Castlethorpe Choral Society 1925

 Choral Society Back row left to right: Arthur Cowley, Harry Cook, Fred Green, unknown, unknown, Third row:Alec Burbidge, Mrs. Evans, unknown, unknown, Burt Evans, Elsie Booth, unknown, Minnie Rainbow, Mr. Middleton, Mrs. Marsh, John Cowley, Seated row: Mrs. Mills, Harry Clarke, Nellie Cook, John Rainbow, Mrs. Middleton?, Connie Rainbow, Jessie Nichols, Grace Olney, unknown Front row: Nellie Maltby, Lilly Marsh, unknown, unknown, unknown, Bessie Panter
Back row left to right: Arthur Cowley, Harry Cook, Fred Green, unknown, unknown
Third row: Alec Burbidge, Mrs. Evans, unknown man, unknown, Burt Evans, Elsie Booth, Edward Nichols, Minnie Rainbow, Mr. Middleton, Mrs. Marsh, John Cowley
Seated row: Mrs. Mills, Harry Clarke, Nellie Cook, John Rainbow, Mrs. Middleton, Connie Rainbow, Jessie Nichols, Grace Olney, unknown
Front row: Nellie Maltby, Lilly Marsh, E. Marsh, unknown, unknown, Bessie Panter

The Bucks Standard February 28th 1925


Formed less than three years ago the Castlethorpe Choral Society is doing a splendid work in stimulating among the young people of the village a real love for music and stage-playing, and in the polished presentation of "Phillida" or "Love on the Prairie," which they gave at the Council Schools on Friday and Saturday evenings last, the company achieved perhaps the greatest triumph in its short career. The work presents many difficulties, but in musical and dramatic effect alike the members of the society did splendidly. They established and maintained the correct atmosphere, and in dress, speech and gesture the audiences were brought into close and happy association with the romantic life of the prairie. Many of the performers are employed at Wolverton, and in view of the fact that owing to working late five nights of the six there were some who were unable to regularly attend the practices, the characteristic presentation they gave the delightful musical comedy was not a little surprising, There were but a few weak spots. The individual acting was really good, the vocal numbers were splendidly interpreted, and the choruses went with a real swing. With the limited resources at his command Mr. H. Cook, the hon. Conductor of the society, had achieved wonders, and Castlethorpe people owe him much for all he has done to brighten the monotony of the village life during the winter months. He has had the loyal support and co-operation of Mr. H.H. Middleton, the headmaster of the schools, whose experience as a musician and ability as the pianoforte accompanist - the time may come when Castlethorpe will be able to boast an orchestra - played so large a part in the success of the performance last week-end. Mr. Ed. Nicholls is the society's chairman, and the secretarial work is discharged efficiently and well by Miss E. M. Rainbow. The whole of the members of the society have always shown great keenness, and their enthusiasm had its reward in packed audiences both on Friday and Saturday nights. The reception given the comedy was of the heartiest possible character.
The characters in the play were finely acted by the following:

Hans Vandoult, Dutch proprietor of the Cowboys' Home Mr. Jack Rainbow
Mama Vandoult, his English wife Mrs. H.H. Middleton
Gertie, Flora and Angela, daughters of the above Miss Elsie Burbidge, Mrs. Jack Cowley, and Miss Grace Olney
Godfrey Rideout from England Mr. Edward Nichols
Laurence Grasmere, his friend Mr. Jess Nichols
Phillida Mrs. H. P. Cook
Half Mile Joe,
All the Way Jim,
Lariat Bill and Weeping George, cowboys
Messrs. Jack Cowley,
Bert Evans,
Cyril Evens, and Alec Burbidge
Chorus of Ranch girls:
Miss. Minnie Worker, Miss Mavis Huckins, Misses E. and L. Marsh, Misses N.M. and I. Maltby, Miss Edie Cowley, Miss Dorothy Stones, Miss Olive Mills, Miss Betty Wright, Miss Bessie Panter, Miss Flo Osborne, Miss Elsie Richardson, Miss Minnie Rainbow, Miss Hilda Rawlinson, Miss S. Compton, Mrs. F. J. Clarke, Mrs J. Evans, Mrs. H. Maltby, Mrs. G. Cowley, and Mrs. J. Marsh.
Arthur Cowley, Fred Green, Ernest Green, Edwin Bates and Harry Clarke.
Messrs. Geo. Cowley, A. Clarke, F. Clarke and W. Kingston.
Where all did so well it would be invidious to specialise, but too much praise cannot be given to Mrs. Cook for the superb way in which she acted the title role. Mr. Edward Nichols was also an unqualified success in a difficult part, whilst Mr. Jack Rainbow and Mr. H. H. Middleton as the proprietors of Cowboys' Home, were excellent. All the other characters were in capable hands.
Mr. S. E. Penn, of Wolverton, carried out the duties of make-up, and Mrs. Marsh dressed the lady performers.
Messrs. Gobbey, Stones, D. Cowley and Evens rendering good service as doorkeepers each evening.
The comedy was presented at Hanslope last night for the local Hospital Fund.