NOSTALGIA: Surprise in the lamp

Nostalgia - United Reform Church Players panto rehearsal of Aladdin in 1987 ANL-160616-154454005
Nostalgia - United Reform Church Players panto rehearsal of Aladdin in 1987 ANL-160616-154454005
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This photograph was taken in January 1987 during the Stowmarket United Reformed Church Players’ panto rehearsals.

The players were staging Aladdin, their second production, at the church to raise money for its rebuilding fund.

Directed by John Webb, the show featured 20 players and its highlight was the appearance of a surprise “guest star” in the role of the Genie.

Pictured are Philip Boast as Wishy Washy, Paul Laflin as Widow Twankey, the “surprise” Genie and Aladdin played by Joanne Webb.

HEADLINES FROM THE PAST

10 YEARS AGO

Part of Bury St Edmunds had to be cordoned off and shops evacuated when a lorry burst into flames.

Witnesses reported seeing flames reaching 30ft into the air as firefighters battled the fire near the back of Marks & Spencer in High Baxter Street. Thick plumes of spoke dominated the skyline as three fire crews attempted to stop the blaze spreading to nearby shops.

Driver Peter Largent, who had made a delivery to Barrats, said he had heard what sounded like a fuse blow when he turned his ignition on.

“I got out of my cab and could flames jumping from the engine,” he said.

Staff and customers at Argos and Hughes Electrical, in Buttermarket, were evacuated while police sealed off High Baxter Street at both ends.

25 YEARS AGO

Tourism and business in Thetford would be hit by the closure of the ‘irreplaceable’ Kilverstone Wildlife Park, warned the town’s mayor.

Cllr Gary McGinty said the shock announcement by park owner Lord Fisher would ‘ripple through the community’ for a long time to come.

He said the closure of the park on September 10 was bound to reflect on the local economy, resulting in the loss of a large number of people who were attracted to the town because of Kilverstone, which first opened in 1973,.

“We will become a tiny wilderness – Kilverstone is a Thetford institution and there is nothing to replace it,” he said, adding that Thetford had no other major tourist attractions to compensate for the loss of the park.

100 YEARS AGO

We regretfully record the death of Lance Corporal W Hale, son of Mr and Mrs Hale, of Shimpling, who has been killed in action. This letter by J Morse, 2nd Lieut, gives some details of the late soldier’s death.

“Dear Mrs Hale, it is with the deepest sympathy that I write to you to let you know that your son was killed in action on the 17th.

I was in a dug-out nearby and went out to see him the moment I heard, but nothing could be done.

L/Cpl Hale was in my platoon, and I always looked on him as one of my best NCOs. He was always cheery and bright, and did his work very well, and I feel the loss very greatly.

I can only offer you my sincere sympathies in your great loss, and may God help you in your sorrow.”