On West Chiltington stage for 60 years and counting

Hermin Bailey has been a member of West Chiltington Dramatic Society for 60 years. Pic Steve Robards SR1626706 SUS-160913-101355001

Hermin Bailey has been a member of West Chiltington Dramatic Society for 60 years. Pic Steve Robards SR1626706 SUS-160913-101355001

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A woman from Storrington marked 60 years treading the boards with West Chiltington Dramatic Society last week.

In her six decades as a member, Hermin Daley has occupied almost every position on the committee and taken on various guises on stage as well as a range of backstage roles.

She said: “I’ve been stage struck from the age of ten. I love it. I try and do something different every time.

“I have recently been a lesbian murderer and 80-year-old deaf old lady and Mrs Peachum in the Beggar’s Opera. I enjoyed that enormously.

“I’ve done all backstage roles with the exception of light.

“One of these days I will have to have a go at lighting.

“I’ve been director and producer as well; props and prompt and publicity.”

The society was only in its infancy when Hermin joined in 1956; it was founded just seven years earlier, in 1949.

Hermin, who also has a love of gardening and has been an invigilator at Steyning Grammar School, said: “I live in Storrington and I’m at West Chiltington because they were such a lovely crowd - very welcoming.

“It’s always been a super, friendly crowd - no divisions.

“It’s had its ups and downs. For a few years we have just done an old time music hall and 20 people came forward and it started to grow again from there.

“From there we’ve grown to 130 members - 20 or so acting.”

The year she joined the society’s productions were ‘The Happy Prisoner’ by Monica Dickens and war story ‘Seagulls Over Sorrento’ by Hugh Hastings.

Since then she has been in a string of plays, musicals, comedies and pantomimes.

Among her favourite musical shows are Salad Days and My Fair Lady.

The society is currently getting ready for its next production, written by West Chiltington resident Edwin Preece.

Edwin has won awards for his works and has penned the one-act play ‘Sunstroke ‘especially for the society.

The action centres on the eccentric Yvonne and Herbert Michaeljohn.

When their daughter Jacqueline invites her boyfriend down for the weekend on one of the hottest days of the year, events spiral out of control.

Tickets are £9 and will be available from the society’s usual box offices from October 13.

Go to the website www.wcds.co.uk for further information.