Featured Acquisition May 2019

The Patchwork Players

We live in a world full of readily available technology that provides us with personal entertainment to occupy the hours we are not engaged with work or school. For many it is hard to consider the time when there was not entertainment in the home by just turning or pressing a button. In the 1940’s and 50’s a small concert group called the Patchwork Players was set up. The group would visit local villages and places in Sudbury to provide an evening’s entertainment. The group was organised by Mr Harold St George Whiffen, and the show consisted of sketches, solos, piano solos and recitations. Most of the material and music was written by Mr Whiffen, who also performed with the group.

Other members of the group included Phyllis Whiffen (Harold’s wife), Jean Thorogood (Jean Geater), Len Wickerson, Joan Harrison (pianist) and Jack French. Mrs Tibbetts was the pianist for a short time. Phyllis Whiffen and Jean Thorogood wore matching evening dresses made by Ida Cole.

It was unusual for private homes to have telephones in the 40’s and 50’s but the Whiffen household was one of the fortunate ones and this was how people contacted Mr Whiffen in order to book concerts. Another problem was transport – private ownership of cars was unusual so the players would travel to venues in local villages by taxi.

For more details of all the items we hold, see our Ephemera Catalogue.

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