Saturday, 10 August 2013

Old Buckenham Women's Institute

All about Gilbert and Sullivan
Old Buckenham WI members were pleased to welcome Arthur Barrett to their July meeting. For over 37 years Arthur was a teacher at our local High School and he said he was pleased to be back in Old Buckenham. He gave an excellent talk on the lives and works of Gilbert and Sullivan. Sir William Gilbert (1836-1911) was the librettist and Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) of course provided the music for these popular operettas. The latter was also an organist and conductor and he is also remembered for writing some eighteen hymn tunes, including “Onward Christian Soldiers”.
For over a century, the comic operas of G & S have enchanted audiences throughout the world. Gilbert’s texts are parodies of institutions and ideas held dear by middle-class Victorian England and the topsy-turvy humour, pithy dialogue and witty versification remain as delightful as ever.
The speaker illustrated his talk by showing videos of some of the well-known pieces, including Frankie Howerd’s portrayal of the learned judge in “Trial by Jury” and also a clip of ‘The Mikado’ (recorded in 1963) of Lionel Blair and his team performing The Mikado Twist!
The Old Buckenham WI has been involved in several activities during the past month including a visit to Gooderstone Water Gardens (including an excellent pub lunch en route), their annual ‘Progressive Supper’ and an enjoyable walk with a Norwich Blue Badge Guide around the Cathedral area of the city on what must have been the only very wet evening in the past few months.
Pat Shearing reported on her recent visit to Denman College. The subject of her art course was “Water and Reflections” and she brought some of her work for members to admire.
Members have several activities to look forward to, namely the Old Buckenham Village Fete at the end of August, the Village Produce Show on Sunday 8 September and the group meeting on Thursday 19 September when the speaker will be journalist Lynn Mortimer. There will also be the Craft Day on Saturday 2 November when it is hoped that non-members will take part as well.

1 comment:

Hannah Goring said...

Hi, I wonder if you can help. We are organising a reunion for pupils who left Old Buckenham High School in 1995. Arthur Barrett was our maths teacher and form tutor and we would love to track him down for his memories or for him to send a message to us.
If he is able, he can email me at

Many thanks.