Panto with Brucie or dressing as St George – children’s fun start to 1968


Their dads were all cricketers and these children must have been hit for six when they found out they were off to see a pantomime in London.

The year was 1968, the youngsters were the children of Southwater Cricket Club players and the panto was Aladdin, starring Bruce Forsyth and Tommy Trinder.



According to the County Times of January 12 1968, the group took up the first two rows of the stalls at the Wimbledon Theatre and joined in the performance.

Does anyone know if Brucie invited them onto stage – or was it a mad, over-excited rush by 32 children who had had too much sugar?

Joining them were ‘uncles’ Dave Cocker and Bob Irwin and ‘aunties’ Queen Lake and Carol Cocker.

While the Southwater gang were enjoying their show, a second group of children were receiving prizes in a fancy dress contest.

The contest, which had 100 entrants, was held at Pulborough Village Hall and was organised by the fundraising committee.

It made a profit of £8 which went towards improvement work.

The winners in the 4-6 age group were: Deborah Maria Pooch, 6, who was dressed as a Christmas tree, Karen Santus, who was Having A Go For Britain, Jane Ely, 5, who was a Christmas cracker, and Stephen Allan Leadbeater, 3, who was also a Christmas cracker.

In the 7-9 age group, Nicholas Ely, 7, was the winner as the heroic St George, Veronica Coxon, 7, was second as Cinderella, and Delia Goddard, 9, was a chimney sweep.

Peter Ely, 10, won the 10-11 age group with his Actionman Astronaut costume, Andrew Grover was second with Keep Britain Tidy, and Deborah Foord, 10, was third as Thoroughly Modern Millie.

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