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Thorley Hall: Bishop's Stortford Museum Collection

Dick Whittington, the famous owner of Thorley Hall or the ‘Manor of Thorley’

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

As this year’s  Rhodes Panto ‘Dick Whittington and his magical cat,’ takes us on a quest to defeat RatPutin and rid London of his rat army, we at the museum, are setting our minds to explore a little of the history of the real Richard Whytyndone, a medieval merchant, politician and owner of propetry at Thorley, near Bishop’s Stortford. Born in the 1350s, the second son of a Gloucestershire family, Richard did not inherit his father’s estate, and so travlled to London to make his fortune. After serving an apprenticeship he became a ‘mercer’, dealing in cloth and supplying fine fabrics to both King Richard II and...

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Christmas Cracker!

‘Time to Put Up the Christmas’ by Suzanne

Monday, December 29, 2014

At one time in Bishops Stortford and the surrounding villages, people would decorate at Christmas with holly and evergreens; this was known as ‘the time to put up the Christmas’. We, the volunteers, have recently been looking at local old customs and traditions, so here are some of the things that went on at this time of year in the past. Many will recognise this account from 1553; ‘The mothers all their children on the Eeve doe cause to fast, and when they every one at night in senselesse sleepe are cast, both apples, nuttes, and peares they bring, and...

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Brazier image 1

Christmas truce in the trenches 1914

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Exactly 100 years ago this evening, 18 year old Private Charles Brazier of Bishop’s Stortford took part in the famous Christmas truce in the trenches. Charles was one of many soldiers who stepped over the top into no-mans land, not to fight, but to share Christams greetings with the enemy, to sing carols and exchange gifts. Early in December commanders noted that Chritsmas might be a time when the men would want to fraternise: “It is during this period that the greatest danger to the morale of troops exists…friendly intercourse with the enemy, unofficial armistices, however tempting and amusing they may be, are...

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2014 Rhodes Panto Web Image

Reviews of Dick Whittington and His Magical Cat

Monday, December 22, 2014

The verdict is in and Dick Whittington and His Magical Cat is a hit!  For tickets, please click HERE.


Dick Whittington and His Magical Cat

Published Monday 22 December 2014 at 09:59 by Mike Martin

Opening with a giant screen hurling out humorous corporate images, it is obvious this is going to be a show with an angle of its own. Indeed, throughout the production, this inventive use of visual technology is used to great effect. Even the villain, Ratputin (Duncan Rutherford) is a modern-day corruption of a Muscovite Moghul, while an enthusiastic cast flies and twirls all over the auditorium.

The musical set pieces are quite brilliantly staged, alive with clever parodies and some truly splendid original songs by Connor Linden (who also plays Jack). Sparkling choreography abounds, from out of which shines one particular performer, charismatic Katie Miller.

A trio of dopey henchmen complements the proceedings, the members working their comical socks off, with the most watchable being natural funnyman Daniel James.

Phil Dale, complete with beard, must be one of the butchest dames ever, but is gloriously appealing in the role.

Amy Moulder plays Dick with thigh-slapping aplomb as he woos pretty blonde Alice (Georgia Collins). Fine support is supplied by a large cast including Jack Downey in multiple parts, Sunanda Biswas as Dick’s hip-hopping cat and charming fairy Grace Wheeler.

Verdict: Original and highly entertaining take on a classic tale



“Fabulous, full of energy and fun”

“Better than anything in the West End”

“I thought the performance was exceptional”

“I love the way that it mixed up traditional panto with a modern way of life. Makes it entertaining for adults, children and everyone”

“I visit the West End and the Rhodes Theatre is as dedicated and professional in it’s presentations as the West End”

“Far exceeded expectations for a local show!”

“Excellent – West End quality”


Don’t miss out on seeing the panto of the season! Call the Box Office to book your tickets on 01279 710200.

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Musings on the ghost (or skeleton) of Christmas past and working in a museum

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It’s nearly mid-winter, and outside my office window at Bishop’s Stortford Museum all I can see is darkness, wind and rain. This is a season where time seems to wrinkle and the past can seem awfully close sometimes, an atmosphere no doubt heightened by the fact that I work in a museum. Staring out of the window I can’t help but wonder how the people whose cultures we try to preserve would have experienced the world when they were alive at this time of the year, during the run up to Christmas. Take for example Titus, the museum’s famous Romano-Roman...

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Christmas Eve Pantomime Sold Out

Monday, December 8, 2014

And only a few seats left for Boxing Day performance!


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