By way of introduction, my name is Jan Hallett and I am the founder member of the Burdock Valley Players
I moved to Upper Clatford in the Easter 1993 and having been involved in ‘Am-Dram’ for many years really missed being involved in a local group. Anyway, during the following Christmas I was browsing through the Andover Advertiser and noticed a review for a local Pantomime AND an advert for an Arts Council Grants for new local groups and thought, why not? Just one problem, I could not apply for the grant as an individual, I needed a group!
So during January 1994 I drafted a poster suggesting the formation of a local Drama group and inviting those interested to my home for a preliminary chat. So, with the help of some of my nieces and nephews we distributed posters at random in and around Upper Clatford and Anna Valley in the February and waited for replies. The telephone did NOT ring and the due date for our meeting duly arrived and we had not a single person who had registered any interest. My dear husband came home early that evening, as he knew I was a little upset about the ‘no response’. The clock struck 8.00pm. Our door bell rang and all these people arrived! Some 14 or so trooped in and that evening the Burdock Valley Players was born.
Yes, I did apply for the Grant, the Village Hall Management Committee (VHMC) at Upper Clatford were very supportive in helping us financially in those early days. As did the local May Fayre committee in the following years.
Our first production was 2nd July 1994 which was a Revue called “Love Is” which was a huge success and gave us a flying start for the next production. We had raised £700, plus the Grant and generous support from the VHMC and this enabled us to meet our £1000 target to fund our first Pantomime. So in the first week of December 1994 I produced “Aladdin” and the group was well and truly on its way.
Burdock Valley Players has become a very successful group with many awards to their name and long may it continue. I have long since retired and am living in France, sharing my life with 2 horses, 3 dogs, 2 canaries, many cats. Oh, and of course, my dear husband who, without his support throughout, I would not have remained sane!!”