Rolleston on Dove Special Events Committee (RODSEC)
News 2016


RODSEC - Winter 2016 News
(Details extracted from article that first appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of the Rollestonian)

RoDSEC Events

Live & Local

Supported by Arts Council England, Staffordshire County Council & East Staffordshire Borough Council

Fever! The Life & Loves of Peggy Lee
Sarah Moule with pianist Simon Wallace
Sunday 2nd October 7:30pm in Rolleston Club

Deliriously Fantastic Fever

The arrival of gifted professional entertainers in rural regions, as sure as falling leaves and meandering morning mists, signals the start of a new season of entertainments. A change in the air brings a noticeable excitement, fully justified by the arrival of Sarah Moule and Simon Wallace early in October. This remarkable marriage of talent provided a very fine cabaret tribute to the turbulent life and universally loved music of one of the ‘greats’ of 20th century popular song. An informative biographical thread ran through this superbly sustained entertainment, illuminated with stunning renditions of Peggy Lee classics such as: ‘Fever’, ‘Black Coffee’, ‘Why Do Right?’,’ I’m a Woman’, ‘He’s a Tramp’, ‘The Folks Who Live on the Hill’ and some surprising gems from Lee’s six decade career.

Sarah Moule’s exquisite interpretations and insights into Lee’s life brought shine to a golden repertoire. Sarah is a massive talent with outstanding technique. Pianist Simon Wallace’s cool, swinging arrangements truly evoked the brief period when jazz and popular music went hand-in-hand. As they turned back the pages of a sublime songbook, brimming with beautifully written masterpieces, this gifted duo treated us to virtuoso performances of great jazz classics. This wonderful show will live long in memory.

Stunningly preformed contemporary arrangements and homages to Peggy Lee thrilled a knowledgeable and highly appreciative audience. In delivering a classy and extensive set of twenty one jazz gems, Sarah and Simon brought to Rolleston a wonderful late-night jazz club atmosphere. Consummate artistry cast a cool spell to calm the fevered brow.

Thanks to all who helped to get the show on the road. We are grateful to Staffordshire County Council and East Staffordshire Borough Council for their continuing support of this marvellous concept. People, organizations and business from across the village have helped in the delivery of this so very pleasant community experience. Special thanks to the committee and all those who sold tickets, including the charming ticket masters at Starbucks. Also, our grateful thanks to the management and staff of Rolleston Club. This superb venue seems to bring out the best in performers. The place has a special atmosphere, inspiring artistes to deliver terrific performances. This certainly is the place to see outstanding live performances.

Diary Date: Sunday 2nd April 2017
in Rolleston Club at 7:30pm
“Call Mr Robeson. A Life, with Songs”
- our next Live & Local entertainment

This compelling and award-winning one-man show (and pianist) pays tribute to the dramatic life and songs of the legendary black American actor, singer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson. A remarkable and moving piece of musical theatre: high quality drama, first class singing.

Community Carol Singing
Round the Village Christmas Tree
6:30pm - 7:30pm Friday 9th December
Almshouses lawn
(if weather inclement in St Mary’s Church)

Come and see the Mayor of East Staffordshire, Councillor Beryl Toon, light up the place when she switches on Rolleston village Christmas tree lights. Be there at the start to join in the count down. Come with your lanterns and torches; see our lights fantastic and sing-a-long with the Burton Salvation Army Band. Ian Whitehead will guide us through another perfect night.

Murder Mystery 4
Tickets £7.50 – light supper included
by Phoenix Theatre Group –
7:30pm Sunday 5th February
in Rolleston Club

Questions: Last year, the question posed was “Who Killed the Mad Scientist?”

Whose turn next? Who did it? Why? What time is it? When can I buy tickets?

Answers: Buy a ticket and turn up on Sunday 5th February, when all will be revealed. Tickets will be on sale by the end of this year.

Beautifully bizarre!

RoDSEC Long Term Planning

Village Special Events to Mark the End of World War I Centenary

As we continue to be reminded of the awful anniversaries of First World War events, we are moved to mark, in special ways, the ending the Great War with two distinct and different events. The first would be commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day on Sunday 11th November 2018 and the second, nearly a year later, on Saturday 29th June 2019, a Peace Celebration coinciding with the centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

As with previous RoDSEC events, we invite all to join in and take part in creating two special occasions that are fitting, appropriate and inspirational. We aim to make these an exciting experience, with artists and craftspeople, musicians and players bringing their talents to a festival occasion. We are looking to involve people of all ages and are keen to attract support from organizations, clubs, schools, groups, teams, classes and businesses. We are in the early stages of planning and will be pleased to hear from you.

RoDSEC meets again on Tuesday 10th January at 7:30pm in St Mary’s Church; you are welcome to attend.

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RODSEC - Autumn 2016 News
(Details extracted from article that first appeared in the Autumn 2016 issue of the Rollestonian)

Rolleston on Dove’s Charity Tea Party
In support of the Mayor of East Staffordshire,
Councillor Beryl Toon’s chosen charities
Saturday 23rd July 3:00pm – 6:00pm
in Rolleston Scout Group HQ

As you know, Cllr. Beryl Toon became Mayor of East Staffordshire in May, a significant honour for a respected, hard-working Rollestonian. The Charity Tea Party gave us an opportunity to celebrate Beryl’s achievement and provide support for the Mayor’s Charity Fund. Both of these objectives were achieved in style. Thank you to all those who made this possible – there have been so many generous contributions.


The cost of this event was covered entirely by the generosity of a wonderful group of supportive organizations, businesses and individuals. We are so very grateful to all those who have so generously responded to RoDSEC’s request for sponsors and donors. Our financial benefactors include:

Alderbrook Properties; Allotment Society; BoBo’s Coffee Shop; Dove Valley Roofing; Doveside WI; FOJORPS; PCC Rolleston St Mary’s Church; Rolleston Cricket Club; Rolleston Parish Council; Rolleston Scout Group; Rolleston WI; Samble, Burton and Worth; Starbucks News; 4 Anonymous Donors & 1 Anonymous Sponsor for Luca Gallone (magician)

The Tea Party would not have been possible without the tremendous support of Rolleston Scout Group and their inspirational leader Graham Jacks. Their contribution has been hugely significant: free-of-charge use of the HQ and outside facilities, the field cleared of caravans, the provision of a fully stocked licensed bar and the use of a considerable amount of furniture and equipment.

Sun Shines on a Glittering Occasion

It was such a happy scene that greeted the eye as visitor’s stepped onto the extensive lawn at the rear of the Rolleston Scout Group’s magnificent headquarters. A party of 120 well-wishers was drawn into an idyllic Staffordshire setting. Throughout the first hour, the talented Tamarisk Parent’s Choir under their Music Director, Richard Syner, delivered a delightful choral summer sound track, only briefly interrupted by John Cartwright’s booming calls for the next round of the “Wheel of Fortune!” – the sound of summer. Other attractions included a most attractive raffle and ”Pop-a Cork”. It was good to see the displays brought by each of the Mayor’s chosen charities ( Rolleston Almshouse Charity, Burton and District YMCA and Age UK Burton). This was an extraordinary garden party, brimming with representatives from so many different facets of the community; a firmament of civic dignitaries, family, friends, admirers and well-wishers drawn from near and far. Uplifting to mingle and mix with so many happy, chattering, finely dressed people on this hot mid-summer day. At the centre of this galaxy, and outshining all, was Beryl Toon, in a beautifully tailored fine white suit surmounted by the glorious mayoral chain. The end of the first act was marked with the taking of a group photograph: all assembled, including those who had been working behind the scenes, and squinted painfully but patiently into the face of the sun.

This constellation broke and re-formed in the shady recesses of the main hall for a magnificent tea. As eyes adjusted to lower light - levels, there was a sharp intake of breath as party-goers took in a truly magnificent scene. Fifteen white-clothed round tables, dressed with a breathtaking assortment of fine china, trios, tea pots, milk jugs and sugar bowls, were sumptuously set for tea. Every part of this five star experience was executed immaculately. Wherever one gazed, there was something wonderful to behold. Beautifully made bunting curved attractively overhead, stunning flower arrangements brought summer inside. We were intoxicated by the heady perfume exquisite sweet peas. While our eyes were caressed by a magnificent visual experience, our taste buds tingled and tantalised by a delicious tea. Rising from each table were two pyramids of cake stands: the bottom tier arranged with a selection of sandwiches (cream cheese & smoked salmon, cheese and ham), nearby was a separate plate of small dinner rolls, some spread with mushroom pâté and others with egg and cress. The second tier was decked with a mouth-watering array of cakes, tempting and irresistible culinary masterpieces. Freshly baked 2½” scones capped this gastronomic mountain. Nearby were the essential accessories - miniature pots of strawberry conserve and small tubs of Cornish clotted cream. This entire crumb-rich utopia was quenched by an unending supply of gorgeous, hot Yorkshire tea. Good food tastes so much better when taken from fine china. We gently nibbled and sipped ourselves into a state of brewtopia.

Once assembled, we all stood for the entrance of “The Mayor” and remained standing for the “Saying of Grace” by the Mayor’s Chaplain, Rev Ian Whitehead. With taste buds tingling in expectation we sat down to the very best of teas, a delightful gastronomic experience which a skilful team had raised to an art form; a moment to be long-savoured. Beryl’s heart-felt comments were deeply moving; there can be no doubt how important living in Rolleston is to her. With the temperature rising rapidly, the table of raffle prizes was brought inside. Verity Conner had produced best of all raffles. Thanks to all who bought tickets and waited till the final winning number was drawn. Janet Stone’ magnificent flower arrangement was raffled off for £35 and Sue Irwin presented Beryl with a beautiful bouquet. Beryl was presented with an album filled with photographs taken at the Mayor Making and the Civic Parade in May. It was a significant moment in the history of our village when Councillor Beryl Toon put on the Mayor’s outfit of red robes, black tri-corn hat and valuable gold chain of office. It feels good to say that as a village we have marked it well.

None of this would have been possible without the support a committed team of local enthusiasts, who are known to folks in these parts as RoDSEC. I would like to thank in particular Sue Irwin for her brilliance and determination and the creative efforts of the committed and talented Tea Party Committee of Anna Nickel, Delia Wyers, Helen Barnett, Kate Bailey, Nick Willmot, Sue Fraser, Sue Irwin and Verity Conner. Also the lifters and shifters, Phil Irwin, Roy Martin and John Cartwright. Their enthusiasm and formidable determination delivered an absolutely tea-mendous occasion.

We are grateful to our champion growers and showers, Angie Gillespie & Janet Stone, for the delightful flower arrangements. The remarkable Phil Irwin and James Toon were responsible for a proliferation of three tiered cake stands: they are such cunning plate drillers.

A very special thanks to a superb catering crew for artfully producing a feast fit for a host of mayors and civic dignitaries. Thanks to Sue Siddall for bringing an abundance of bling to our feast. I am grateful to the representatives from each of Beryl’s nominated charities for attending this occasion and providing information about these good causes: Rolleston Almshouse Charity (Tom Martin) Burton & District YMCA (Paula Senior) and Age UK Burton (Jane Ingram)

With all tickets sold and just over £1000 received in donations, at the time of writing, it is too early to say how much we have raised for the Mayor’s Charity Fund. We are, of course, expecting a healthy total, which will be announced shortly via noticeboards and through village organizations.

John Phillips

Outline of another Thrilling Programme

The team that brought to you crazy kazoo mania with Mumbo-Jumbo, the bizarre hilarity of Opera Dudes and unending murder mysteries have concocted another thrilling programme for your enjoyment during the longer evenings. To avoid disappointment, be sure to note these gems in your diary:

• “Fever! The Life and Loves of Peggy Lee” Sarah Moule with pianist Simon Wallace (Live & Local) – 7:30pm Sunday 2ndth October in Rolleston Club. Tickets £9.00

Norma Delores Ekstrom transformed herself from a North Dakota farm-girl into one of the most admired and successful popular singers of the 20th Century, Miss Peggy Lee. As well as writing lyrics such as 'He's A Tramp' for the Disney classic 'The Lady And The Tramp', she recorded definitive versions of 'I'm A Woman', 'Fever', 'The Folks Who Live On The Hill', 'Black Coffee' and many more. Her cool electric-blue voice cast a spell over audiences, but behind the scenes her behaviour could push loyal friends and colleagues to the limits. All was forgiven though when she sang, expressing a vulnerability she showed only in her music. A glittering career and widespread adoration however could not ease the ache felt by this artist of infinite contradictions.

Sarah Moule’s exquisite interpretations and insights into Lee’s turbulent life bring this repertoire vividly to life. Pianist Simon Wallace's cool, swinging arrangements evoke the brief period when jazz and popular music went hand-in-hand. Together they have performed all over the UK in festivals, jazz clubs and theatres including Ronnie Scott's Club and the Southbank Centre and broadcast on Radio 2's Friday Night Is Music Night.

• Community Carol Singing Round the Village Christmas Tree – 6:30-7:30pm Friday 9th Dec.

We have already started counting down to the dramatic switch-on of the village Christmas Tree lights on the Almshouses lawn. Come light up your lanterns and sing-a-long with the marvellous Burton Salvation Army Band. Join us and have fun taking part in this truly uplifting occasion.

• Murder Mystery 4 by Phoenix Theatre Group – 7:30pm Sunday 5th February in Rolleston Club

This could be the time that it all becomes clear and you manage to solve yet another of those weirdly intriguing murder mysteries. So simple if you look and listen attentively. Elementary…

• “Call Mr Robeson. A Life, With Songs” by Tayo Aluko & Friends (Live & Local) – 7:30pm Sunday 2nd April, 2016 in Rolleston Club. Tickets £9.00

An award-winning one-man-and pianist show which has been touring nationally and internationally since 2008, telling the story of one of the most famous artists of his time, Paul Robeson. Equally at home in the simplest church hall and the most sophisticated theatre, this is a show which not only resurrects a great entertainer and his songs, but reveals many surprising things about his public, private and political life, showing that he was at once an extraordinarily gifted and courageous genius, and a man with failings and foibles like the rest of us.

Paul Robeson is a world-famous actor, singer and civil rights campaigner. When over the years he gets progressively too radical and outspoken for the establishment's liking, he is branded a traitor to his country, harassed, and denied opportunities to perform or travel. Just as physical, emotional and mental stress threaten to push him over the fine line between genius and madness, he is summoned to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee, to give the most difficult and important performance of his career.

Tayo Aluko revives one of the 20th Century’s most impressive but overlooked figures in this powerful, compelling tour-de-force performance, which was seen at New York’s Carnegie Hall in February 2012, and in London’s West End in October 2013.

Next Rolleston on Dove Special Events Committee Meeting – 7:30pm Weds 31strd August in the OGSR


During this meeting we will be considering what we might do for the next new Special Event. Please let us know if you have interesting ideas to bring to the discussion- even better, come and join us.

Support for Rolleston Village Gala: Monday 29th August 2016

RoDSEC is keen to support local initiatives and has always been a major supporter of Rolleston Village Gala. This year we have donated £250.00 to help with the running of this extraordinary event. The Gala provides a wonderful showcase for a vast range of horticultural, culinary and artistic talents. The kind of experience that grows on you.

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RODSEC - Summer 2016 News
(Details extracted from article that first appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of the Rollestonian)

Murder Mystery 3: Who Killed the Mad Scientist? ~ Sunday 31st January

This delightfully dilapidated melodrama, set in frightfully foggy Chadderton-Twinge, was populated by an assortment of cunning Victorians: their bizarre names seeming to conceal vital clues; every one of them a ready-made for “Guess Who?” You know something is fishy when the dramatis personae include Lady Isabel Pestilence-Tidy, Rose Petal, Ruby Tuesday and two body-snatchers called Bodkin and Stitch.

The whole thing was absurd and, of course, beautifully bonkers. But that did not confuse an abundance of perceptive detectives. No less than six teams of super-sleuths came up with the correct answer.

While feeding off Beryl Toon’s marvellous food, hungry hounds scratched though the notes made during the first two acts. Congratulations to Team ‘Black Pepper’; they were this year’s super super-sleuths. Tucked in their swag-bags was the silverware for both prizes! Miss Marple had better watch out.

Thank you to Phoenix Theatre Group for brightening up a mid-winter night by giving such an amusing performance. They made good use of an imaginative set which took me back to the days of “Crossroads”. A fine cast had fun with a witty script and thoroughly entertained a posse of eager amateur detectives, sheriffs and drunkards. We look forward to seeing them again on Sunday 5th February 2017

Live & Local
Mumbo-Jumbo: Troubadours & Raconteurs ~ Sunday 10th April

Long, patient queues at the bar confirmed that we had another ‘Sell Out’ entertainment on our hands. There was something of a festival atmosphere brewing as bar staff toiled at the pumps and an eager audience eventually sipped and settled in comfortable and pleasant surroundings of Rolleston Club.

Mumbo-Jumbo are three highly talented musicians/songwriters; they are blessed with strong voices, blending to produce superb harmonies. They are very much a team, with more than 80% of their material being original, most of it being produced collectively, in session. A tall banner, placed centre stage, proudly advertised “Sonic Gumbo”, the title of their second compact disc. Much of the programme was taken from this and their previous album “Life of Riley”, which was shortlisted in the British Blues Awards.

After the interval their second set was truly remarkable. Oliver, Chris and Phil eased themselves into the groove, their heads began to wobble and a sublime session flowed; each new item providing a high point in a range of towering peaks. Audience participation with the kazoos added to the fun and we all had a very good time. They certainly got the place buzzing. Thanks to all concerned for making this a great evening.

Future Event
Rolleston on Dove’s Charity Tea Party ~ Saturday 23rd July

In support of the Mayor of East Staffordshire, Councillor Beryl Toon’s chosen charities on Saturday 23rd July from 3:00pm – 6:00pm In Rolleston Scout HQ. Tickets are £12.50 ~ enquiries to John Phillips ?01283 813833. Tickets also available from RoDSEC members: Delia Wyers, Helen Barnett, Roy Martin, Simon Richardson, Sue Fraser, Susan Irwin, Sylvia Martin, Tom Martin, Trevor Foster, Verity Conner

RoDSEC is working and planning for this very exclusive event, which is to celebrate with Councillor Beryl Toon, when she becomes our Mayor and to help her raise much needed cash for her charities. She has chosen three local charities: Rolleston Almshouses Charity, Burton & District Y.M.C.A & Age UK Burton.

An afternoon tea needs to be a stylish affair with china crockery. For this the RoDSEC team are putting out an appeal for ‘trios’. If you have any china cups, saucers and plates, which you would be prepared to loan, please contact Sue Irwin ?01283 521180. China teapots, sugar basins and milk jugs will also be needed. We are in the process of obtaining sponsorship in order to fund the food for the tea. Donations towards the cost are still being accepted; if you would like to contribute please contact John Phillips. Thanks to all those who have already contributed. Raffle prizes are already flocking in from local businesses around Burton. All the money raised on the day and from ticket sales will go to the charities. This very special occasion features a fabulous tea, delightful entertainments, a tombola and grand raffle. Let’s hope the sun shines and everyone can enjoy the day and have fun dressed in their best!

Save the day and look out for tickets early in May for a very special event.

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RODSEC - Spring 2016 News
(Details extracted from article that first appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of the Rollestonian)

Carols Around the Christmas Tree: Friday 11th December 2015 - Reflections on a Living Christmas Card

Thanks to all who gathered in the enchanted grotto, bringing a special magic to Rolleston’s living Christmas card. A stunning display of home-made lanterns filled our little hollow with the flickering magic of floating, hanging and standing lights. Quite breath-taking the reflections on the Alderbrook. More than 400 hearty carol singers formed a glorious yuletide composition on the Almshouses lawn. So good was it to behold such a wonderful gathering, a joyful mix of generations. At the heart of this Dickensian setting was our Guest of Honour, Gwen Saunders. Following a short countdown, our Queen of the Night, to great delight, switched on in style the Christmas tree lights! Their reflections on brightly polished brass instruments brought the celebrated Burton on Trent Salvation Army Band into play, under Bandmaster Peter Dukes. Rich velvety tones really brought the holly home and inspired very fine community singing of all twelve abbreviated carols. The incomparable compere, Ian Whitehead, expertly guided us through this perfect night.

Quite noticeable was the lingering of a special atmosphere long after the last chorus had been sung and final note played. A feeling of enrichment and well-being pervaded. Some enjoyed sampling refreshments from a seasonal selection of hot roast chestnuts, ginger biscuits, short bread, mulled wine and lemonade. Before leaving, many were moved to make a donation to the Burton Salvation Army Christmas Appeal. Thanks to all who contributed to the magnificent total of £558.

Thanks also to all who have played a part in this new venture. We are grateful to the Almshouses Charity Trustees for allowing us use of the premises and the residents for their kindness and charming co-operation. Thank you to Rolleston on Dove Parish Council for continuing to provide a tall Christmas tree for the Almshouses lawn. We are grateful to all those who saved, made, cooked, roasted, persuaded, played, brewed and sang: your splendid support is greatly appreciated.

As you know, organizing outdoor activities is a very risky affair. We have, on so many other occasions, been blighted by bad weather. Not so this time, although it was a close shave: rain fell all day Thursday 10th December, even harder throughout Saturday 12th. We thank the good angels for smiling on us during Friday11th December, for no rain fell and the wind abated. Hopefully, they will do the same this year, for on Friday 9th December 2016, we plan to do it again. We hope to see you there.

John Phillips, Chairman

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Last updated: 13 January 2017