In 1955 the SWINDON AMATEUR ENTERTAINMENT CLUB (SAVEC) was formed by David Bradley, who was the son of one of the Bradley Brothers, a local building company.
SAVEC was formed by a group of dedicated amateur actors, variety artists, dancers, musicians and back stage staff, who were prepared to spend a large amount of their leisure time performing, for entirely charitable purposes, at venues in the Swindon area.
Over the five years of its existence SAVEC saw many changes as people came ane went, some going on to greater things. National Service was still very much in evidence at the time and several of the male artists were called upon to serve in one of the three Armed Services.
But what was a typical SAVEC show like? Was it slick and quite professional or was it corny and best forgotten? Without the aid of modern media technology it’s hard to imagine how the group actually looked and sounded like.
However all is not lost as it has been recenthly discovered that a member of the backstage crew had made a recording of one of the shows on his Grundig TK5 home tape recorder and still had the original tape. After many hours of processing a reasonable digital master was produced.
The SAVEC show which was recorded at The Cotswold School, Ashton Keynes in 1956, was a typical production, made up of an Old Tyme Musicall Hall plus other variet acts in the first half and a potted pantomime, written by long time member Ken Stratton (Kenny Ess), in the second part of the production.
Nearly all members of the Group, as it was in 1956, can be heard on the recording, including a sound only version of conjuring! The humour is dated now and very non PC, however, the audience sound like they’re loving every moment
This is an excellent example of SAVEC at its best, bringing good entertainment to everyone and at the same time raising money for deserving causes.