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Bells Grammar School - Trial by Jury - 1954

A Bells production

Can anyone recall this production?

The pupils were performing the Gilbert and Sullivan opera Trial by Jury.

Trial by Jury legendLegend (kindly constructed by John Ricketts):

1 Mr Probert, 2 Miss Evans (Music teacher), 3 John Nash, 4 Malcolm Smith, 5 John Ricketts, 6 John Leaning?, 7 Roger Howells, 8 Keith Dorrington, 9, 10, 11 Madge Hinton, 12 Diane Wilding, 13 Valerie Cooper, 14 Janet Pitt, 15 Joan Evans Valerie Jenkins, 16 Janet Aston. 17 ? Cooper 18, 19 Mr Dowle, 20 Mr Margerison (Producer)

Thanks to John Ricketts and Gill Knowles.

Joe Buffrey added "The man playing the violin (number 1) is I believe Mr Probert who taught music at Double View Secondary Modern when I was a pupil there between 1958 and 1963".

Tana Burdon, a former Bells pupil sent in this account of a production of The Mikado: "... I was a former pupil at old Bell's Grammar School circa 1959 - 1962 'ish. The school's amateur operatic society annually produced a version of a Guilbert & Sullivan Opera, we had great fun taking part in the chorus, dressing up in hired costumes, attending rehearsals with Mr Margerisson and Mr Roberts the music master. Several of the staff including Mr Margerisson & Colin Evans took leading roles in the opera's. I particularly recall The Mikado,( The Town of Titipoo ) when I was one of the three little maids from school, the three of us were in competition over gaining the interest of one of the senior boys and as I remember one said to the other "If you don't leave off I will kick you into the big drum..( in the orchestra pit )!" All this live on stage as we three sweet little maids were performing as smiling little Geisha girls hiding behind our Japanese fans. We helped with painting the opera scenery with our art teacher Miss Beaufoy and skiving from sports lessons in order to do so . The event was greatly enjoyed both by those who participated and by the local Coleford community".

"John Gratton was the local area Youth Organiser for Coleford & the Forest of Dean, he organised educational youth exchanges to Germany to the Harz mountains. Many of the Bell's school pupils were involved in these exchanges which were a brave & pioneering experience of confidence building following so closely after the second world war".

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