National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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Fifty (plus) Years of Fun

1st February 2017

In January 2014 Whitley Bay Pantomime Society celebrated its Golden Anniversary with “Aladdin” having being founded in 1964 by a group of local enthusiasts who noticed a lack of a Pantomime in the Whitley Bay area.  Over the years the Society has steadily built up a high reputation with audiences, bringing the fun and pleasure of Pantomime to many and continues to do so and the Society’s Vice President, Valerie Hopper, thought 50 years of unbroken service by volunteers presenting annual Pantomime in the town was something to be proud of. 
Many people had been involved in reaching this goal and she felt it important that their stories and memories be recorded before time moved on and they were lost forever. So, archives were raided, members past and present contacted for personal contributions and after four years of research and a grant from Sir James Knott Trust to cover the cost of printing, “Fifty Years of Fun” a history of Whitley Bay Pantomime Society was finally published in January 2017.  Valerie arranged for the official launch of the book on 30th May at Whitley Bay Library, where she gave a talk on how it all came about.  The book is now available through the Society for £5, all proceeds to Society funds although Valerie stresses, this was not the reason she was inspired to write the book.  She simply wanted to ensure that the dedication and love of pantomime of those people she knew and worked with, some sadly no longer around, was not forgotten and would act as an inspiration to those now following in their footsteps.
(Councillors footnote: I have seen and read the book and it is a great look back into the history of the society.)

Valerie at Book launch