The activities of the Nelson Section of the cyclists' Touring Club were many and varied during last week-end. On Saturday a social evening and supper was held in the Co-operative Rooms, Cumberland Street, where members and their friends, who had not been turned away at the door, were provided with first-class entertainment, most of the artistes having been commandeered from the ranks of the C.T.C. There were others, however, who, although non-members, were pleased to give their contributions to the evening programme. Miss Dixon, L.L.C.M., A.T.C.L., was at the piano, and tickled the ivories deftly, as she accompanied the vocal aspirants. Her rendering of the "Autumn
Prelude” was much appreciated by the audience.
Mr. Herbert King, C.T.C.-ite, gave a few songs, being in excellent voice for the occasion; while the Misses Sugden, who are also club members, did justice to the occasion by blending their voices in duet.
Madame Crossley also gave songs, which were well received; and yet again Jack Whittle, from "Barlick,” convulsed the audience with his recitals in Yorkshire dialect. We shall never tire of his description of "Jonathan Swale."
An unusual feature in the programme was the demonstration in "limb swinging" and other physical contortions, by three juvenile lads and their instructor, who is also instructor of a certain Health and Strength League in Burnley. Their efforts were well applauded although there would probably have been some complaints if the audience had been asked to try some of the exercises
at the conclusion of the act.
During the interval refreshments were given away—but only to those with refreshment tickets. Tea, broth, coloured cakes and meat pies were much in evidence, and there were many in the audience who began feeding “Squire” with buns in a manner which left his attendants open-mouthed in astonishment at his capacity.
The “bun-fight” over and the multitude fed, the work of gathering up the fragments of cakes, pies and plates was begun (I am not going to say how many baskets were filled) while the artistes, who were about to appear in a sketch, were undergoing painting decorations by Mr. W. Hampton, who also coached them in their previous rehearsals. This little play was shortly presented to the audience, and was entitled "The Stop-Gap Hero,” and is really a play within a play, in which the real hero is indisposed, and to save disappointment, a stop-gap hero, in the shape of a young Yorkshireman, is put on, who is supposed to have had no rehearsals. Mr. R. Greenwood as "Hemingway," played his part so well in pretending to forget his lines and substitute others, that many in the company actually thought he was spoiling the play. Mrs F. Baldwin took the part of "Rosy Rapture," "the maiden in distress,” who is about to be forced into marriage by her uncle, Sir Anthony Bickley (played by Mr. E. whitehead) to Septimus Whitclock, a rich old merchant (R. Harrison). Rosy, with the aid of her servant, Lydia (in reality Miss E. Plews) who calls the hero to the rescue, disposes of old Septimus. Then the villain, a motor highwayman comes on the scene (L. Hartley in disguise), and of whom, I overheard, played his part naturally—now what was meant? After making dove to Rosy, he dances with her, and, is finally kicked off the stage by Hemingway.
The old uncle brings another suitor, Fred Baldwin, as "Professor Le Pomme," an inventor, who, after describing his inventions, is thrown out by the hero, and exposed by him as an old rascal in debt. The uncle, in astonishment, then allows his niece to marry the hero, who has just received the news of his inheritance of a fortune.
All the actors played their parts admirably and were given much applause.
At the conclusion of the programme a vote of thanks to the artistes was made by Mr. H. Blezard, and seconded by Mr. H. Leaver, 11 p.m. bringing to a close a very enjoyable evening.