Twenty Years Ago
A compact but loyal audience gathered in London's Theatre Downstairs for the final performance of Addison Voles in his one-man show And Then I Died (last appearance, that was, before embarking on a farewell tour of the UK, culminating in a West End grand finale two years on). Written, produced and performed in emphatic style by the veteran actor, the show featured every known death scene from English theatre, the last hour given over entirely to Shakespeare. A tour de force for costume and make-up, the production owed much also to the skills of two unnamed assistants who carried out more than 200 quick changes of scenery, only three of them not right for what followed. The show carried sponsorship from a well-known brand of tissue manufacturers, whose products were on sale alongside ice-creams at each of the four main intervals.
Thirty Years Ago
An out-of-court settlement was reached between Mastodon UK, manufacturers of high-powered, wall-mounted kitchen gadgets, including The Titan (eezi-turn key-spinner for cans of corned beef), and Mrs Hilda Nubbles of Much Thodding in Essex. Mastodon agreed to pay all costs necessary for re-instating the 12 ft section of kitchen wall that had rotated and then dropped out when Mrs Nubbles, following the instructions supplied, made use of her newly installed Titan. However, it was agreed that Mastodon were not liable for the cost of a new tin of corned beef, as the one in question had not been punctured and its contents remained edible 'insofar as they ever had been'.
Forty Years Ago
Parish Council members of Cockfield Parva in Suffolk were still awaiting a response from the Soviet ambassador, following the recent declaration of a nuclear-free zone around their village and the neighbouring settlement of Gruntisfold Green (but not including Cockfield Magna). They were waiting to hear back also from the US ambassador in London, but had received a postcard from the Base Commander of nearby USAF Droppingham. This bore the words 'ha' and 'ha'.