Right from the early days of the Group going on the stage in front of an audience has been a fundamental part of training, giving confidence and a feel good factor to every member of the Group and families alike.
The early shows were mainly plays, later from 1932 when Ralph Reader started the national Gang Shows the addition of music was a an integral part. Ralph Reader wrote many songs which were free to all Scout Groups to use in their own shows including the famous Riding Along on a Crest of a Wave which became its anthem.
Our Diehard Shows had a different name for each year and it became a head banging process each planning meeting as to what this was going to be. During the Dormobile Foreign Tour to Belgium Rover Scout Colin Ramsell got slightly tiddly one night and one of the locals in the restaurant said
baby him Zig-Zag. This became the name of the group show that year end Les never knew the origin of the name! In 1972 it was decided to adopt a previous title Black & Gold as the name for all future shows.
Ron Meyer was Ralph Reader's assistant who ably had our Cub Pack one year deliver a magnificent show just on their own. Marvellous what professional direction can produce.
The shows took on a rather different format to the early shows having opening and closing musical numbers to each half, sketches and plays interspersed with magic acts, solo spots and plenty of drag. The ladies of the Group helped with costume making and make up. All the Group prepared in the upstairs halls and were called down to the stage via the back stairs where knees would tremble backstage ready for the 'off'. Members of the Works Panel prepared all the scenery and managed the sets during the performances.
We were able assisted with the grand piano, played by Vic Dodd and then Betty Robinson who later were joined by Peter Larkin on guitar and David Barrett making up the Show band.