Some of the memories being shared over at the RAF Seletar forum. Now, if we can only figure out where exactly the building is today?
I was a member of the club between 1955-57 and again from 1959 to 62. I remember the Drama Festivals over the years and enjoyed being involved in them….it was a very successful club and holds lots of happy memories for my wife and me.
Lew was a member (The Sound Man) of the Seletar Theatre Club from 1962 until the end of his tour in Oct 1963.
The club was very successful during that time, putting on six or seven productions a year and winning the Services Drama Festival in 1962. However, when preparations for the 1963 Festival were in full swing, disaster stuck. In the afternoon of 6th August 1963 fire destroyed everything inside the Theatre and only the shell was left. When I left at the end of Oct 63 negotiations were still going on with the insurance company.
The Theatre Club was going full tilt and showing no sign of any fire when I was a member there. I joined in late 1968 and remained a member right up to the end of my extended tour in March 1971. They put on many productions and always to full houses. My job there was assisting with stage construction sometimes – but nearly always taking care of backdrops. My arty talents such as they were were put to use creating the posters and designing the programs for most of the productions that were on during my time there.
100 thoughts on “Theatre Club”
I must have known Lew, because I was in the play that won the Services Drama Festival. It was called “JB” and was directed by my mum, Julie Goss. I have very fond memories of the club which was very successful while we were there from 1960 to 1963. I still have some of the old programmes in the attic.
I was the station photographer at RAF Seletar 1962 -64. Just after JB I was asked to take photos of productions at the theatre club – I think the first was Alladin? Xmas ’62 – and I continued until repat in Aug 1964. I still have many photos from that time, plus old programmes, of the productions, the fire, etc.. I remember Julie Goss very well. I am still in touch with John Baker (lighting) who went on to work with Joan Littlewood at Stratford (East), then Chichester, now in South Africa. Also Joyce Dobbie.
I did 12 years in the RAF, my best postings were Butzweilerhof and Seletar – great memories!
Hi Allen. I don’t suppose you remember me. I helped in the lighting of job and messed around in Aladin. I was coerced to join the club by Julie and subsequently I played the part Watch it Sailor as Carnoustie and in in Bonaventure as Willie. I was assistant producer in the next play but can;t remember the name. I became entertainments committee member but had to leave as for flying duties in Borneo and stayed there until i had to get a panic tan in 1964 for resat to UK. I really enjoyed the theatre.
Hi Colin, I remember you from those days now a very long time ago. I have lived in Cape Town since 1973 and have done the lighting for over 500 productions. I am now retired and looking back on those great years. So pleased to get this message from you.
Hi Collin I remember you well. I was the ‘sound man’ I now manage the Website http://www.rafseletar.org for the Seletar Association. Have a look at theatre club Pages and you will see some of the programs & Photos of the productions during our time there. You can contact me via the email link on the homepage.
Hello Colin Bain
Its great to know that you re still arround.Remember me Ray Bellinger? Its over 50 years since we first met at Seletar Theatre Club.My wife Jytte (uta) are still about , retired and living in Swindon, and have recently caught up with John Baker,Lew Lewin and Alan Hills..We will be tickled pink to hear from you on 01793 539763.
Why not give us a call ! Regards – Ray Bellinger
Re location of Theatre Club. Just been looking at Google Maps – entered ‘Seletar’ and up it came. Sat pix a bit bit dark and cloudy – but could make out the SHQ, the station cinema and post office – still there.
From memory, the Theatre club was in Oxford Street, which branched at a sharp angle from Piccadilly (where did they get these names!). On the corner was the Anglican Church, and I think the Club was the next building along – but again from memory there was also the families NAAFI shop in that row.
The schools were in the Crescent on the right hand side of Picadilly going toward the main camp entrance.
Unfortunately the pix are quite dark and it is difficult to be sure, but there does seem to be quite a lot of the old buildings standing.
Worth a chufti, though!
As a family we were at Seletar from 1966 – 1969. We practically lived at the Club, dad (Chris Levy) is a lifetime member. He produced many plays in that period and I prompted on those plays plus the ones Tony Miles produced. Pam Ayres was there at the same time and was in a play dad produced called “Wanted, One Body”. Two other names I recall were John Stubbs and John Bates. I celebrated my 18th birthday on Club Night (Fridays) in 1968. I have very fond memories of our time at Seletar.
I think we might know each other? I was a member of the club and was lead role (Charles Condomine) in the very last production. Fond memories indeed! To think that this was forty years ago, where does the time go?
John Bates was the nearest thing to a professional in the club, very good, and I recall John Stubbs has an old Vauxhall which was called the ‘Stubbs Charger’. He threatened to drive it into the sea when he came home, I do not know if he ever did this.
I do actually recall many of the names from those days, Rocky Thompson & Maureen, Ted Worsley (Gummage) and Win and many others if I put my mind to it.
Are there any plans that you know of to have a reunion?
Hello Malcolm. I remember you sir. Chew’s best customer? Take a look at the photos on this link:
The RAF Seletar Association is s till going strong. I created that website for them. If you look at the link for the Theatre Club there are links to all the productions going way back. Eddie (aka Matt)
Just remembered, the name is John Stubbert, and the car was the ‘Stubbert Charger’, reminiscent of a Beethoven composition?
Hi Margaret I think we must have been neibours as my elder sister Carolyn was best friends with your younger sister Ruth Levy when we were at Oxford Street. I remember my mother , Ann Hook as she was then, was a keen member of the club she acted in a few plays but prefered to be wardrobe mistress. We were there from 1966-69 too, I remember two other members, Andy Carr and Rodger Peach, My parents divorced shortly after returning to the UK and Mother then Married another former member Colin Collins in 1971
Hi Ian, I remember your family living next door to us in Oxford Street. Ruth is now married with two adult children. Sadly my mum died in 2006 but dad is still going strong. Fancy your mum marrying Colin Collins – I remember him well, in fact we went out on a date once! I wonder if he remembers me – tell him we went for a meal and saw a midnight movie in the City. I think very fondly of our tour of Seletar.
John Bates here. What a great surprise to find this website. It has brought back great memories. So many other names and people I remember with great affection. I am at email@example.com if you or any other visitor wants to make contact.
My name is John Stubbert. I knew Malcom, Margaret, and in fact hundreds of bods. I remember Malcolm bought a small drum one Xmas, for his son. Ouch! And yes, I did own a Vauxhall, and I sold it on.
Funny thing is that I do not remember any drum, but I’m sure you are right. I expect I’ll have a few sleepless nights trying to remember this event.
Talking of remembering things, do you recall ‘dying’ at rehersals when you played the professor in ‘Under the Sycamore Tree’, your singing was diablollical, but it all went well ‘on the night’.
Will there be any re-unions happening at all?
I remember Blythe Spirit well, as I played Ruth Condomine. Many happy memories of Seletar Theatre club. I also remember John Bates playing the lead characters in the White Hall Farce: One for the pot. Also John Stubbert, Rocky and Maureen, Ted and Win and many, many more.
Hope all is well with you.
Hello Stubbs me old matey. Fancy finding this site after all these years. Lovely to see these names popping up all over the place. Brings tears to my eyes so it does. I remember all the names mentioned, but yours in particular as you were such a wonderful role model for all concerned. Went back to Seletar two years ago. The club has gone and so has Seletar last year. The commandant himself gave me and my beautiful wife a guided tour around the station, what was left of it and told me the whole place was being torn down to make way for a civil aerospace development park. Hope everything is good with you and your lovely wife.
Roger, I can’t believe it’s you after all these years! Remember me, Julie McNally (at that time of course)? I am sitting here looking at a phot of us in the Theatre Club (you with a very silly grin on your face!) I have often wondered how you are and it is so great to see you face on this site. I have tried several times to contact anyone I know from those days. Please reply to this and confirm I have got the right Roger! I’m sure I have. Looking forward to speaking to you soon.
Hi Roger – this is the second time I have tried to reply to your above words. You must remember me – Julie McNally (that was). I knew your name and photo as soon as I saw you. Happy memories of our time at Seletar – still have a great photo of you and me in the lounge bar of the Theatre Club. I absolutely loved being involved with it all. Seems so long ago now. Hope you will get in touch – will leave my email here for you. Hope you are doing OK – I was married for 27 years, had three lovely sons, divorced and remarried to a great guy 10 years ago. Live in Chesterfield Derbyshire. Now 60 years old!!!!
Dear Julie. How could I possibly forget the beautiful granddaughter of an Indian Princess? You have always held a special place in my heart since those balmy days in Singapore in the Theatre Club. I remember keeping in touch with you when you returned to the UK and your heady days in London, I think it was, and your return to your parents later near to RAF Wyton. We went out one evening for a few drinks to chew over the cud, as we were always ever good friends. Good to hear that you are now very happy and settled in life with your second husband, and I am also very much settled and in love with my second wife and enjoying a well earnt retirement, which keeps me extremely busy. Hence the delay in my initial response to you. I did actually reply to a conversation you were having with a female friend on the site, but I didn’t hear anything from you, so it was wonderful when you contacted me via John Stubbings emails, although I haven’t heard from him. I am absolutely delighted to hear from you Julie and would love to catch up with the goss, so let’s exchange the emails somehow and then really get down to brass tacks. We live just north of Manchester and we have a wonderful family, and our grandchildren are just wonderful. Get back to me and lets see where we go from there. Roger. xxx
Hi Roger – it was so great to see your two emails in reply to my message on the Theatre Club site. I am so pleased to hear you are happily married and have grandkids. My three boys have still to make me a grandma – something I can’t wait to be! What a great photo of you on your message. Straight away I got my photo of you out and compared them and you have ‘aged’ very well I must say! Can you believe all the years that have passed since we last spoke. We live in Chesterfield, Derbyshire but I’ve only been here since 1987 – my first husband came from Birmingham and all my boys were born there. My email address is at the bottom of this message but I’m not sure if you will be able to see it. I’ll put it here but sometimes these things are deleted for security reasons but here goes – firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe you can send me an email to see if it works. Take good care of yourself – hopefully we can be in touch more often.Love, Julie xx
I remember the name, but cannot for the life of me remember in which context I knew you? Am I getting old?
Hello again John,
Just to let you know I started a Facebook page for the Seletar Theatre Club, only yesterday 2nd August, so there is not a lot on there yet. Please have a look and add any anecdotes you may have, and dated pictures would be helpful too:- https://www.facebook.com/SeletarTheatreClub
Please pass this on to anyone else you know who were involved.
Last time we met was at a reunion in London and before that it was at the Gypsy Davy folk club in Oxford. You came with Pam. How are yo doing.
Re: Location of the Theatre
I lived at 7 Oxford Street, and the theatre was just down from us, towards the Church. My parents, Doug and Pip Janes were members during the late 60’s (67-69?).
I remember your mum and dad very well. Please send them my best regards.
Malcolm. Nice to hear from you. My father died December 1996, but my mum Pip is still alive and 70 this May. I’ll mention you to her.
Thank for that David,
Sorry to hear of Doug’s death. He was a very nice man, I consulted him of a few occasions when I had problems to resolve, he was always sympathetic and tried his best to help me.
I trust that Pip is keeping well? Did she go back to IoM?
Yes, my mum is living in Ramsey now and is a well as can be expected at 70. My sister still lives there too so she is not alone and still gets out and about.
Thanks for that. It must be 40 years since I last saw anyone from the STC. I wonder if we would recognise each other. It is possible that we pass in in the streets and never know??
I too have some very happy memories of time spent in Seletar theatre club from 1960 to 1962. Although many of us kept in touch and in fact held a couple of reunion dinners in the mid sixties I do not remember learning about the fire. Thus it was quite a surprise when in 2004 whilst in Singapore I decided to take a sentimental trip out to Seletar. The church next to the cub site was being used as a storage area and of course the theatre club was no longer.
I remember Tex and his wife well, also Pete Goss, his Dad Ken and his Mum Julie. I acted in several of Julies productions and kept in touch right up to the time of her death.
The mention of winning a drama festival with the production of JB must have been a second time for Julie as she had previously directed the same play at Seletar in the early sixties with David Topham in the lead role.
I have just gone into this site for the first time and find all the great comments about the Theatre Club. Over the past 12 years I have been to Singapore almost every year and in fact lit a ballet there in 2004 at the new Esplanade Theatre, just like old times.
My reason for looking at the site was to try and find out names of productions between 1961-1963 inclusive. I know the last I worked on in 63 was Orpheus Decending By Tennessee Williams and Directed by Joyce Dobbie. I departed Singapore on the very day I was due for demob and arrrived back in UK as a private citizen but still had to have a medical to leave the RAF.
Since 1963 I have worked in Theatre and Pete Goss, you will remember your mum, Julie helped me get my first job.
Since 1973 I have been in Cape Town south Africa and have been responsible for lighting dozens of Drama’s, Ballet’s and Opera’s as well as a couple of TV shows and Orchestral Concerts (with special lighting effects.
In 1996 I left permanent employment in theatre and set-up my own Guest House in Cape Town called Verona Lodge and ran it for 8 years (it is still running). I am retired but still light productions from time to time.
Pete, if you have names of productions I would love to get details.
Best regards t you all,
John T. (as I was called in prof. theatre)
Hello John Baker !
Remember me ? My wife,,Jytte and I certainly remember you and are both pleased to learn that you are still alive and kicking !. I’m Ray Bellinger and was a member of STC from Dec 62 joining Julie Goss’s production of Aladdin ( I covered your Abanazar !! ) and leaving in June 65 following the production if ‘The Gazebo’ STC averaged six productions a year and my initial production was ‘Bonaventure’ which I joinly produced with Dave Richardson and which benefited from your skillfull stage lighting and Lew Lewin’s sound.Following ‘Bonaventure’ came Joyce Dobbie’s production of the whitehall farce ‘Simple Spymen’ which in turn was followed by Coward’s ‘ Nude with Violin’ produced by Margaret Alderton and I see in my programme that the large cast included Stc ‘regulars’ including Pam Maloney , Margaret Drew , Joy Marshall Joan Lightfoot , Joyce Wade , Joyce Dobbie , Jean Brocklebank ‘Colin Hart , John Betteridge , Bill Hickman , Dave Hickman ,Spike Gaden and Barry Lambert.
STC’s entry in the 1963 Services Drama Festival was Tennessee Williams ‘Orpheus. Decending’
produced by Margaret Alderton with a large cast which included Joyce Dobbie as ‘Lady Tollerance’ and Colin Hart as ‘Val Xavier’ and would be your final production at STC. As you will no doubt recall that,on August 6th 1963 and whilst in early rehearsals for ‘Orpheus’ the theatre burnt down !!!As you will recall it was decided that even without the theatre ‘Orpheus’ would go ahead as our festival entry and it was entirely due to your guidence John and the backup of the expertise of Ken Lightfoot , Pete Mileson ,Joyce Dobie and and others ‘Orpheus’ had its dress ‘ tech, first night and last night in one single performence at the Cultural Centre Singapore.
This was to be your final roduction for STC as you were due for demob and to seek your fame and fortune in the professional theatre and you were richly rewarded with the ‘Lifetime Membership of STC’
After an interim production of ‘The Vigil’ staged in the church the rebuilt STC eventually reopened in July 1964 with ‘The Brides of March’ produced by myself followed by ‘The Rape of the Belt ‘ in Oct 64 and ‘Flat Spin ‘ in Nov 64. ‘Turn Again Whittington ‘ written and drected by myself was staged in Feb 65 was really my swansong.The last production before I returned to UK was ‘The Gazebo’ and I was pleased to note that STC was in safe hands.
I returned to UK in June 65 but then thats another story. Both in our seventies both Jytte and I have retired and living in Swindon (01793539763 ) and still love the theatre.We have been back to Singapore a couple of times in recent years and have called in Seletar.The theatre building was still there on the corner of Oxford street but instead of a chorus line it was full of MT spares !!.
Finally no doubt you will recall Spike Gaden.The last time we met Spike was 24 years ago and
I understand he married, left the business and moved to Scotland.Yesterday I read in the Muthilll Golf Club (Perth) website that Spike passed away on the 4th August this year.
Sad news to end on but we send our best wishes to your good self and any ne else that may pick up this site.
Kind regards and happy memories
Hi John, I have just stumbled randomly across your comment. I’m spikes daughter Rachel. I’m fascinated by all your comments, like my dad you all seem to have achieved so much. He often spoke of his time in the theatre and although he moved up to Scotland and persued a huge intrest in golf the theatre was always close to his heart. So many people have been in contact recently who Ive never met but who worked with my dad and it means a lot to me he has been remembered so widely.
Sorry not great at this technology, should have replied to Ray!
Mum was trying to find your Christmas card from last year to get your address but so far no luck. Is it possible you could send her some contact details? Sue Gaden – email@example.com 01764 652644
Hope your well. Rachel
I think most of you predate my time at STC, but the name Chris Levy probably still echos in the rafters, as does Pam Ayres!
I definitely remember you as i played [Ruth Condimine] in Blithe Spririt which of course ;was not only STCs final production but also the first.
I have so much more to say,but as this is the fourth time i have tried to make contact i had better leave it for another day.
All the best
Nice to hear from you, an echo from the past. Fond memories of STC, no longer there I believe, so sad!
We all had some good times there, piling up the bill at Chew’s bar. Where else could you get away with G&T’s by the pint?
Sorry to learn of Doug’s passing, he was a first class bloke, I expect you miss him?
Lesley and I got divorced a few years after we got back to Blighty (it’s a long story!), I remarried in 1981 and still going strong.
I have very fond memories of the productions we were in, I saw ‘Blythe Spirit’ done by a local DS last year, didn’t enjoy it too much as I could only think of our excellent production, this one was crap! We were so lucky having the RAF technicians to do the clever stuff! All we had to do was remember our lines and blocking, and get out of the way of the sword over the door!
Do you remember my oldest son, Jason? He will be 44 YO on Friday 15th June, time does fly! we had two other boys whilst in Singapore, James and Gerrard. James died in 1989 age 19 years, he was very unwell and lives with Jesus now. Me? I’m a bald fat old git now.
Hope this finds you well, lets keep in touch now, and hope we can find some of the other members of the gang?
Malcolm (Alias Charles Condomine)
Just to let you know that I got your message OK. I did a reply, but it seems to have vanished? If you get this OK, I’ll leave my email address next time so we can catch up on things.
Hope you are well.
I do remember you well. We had many happy times at Seletar. I would have loved to have seen your Charles Condomine.
Nice to hear from you. If you’d like to make further contact, please have a look at this Facebook page:- https://www.facebook.com/SeletarTheatreClub
Hope to hear from you soon.
I don’t quite know where to place this, but to those of you who knew him and haven’t yet heard Malcolm Porter passed away this week.RIP
Thanks for passing on the sad info about Malcolm. We have grown so used to people living to great ages that it is still a bit of a shock when a near contemporary comes to the end of the road.
Best wishes to you. You can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t forget if you are ever passing through Morecambe look me up.
I’m dreadfully sorry but Mother Passed away in 2001 and Colin followed her three years later. I still miss them both, as after the divorce I lived with them until I left home at 21. They were devoted to one another and Colin was devastated when Mum died. I’ve been maried now for 27 years and have two adult children of my own. Carolyn’s husband passed away too around the same time as mum, she has three daughters and numerous grandchildren now as well.
I remember so much of Singapore and Seletar, trips to Tiger balm Gardens and the swimming pool, the best bit was half days at school on weds, Thurs, and Fridays. I was only 10.
Hi Ian, sorry to hear that both your mum and Colin have now passed away. My mum died in 2006 but dad is still going strong – he is now 84. We think back on our Seletar days with very fond memories.
Hi John, I remember you very well together with John Bates and many more from the Theatre Club. I see that Pam Ayres has just brought out a new book. Dad is still going strong but mum died in 2006.
Hi Rachel Gaden
It was a great pleasure to hear from you Inspite of the sad timing of Spike’s death. Your dad Spike ,or to give him his full moniker Gorden Austin Gaden was a lovely man to know and we spent many a happy hour discussing the merits of the world of theatre and as I indicated after he left the RAF got his first job at Chichester Theatre (helped by former STC John Baker – see it all comes together !) From that start Spike moved on to lighting westend shows including ‘ On the twentieth century ‘ ‘ Annie ‘ with Shiela Hancock and Stratford Johns and plays by Micheal Frayn.
Spike would often do the ‘getin’ of shows on tour to Bath and would call in and see us and in fact the last time we met was in Bath September 1st 1987 (our silver wedding day) and Spike was lighting a production of ‘An Inportence of being Ernest ‘ with Hinge and Bracket..By this time he had met your mum , Sue ,(also in the business – design ) and if I recall both you Rachel and Robin were in your prams.
I fully understand Spike leaving the unsocial hours of the theatre and settling down to normal family life.As i said we lost touch and time goes by.If you like give me a call 01793 539763 or skype ‘ray and jytte bellinger ‘ Thanks for making contact Rachel . Kind Regards to your family – Ray Bellinger.
I am also not good at going into blogs and getting replies out. I saw the comment from Ray Bellinger about you father having died. I wish that I had known sooner but that is my fault for not keeping up with news. Please accept my condolences he was a great guy and I am sure will be missed by you all.
I was really shocked yesterday to read of your dads passing and have sent an email to you mum. Your dad and I worked together in Watford when your dad left the RAF I think that was in 1965. Your dad went on to work at Chichester and I went to Exeter. I have been in Cape Town since 1973 and done the lighting for Opera, Ballet and Drama.
I know it is a difficult time but I send you all Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
Yes, I remember you well (as the line goes from the musical GIGI). I only discovered this blog a few month ago and it is so wonderful to see all the comments. If it had not been for your posting I would still not have known that Spike had died. I did wonder why I had not received a reply to my Christmas card and had a preminition that something was not well. As you will see from my comment to Rachel, I have sent an email to Spike,s wife, Sue.
Only in the last few days have I been copying slides taken at Seletar and putting then onto computer. I do not have a lot of slides, quite a few had lost all the picture due to such long storage. Your list of names managed to solve one picture of Joyce Dobbie, Alan Hills and another young man, I now know it was Barry Lambert.
I would love to make more contact with you and others on your list of names.
My email is: email@example.com
I will try to be in touch soon.
I remember you from Theatre Club days at Seletar. You did quite a lot of back stage work and also played parts in productions. Recently I came across a photo of you in “The Love of Four Colonels” and have now loaded it onto my computer (not very good pictures, but a memory).
Julie Goss did direct “JB” twice, once at Seletar and the second time at RAF Lyneham. I did the lighting on both occasions and also did the voice of Satanmask (just one line). I could sent photo of you if you send email address, just remember it is not the most wonderful picture. My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi everyone. My father was Wing Commander (or Squadren Leader, or Group Captain…all three but not sure which when in Singapore….I was only 4-6!) Freddie Westcott and was a hugely active member of the Theatre Club in the early 60’s. I’ve just been clearing our house (he died 30 years ago and my mother, still alive but just moved into a home) and found scrapbooks from 1957, posters, his annotated scripts (I think he produced Billy Liar, and Round the Horn), along with pics of said shows. My mother was a singer but she sang with the Sceneshifters. I remember the Sound of Music – Dad asked me to be the youngest daughter but I was too shy (think my friends would now find that surprising!). I am passing all the material to David Taylor. I wish I’d thought to look for people who knew my parents online earlier – my father was a POW but now most of his compatriots would be no longer with us. I miss him so any contact with anyone who remembered us would be great!
The name Julie Goss is very familiar. Pam Ayres was also there at the same time as us and Dad used to be tickled that he was at the start of her career. John Cater was also there.
Would love to hear from any of you
So no one remembers me .but i;ll carry on regardless.Yes,i remember Malcolm also , Matt (Dillon) i think .
Have listened to a few tapes from Pam Ayres autobiography there are quite a few chapters devoted to Seletar, and STC . John Stubbert is mentioned a couple of times i
recall John in The Vigil i:m pretty sure he played the part of The Angel.
I,ll throw out a few names perhaps someone will have some news about them
Iris Rose(Elvira in Blithe Spirit) Don and Daphne Fensom George also Lofty ,sorry cannot recall surnames i,m sure Matt will remember them ,great partygoers,
John Bates, brilliant actor .Best not forget Veronica Sharman(Madam Arcati)
Last time i saw Veronica was 1973 at a STC reunion held at the RAFA Club Picadilly.
I stayed overnight at her home i n Chistlehurst Kent she had taken a little corner shop aptly named (Veronica,s) I may also have met Group Captain Freddie Wescott at this time. Gerry Ingani is another familiar name.
Will leave off now and hope for the best
I’m too young to remember any of you (though we met Fred Bryant in later years so I knew him) but its great to know some of you remember my dad (Group cpt Freddie Westcott). I remember vaguely being at the club on occasion.
I have a heap of stuff (annotated scripts/scrap books of pics etc) which I am trying to get to the editor of the Seleter association so once he has had a chance to scan it it will all be online. There are lovely letters complimenting my Dad’s affect on the club – they won awards for their productions during that time (or maybe it was just one – I need to sit down quietly and go through everything carefully; at the moment I’ve been reading bits and bobs!). But I know when he had to resign it was with regret all round. Hopefully these letters will be online too so you can see the names involved. Once I have more specifics to post I will post again
I do not think it is just about ‘knowing’ or ‘remembering’ people in particular, it’s nice to know that we were all associated with the one and only STC.
I was in a production that got some awards in a Singapore festival of drama (was difficult to get anything when Gracia Tay Chee was in the room), I was the ‘Judge’ in ‘The Vigil’. Judges have papers and things on their bench, this judge also had papers on the bench, but they had my lines on them. I don’t know if anyone realised this, but it was handy as I found it difficult remembering whether it should be ‘sustained’ or ‘overruled’. It’s actually much easier to learn six pages of solo dialogue than little bits and pieces! Afterwards I had people I’d known for years, slapping me on the back for this very small part and saying nice things, including one officer who had given me a hard time over the years, he said “what a fabulous voice you have, well done”, kind of thing! Don’t think Gracia even mentioned me in the Straits Times, but she did slag off even those who got the top awards (Brenda and John). Cant win ’em all eh? I imagine not being mentioned by Gracia was a commendation of sorts?
Lots of great memories.
Lines on props. Love it!!
And yes you are right. It’s the connection that matters. Thanks for posting
This is a blushing John Bates. Thanks for the compliment. I remember all the people you mention and yes it was Matt Dillon. I still have a caricature he drew of me.
I met Freddie Westcott a few years later when he came to adjudicate at a festival and I saw Gerry Ingani at Gan when I staged through there on my way home. He was detached to there and he came to see me as I passed through.
So many happy .memories.
( The posts are all out of date order but I think this is recent so I’m just responding to say it was nice to hear of my dad mentioned
Nice to hear from you,even though I’m sure you don’t remember me.
Are you still acting? Daphne and Don Fensom are involved in The Blackwell Theatre Exeter I think.Hope I’ve got that right.Also hope you are keeping well
Hello Pip, nice to hear from you. I am well and even today celebrating (if that’s the right word) my 69th Birthday. I haven’t done any real acting for almost 35 years but I do go out with a sort of concert party giving poetry, prose and song recitals.
Malcolm Porter told me that you are on the Isle of Man. We are in Morecambe which is often a staging post for people on their way to the Heysham Ferry. Do you ever find yourself coming this way?
Oh my word John Bates! Caricature? Share that John please as I cannot recall that. I remember well the production of The Unexpected Guest in 1968. I was tasked to get the program printed. Not sure if you recall I played the dead guy! The guy we used to get the printing done decided to put my name top of the list – for a part in which I did nothing other than be dead! QT1 (John Stubbs) was the lead actor in the play. Everyone did something but me but there I was top of the bill. A few got hacked off at that I recall. This is the program from all those years back: http://www.rafseletar.co.uk/clubs-sport/theatre-club/raf-seletar-theatre-club-productions/the-unexpected-guest/
Hello Eddie. What a pleasant surprise. I see you posted this comment in June but the site has only just let me know.
I still have the Caricature you drew but laying my hands on it is a different matter again. I due course I will institute a search. I find the best thing is to look for something else and then the thing you are no longer looking for turns up.
I’m not sure how good the site is at notifying people so I will do a trawl of other sites.
In the meantime if you get this message and you would like a more direct contact I am on email@example.com
Ps. Ian. I also remember the swimming pool and tiger balm gardens. And there was this Commercial pond where you could fish. I was the first in my family to catch one!
Belated Birthday Wishes.So you are 69 ,where do the years go?
I,m sorry you don,t act any longer you were very good.
Have you ever been back to Singapore?,my daughter and I paid a visit last year,first time in 45 yrs ,but I won,t bore you with details if you have already been.
I passed through Heyshem last year on route to Lossiemouth,to my Grandsons’ wedding, He joined the RAF, 6yrs ago. My son in law drove,it took 7hrs.Iwouldn,t want to do that too often.Morcambe used to be very lively in the eighties, Stopped over a couple of times,at the Midland Hotel and also the Broadway.
Liverpool is the favourite these days especially for day trips and of course shopping,Otherwise it,s south via Gatwick to visit family
Gosh I’ve prattled on here and nothing about theTheatre.
Perhaps we could talk again soon
I am so pleased to hear from you
Sorry about you and Leslie but at the same time pleased to know that you have found such long term happiness with your present wife.
Of course i remember the children Jason ,James,and Gerrard.So very sad to lose James it must have been a terrible time for you.
Do you recall during the school holidays 1970 STC got hold of a copy of The Jungle Book and ran it every morning for a week? Or was Jason too young .I know our three were up ,early and down the road to get seats on the front row every day.
I have to admit by the end of the week i was a little weary of listening to BOO HOO HOO I WANNA BE LIKE YOU OO OO.
I see that my youngest son David was in touch with you some time ago making me out to be some doddery little old lady.I;ve just been to Ettihad Stadium Manchester, to see Coldplay in concert and next month off to Dublin to see Bruce Springsteen
SO not growing old gracefully.
I have a few good photographs of our time at STC.im not sure if they can be posted on this site,but i will try
Please keep in touch Malcolm
Talk to you soon .
All the best
Thanks for that. If you are interested in staying in touch, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org It would be nice to see the STC pictures, I dont have very much of that stuff at all.
I have put pictures onto facebook, but only one of STC at this time. I will scan and copy more in the next week or two, as I have a lot of Blythe Spirit. Here is the link: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.247628905353310.54499.100003186065838&type=3
Hi everyone. I have just had a quick look at one of the scrapbooks that I have – I’m not sure why we ended up with it as it goes from 1957 to 1969 which is before we got there and after we left. Many many of the names on here, both people who have written and those mentioned, are in there. I am going to get them up North but although I’ve been told I can courier them they are huge and weigh an absolute ton. I have another book and will look though when I get a chance. Some of the plays which are represented by pics/cast lists are:
yes and No (the first)
Nights must fall
As long as they’re happy
The tender trap
Appointment with death
The chitin hundreds
Toad of toad hall
etc etc I ran out of time – but it has the pics of JB in there, Aladin, and the one my Dad won with – the name it was either Billy Liar or something about the horn…(not round the horn – that was a radio show wsn’t it…?)… gone out of my head already!
There are also pics of after the fire and people tidying up (Ken Lightfoot, Alan Young, Spike….. and others).
look out for them
I have sent you an E mail but i can,t seem to get it through .Will you check the address you gave me i,ve put a dot after the M and also the D is that correctif so it must be my computer.
Talk to you soon
The only thing I can tell you is that I was in the Seletar Theatre Club during 1957 and was there at the opening night of the New Theatre which oped with ‘Night Must Fall’ I was just the ;property manager and curtain puller. This was followed by ‘Flare Path’ and if you have the pictures, I’m the one standing on the table as the Polish flying officer. I directed the next production, ‘While The Sun Shines’. This was a daunting task as the leading man just gave no life to his part. Opening night and for the rest of the season he was just great and reacted to an audiance. The play that was my swansong at Seletar was ‘Happy Landings’ in which I played the houseboat letting agent, Mr Allnutt. I have a cast photograph of this show if you would like it. The bar in the corner was designed by me and I assisted in its construction.
I only happened on this site when I had a thought about Seletar and used Google and found it. I will be keeping in touch from time to time to see if there is any activity. Living in Tasmania, Australia these days, it is great to have a link to times I really enjoyed.
Thanks for your messages John. I sent everything to the RAF Seleter Assn so they have all the programmes and scrapbooks and also a visitors book, but it does mean I can’t check you in the pics! I think you were there prior to us – we were around 63-66. I am not on here very often but always check new posts too so welcome and really nice to hear from you.
I am working on a new website dedicated to the Seletar Theatre Club. http://www.rafseletar.com. You will find lots of info here. However, there are still a lot of Gaps. If you have any contributions please use the contact form on the website.
I have started a Facebook page today, 2nd August 2012 for Seletar Theatre Club:- https://www.facebook.com/SeletarTheatreClub Please ‘like’ and pass on to others who would be interested. It would be good to get any pictures, memories and anecdotes form anyone connected to the club, and indeed anyone who was a patron and enjoyed the shows.
I need to build a complete picture of the history of the club, so any small piece of info will help.
Just like to make a comment about Alexandra Westcott’s letter of 27th June. I was at Seletar 1956-7 and was a stage hand at the first production on 27th February which was ‘Night Must Fall’ I can’t remember the order, butwe did ‘Flare Path’ in which I played the Polish Flying Officer. I directed ‘While The Sun Shines’ and the last one was ‘Happy Landings’ in which I played Mr. Allnutt. I only have one production photograph of ‘Happy Landings’ which I will scan and send on. Do you intend to put any of the photos from the scrapbooks on line? I for one would love to see them. I’m living in Tasmania, Australia where I moved to after National Service. The Aussies on Seletar were getting as much a week as us poor nashos weregetting a month and thought the climate and the money sounded great.
I’m affraid my memory of names is limited to Geoff Ball who directed ‘Night Must Fall’ and Dave Sheppard.
Look forward to some more Seletar news.
I was a member of STC in the early sixtys. My wife and I had a roam around Seletar married quarters the year before last, We found the old club building, It is now a vehicle scrap yard, the Church that was next door has gone. If any one rembers me please give us a call 01842 765142
How fantastic that you have scrap books with pictures and lists of theatre productions at Seletar Theatre Club. I was there from 1961 to 1963 and worked on the drama feastival productions of those years. I had set up all the lighting and controls (such as they were)in the club and did the lighting for most of the productions over the period. I have been involved with stage lighting since my demob in August ’63 and for the last 40 years I have lived in Cape Town. I would love to see the scrap books and be able to copy some of the information. I am trying to write a book at the moment about my life in stage lighting and part of that will be about Seletar and the Theatre Club. I hope to be in England in May this year (not sure of dates at the moment). Please ontact me on my email.
All the best to everyone,
John T. Baker.
I gave all the scrapbooks and programmes to David Taylor of the Seleter Association. He was really excited so I was happy to find a good home and you should contact him. As far as I am aware he took them to the reunion last Oct so hopefully a number of other people have now had a chance to catch up. There was an old visitors book which he also took with him. I really wanted them in a domain where other people would enjoy them and as far as I know I think he is intending to photograph the pages and put them online. I hope this proves helpful
Hi everyone. It would appear that this blog was instigated by my conversation with Tex on the RAF Seletar association forum website (which now seems to be defunct). I was in contact with Ray Bellinger a few months ago, but as communication is not one of my fortes, I didn’t keep in contact. Sorry Ray.
Hi john Baker. It’s great to here that you have had a long and successful career in lighting. I assume you remember me (the very noisy bloke in the sound box).
I have dug out some programs of the time I was there which I can scan and send you copies if you want. I’ve also got some photos which may be of interest to you. I will contact you via the email address you have given.
I too was extremely saddened to here about Spikes passing. I was also upset because he had been living not too far from me here in Scotland and didn’t know until it was too late.
As I have said in some of my other comments earlier, I was a member of the Seletar Theatre Club in 1957 and was involved in the final days of construction when I designed and assisted in the building of the semi-ciorcular bar in the back corner. I also painted the sign which stood out the front advertising the opening of the New Theatre with a production of ‘Night Muist Fall’. There was a very smart leather bound album which was made by the inmates of Changi Gaol to keep production photos in. Does anyone still have this? I have some photos of social functions that were held in the theatre. If anyone would like them I will scan them and email to who ever is interested. I’m sorry but I have a lousey memory for names but show me a face and I’ll recognise it straight away. It was a great time there and at one stage the school kids did a production of ‘The Importance of Being Ernest’ which I did the scenery and make up for. They were a great bunch of little actors. I also made some hand puppets and with another guy from the flying boat unit we put on a Punch and Judy show. I remember my days at Seletar with affection.
hello again John Routledge.My first attempt to speak to you seems to have disappeared so here we go again. I was at Seletar with you and I played Danny in Night Must Fall produced by the late Gerry Ball.I was also in Flarepath with you playing Teddy.The other Rattigan play was The Deep Blue Sea. I played Freddie Page. Sorry to say all programmes and photos are lost. Happy memories of The Theatr Club and of your wondrous Noel Coward song mimes. I hope you are fit and well. Best Wishes from David Carr.
I certainly remember your name but not sure I would recognise you or you would know me, we have all got a lot older. You can still get the RAF Seletar site. I have the site bookmarked as RAF Seletar (Singapore) Association and it come up every time. I will be in the UK in May this year but the closest I get to Scotland is Leicester. You can contact me on email@example.com Hope to hear from you soon.
Best regards, John Baker.
The scrap books are still around and they are being hld by David Lloyd. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org Would love some pictures if you can email. At this rate we should have a get-together in London, sadly I will only be there for a short visit in May 13 – 16 May. My email same as one above.
Regards, John Baker.
Hello everyone,I have just returned from a visit to Seletar 16 09 2014 pictures of our beloved Theatre as it is now to be found at
Just found this web site<I have happy memories of Seletar Theatre Club, I was 15 and was in the chorus of Aladdin ( I think 1962) I remember playing the guitar too. I have fond memories of Barry Lambert as Principle Boy Alladdin.
My name then was Sandra Armitage and went Seletar Secondary, I remember bring picked at an audition.
I still have the guitar I played and the scratch is still on it where someone at the Theatre Club stood on it (I often wonder who it was loll)
Very very happy memories of living in Singapore, we were so lucky, I have lived in many places in the world, but Singapore was special.
Hi Sandra, I played Abanaza in Aladdin and have a copy of the programm with your name in it as Sandra Armitage. Barry Lambert played Wishy Washy and Aladdin was played by Bill Gordon and the Rev. Mike Ingram was Widow Twankey. Good to make contact. John Baker.
Thank you John for your reply, I remember now, Barry played Wishy Washy not Aladdin. Some things are still very clear and others not so. One thing that I do remember clearly was when we took the show into Singapore town (forgotten where) think it was the last performance, I had my spot playing the guitar and Singing “Lets Get Together” the guy who played the piano for the show, and accompanied me started off in the wrong key! I was mortified and have never forgotten it, I think it might have been for a joke, but I have never forgotten it and being so young , I never said anything after the show.
I was very friendly with Barry Lambert and we did see each other, I think he was my first love, but my parents were against and stopped me seeing him, but I do remember him coming to see them and asking if he could take me out. Not long after that we left to go back to the UK, but we did manage to write one another for a while. Oh the memories!
John any chance you could email me copy of the Aladdin programme, I would be so thrilled to see it, I have spoken often to my partner about Singapore and Seletar Theatre Club and I would have proof, I was in Aladdin lol.
Hi’, Sandra my wife and I have been back to Seletar three times in the past 8 years. The old Theatre club building still stands, it is a vehicle breakers yard now. The church that was next door has gone. I had a look inside the stage is still there as is the over head walkway from the lighting control box to the stage. hope this is some help. Dave Patrick.1961 to 63.
Hi Sandra, I can email a copy of programm. We did a couple of performances at Cultural Centre in the City but not sure the centre still exists. Please send me your email address and my email is: Johnbaker@telkomsa.net I now live in Cape Town, South Africa.
Hi David, have always wanted to go back especially to Seletar, think its all gone now, We lived in Birdcage Walk and then moved to Swallow Rd. before that we were in Serangoon,I have looked up the places we lived on Google Maps and they are still there.
Finally got to visit number 21 Mornington Crescent last week on the way back from Oz. Whilst I don’t remember the houses with being so young when we left I really loved seeing how nice the area is and how well – kept the houses are.
It was quite poignant to imagine my lovely Mum walking down the path to the house etc in 1954. So glad I visited.
Just come across this site brought back lots of pleasant memories both within the Theatre club and outside the club. I have often thought about my time as a member of the club and of several members of the club. The club web site with all of the productions especially during my time mid 1962 to December1963 especially the entry of JB as it contained photos of every member involved in the festival winning production. If anyone wishes to contact me my email address is email@example.com
so Bye for now
Well, blow me down, John Bates. I got rid of the Vauxhall, lovely shades of light blue! How’s the Jew’s harp, have you mastered it yet? More to come.
Ever so good to hear from you. This postcards site is really idiosycratic. I see your post is dated in june of last year but I’ve only just been notified of it. Which means that you may not be notified of my reply. I shall have a search on Facebook and see if you’re on there. I am sorry to hear about the stroke, but glad to hear that you’re still active.
Well, how are we, folks? I’m OK, thank you, apart from a Stroke which is a bit of a bugger. But I’m still here, so that’s the main thing! In the meantime I’m driven around , like Lord Muck, with my wife, June, doing the driving.
John Bates, it’s nice to hear from you. I fact it’s nice to hear from you all again.
Insidentally, John, I had wonderful time driving you and anyone else foolish enough to join us in our wonderful joints around Singapore.
Listening to Pam Ayres on radio 2 she mentioned RAF Seletar – Dad used to say with a twinkle he helped start her career as he produced her a few times in productions that won the competitions they used to have (He was Wing commander, -I think, at that point-Freddie Westcott). I was looking at the photos over on another site and Robin Lewin has a picture of John Baker’s leaving do – and there is a chap who looks like one of our family friends called Alan McLauchlin (no idea if I’ve spelt it correctly!). We weren’t there quite at that point but I just wondered if it was indeed him, as they may well have been there before us. Anyway. Hello all. I hope this weird world finds you as well as possible.