Sibford Scene Archive

Sibford Scene 380 March 2016

Click on the cover image to download the complete edition

A group of people sitting on a bench posing for the camera

Bond’s End Lane

Until the late 1950s, several cottages along Bond’s End Lane were small shops selling bread, sweets, groceries and seeds. At the end of the Lane, where Bramley Close is now, the Stowe family ran a market garden business, growing fruit and vegetables for sale. Some other cottages in the Lane housed looms used by outworkers to weave Shutford Plush for a company based in Shutford. Shutford Plush was a soft crushed velvet cloth used in the making of robes for Coronation ceremonies. It was also used for furnishings in the Houses of Parliament and for royal servant liveries around the world. The lower cottage, these days incorporated in Long Cottage (now Lavender Cottage), contained a loom which was used by Joe Alcock, the last of the local weavers to weave Shutford Plush.


Those of you who couldn’t get a ticket for Sibford Players’ sold-out inaugural production missed a treat (see front cover pic). Deckchairs was a witty pastiche: part-improvisation, partadaptation of a few of Jean McConnell’s radio plays, imaginatively produced and directed by Juliette Glazebrook and Kat Davison who, in true ‘show must go on’ style, were unfazed on the night by illness and a house move respectively.

A triumph in witty, acutely-observed conversation, the Sibford Players – many of them performing for the first time – rose admirably to the challenge. Special mention must go to 13 year old Paige Godman, who wrote and starred in her own very funny soliloquy of teenage angst; Nicky Cullen for her spookily vaudeville Mrs Barker from Sweeney Todd; Maggie Hall for her hilarious innunedo; and Chris Cullen and Dave Rowley (did you shave your legs?) for their camp and hysterical – in both senses of the word – portrayal of competitive dog owners. My sources tell me that the Directors were careful observers prior to casting, so I’m not sure what that says about Caroline Harley and Rachael Herd as the simply splendid shopaholic shoplifters! While space doesn’t permit a name check for everyone, it seems the Sibfords has been harbouring some hitherto hidden talent: you know who you are!

Deckchairs was received as it was acted: with evident relish and huge enjoyment. A massive thank you and congratulations to all who played a part, whatever your role. The villages welcome the development of new, fun group activities and after this performance I feel certain that more actors will come forward to swell the ranks of the Sibford Players. So, Juliette and Kat, what’s next?

Above, you may see one or two items of historical interest from this edition. To see the whole edition, click on the front-page image to download it as a pdf.