The Entertainers of Pelsall

After publishing the article about Mavis and the Melody Girls it reminded me of earlier discoveries I had made about entertainment in Pelsall village. Performance entertainment certainly went back to the Victorian times courtesy of the Charles family of Pelsall Hall, who it appeared were very keen to bring culture to the village.  Perhaps inspired by this , it appears that the people of Pelsall have always been a little partial to a bit of acting and performing here and there for the entertainment of others and for fundraising purposes.

It could be said that the earliest recorded signs of this lie with the Charles family, the children of whom acted performances for the villagers in the early days as you will read in some of the following articles.

Above: The Village Hall

Photograph courtesy of Mr A Weller - Pelsall History Centre

Pelsall village hall which once stood where Paradise Grove is today was built by the Charles family in 1856.  The foundations of it were that of Pelsall's first Church which was built in 1311.  The village hall was demolished on 25th March 1985.

In its day the village hall was host to numerous meetings and performances organised by the Charles family and members of the community.  The Charles family built the village hall for the people of Pelsall.

The tickets above and below are examples of popular entertainment held by the Charles family

Photograph above and below courtesy of Mrs Chilton

The poster above is another example of entertainment put on by the Charles family in 1884

Photograph above courtesy of Mrs Chilton

Pelsall Hall Brass Band as seen above was often very much in demand as you will see from the posters and articles on this page

Photograph copyright A Bates - Pelsall Times

In the article above, in addition to Pelsall Hall Brass Band playing in the courtyard.  The article goes on to describe Madam Jarley's Waxworks which was an extremely popular play at this time.

Photograph above courtesy of Mrs Chilton

Negro Minstrels were extremely popular entertainment in Pelsall at the time, they were so popular in fact that they inspired some villagers to create their own minstrel group as you can see from the poster above and the article below.

Poster above courtesy of Mr A Weller - Pelsall History Centre

Photograph above and below courtesy of Mrs Chilton

As seen above, Amateur Theatricals and comedy entertainment was also performed at Pelsall Hall Room

The Lady's ticket above was for entrance to Pelsall Ball which was being held at Pelsall Hall in 1893.           Photograph above courtesy of Mrs Chilton

Pelsall School children at the time also got in on the act.  The group above were performing Musical Whist with Living Cards in 1895

Photograph above copyright A Bates - Pelsall Times

The performance above was held at Pelsall Hall to raise money for Walsall Cottage Hospital and the enlargement of Pelsall Church School

Photograph above courtesy of private collector

Rev Parrett referred to in the article to the left can be seen to the left in the photograph above.

Entertainment on this occasion saw 500 people in attendance and funds being donated to Walsall Cottage Hospital.

Photograph above copyright A Bates - Pelsall Times

The actors and musicians seen above played out their performance in the 1920's at the Central Hall in Pelsall, seen below

Photograph above and below courtesy of Mr A Weller - Pelsall History Centre

The charity football match above was played by the above men in costume, they were known as High Heath 1st Dreadnoughts.  The very fact that they were in such entertaining costume would certainly have bought out the crowds.

Photograph above and below copyright A Bates - Pelsall Times

Pelsall Council School 1926

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Back Row L - R: Larry Pell, Mary Rowley, Doris Taylor, Bettie Davis, Mary Meacham, Daniel Deeley, Lucy Dolman

Front Row L - R: Janet Wright, James Simpson, Freddie Yeoman

The Arcadian's performed by Co op Youth Club under the direction of Mr Massey and Assistant Leader Mr W Clayton 

Mr Clayton played the melancholy jockey and other leading roles were played by    Mr Tony Cross, John Burford and Eileen Cavannagh

Photograph above and below copyright A Bates - Pelsall Times

If you would like to share your memories or photographs with readers of Pelsall Times, I would be delighted to hear from you.