Carole was introduced to amateur dramatics when her then husband was stationed in Singapore.
When she moved to Crediton a chance conversation with Chris Marshall, when playing badminton, led to an introduction to CODS. This was some 37 plus years ago. She joined the Society and she enjoyed every aspect of it, appearing in many productions on stage.
She also very much enjoyed the Choral season and performing the popular September Evenings. Even in the later stages of her illness she attended the rehearsals and performed in the Pick & Mix Concert in September 2018.
Her commitment to the Society led to her serving as chair-person for her full term of 3 years. After this time she became President for a number of years. She was also made a Life Member of the Society.
In addition to singing with CODS she was a member of the Parish Church Choir for many years, an activity that was very important to her.
Probably the last time we all saw her at CODS was when she came to see the 2019 production of ‘Carousel’. Although really quite poorly by this time, she was determined to see the show in which she had performed in 1984 some 35 years previously.
Just a little note passed on from Bill …. Carole was most insistent, she would say, Carole with an E!
Brian, his wife Jean, parents George and Phyl and brother John were all founder members of CODS
Brian served on the committee for many years and was also Chairman. always happy both on and off the stage. singing in the chorus, or playing small parts, helping backstage or with publicity.
He encouraged many CODS social activities and was always busy in the kitchen preparing and serving meals.
In his later years he always remained a very loyal and supportive Friend of the Society.
Hilary was a long time member of CODS. A very proud lady and proud of her parents who were both founder members of the Society. Hilary was involved with some of the earlier plays and then coaxed back on to the stage in 2005 for My Fair Lady.. She was an accomplished singer and liked to ensure everyone else at least knew the right notes, even if they couldn't necessarily sing them! Hilary was very proud and honoured when she was elected chairman of the society, and felt somehow it was her destiny to continue what her parents had helped to start.
The slightly unflattering photo shows her at her funniest in as a long suffering wife in 'Local Affairs'.Click HERE for more memories of Hilary.
To see her in solo action at one of the September evenings click the link below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lu5Tbgf6C1Y
Dave was a long standing member of CODS. A man of many skills and talents. Engineer, motorbike trials rider, diver, surfer, hill walker, motorsport enthusiast folk musician and 'unflinching possessor of opinions on most subjects!' (By his own admission that was!)
An energetic member of the chorus whose enthusiasm one carried him, unintentionally, from the stage into the orchestra pit!
Dave's cart still regularly makes it's appearance in our shows! His last show on stage was 'The Bakers Wife' Though his MS did not stop him singing in Choral concerts and helping wherever snd whenever he could.
To read more about Dave click HERE
It is probably quite true to say that Anne sang all her life. At school, both primary and later at Torquay Girls Grammar school she enjoyed her music and, in particular, singing with various choirs. She was in the Torquay Children's Choir and one of her first leading roles was with this choir, as a soloist in Hansel and Gretel.
She joined CODS in 1974 and her first production was Oklahoma! Anne was always happy to sing in chorus or leading roles with the society. She has been, Golda, Katisha, The Grand Duchess, and Ruth to name but a few.
Whilst she enjoyed treading the boards, her main love was the singing and she had strong views about 'older ladies on the stage'. She really enjoyed the CODS concert party performance, the forerunner of the choral section of the society. It was a great joy to her when she returned to her singing lessons with a lady who was to become a dear friend, Pamela George, and then through a chance connection via Pam, Anne became a member of 'Vocalise’, a local SATB quartet.
In her later years she rejoined Choral for the annual September Evenings. Her last performance was in 2011 when she sang the Flanders and Swan song ‘The Slow Train’ in the On the Move Concert.
A recording of Anne singing 'June' written by Rodger Quilter, words by Nora Hopper.
Mike joined CODS to be in Anything Goes following his passion for tap dancing (there was a fair amount of tap dancing in this production!) He also had a cameo role in Viva Mexico.
Mike was always on hand for set construction and performing. He had a real love of theatre throughout his life and thoroughly enjoyed his time with CODS even though he didn't join until his later years.
One thing you could particularly rely on with Mike. When it was time to load the lorry with all the set etc before a production .... he was always one of the first people there to help.
A quiet man, Mike is sadly missed by his family and friends in the society.
As it said in Keir's obituary in the 'Blitz' programme "Characters like this don't come along very often!!"
Keir joined the Society for the it's first production, which was HMS Pinafore. He helped out by making scenery and props. However he soon got the urge to 'prance around the stage' and take a performing role in the first shows. He was the Pirate King in the Societies first performance of The Pirates of Penzance. Keir was well know for his joviality and jokes backstage.
He took many other principal roles including Ali Hakim in Oklahoma! Pooh Bah in the Mikado, The Judge in Trial by Jury and memorably as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.
Keir passed away quite suddenly in January 2014 on his fruit farm in Spain. He was 81.
Members remembered from earlier years.
DEREK AND OLIVE LION
Both Derek and Olive were founder members of the Society. In fact it was Derek who, very wisely, suggested that the Society be called COS 'Crediton Operatic Society' instead of Crediton Gilbert and Sullivan Society. (The initial vision of the Society was to perform the works of G&S) but Derek foresaw that the company might want to perform other shows in the future.
Derek was a man of enormous common sense and good judgement. His early contributions to the Society have helped ensure it’s long term success. He was a pragmatic, methodical person and a stickler for the correct procedures. He enjoyed performing and in particular in the back row of the chorus.
Olive thoroughly enjoyed performing on stage and played a number of principal roles. She was also in charge of organising costumes for many of the earlier shows. A very strong personality, Olive could be very forthright with her opinions. The trouble was she was usually right! … But not always!
One of CODS older and most longstanding supporters. Kitty passed away at the grand age of 94.
She was at her best with the make up stick, along with her friend Helen Sawyers. Together they made the much loved characters of W S Gilbert come to life. Also making those of ‘a certain age’ look a little younger.
In 1972 she was in CODS first play ‘The Chalk Garden’ Thus helping to put the ‘D’ into CODS!