Rolleston on Dove Special Events Committee (RODSEC)
News 2017


RODSEC - Winter 2017 News
(Details extracted from article that first appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of the Rollestonian)

Report on “An Evening of Magic”
Saturday 14th October in Rolleston Club

Thank you to all who supported this sell-out entertainment. We are so very grateful to the Derby Magic Circle for presenting a marvellously mesmerizing show. Eight magicians conjured to amaze a completely spell-bound audience, who were well and truly entertained at this gathering of assorted magicians. Seeing men performing in suits takes you back to the days of black and white television variety shows featuring legends like David Nixon, Tommy Cooper and Sooty. An air of nostalgia mingled with the rich sprinkling of magic dust. Act I involved a bewildering series of close-magic routines at tables. We certainly needed a break in order to be demystified. The real trick was to grab a plate of Beryl Toon’s delicious buffet before it all disappeared! Having mastered the art of putting things away, we collected our thoughts, and anything else that was lying around, before the re-appearance of wizards for a side-splitting session of gag-a-rama stage magic. Clive Moore breezed into the limelight with a patter of quick fire Ken Dodd-style quippery. By now, we were standing in the wings of music hall. Three spells of magic by diddy Doug Gregg, Jane Moore and the man himself punctuated a very well-oiled routine. The Magic was simply a prop for masterly, old fashioned, unstoppable stand-up comedy. On this night, we were well and truly spellbound, charmed by the talents of the prestidigitating professionals who hover around the Derby Magic Circle.

Thanks to Rolleston Club for their hospitality and use of their fine venue. Also, thanks to a most appreciative audience for their support. Congratulations to the RoDSEC team for conjuring up yet another magical occasion.

Winter 2017 – 2018 Programme of Events for the Longer Nights

Carol Singing Round the Village Christmas Tree 6:30-7:30pm Friday Dec 8th
Almshouses lawn (if weather inclement in St Mary’s Church)

Come, light up your lanterns, switch on your torches and join the throng of community carol singers gathered on the Almshouses lawn. Be guided by our incomparable compere, Rev Ian Whitehead, through a programme of uplifting Christmas Carols, accompanied by the inspirational Burton Salvation Army Band. Be in time to join the count down and then behold the switching on of glorious Christmas lights by our Guests of Honour, the much loved Starbuck Family and current Rollestonians of the Year. Sing, all ye citizens and enjoy a marvellous meeting of minds and mingling of voices. As on previous occasions, there will be a charity collection in support of the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal. Your support will be greatly appreciated.

Blue John Soul Band
Sunday 28th January in Rolleston Club
Tickets £10 (on sale before the end of the year)

We are so very fortunate to have enticed this sensational band to the stage in Rolleston Club. They are a high quality function band, performing the very best in rhythm & blues, soul and funk. Their energy and brilliant musicianship provide a complete experience; great to take in while seated, better still when up on your dancing feet. Their music making is irresistible. BJSB has an impressive line-up of the very best of musical talents from the Midland area. Classy vocals backed by a dynamic rhythm section, topped by a scintillating full horn section promises you the time of your life. Hope to see you there.

“No Petticoats Here” by Louise Jordan (Live & Local)
7:30pm Sunday 25th March, 2018 in Rolleston Club
Tickets £9.00 will be on sale early in the New Year

‘No Petticoats Here' shares the stories, through song, of remarkable women who lived during the First World War: one who dressed as a man and became a soldier; women who rescued airmen from No Man's Land; inventors, engineers, factory workers: inspirational women, working in a time of conflict, leaving a legacy.

This entertainment dovetails neatly into our theme or Remembrance in 2018

War & Peace: Rolleston Remembers 2018

Thanks to all those who attended the 2nd Planning Meeting on 15th August. We now have a number of projects that are being actively developed. Two are outlined below:

1. Poppy Cascade, on netting draped from St Mary’s Church Tower

Home-made poppies to be attached to garden netting.
Prototype poppies are being developed. Your help would be appreciated.

2. Turn the Village Red (in Remembrance)
Growing Poppy Project Plus

Our aim is to involve as many people as possible in the growing of poppies (and other varieties of red flowers) in borders, baskets, pots, planters, beside the road, in the woods, in private gardens, almost everywhere. We aim to encourage the people of Rolleston to grow a carpet of blooming red flowers rolled out across the village: a ribbon of red running through Rolleston from early spring until late autumn, and possibly beyond. The sowing and growing of seeds and plants will provide a continuing floral tribute in Remembrance as the centenary of Armistice Day approaches.

Please let us know if you would like to obtain a free packet of poppy seeds from RoDSEC. Thank you for your interest.

John Phillips (Chairman) t: 01283 813833.

RoDSEC Meetings:

1) War & Peace: Rolleston Remembers: Tue 24th Oct at 7:30pm in St Mary’s Church
2) Ordinary General Meeting: Wed 24th Jan 2018 at 7:30pm in the Old Grammar School

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RODSEC - Autumn 2017 News
(Details extracted from article that first appeared in the Autumn 2017 issue of the Rollestonian)

Programme of Events for the Longer Nights

“An Evening of Magic”
Saturday 14th October in Rolleston Club 7:30pm

Tickets £8.00, includes light refreshments

We are very much looking forward to conjuring up an Evening of Magic with a team from the celebrated Derby Magic Circle. Act I will involve a number of magicians performing close-magic at tables. This will be followed by an interval for the serving of light refreshments. The wizards will return for Act II with a presentation of amazing and bewildering stage magic. Be enthralled by a spellbinding experience – it’s magic!

Carol Singing Round the Village Christmas Tree
Friday 8th Dec 6:30-7:30pm

Come, light up your lanterns and join the throng of community carol singers gathered on the Almshouses lawn. Be guided by our incomparable compere, Rev Ian Whitehead, through a programme of uplifting Christmas Carols, accompanied by the inspirational Burton Salvation Army Band; their appearance providing that wonderfully enriching and magical element. Be in time to join in the count down and then behold the switching on of glorious Christmas lights.

Winter Entertainment
Sunday 28th January or Sunday 4th February in Rolleston Club

Look out for more information regarding our next mid-winter entertainment. We are in discussion with a number of exciting new acts. Watch this space.

“No Petticoats Here” by Louise Jordan (Live & Local)
Sunday 25th March, 7:30pm in Rolleston Club

‘No Petticoats Here' shares the stories, through song, of remarkable women who lived during the First World War: one who dressed as a man and became a soldier; women who rescued airmen from No Man's Land; inventors, engineers, factory workers: inspirational women, working in a time of conflict, leaving a legacy.

This entertainment dovetails neatly into our theme of Remembrance in 2018

Support for Rolleston Village Gala
Monday 28th August 2017

RoDSEC is keen to support local initiatives and has always been a major supporter of Rolleston Village Gala. This year we have sponsored some classes and awards. The Gala provides a wonderful showcase for a vast range of horticultural, culinary and artistic talents: the kind of experience that grows on you.

Thanks to all those who attended the first Planning Meeting on Wednesday 10th May. Twenty enthusiasts attended, contributing to a lengthy and inspiring discussion. By the end of the meeting two lists of ideas had been drawn up: 2018 (War) and 2019 (Peace). Each lengthy list is packed with interesting, exciting and wonderful ideas. They continue to grow as more thought is given to the subject and the viewing of remarkable exhibitions across the country, such as the stunning display at the Silk Mill in Derby, inspires people to come up with more ambitious projects. With our characteristic ingenuity, enthusiasm and teamwork many of these suggestions might well be realized as fully finished installations. We are currently engaged in seed trials for the growing of Flanders Poppies. In addition, we have managed to book two major elements for the Peace Celebrations in 2019. There are lots of interesting things to do.

We meet again on Thursday 15th August at 7:30pm in St Mary’s Church for a Workshop on the 2018 Programme - come and join us. Next RoDSEC Ordinary General Meeting – 7:30pm Tuesday 12th Sept. in St Mary’s Church.

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RODSEC - Summer 2017 News
(Details extracted from article that first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of the Rollestonian)

Call Mr Robeson
A Life With Songs

Sunday 2nd April 2017 in 7:30pm in Rolleston Club

At his first shot, the celebrated performer Tayo Aluko narrowly missed the mark, parking his battered Fabia Estate outside the Spread Eagle. Every square inch of the wagon’s interior was packed with a jumble of theatrical props for “Call Mr Robeson. A Life with Songs”. Once parked outside Rolleston Club it took Tayo up to three hours to get every item in place. The separate arrivals of sound engineer and pianist hardly distracted Tayo from the ritual. Piece by piece, a plethora of Paul Robeson memorabilia, was placed precisely in its pre-determined location; flags, books, a giant record label, metal box-files, framed family photographs, film posters, sheets of music, bottle of tablets, passport and an old wooden chair. The act of putting each item in place seemed to prepare the actor for the role of Paul Robeson. Interesting to see this method of performance preparation.

As soon as Tayo Aluko, in the guise of Paul Robeson, appeared on stage we knew that we were in for a treat. He arrived carrying a chair on his back, in the manner of slaves carrying cotton bales. Aluko is a commanding figure and his stage presence is impressive.

In 90 highly charged minutes this gifted actor took us on a roller-coaster journey through Robeson’s remarkable and eventful life; it highlights how his pioneering and heroic (but largely forgotten) political activism led many to describe him as the forerunner of the civil rights movement. It featured much fiery oratory and some of his famous songs, including a dramatic rendition of Ol’ Man River.

Robeson’s father was born a slave, but escaped, then graduated through university to become a church Minister, while his mother came from a Quaker family who worked for the abolition of slavery. Like his parents, Paul was very able: star athlete (baseball and football), lawyer, highly successful singer (a bass legend), film star and linguist. It was, however, his endorsement of the Soviet Union that ultimately wrecked his career in the US. One particular speech made in Paris in 1949 was deemed unpatriotic, and thereby Robeson had to endure years of public abuse, passport loss and cancelled bookings before his health finally broke. He was hauled before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1956. Robeson had a troubled but long-standing marriage and a son, yet still found the time to engage in a long series of hotel-room trysts.

Towards the end we see an old and tired Robeson. The actor gradually made his movements slower and heavier. In three short strides we saw him age thirty weary years. He finished with a haunting rendition of ‘I’m Going Home’, then slowly picked up the chair and shuffled off stage. Aluko returned moments later to a richly deserved ovation for his poignant and powerful performance: masterly and so very moving.

Robeson’s songs (accompanied by an on-stage keyboard musician) were delivered beautifully, drawing us further into his story. Aluko has a wonderful baritone voice which is perfectly suited to this part. After a short interval we were treated to a most interesting Q & A session. Everyone stayed on for this spell-binding experience.

We are grateful to all who came and supported this sell-out RoDSEC event. Thanks to Team Starbuck for going out with yet another Full House to their credit: we shall miss you dearly. Thank you to the remarkable RoDSEC Committee for getting it all together. Thanks also to Rolleston Club Committee for providing such comfortable surroundings and all bar personnel for their friendly professionalism.

Long after the last raffle ticket had be drawn, all tables cleared away, and everyone back home, Tayo Aluko was still slowly returning each stage prop to its place in the sad Skoda. Home in Liverpool, at this late hour, seemed a long way off, giving Tayo plenty of time to reflect on another triumph in this show’s 10 year history.

Hopefully, more Live & Local to come next year.

John Phillips

Who Killed the Caretaker?

Sunday 5th February 2017 - 7:30pm
Scene of Crime – Rolleston Club

School for Scandal

It was strangely comforting to see so many sleuths uncoiling themselves, stirring from hibernation and sliding into the snake pit of another murder mystery. Thanks to the charmers of Phoenix Theatre Group for luring a host of hungry hunters to this delightfully tasty entertainment. They have developed an extraordinarily addictive performance style - a bizarre blend of Carry On, Coarse Acting and Crossroads. They have blended an amusing cocktail, giving an extra-special twist to the local amateur dramatics scene. May they continue to go from strength to Strangeways.

With this pun-filled script, written by the prolific Chris Martin, Phoenix Theatre Group have found the perfect vehicle for their talents. Jasper Rickets, a lazy, obnoxious and opinionated school caretaker collects enemies faster than discarded fag ends behind the bike shed at Blinkton-on-Sea Comprehensive School. When he is finally stubbed out, there is a long line of delightfully named suspects queuing outside the door to the dismal boiler room: Trunk Scaffold (dishonest Builder), Miss Clarissa Apprehension (autocratic Headteacher), Miss Shirley Knott (frustrated School Librarian), Mr William Knott (passionate Head of Drama), Miss Rosemary Garden (flamboyant Head of Art) and Bob (victimised Assistant Caretaker). My money was on the bizarrely dressed narrators, (Pete Williams and Val Keeling) who turned up as Laurel and Hardly, I think.

At the interval, platters, piled high with Beryl Toon’s wonderful buffet, were flown in to nourish the frenzied decision-makers, as teams fought against the clock, and each other, to get their answer sheets handed in on time. Congratulations to Peter Wildsmith and team of super sleuths for their winning solution (it was a close-run thing – they won by a short hand-cuff)) and Cherry and Arnold Burston for concocting a scenario even more bizarre than the actual script !

Thank you to Phoenix Theatre Group for brightening up a mid-winter night and all those who slipped out from hibernation to enjoy a superbly entertaining evening of live entertainment. Good to see two junior Sexton Blakes getting in on the act. Evening all!

We look forward to presenting Murder Mystery 5 in two years time.

John Phillips

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RODSEC - Spring 2017 News
(Details extracted from article that first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of the Rollestonian)

RoDSEC - Carols Around the Christmas Tree
Mulling it Over

Thankfully, you came again in force to sing Christmas carols under a duvet of star-sprinkled clouds. Up to 400 people gathered in shadowy constellations on the dark lawn in front of the almshouses. Soon this canvas was joyfully daubed with an amazing abstract of energetic splashes as swarms of glow sticks snapped into life and danced like demented fire-flies. These devilish creatures had been distributed to the children by our remarkable master of ceremonies; Revd Ian Whitehead was in mischievous, flashing-Christmas-pullover mode. Meanwhile, the twisting fires of flaming torches were reflected on the smooth surface of the sinuous stream as it flowed around them. Simply breath-taking was the line of beautiful luminary paper lanterns and shining tin can lanterns standing on guard along the low wall.
A magical setting for a special occasion.

More light was shed on the situation by our Guest of Honour, the Mayor of East Staffordshire, Cllr. Beryl Toon. Beryl graciously took hold of the plunger and at the end of the countdown, with one mighty stroke, magically ignited a brilliant evening. Coloured lights bloomed on the donated Nordman Christmas tree, and, like a piece of antique jewellery, a string of brand new lights adorned the front of the almshouses. Scores of bright LED flashlights were switched on and beamed down upon reassuring carol sheets.

With microphone in hand, and the public address equipment working very well, Ian shepherded an enthusiastic mixed-age community choir through a programme of fifteen glorious carols.

Bandmaster Peter Dukes had kindly brought a substantial ensemble of talented musicians. To be singing alongside such a band is a very special experience. Their appearance here - the impact of the celebrated uniforms, the display of shining musical instruments, with reflections playing across their bright surfaces - combine to make this an enchanting experience. More special still was the drawing together of local folk at night, in the open air, under tall trees, seeing light reflected onto faces and warm breath curling in the cooling air. After quaffing mulled wine and tasting a variety of delightful homemade biscuits and shortbreads, people were moved to make significant donations to the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal - £406.04 was raised in total. Thank you .

Bandmaster Peter Dukes writes:
“It was an excellent evening at the Christmas tree, we all enjoyed it and on behalf of Burton Salvation Army and myself I would like to thank you and your team for the magnificent amount you have raised for our local work.”

RoDSEC is planning to do it again on Friday 8th December 2017. We hope to see you there.

Thanks to all who played a part in RoDSEC’s second Christmas Tree Event: to the Committee and all those who have saved, made, baked, mulled, felled, engineered, illuminated, persuaded, played, brewed, stewarded and sung. Special thanks to Joy for her powerful support.

Forthcoming RoDSEC Events

• “Call Mr Robeson. A Life, with Songs” - Sunday 2nd April 2017, Club (see poster)
• RoDSEC AGM – Wednesday 8th March at 7:30pm in OGS (see poster for details)
• An Evening of Magic - Saturday 14th October 2017, Rolleston Club
• Carols Around the Christmas Tree – Friday 8th December 2017

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Last updated: 22 February 2018