Were you a star of this show?

Braintree and Witham Times: Bringing back the memories: scenes from Alec Hunter School’s HMS Pinafore from the early 1970s. Bringing back the memories: scenes from Alec Hunter School’s HMS Pinafore from the early 1970s.

Did you tread the boards in this school production?

Times reader CHRIS BROWN sent in these photographs of a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore at Alec Hunter Comprehensive School, Braintree, in the early 1970s.

He recalled: “It was directed by Norma Turner, who went on to be headteacher at Rickstones School. The chorus line was trained by Keith Rogers and Ronnie Scott.

“Other teachers taking part include the late Jimmy Yule, who played the Monarch of the Sea, the late Colin Whale in the orchestra, Cyril Crook as the ‘lowly tar’, Bob Coggan as Dick Deadeye and a fairly young John Jemison played Captain Corcoran.

“The art department did the scenery, so it was fair to say much of the school was involved with the project in one way or another.

“Pupils played the sailors and more young ladies played the commander’s sisters and their aunts.

“Some pupils I can recall include Melville Mitchell, Steven Cavinder, David James, Brian White, Alan Carter, Moira Anderson and Carole Goldsmith. A few of the more senior year pupils played leading roles alongside the teachers.

“Many of the singing pupils went on to form the school choir for the next three years, which was often referred to as the GAS Company, that is the Group of Assembly Singers.

“We had great times at school. In fact, the play made such an impact on me, I can still remember most of the songs and words almost 38 years later.

“I don’t think kids today get half the pleasure from school as we did then.”


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