Secretary Rod Slater writes:
Due to one of those happy chances which occur from time to time it transpired that Priestley’s play Eden End was to be put on at the Ilkley Playhouse around the same time as the Annual Lunch. Quite a few members decided to make a weekend of it, and a goodly number turned up for the Saturday matinee performance. Not only were we able to enjoy a spirited performance of this rarely performed play but we were treated to an informal reception afterwards at which we were able to meet the cast and be entertained by a talk from the producer. Later, we were given the opportunity to go behind the scenes and inspect the stage and the enormous backstage area where the actors await their turns to go into the limelight, and where the sets are constructed and costumes designed and made.
By another kindly turn of fate it turned out that Priestley’s film The Lost City was to be shown at the National Science and Media Museum on the morning of the Luncheon. Several members attended to enjoy again this part nostalgia part bracing comment on postwar Bradford, which so upset the City Fathers and which provides a fascinating social document. Not least of the pleasure was seeing the youthful Mavis Dean (later to become a Founder Member and doyenne of the Society) accompanying Priestley on his tour around the city.
Once again, the Annual Luncheon was held at the Great Victoria Hotel, Bradford, with a record number attending. This time, instead of the usual readings taken from Priestley’s works, it was decided that we would mark the sad passing of John Waddington-Feather earlier in the year. A Founder Member of the Society and past Chairman, John had been a great influence on the Society while at the same time pursuing his great passion as a writer with reference to his Yorkshire roots. Tony and Jenny Reavill came up with the ambitious idea of reading an abbreviated version of John’s masterpiece Garlic Lane (often compared with Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood) with many diners taking on sections of the play to the delight of the entire company. This brought to an end an action-packed weekend.