Sheringham Savoyards



July 2013


Since our ‘final farewells’ which I thoroughly enjoyed on both performance nights, I have unearthed my personal collection of photographs taken ‘officially’ at past shows from 1979 onwards, and received great pleasure from their perusal – those were certainly the days!

No more Sheringham Savoyards – sounds incredible doesn’t it – but don’t let’s interpret it as meaning no more G&S. They will live a long time yet, as part of England’s musical and literary tradition. I personally hope that this side of English theatrical life may continue to flourish in North Norfolk – and even perhaps at the Little Theatre, in whatever form. I know that very many of us will keep in touch and continue to share their experiences, whether in audiences here and elsewhere or actually taking part.

I value highly the friendships formed over 34 years with so very many, so very talented and lovely people and hope to keep the wheels oiled. We can look back on lots of great times, but I am confident there is also a Good Time Coming.

Bless you and thank you all!



This will be the last edition of the Savoyards News. Over and out!


The Committee will be meeting on 10 July primarily to discuss and agree on the disposal of the assets of the Sheringham Savoyards. If you wish to make any further suggestions as to organisations/charities that should be considered as recipients of a Donation from these funds, please contact a member of the Committee.

It has been agreed to keep the website domain name of for the next few years. This will, in effect, form an Archive for Savoyards material – photographs etc. If a successor society does come into being, then it can use this medium to advertise themselves and their activities. The Committee is very grateful to Clive Swetman for all his work in setting up the website and for maintaining it over the last few years.


The last AGM for the Sheringham Savoyards will be held at 8p.m. on Friday 6 September in the Annexe to the Wyndham Arms, Wyndham Street, Sheringham, by kind permission of the Landlord/lady, on the assumption that we will all buy drinks from the bar! The main purpose of the meeting is to approve the final Final Accounts, which by then should show a nil balance. Only those people who have paid a subscription for this year will be entitled to vote at this meeting, and we do need a quorum of 10 current members.



We are very sorry to record that Bill Topliss-Green died in June. In the early days, he and Mim were active Members and in recent years had been loyal Friends of the Society. Bill and Mim are also god-parents to our MD, Ro. We send Mim and other family members our sincere condolences.
The arrangements for Bill’s Memorial Service have not yet been finalised. If you want to know the details, please contact Ro on 01263 768126 or email:

We are moving house! We had hoped by now to have a definite date, but legal wheels grind slowly! However, (d.v.) we hope that by mid-July our address will be: 6 Billing School Place, Weedon, Northants. NN7 4ED. Telephone number will be: 01327 438568. Email address remains the same at:
We hope that our Savoyards friends will keep in touch and come and see us if you are in Northamptonshire.

We would also like to say a very big thank you to all Savoyards for their generous farewell gift. We will endeavour to buy something special as a memento of our 12 happy years with the Society.

Kath and Maurice


We have received many messages of thanks for the Dinner held on 17 May. Some of them are given below:-
“It was a nice idea to bring present and former members together for one last time. A happy event which everyone will remember.” Julia Newson

“Just wanted to say well done again for organising such a fabulous dinner last night; what a great achievement and what a huge success! We very much appreciated being included and it was so good to see so many old faces who I had had the pleasure of singing with on stage.” Ros (and Clive) Swetman

“Very many thanks for including me in your special finale dinner for Savoyards and what an excellent evening we all enjoyed, so many friends from past and present, we needed to have the whole weekend to catch up. It says a lot for the group that so many turned out at the reunion.It is so sad that Savoyards have to fold but all societies seem to be having problems in casting and running a show. It seems that the current vogue is to meet up and decide to do a show informally (not as a society), invite in from elsewhere in other societies and skim the cream of talent, do a show and disband so no need for admin or continuity, just self gratification and ego trip! And this is across UK.I do hope that a partial phoenix of Savoyards will continue even as a G&S concert group as the talent and enjoyment of many over the years cannot be allowed to just disappear. I know that I speak for all your audiences when I say how sad we shall be at the end of June with the final show. I shall look forward to seeing you all again then.” Sue Dupont


Kath has asked for some thoughts on our Final Performances. Firstly, I must say a big thank you to all of those involved in the production, not only for your patience, but for your hard work and commitment over a fairly short space of time, especially as I know this was the first time some of you had appeared on stage, and without books! I would like to that those of you who had their arms twisted by me – you know who you are! Thanks, obviously to Ro and Lester for their expertise and also discovering that Lester had a voice as well as hands! When I suggested this venture last year, it seemed a good idea at the time, but, like Topsy, it grew somewhat. However, I think we achieved what we set out to do, which was to finish on a high. I have heard many good comments which are always pleasing, but it is the company that do the work, the production team just tries to point you all in the right direction. I also like to think that during rehearsals and the show some of the old camaraderie was present, and for old members like me this was pleasing. I have always maintained that if it isn’t fun and enjoyable then it’s not worth doing. I can’t finish without mentioning Kath and Maurice for all their hard work behind the scenes – things just would not have happened without them and they will be sorely missed. I enjoyed being part of this production and I hope that you all did too, whether you were a member of many years’ standing or a newcomer. I know that many of you have happy memories of part years with the Society and I hope this last performance is one of them. Well done to you all and who know what the future may hold for Gilbert and Sullivan in Sheringham.


We have also had letters of thanks from Sue Dupont and from representatives of the other societies who came to see HMS Pinafore. Full texts will be put on the website, but here are a few quotes.
“Thank you very much for the kind invitation to your Final Farewell Performance and a great (semi-staged) production of HMS Pinafore, and how sad we all are that Savoyards are bringing down the curtain and perhaps hopefully we can persuade a ‘concert’ style continuation for the audiences’ enjoyment. It has been a delight for me to come to so many of your shows over the years and to enjoy your company and music.” Sue Dupont

“On behalf of the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society I would like to thank you for your gracious hospitality on the occasion of the Sheringham Savoyards’ HMS Pinafore concert. It was lovely to see friends on stage and so many friends from other societies who enjoyed the evening as much as I did.” Niamh Church

“Just wanted to say a big thank you for such a happy evening. Sheila and I really enjoyed it. Such a pity that you are having to give up, but who knows what will come from it.” Janet Barley, ENOS

“All Hail the Sheringham Savoyards for successfully and lovingly carrying the Gilbert and Sullivan flag in North Norfolk for 34 years. During that time you have entertained countless people and brought them joy and, in many cases, been the instrument of introducing people to the world of G&S – the wit of Gilbert and the wonderful music of Sullivan.” Amanda Howell, CSODS

Debbie Thompson has also sent a note to Jason congratulating us and asking for congratulations to be passed on to all Savoyards, adding that we will be sadly missed at Sheringham Little Theatre.


I have received an interesting missive from Geoff Davidson, and I quote below:

“I just wanted to register my interest in being associated with a ‘new society’. I currently conduct the Aylsham Singers and have (in this region) been musical director of Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society (10 years), North Norfolk Chamber Opera (10 years), the Mid-Norfolk Singers (13 years), Cromer and Sheringham Operatic Society (7 years). I currently conduct the Norwich Pops Orchestra and I’m Musical Director of Claxton Opera too. I’ve always loved Gilbert and Sullivan and would like to be MD of such a society. Please pass on my comments to anyone interested.” Tel: 01263 739921. Email:


It has been suggested that those who cannot bear not to continue seeing all their Savoyards friends may like to meet once a month at the Burlington Hotel, Sheringham. This will be on the last Friday of the month at about 8p.m., starting in July. See Dates for your Diaries (below) for the dates up to Christmas.


Following Kath and Maurice’s departure, the Cliftonville Singers are looking for two new members – an alto and a tenor - with effect from September. The Cliftonville Singers (who are a subsidiary group of the Cromer and Sheringham Operatic Society) have a wide and varied repertoire, and usually give several concerts in the run up to Christmas, and then 2 or 3 more in the late spring. The ability to read music essential for this group.  If you would be interested in knowing more about the group please contact Janet Bryant-Heron on 01263 822758.


NNCO will be performing a concert at the end of September. This will comprise songs from musicals, operettas and operas. They rehearse in Loades Hall, Holt Methodist Church on Monday evenings. If you are interested, or would simply like more information, please contact Molly Percival on 01328 820282 or Maggi Warren on 01263 761482.


26 July 8.00pm  Meet/Chat/Drink! At the Burlington Hotel, Sheringham
30 August 8.00pm  Meet/Chat/Drink! At the Burlington Hotel, Sheringham
6 September 8.00pm  AGM at the Wyndham Arms, Wyndham Street, Sheringham
27 September 8.00pm  Meet/Chat/Drink! At the Burlington Hotel, Sheringham
25 October 8.00pm  Meet/Chat/Drink! At the Burlington Hotel, Sheringham
29 November 8.00pm  Meet/Chat/Drink! At the Burlington Hotel, Sheringham

Society Website: