From Toytown to Buckingham Palace

After the Summer break the Belles came out in force for our first meeting of the Autumn and no words can describe how wonderful our evening was mainly due to our amazing speaker.

John Stirling came  all the way from Manchester with his wife Ann to tell us his story ‘From Toytown to Buckingham Palace’.
The hall was filled with laughter and tears and pure astonishment at John’s extraordinary career as a child actor, producer, director and playwright! He started as Noddy on the West End stage,  worked with the likes of, Jimmy Edwards in Whack-o! Jack Warner, Dixon of Dock Green fame and Sid James before spending 6 years alongside Morecambe and Wise. He produced several Royal Variety Performances, wrote a musical for Marti Caine and even wrote a special play for Patricia Hayes, which sadly was never televised due to Ms Hayes onset of Alzheimer’s. This led him on to the next chapter in his life of rescuing donkeys.  John and his wife Ann, who was a costume designer for many TV series e.g. A Family at War and many others, set up an inspirational charity with Dame Judi Dench, rescuing donkeys, creating a wonderful environment for them and training them to work with special needs children. Through this work they came into contact with many other famous actors, June Brown,  Edward Fox, Brian Blessed and even meeting Her Majesty The Queen.
Following his entertaining talk, John signed books and Ann sold beautiful toy donkeys and donkey themed aprons all of the proceeds going to providing much needed services and support for children.
As the Belles swarmed their tables buying up every donkey in sight, refreshments were served and the socialising commenced!
Next month is the our 3rd Birthday party and it promises to be another eventful year for Great Bookham Belles WI.

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