The Titfield Thunderbolt

 

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The Titfield Thunderbolt play presented by Woodford Players April 2016

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The Greater Manchester Drama Federation (GMDF) is recognised as one of the leading associations representing amateur theatre in the North West of England. The GMDF's affiliated network alone makes it one of the largest regional organisations of its type and it's Full Length Festival, is probably the largest drama festival to be held in Europe. Entries into this Festival are adjudicated by four adjudicators throughout the season and their awards across various categories of drama are announced at our prestigious Awards Evening during the summer. We also hold a long established, annual, high quality, week long, One Act Play Festival which, this year, will be held at Players Dramatic Theatre, Cheadle Hulme. Details are on our website. GMDF aims include:    To provide a central organisation through which the membership can take co-operative and concerted action in all matters which concern non-professional theatre. To involve and encourage at all times, in every facet of the theatre, the youth drama movement in the Greater Manchester area . To promote 'live theatre' to the general public in, thus providing a cultural activity of acknowledged value in this modern era of increased leisure time . www.gmdf.org NATIONAL OPERATIC and DRAMATIC ASSOCIATION Serving Amateur Theatre since 1899 Inspiring theatre Our vision is that amateur theatre is successful and sustainable, providing a range of opportunities for people to develop their skills and enjoy taking part, at all levels. Mission We are here to support the education and information needs of individuals and organisations with high quality services and products that contribute to the success of amateur theatre, as well as encouraging appreciation of the sector by participants and audiences alike. We aim to:    Help amateur societies and individuals achieve the highest standards of best practice and performance Give a shared voice to the amateur theatre sector. Provide leadership and advice to enable the amateur theatre sector to tackle the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. www.noda.org.uk

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Chairman’s address Welcome to another evening's entertainment at The Woodford Centre. Since our last production I am delighted to tell you that two of our younger actors have won prestigious awards at the NODA North West Group One awards evening in January. Tracey Hepburn won the award for Best Supporting Actress, for her portrayal of Sylvia in Stepping Out, and Pete Thompson won the award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Eddie in Season's Greetings. Many congratulations to both Tracey and Pete. We have had to rearrange our schedule of entertainments over the next year, we will be performing the stunning Victorian thriller Gaslight in November this year. Our theatre suppers will be held in February 2017 and we have three one act plays to present to you, one of which will be a play written by two of our members, Tom Dawson and Mike Craig. This will be a première production and is certain to entertain. Next April we are presenting the hilarious The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery, that is if I can remember the title! All details can be found on our website. We have recently invested in new sound equipment and even more recently in new lighting to enable better facilities for performances "in the round". Tonight's play is "in the round" so we can all experience our new sound and lighting. Hopefully also, some of you will have the opportunity to take part in the drama, enough said! So please sit back and prepare yourself for a whiff of nostalgia (if you are old enough) as we transport you back in time to the summer of 1952 on The Titfield Thunderbolt. Best Wishes Derek Snowdon Chairman www.woodfordplayers.co.uk The President’s Jottings The delightful presence of Henry in tonight’s production reminds me of an earlier play in 1977 Spring and Port Wine in which Ginger played himself. Ginger was not a dog but a beautiful, friendly, very special ginger cat. Ginger belonged to Mrs Bycroft who lived in Jenny Lane and Ginger’s “stellar” performance was accentuated by the fact he had only three legs. Poor Ginger lost a fore leg as a result of a “run-in” with a harvesting machine in the field adjoining Mrs Bycroft’s garden. That’s cats for you! However, an undaunted Ginger rose to his board treading debut like a true professional and settled down very happily in Wilf ’s (played by Ian McEwan) arms at each performance. What a cat! Another creature which has stayed in my memory is the ostrich, magnificently created by Pat and Derek Snowdon for Just The Ticket in 1988. Along with the ostrich the stage was was full of stuffed birds, many of which were borrowed from Dialstone Lane Education Centre. I felt like a taxidermist travelling home with a car load of birds in their display cabinets. The photograph shows Terry Simms (Herbert Lovelock) in a somewhat drunken stupor with his ostrich friend Horace whilst hapless, future son-in-law Gerald (Andrew Braddock) lies on the stage “out for the count” in an inebriated condition following a performance in a Morris Dance with his hobby horse! Don’t ask! Heather Braddock

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JTW-387-71726-Cheshire_NE-210x297-AUTUMN-from15-14oct15-PRINT.pdf 1 12/10/2015 10:56

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The start of the modern railway age is usually marked by the opening in 1825 of the Stockton & Darlington line. Other, mostly local, lines followed, the most important of which was the Liverpool and Manchester of 1830, famous for Robert Stephenson's Rocket locomotive. The first long distance lines were opened in the first years of Queen Victoria's reign, the London and Birmingham in 1838, part of Brunel's London to Bristol route the same year and the London and Southampton in 1840. A huge railway boom followed during the 1840s, with promoters and speculators planning lines all over Britain. Expansion of the rail network was rapid and continuous. Between 1861 and 1888 the mileage grew by a staggering 81% and the traffic carried by 180%. By 1900, 18,680 miles were in use and over 1100 million passengers were being carried, along with huge quantities of freight. Comfort also improved. The first lavatories appeared in family saloons in the 1860s, the first proper sleeping cars were introduced in 1873 and dining cars came into use from 1879. Somewhat ironically, no sooner were railway lines and stations being built than passenger stations began closing. Many closed in the last century because they were re -sited to a more suitable location. As we turned the century, the introduction of new bus services and the increased popularity of the car along with improvements in roads caused many stations and lines to close. Other lines and stations never lived up to the expectations of their promoters and they too ended up closing down. Many rural stations were unfortunately badly sited, being well away from the towns and villages that they were designed to serve and this too led to a rapid decline in passenger numbers when more convenient forms of transport became available. This seemingly inexorable, steady trickle of railway closures increased in the 1950’s, (the most famous being the Titfield to Mallingford closure, ha ha) turning into a torrent in the 1960’s with the rationalisation of our railway network under the infamous Dr Beeching. Dr Richard Beeching came from the then ICI to become the chairman of British Railways from 1961 - 1965. In March 1963 his report “The reshaping of British Railways” was published. The “Beeching Axe” as it became known proposed a massive closure programme. He recommended the closure of one third of Britain ’s 18,000 mile railway network, mainly rural branches and cross country lines and 2,128 stations on lines that were to be kept open. His second report “The Development of the Major Railway Trunk Routes” proposed that all lines should be closed apart from the major intercity routes and important profit making commuter lines around the big cities leaving Britain with little more than a skeleton railway system and a large parts of the country entirely devoid of railways. This report was rejected by the government and Beeching resigned in 1965. Although Beeching was gone, the closure programme which commenced in 1963 continued unabated until it was brought to a halt in the early 1970’s; but, sadly, by that time the damage had been done. In 1955 the British railway system had 20,000 miles of track and 6,000 stations. By 1975 this had shrunk to 12,000 miles of track and 2,000 stations, roughly the same size it is today. Most of the rural sites were returned to nature, bridleways, footpaths and agriculture eg:The Middlewood Way and The Monsal Trail, although many of the stations still survive in some form or another, some being transformed into houses and cafës while others linger on in the undergrowth, sad, neglected and forgotten. This picture is of Higher Poynton Station which was simply known as Poynton. You can see the roofline of the Boars Head pub in the background.

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Director’s Notes The Titfield Thunderbolt transports us back to a gentler time of steam trains, charabancs, and the slightly eccentric inhabitants of Titfield. The play has been a joy to direct and I must acknowledge the support I have received from the committee in allowing (most of) my wild ideas to bring the play to the stage. As always of course there is a whole army of backstage people without whom no play would be possible and I'm extremely grateful for all their help, encouragement and support. Finally, thank you to the wonderful cast who have all worked so hard at their roles and putting up with me. They have all bought so much to the play and made rehearsals and directing such fun. So folks, collect your luggage, have your tickets ready and all aboard for the Titfield Thunderbolt! Best wishes John Lomax Henry Tiberius Lomax - Henry This is Henry ’s first appearance with the Woodford Players. Henry is no stranger to the spotlight having appeared on BBC’s North West Tonight, as well as being a featured model for Bib & Tucker neckwear for discerning dogs. www.bibandtuckerstore.com. Henry will be modelling some examples at each performance and will be available after the show for autographs and selfies. Woodford Community Players gratefully acknowledges the vital support of the following: Christ Church Woodford for rehearsal facilities Mark Wilkinson for help erecting the raked seating All our advertisers, please lend them your support and those who have assisted with our publicity.

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550 Chester Road, Woodford, Stockport. SK7 1PS If you haven’t visited this pub, put it on your “to do” list because you are in for a treat A warm welcome awaits you at The Davenport Arms (The Thief’s Neck). The Hallworth family, now in their fifth generation at the pub and the longest serving family of any pub in Robinsons’ 330-strong estate, have been pulling pints at the Davenport for more than 80 years. A considerable achievement indeed. Relax in this lovely pub and enjoy a pint of perfectly kept beer or choose from a large selection of fine wines. An extensive traditional food menu as well as a selection of delicious grazing boards will leave you spoiled for choice. Scrummy, locally sourced food and a great atmosphere always provides customers with the perfect setting for a cosy festive season celebration. Early booking is always advised as this popular pub gets booked up very quickly. A traditional, family run, country pub offering high quality food, drinks and perfectly kept Robinson’s beers. 0161 439 2435

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Synopsis of Scenes The action takes place in Titfield and Mallingford District -~ Time 1952 Act One Scene 1 - Titfield Village Scene 2 - Titfield Railway Station Scene 3 - Down Country Lanes / Mungo’s Farmyard Scene 4 - Titfield Railway Station Scene 5 - The Vicarage Scene 6 - The Pig and Whistle Public House Scene 7 - Titfield Railway Station Scene 8 - The Village Hall Scene 9 - Titfield Railway Station / On The Train / On The Bus Act Two Scene 1 - In The Countryside Scene 2 - On The Train Scene 3 - The Pig and Whistle Public House Scene 4 - Near The Engine Shed Scene 5 - The Vicarage Scene 6 - Titfield Railway Station / On The Train Scene 7 - Mallingford Station

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Titfield Thunderbolt Cast Mr Blakeworth Dan Clifton Vernon Crump Lady Edna Chesterford Harry Crump Joan Weech Rev Sam Weech Mr Valentine Miss Coggett Mrs Bottomley Derek Snowdon Heather Braddock Barney Young-Southward David Carlile Sue Mooney Pete Thompson Catherine Eaton Derek Snowdon Tom Dawson Nicola Detheridge Nicola Detheridge Miss Ruddock Sgt. Wilson Railway inspector Clegg Henry Janet Mullen Pete Thompson Tom Dawson Henry Tiberius Lomax Titfield Thunderbolt Production Team Director Technical Director and Lighting Design Stage Manager Production Manager Continuity Set Design Set Construction Team and Stage Crew John Lomax Trevor McKelvey Derek Manton Pat Snowdon Pat Helicon John Lomax Trevor McKelvey, Derek & Pat Snowdon, Tom Dawson, Derek & Carolyn Manton, Graham & Carol Ackers, Wilson Young, Melloney Lenk, James Cawley, John Lomax, Graham Scurfield, Pat Helicon, Barbara Young Graham Scurfield Pat and Derek Snowdon, Carolyn Manton Sound Engineer Properties Wardrobe Dresser Publicity Programme Design Photography Front of House Team John Lomax, Tom Dawson, The Cast and Jude Craig Monica Wickham Tom Dawson and Jude Craig Jude Craig Ian M Butterfield, and Derek Manton Andrew Eaton, Barbara Starr, Graham Ackers, James Cawley, Carol Ackers, Teresa Dawson, Alan & Lindsay Statham, Margaret Roberts, Tom Helicon, Monica Wickham Teresa Dawson and Carol Ackers Refreshments

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All Aboard with the Titfield Thunderbolt Cast Sue Mooney - Lady Edna Chesterford In my 40th year of being involved with amateur theatre and having played many characters from “Edith Piaf,” “Shirley Valentine” and even stripping off for Calendar Girls I now find myself playing dotty old women, a bit like Dame Maggie Smith, and she's not done too badly. In this production of The Titfield Thunderbolt, “Lady Edna Chesterford” is indeed dotty but a joy to play. One of the highlights during the last 40 years for me was to ride a horse side saddle onto the lawns of Gawsworth Hall during an outdoor performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, my latest highlight is to share the stage tonight with a beautiful Pug called Henry. I expect to be upstaged by him as we perform up close to our audience " in the round". Catherine Eaton - Catherine has performed in a number of plays with Woodford, most recently appearing as “Belinda” in Season’s Greetings. Although occasionally finding it a challenge to juggle rehearsals with family life and the demands of work, Catherine shares “Joan Weech’s” view that, ‘A determined woman can do, “most anything she sets her mind to”. David Carlile - Vernon Crump Welcome to Crump's Automobile Charabanc Kickstarter evening. All contributions will be gratefully received to upgrade our intended fleet of high class buses which will whisk you down the leafy byways. Forget that ludicrous train. We have better passengers. Take young Carlile Esq, a 'thespian' they say though I don't hold truck with such types personally, especially as he keeps tapping down the aisle and Stepping Out of me bus. Hope he trips! He directed some of me loyal passengers in Season's Greetings and Quartet...didn't have to age 'em down in the latter production in my opinion. I expect he'll try and take the train as he does float around a bit sticking his nose in directing and acting. Been doin' it for years he says. Best performance was when he couldn't pay his bus ticket and feigned hole in pocket. Make sure to hop aboard me winged chariot next time you are in Woodford and remember, 'it's safer by bus!' Janet Mullen - Miss Ruddock Janet has appeared on Woodford's stage many times in many varied roles. This time and for the first time, Janet is taking a part originally written for a male actor!, so Mr Ruddock has become Miss Ruddock. Janet is very happy to be taking on this character in this hilarious play. Barney Young-Southward - Clifton This is Barney ’s first production with The Woodford Players, having previously appeared in Our Day Out and The Heist with Cheadle Hulme Young Players and he is particularly enjoying sharing the stage (and indeed the train) with his Mum and Grandad. By day, Barney studies Music and Performing Arts at Aquinas College.

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Tom Dawson - Mr Valentine & Mr Clegg Tom has appeared in several of Woodford’s plays in a variety of roles. He went mad as “George III”, played the sex obsessed operatic star “Wilfred Bond” in Quartet was chained to a radiator for months in Someone Who’ll Watch over me and in his last performance in Seasons Greetings played the incompetent puppet mad “Doctor Bernard”. This time he plays the retired alcoholic business man “Valentine “and the straight laced civil servant “Railway inspector Clegg.” He also assists in set design and building for the Players. Nicola Detheridge - Miss Coggett & Mrs Bottomley This is Nicola's debut for Woodford Players and her first time on stage in 20 years. Nicola says she has learned a lot from the "lovely" cast and crew and thanks John Lomax for her enjoyable role - though she would like to apologise in advance to any Welsh audience members here tonight! Nicola said of her experience with Woodford - "It's been a fun and memorable journey aboard The Titfield Thunderbolt!" Derek Snowdon - Mr Blakeworth & Rev Sam Weech Derek has been backstage with the Players for many years and still helps with set building and props, aiding and abetting his wife Pat in sourcing and creating props, the odder the better eg an Egyptian mummy and two ostriches. He has taken on many acting roles over the past five years, mainly serious parts but played his first comedic role as “Uncle Harvey” in the anarchic, chaotic Season's Greetings. Tonight he takes on two roles as the pompous town clerk of Mallingford and the rather earnest, well meaning, train-mad vicar of Titfield, proving that "you can be in two places at once"! Heather Braddock - Dan Taylor This play marks Heather ’s 66th appearance for Woodford Players. Heather first appeared in 1954 as “Sally” in Quiet Weekend at the age of thirteen. She counts “Lady Airlie” in Crown Matrimonial as one her favourite roles as well as the haughty and scheming “Mrs Steerforth” in David Copperfield together with “Miss Maple” in Death by Fatal Murder and the redoubtable “Mrs Fraser” in Stepping Out. Heather has thoroughly enjoyed playing bewhiskered old “Dan” and hopes you enjoy the show tonight. Pete Thompson - Harry Crump Pete is delighted to be back performing at Woodford in this, his third play for the Players, following his debut in Celebration last season and Season's Greetings - as the title suggests - last Christmas. As a dual member at Poynton Players, he has managed to squeeze in a performance in Veronica's Room in between, so it’s been a busy season but once you get the acting 'bug' it's hard to shake off! Pete hopes you have as much fun watching this refreshing, family-friendly play as he and the cast have had rehearsing and performing it, and feel compelled to join in the action - all aboard!

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This classic Victorian thriller was first produced in 1935. Bella Manningham is slowly being driven insane, but by whom and for what reason? This compelling and sometimes eerie play follows Bella’s sinking into despair, self doubt and near insanity until help appears…… Join us in November and be transported to the Manningham household and discover the reasons for the intermittent fading gaslight and Bella’s near insanity. We look forward to seeing you. Tickets for our plays can be booked at www.woodfordplayers.ticketsource.co.uk or telephone 0333 666 3366 The Titfield Thunderbolt Fun Quiz…. 1. 2. 3. 4. What is the meaning of Ferroequinologist? What were the names of Stockport’s two other stations closed in the 60s? What is the name of the steam locomotive that holds the speed record additional point for when and where? Name as many films as you can that involve rail travel? (1 point for each film named) 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. What was the name of the last steam locomotive built for service on British rail additional point for when and where? What city would you be in if you were at the following stations: Gare-du-Nord, Ramses, Penn Station? What train saw the murder of Mr Ratchett and Cassetti? If you travelled on the Bullet train which country would you be in? Name the two song’s and the artists from these opening lines, “The next stop we make will be in England” and “Sitting on a railway station ,got a ticket for my destination ” 10. What was the actual station seen in the film version of The Titfield Thunderbolt?

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