Rolleston on Dove Special Events Committee (RODSEC)
News 200


RODSEC - Winter 2009 News 
(Details extracted from article that first appeared in the Winter 2009 issue of the Rollestonian)

Our Last Event - “An Audience with the King & Legendary Buffet”

It was a humbling experience to be faced, or should I say bowed, before the real McCoy, or the very next thing to it. It was like talking to Holbein’s actual painting of King Henry VIII. His Majesty, John White, had us bowing and scraping and eating humble pie after firing off salvos of magnificent “put downs” to those citizen victims bold, brave and daft enough to petition the formidable John. A magnificent transformation took place as he put on the motley. Each thread of gold glowed even brighter, colours shone with intensity and an aura emanated from the colossal presence commanding the small stage. It looked and felt more like “An Audience with the Bling”!

A packed and appreciative audience applauded the King with a richly deserved standing ovation at the end. As Henry took the stage on three separate occasions trickles of perspiration were seen to flow and merge into a veritable torrent by the end of a superb and generous performance. Henry did indeed rule. As the Royal Question Master he was infallible and the temptation to stick out your neck and challenge his wisdom was seen as being rather too risky.

Between each Act a right royal buffet was enjoyed by the hungry subjects. Our thanks go to Lady Beryl Toon, Countess Verity Conner and the sweet princesses for their culinary expertise. Tom and Sylvia’s bounteous raffle has swelled our coffers too. We are grateful to the Committee of Rolleston Club and their staff for the use of the hall and making us so welcome. Special thanks to Starbucks News for selling so many of our tickets.

You can keep your Staffordshire Hoard. There can be no better site than a hoard of people enjoying another superb RODSEC night out. We hope you can make it to our next entertainment in the spring.

And Our Next One! - A Live & Local Event (supported by Staffordshire County Council & East Staffordshire Borough Council)
Ashley Hutchings’ Rainbow Chasers - Sunday 21st March, 2010, 7.30pm - Rolleston Club - £7.50

Tickets available from John Phillips, 78 Beacon Road, Delia Wyers, 12 Alderbrook Close, Starbucks Newsagents, Burnside or phone 01283 813833

Ashley Hutchings is to British folk rock what John Mayall is to British blues. Beginning in the 1960s, Ashley co-founded legendary folk rock groups Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, and The Albion Band.

Throughout his career, Ashley has sought to inspire and nurture new talent. A result of this is the Rainbow Chasers, a collaboration with young, talented musicians that takes folk to new places. Ashley’s joined by Ruth Angell on vocals, fiddle and guitar, Jo Hamilton on viola and guitar (both girls are recent graduates of the Birmingham Conservatoire) and talented young guitarist and singer songwriter Joe Topping.

It’s an intimate evening of very high quality music which really sets an atmosphere and will suit an attentive crowd who will enjoy having this wonderfully rich sound wash over them. There are some up-tempo bits but these are foot tapping rather than the foot stomping kind! And their rapport with the audience is excellent as they love to talk and tell stories about their music.

“I was stunned by the beauty of their harmonies….It was a perfect performance that was over far too quickly!” (Live & Local Audience Member)

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RODSEC - Autumn 2009 News 
(Details extracted from article that first appeared in the Autumn 2009 issue of the Rollestonian)


Like so many of you, RODSEC personnel have enthusiastically participated in a remarkable flourish of summer-time activities. The summer of 2009 was an exceptional season. These events – Scout Carnival, Transport Festival, FOJORPS Community Day, Rollestonbury, John of Rolleston Centenary & Edwardian Fayre, St Mary’s Gardens Sunday & Scarecrow Competition - blossomed beautifully and enriched our collective experience. With your help, we shall seek to support and promote further events such as these. In addition, we aim to identify broad themes that can stimulate and draw upon the support of all village organizations in the promotion of more free, meaningful and enjoyable events.

John Of Rolleston Centenary Celebrations

The Rolleston Guisers
It seems strange, at this sodden time, to recall people desperately seeking shade rather than shelter.

It was a hot, sweltering late afternoon that presented, to unsuspecting onlookers, the strange site of raggedy troubadours fluttering down Beacon Road to join in the Centenary Celebration of our Primary School at the Sherborne Site. For weeks, a tatty cast of old and new remnants had been tacked together to form a tailor-made company of guisers. Their brilliant and diverting costumes were an attempt to disguise, rather unsuccessfully, the identity of the misguided performers.

The setting was a vibrant Edwardian Fayre, with pupils, parents and guests milling in a marvellous mid-summer mix. To this was added the guiser ingredient. Three five minute pinches were sprinkled into a scooped out hot space.

Although broadly comic, our play involves a battle between two characters, representing good against evil. In this drama a hero is seen to triumph over the villain. The play features a doctor who has a magic potion which is able to resuscitate a slain character who then returns to the cycle of battle, slaughter and revival. The Rolleston Guiser play has a cast of six characters. In order of performance, they are The Leader (prologue) Bergit Renner, Black Prince (villain) John Phillips, King George (hero) Ced Morgan, Queen Mother (villain’s mother) Cherry Roberts, Doctor (quack) Delia Wyers and Beelzebub (epilogue) Arnold Burston.

The heavy costumes and blazing sunshine left the guisers feeling like burgers on a barbecue. I could feel the heat rising from the playground as I played dead, eagerly waiting the cooling gulp of green gunge to splat onto my face, at the end of its downward journey from the doctor’s blue medicine bottle. It was amusing to hear gasps of disgust as the magic potion plopped into place and did the trick!

At the end of the drama, the profusely perspiring guisers invited onlookers to drop money into their satchels. We had provided all pupils with copper coins for this purpose and the money collected was added to Year 6’s charity project.

We are grateful to John of Rolleston and the Centenary Celebration Committee for including the Rolleston Guisers in this joyful celebration. It was fun. The moment brought so many different people together. In a way, it began to feel a bit like a re-enactment. Arranged in our friendship groups, we appeared to be waiting for registration. If a bell had rung, all would have formed lines and then waited, until silent, to be lead inside for lessons. Being assembled on the yard, with its pre-historic painted circles and curious hieroglyphs on red brick walls was a nostalgic moment: a return to those straw - blown, golden summers of long ago, and a fluttering re-connection with the old pulse of our rural heritage.

Mr Ian Bateman, Headteacher of John of Rolleston, was most generous in his letter of thanks to RODSEC. In it he mentioned the key role that we had played:

“Your extremely generous donation (£500.00) allowed the children to experience the Edwardian Classroom role play, which in turn helped them to be immersed into the life as it would have been 100 years ago and therefore have a deeper understanding of history.”

He goes on to thank the Guisers:

“I feel that the plays really added to the authenticity of the whole Fayre. The children were mesmerised as the acting started up each time. The costumes also livened up the look of the Fayre.”

It was so good to see Alan Partington’s and John Underhill’s expansive village model on display in the School Hall. Wherever it goes, a great deal of interest is shown. It was particularly good to see so many former pupils poring over this detailed representation of our village. Surrounding it were models made by children that had been inspired by the original.

John Underhill’s creativity had been harnessed further in the production an impressive Punch & Judy Theatre. John Morris had the good sense to stand in the shade while grinding out Edwardian iTunes from his ingenious contraption.


Live & Local
It is pleasing to report that we (RODSEC & Rolleston Pre-School) have been successful in securing our first choice selections for the new season. These choices were made following lengthy consultation. As a result we hope it results in sell out performances. Coming to our village are entertainers of the highest quality.

“Ten Days …That Shook the Kitchen”
The Rolleston Pre-School Group welcomes Ginny Davis Productions on Friday 2nd October. The John of Rolleston School Hall, on the Alderbrook Site, seems to be an appropriate venue for this hilarious entertainment.

Ginny Davis has written and stars in a ‘secret diary’ of a middle-aged, middle-class mum which features Stroppy Kids, Embarrassing Husband, 34DD ‘friend’, Kylie Minogue and Elvis Presley. The show describes ten days in the life of Ruth Rich, an ordinary mum of three who, in response to a magazine article, starts to write a diary. You‘ll recognise the familiar packed schedule of mums everywhere – swimming lessons, supermarket shopping, PTA meetings, visits by the gruesome in-laws, whingeing kids. It’s all given a hilarious twist when she prangs the car into delectable Milly’s Dad’s BMW! Tickets are available from Sharon Harrison and Pre-School Committee Members.

Ashley Hutchings’ Rainbow Chasers
As soon as you get your diary for 2010, you are advised to highlight the evening of Sunday 21st March, 2010, as this is the day when the legendary musician Ashley Hutchings brings to Rolleston Club his outstandingly talented Rainbow Chasers. (See below for a bit more information about Ashley.)

To have secured this booking is something of a coup for RODSEC. We are very much looking forward to the special moment when we can all join Ashley Hutchings and “Meet on the Ledge”.

RODSEC Calendar

Friday 2nd October 2009 Live & Local: Pre-School
“TEN DAYS…That Shook The Kitchen!”
“A sort of Bridget Jones for the 40+ generation …”
A funny, true-to-life show that will have any ‘harassed Mums’ nodding and laughing at themselves
John of Rolleston
Alderbrook Site
Sunday 11 October


Our Major Autumn Event
An Audience with King Henry VIII & Legendary Buffet Henry VIII makes his Royal Progress, touring his Realm, in commemoration of the anniversary of his accession to the Throne in 1509.
Book early for this feast of an evening! It features the culinary skills of the buffet legend, Lady Beryl Toon.
Tickets: £7.50
See our advert in Autumn Issue of the Rollestonian.
Rolleston Club


Sunday 21st March 2010


Live & Local: RODSEC
Ashley Hutchings’ Rainbow Chasers
Anyone who knows a bit about folk music will be drawn to this show with folk legend Ashley Hutchings (Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, The Albion Band) at the top of the bill; however, The Rainbow Chasers aren’t just a star vehicle. By all accounts, this is a fantastic show. Don’t miss it! (See the Spring 2010 Edition of Rollestonian for more details)
Rolleston Club

Concluding Comments

We are, of course, involved in an on - going discussion about the nature, shape and form of our next whole - village event. Your suggestions, ideas and comments will be most welcome. If you would like to contribute to this discussion please get in touch with your nearest RODSEC Committee Member or contact me at: -

78 Beacon Road, Rolleston on Dove, Burton upon Trent, DE13 9EQ. Tel: 01283 813833

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 9th September at 7.00pm in the Old Grammar School.

John Phillips RODSEC Chairman

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RODSEC - Summer 2009 News 
(Details extracted from article that first appeared in the Summer 2009 issue of the Rollestonian)

Reluctantly, RODSEC has been nudged into another era with the long-signalled departure of Arnold Burston and Tom Martin from the posts of Chairman and Secretary respectively. At the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 10th March a nifty piece of community engineering hoisted and then lowered into the considerable voids caused by these departures two new replacements. Delia Wyers has agreed to undertake the role of Minutes Secretary and I (John Phillips) find myself concreted into the foundations as the third chairman in the eight year history of RODSEC. It is the memory of Ann Burston, the friendship of Arn and the persuasiveness of Tom that ultimately caused me to accept this challenge. We are determined to do justice to their example and move this brilliant concept forward. Much needed stability is provided by Ron Price who continues as Vice-Chairman and Helen Barnett, who maintains control of the purse strings as our Treasurer. In a short time, RODSEC has been assimilated into the culture of the village. Its achievements are legendary and celebrated far and wide in these parts. Indeed, it would not surprise me to find our road signs replaced with new ones that read “RODSEC ON DOVE”!


It was still winter when the remarkable Daniel Smith Blues Band performed to a full and very appreciative audience, on the evening of Sunday 15 March. The ambience of Rolleston Club’s Function Room lends itself to this classy and intimate entertainment. The music was great and the atmosphere was superb. We intend to maintain our link with Live & Local so that we can continue to offer entertainment of this kind. Watch this space for our next booking at this excellent venue.

An interesting development is the incorporation of Sharon Harrison, of Rolleston Pre-School in RODSEC’s officer structure. We are grateful to Sharon for undertaking the role of Live & Local Secretary. The Pre-School building is in decline and needs to be replaced. If it is not replaced there are likely to be long term damaging implications for our village The Pre - School Management Committee is striving to raise funds in order to preserve this vital village amenity. Staging a Live & Local event will help with their fund-raising and ultimately benefit our community.

This is a good example of RODSEC policy in practice, with active support being given to member organisations. We know that there is real strength in numbers!

John of Rolleston Centenary Celebrations

RODSEC has voted a grant of £500.00 to the village school. We are told that this money will go towards the cost of a Theatre in Education Project. The Headteacher, Ian Bateman, writes “The donation, plus another £500.00 from FOJORPS, will allow us to run Edwardian classroom workshops without charging the children to take part”.
In addition, we have made arrangements to provide the school with Alan Partington’s and John Underhill’s impressive village model. We are also aiming to perform, for a second time, the Rolleston Guisers’ Play. This was last performed on 23 October 2005, at the Trafalgar Day celebrations.

Future Calendar

Sunday 11th October Rolleston Club
“An Audience with King Henry VIII” – Henry VIII makes his Royal Progress, touring his realm, in commemoration of the anniversary of his accession to the Throne in 1509

Sept/Oct John of Rolleston School
Live & Local event

Feb/March 2010 Rolleston Club
Live & Local Event

Concluding Comments

Through the activities of RODSEC, Tom and Arn have helped to make Rolleston a very special place to live in. In eight years, they have covered so much ground, touched so many lives and enriched our experience of community life. I am personally grateful to them. Because of them and their remarkable team I have enjoyed and learned so much. Their powerful, positive and friendly influence has made me proud to be a Rollestonian. Theirs is a difficult act to follow. However, it is our aim to continue the good example that Tom & Arn have set and move on. We are looking to support and expand upon the experience of community life. Do let us know if you can help.

John Phillips

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RODSEC - News Update (April 2009)

Change of Officers

After eight years of successful trail blazing Tom Martin and Arnold Burston have stood down from their respective posts as RODSEC officers. These manoeuvres were effected at the Annual General Meeting, held on 10th March 2009. The new RODSEC officers are Chairman John Phillips and Minutes Secretary Delia Wyers. Continuing as officers are Helen Barnett (Treasurer) and Ron Price (Vice-Chair).

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RODSEC - Spring 2009 News 
(Details extracted from article that first appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of the Rollestonian)

Annual General Meeting

The Eighth Annual General Meeting of RODSEC will be held on Tuesday 10th March 2009 at 7.30pm in the Old Grammar School under the chairmanship of Mrs Beryl Toon, Chairman of the Parish Council. All are welcome.

As reported previously the future of the organisation depends on the election of a new Chairman and Secretary and nominations for these positions are welcomed It is hoped that these will be forthcoming and that the next issue of Rollestonian (Summer 2009) will be able to report on the start of a new programme of activities.

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RODSEC - News Update (January 2009)

Daniel Smith Blues Band

The next RODSEC event will be a concert by the nationally known blues pianist Daniel Smith and his three fellow musicians who play guitar, harmonica, bass and drums. The concert, sponsored by "Live & Local", will be at Rolleston Club on Sunday 15th March at 7.30 p.m. Tickets, costing £6.50, are available from Starbuck News or from Tom Martin (813320) or Arnold Burston (813457). If you liked the "Heart of England" and the "Brassketeers" you'll love this one!


The Annual General Meeting of the Rolleston on Dove Special Events Committee will be held in the Old Grammar School on Tuesday 10th March at 7.30 p.m. This year, the Chairman, Arnold Burston, and the Secretary, Tom Martin, will both be retiring from those positions, but both will continue to support RODSEC. The Committee is seeking "new blood" and new ideas. The Chairman has prepared a brief history of the organisation to help incoming officers with their planning.ively.

Arnold Burston and Tom Martin announced that they wished to retire at the next AGM. They had been involved throughout the life of RODSEC and its predecessor, the Millennium Committee. Both were prepared to continue to contribute to RODSEC activities but had other commitments and considered it time for “new blood”

Membership of RODSEC continues to include representatives from all the main village organisations plus several interested villagers.


In addition to organising periodic entertainment, it is a RODSEC objective to raise funds for village amenities.

Our last donation was for an installation of an external electricity supply from the refurbished Old Grammar School. This will provide a safe supply to marquees or other equipment on the Croft.

RODSEC is currently in discussion with St Mary’s Church and other interested organisations in contributing to the provision of a mobile staging system. The system would be housed normally in St Mary’s and greatly enhance our ability to provide entertainment within the Church.

It would be available also to participating organisations for temporary staging in other venues.

Live & Local

Following last year’s successful collaboration with Live & Local we have bid for two more shows in the 2008/9 season. With the cooperation of Rolleston Club we hope to have events one Sunday evening in October and March. We will have more details for the Autumn issue of Rollestonian

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Last updated: 29 March 2010