Monthly meetings articles

Monthly meeting articles

John Pitman - A life on the stage

Our November speaker was a lifelong amateur performer on the stage and an author of several novels. He was a very entertaining raconteur and kept us smiling throughout his talk.

He told us how a rabbit which had been shot dead and stuffed was used in the first play which he took part in. For many years before he took to the stage properly, he competed in ballroom dancing competitions, achieving bronze, silver and gold medals. He then joined the Winchester formation dance team but his dance career was cut short by meeting his wife to be, getting married and having two children!

In 1982 he started appearing in Pantomime and was a success as The dame. He also ventured to play Buttons in Cinderella.

We learned that amateurs are permitted to sing selections of songs from up to date musicals but are not allowed to perform them. John's daughter also takes part in the shows now.

A lot of his performances took place in Otterbourne Village Hall. Unfortunately, in recent times, He has found it increasingly difficult to remember his lines so has decided that it is time to leave the stage.

At the end of the talk he encouraged his audience to join him in singing such songs as 'Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do' and 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles', and the singing wasn't bad!

Maggi Bridgman

Owls about town

Andy Kendall, who runs 'Owls About Town' with his wife, Zsi, in Selsey brought several of his owls to our November meeting and it proved to be a fascinating afternoon. The owls all looked interested in what was going on and various people were allowed to hold the smaller owls, which caused much excitement.

Catherine Britton

Andy was invalided out of the army and unfortunately became homeless. He lived alone in a rural setting and began to adopt rescued owls. Often they had been bought as presents for children who were unable to care for them and they were in need of a new home. Andy developed an affinity with them. He met his wife and they started the business, 'Owls About Town'. They attend many venues and events, such as Residential homes, charity events, schools, birthday parties and team building sessions. They also run individual experiences and attend fĂȘtes and fairs. Good animal welfare is very important to them - they are all fed on a healthy diet and they travel in purpose built boxes. It is an original way of ensuring that the owls are well cared for while members of the public experience interaction with these wonderful creatures.

Maggi Bridgman

Photos by Hannelore Hone