This magnificent nativity tableau was the finale for the Christmas Concert in the V.C. Hall in 1949. The performers were members of the Sunday School and Church Choir. The Virgin Mary was played by Marjorie Johnson, the Angel Gabriel was Betty Culpin and Joseph was played by Jim Calcraft. The three wise men were Stanley Barratt, Peter Topps and Jeff Bolland. The taller angel in the foreground is Brenda Sellers, next to her is Pamela Jackson and the third angel is Mary Topps. One of the shepherds was George Bolland. We are not sure of the names of the other two shepherds, who are very well disguised. Can anyone identify them?
Mary Owen (nee Topps, the angel next to Gabriel) recalls: ‘The tableau was organized by Mrs. Blackmore, wife of Canon Blackmore, the Rector. The girl kneeling at the manger was a guest at the Rectory. We were all about the same age, probably 7 or 8 max. I do remember that it was the only time I ever got to wear proper wings and I was well pleased with them.’
Peter Topps, a wise man, also remembers where many of the cast lived at the time: ‘Stanley Barratt lived on Castle View Road in the last house before Goodson’s Farm, where there is now a big motor home. Jeff Bolland, who now lives in Grantham, lived on Chapel Street. Jim Calcraft, who sadly died young and is buried in Bottesford churchyard, lived on the corner of St. Mary’s Walk and Grantham Road. His father was a J.P. Marjorie Johnson lived at Walnut Farm, opposite The Thatch. Betty Culpin lived on Market Street, next to The White House.’