex in Settle. 

90th Birthday Celebrations

Grassington Players celebrated an impressive 90th birthday on January 11th, exactly 90 years to the day from the night when William Walker, ‘Convener’ held the first Grassington Players meeting following this announcement: “Will all persons interested in the formation of a Dramatic Society for Grassington and neighbourhood, having for its initial object the raising of funds for the new Town Hall Extension, by means of the production of Stage Plays, please attend an inauguration meeting to be held at Mrs.Yarker’s Tea Rooms, Station View, Threshfield, on Thursday, the 11th January 1923, at 8pm, when it is hoped to elect Officers and Committee and to enrol members willing to take part in the production of Stage Plays. The desirability of such a Society, has, it is believed, long been felt in the locality and a good attendance is requested.” About 40 budding local thespians answered that first call, and the Society was born as ‘The Grassington and District Amateur Dramatic Society’, becoming ‘Grassington Players’ in 1928. The first President was the Rector, the Revd. J A Leighton, and the annual subscription set at 5 shillings. The first general meeting the following month drew 45 members and friends. A play ‘The Younger Generation’ was proposed, but withdrawn on the grounds that it might have hurt the feelings of the devout, since it was considered a slight skit on chapel going, “out of deference to the Rector.” Instead, four one act plays were the Society’s first offering:- ‘Mother O’Pearl’, ‘No Servants’, ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ and ‘Should This Meet the Eye’. Now in 2012, the celebrations for the 90th birthday were held in the main town hall at the Devonshire Institute. 
The outside catering team from the award-winning Grassington House Hotel made sure the event went smoothly, with a fabulous menu featuring ham terrine, pheasant and chocolate tart. Past members came to reminisce with old friends and the cake was cut by oldest member, Nan Jowett (aged 88) with youngest member 16 year old Lottie Cuerden.

Donation to Parkinsons Charity

Grassington Players have nominated Parkinsons UK Skipton branch to receive their annual donation of monies raised at performances of Players on the Road and the Dickensian shows. 
A cheque of £438.46 was handed over this week by Chairwoman Sue Clement to Chairman Douglas Riddiough. The money will be used to go towards vital physiotherapy classes in Skipton which are provided by Parkisons UK for their Craven members. It will also be used to try to secure a district Parkinsons nurse for Craven. Mr Riddiough explained “We have been trying for 10 years to get a district Parkinsons nurse for our area, all the other areas in North Yorkshire have one but we still don’t. Talks have been going on and we are very close to securing one, but we do need all the help we can get to make this possible.” Parkinsons UK is solely reliant on donations to fund their work. The Skipton branch was started over 20 years ago and has 60 members who meet monthly. Next month’s meeting will be headed by The Research Department from Leeds and York. They also provide an information support worker (ISW) who can visit people in their homes and offer advice and help on a number of issues relating to Parkinsons. If anyone is interested in becoming a member or giving a donation, please contact Allan Cawood on Skipton (01756) 794077. Grassington Players Chairman Sue Clement said “It is great to think that by doing something that we enjoy and entertaining our audiences, we can also help make a difference to other people.”
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