This week's prompt photograph shows a group of "Merrymakers" - perhaps a concert/singing group? The men look as if they are escapees from a role of Redcoats at a Butlin's Holiday Camp in the 1920's/30's.
I was once in a group called "Melody Makers". We joined High School musical productions sitting at the side of the stage as an additional chorus and we dressed the part i.e. men in checked shirts, jeans & cowboy hats, women in flouncy skirts and fancy headwear for " Calamity Jane". One year I took part in a "Come and Sing" event for "My Fair Lady" where there was a prize for the Best "Ascot" stye hat - but sadly I have no photographs of these occasions.
I have written before about my love of Gilbert & Sullivan and here I am in "Trial by Jury" in the centre of the photograph, head up, singing out to the audience from the "public gallery". The costumes for this performance were recycled from earlier productions, so the pink bridesmaid dresses appeared first in "Ruddigore" and the girls in the gallery wore their costumes from "HMS Pinafore".
Below is a photograph of my mother dressed up - but for what? I have no idea
I first saw this photograph after my mother's death. She is the second figure in from the left - looking very trim and elegant in that boyish costume.
But what are they all dressed up for? There was a clue on the reverse - no date but the name of a photographer in Stirling (Scotland). That means it was taken after 1961 when we moved north from England. I do know that Mum went to Stirling to take part in some regional events for the Townswomen's Guild - or was it WRI (Women's Rural Institute) - and these clearly are all women. Was it a play? Mum was never interested in acting and I cannot see her delivering lines in a play. But she enjoyed singing and joined a choir wherever we lived. So was it a choral performance? Italian or Spanish, judging by the costumes? Is that a bride & groom in the centre with the "priest" alongside. Gilbert & Sullivan's "Gondoliers" came to mind, but there are no gondolier hats. I shall never know!
Finally two photographs from the collection of my cousin to show that dressing up is fun, whatever your age - both taken at Blackpool, the famous seaside resort, and the entertainment mecca of the north west of England.
Lily Beatrice Smith, nee Jones, (1884-1963) attending a fancy dress party at the Palatine Hotel, Blackpool where she worked and where her father-in-law John Ingram Smith was catering manager.
Ella Smith (1906-2003), dressed as a snowball for a fancy dress event at Blackpool.
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