It all started from a conversation I (Jim Willie) had with Enid Eyre, head mistress of Hollesley School. I was a school governor and we were lamenting the fact that there was not enough in the village for the youngsters to do and they were going to Woodbridge, or further afield for their entertainment.
So, Enid, Colin Shannon (local doctor) John, Jenny Maddock and I (Jim Willie) set up a small committee in 1979 and the Hollesley Players was born.
On the 16th December that year we had a concert in the village hall led by Jill Gathercole, who was a music teacher and good guitarist. Several of us played and sang, among other songs, Country Roads, Sailing and Puff the Magic Dragon. I can't be sure if this was a H P production but youngsters were involved. The first production was on 16th and 17th May 1980 Cat on the Fiddle. John Maddock produced it, he and I with others build the simple box set.
Pat Shannon was my long suffering wife, Freda, Jenny Maddock, Pam Charity, John and Audrey Shelcott, Lez Andrews and others, whose names I can't be sure of, were in the cast. The first play with children was A Christmas Carol on 21st and 22nd December 1980, the audience on the second night was 200!!