Tuesday, 25 April 2017

More Earlston Entertains

Since we published  the previous post "Earlston Entertains,  some more photographs have come to light. 

Here are two more happy pictures of the cast of "Simple Simon" staged with orchestra  by Earlston Girls' Club in February 1939 in the Corn Exchange, Earlston, and also performed  in Lauder and Melrose.   The large chorus took the part of villagers, sailors and native girls.    A  local newspaper noted that "all the players acquitted themselves in a very creditable manner, fully deserving the warm appreciation of the audience."


in the late 19th century and early 1900's, "Kinderspiel"  (a piece of musical theatre performed by children)) were regularly staged  in Earlston and across the Borders.  They were were widely reported in the local papers, with glowing reviews and long cast lists.  

It has not been possible to identify which production this was 
from the performances  below.

In Earlston in 1906 the chosen play was  "Bonnie Prince Charlie" with "The Southern Reporter"noting that    "Mr R. W. Smith has for the past five  months been conducting a class of sixty boys and girls  for the practice of choral singing. . ..The auditorium was  occupied by a crowd of people, many of whom had to be content with standing  and not a few had to go away  unable to gain admission.....Rarely had the Corn Exchange been filled with such a crowd..... All the girls had something of tartan about their appearance.   The English soldiers were  rather like modern volunteer.  The playing of Mr. Fisher's Earlston Orchestra deserves special praise".  

 Southern Reporter  - 22nd March 1906

"Dan the Newsboy" was the theme of the 1909 Kinderspiel, produced by Mr. Archibald A. Burt, headmaster  of the Public School and  involving 70 boys and girls. Over £40 was raised to provide summer excursions for children. 

Two years later it was "Rosa  Lee" again produced  by Mr. A. A. Burt, ably assisted by the Earlston Orchestral Party   under the leadership of Mr Samuel Fisher.  This was repeated in 1923  with a different cast, when tribute was paid to members of the earlier production who had died in the First World War.

"The Princess of Poppyland" was the 1912 production  staged by members of Earlston Continuation Class, with the newspaper review waxing lyrically on "a delightful and signally successful performance, ....  the brilliancy of the production - with fine spectacular effects, tuneful singing, clever dancing,  amusing comedy and the charming appearance of the girls.!

1914 saw "Fickle Fortune", with proceeds going to Earlston Boy Scouts.


And finally -  Earlston's Dutch Dancers - can anyone date this photograph? 


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Earlston Entertains!

Take a nostalgic look back over the years 
at the acting and musical talents on show in Earlston

In March 1985 the Young Wives'  Group at the church presented "The Good Old Days".

 The Young Mothers'  Group in a show in the 1960's 


The Scouts and Guides in concert - but when?  Can you put a date to this photograph?


Earlston Amateur Dramatic Club regularly presented plays, 
before bowing out in 1991.  



Earlston Girls' Club, founded by Mrs Ferguson of Carolside,  was active in the village 1920's to 1950's, raising money for charity through  dances, Burns' Suppers, garden fetes keep fit nights, and musical and dramatic concerts.  It most notably presented in 1934  an open air pageant depicting scenes from Borders  history.  
Here is the chorus  of "Native Girls" from the play  "Simple Simon"  staged in the Corn Exchange in  February 1939 and also performed in Lauder and Melrose.

 Drama performed by the Women's Guild


 The Auld Earlston Collection  includes a number of photographs of the Clown Band, and there are local press reports of them appearing in the Peace Parade in Galashiels in 1919, at Lauder Masquerade in 1920 and in 1923 at  St. Boswells, Coldstream,  and at the wedding celebrations of Lord Haddington at Mellerstain.  One report refers to it as "this unique organisation". But we know little about the background to the band and its distinctive  clown theme. 

Here at a Cycle Event in Melrose in 1923. 


And Finally - one of the oldest photographs in our collection
Earlston Orchestra performing in  the Corn Exchange, c. 1898  


In case you missed - take a look at two earlier posts on the Entertainment theme

Auld Earlston will be pleased to hear from people with programmes, photographs and other memorabilia on Earlston events over the years.

If you wish, we will make a copy  and return them to you.
Contact: Tel. 01896 848240 E-Mail: auldearlston@aol.co.uk