IAN HART Shopping, dance championships and the PLaza cinema

THE commander in chief despatched me to Morrisons on Sunday morning.

Food shopping and I are strange bedfellows and one of my big bugbears is the check-out scenario.

I don’t mind paying for it, it’s the packing that can cause problems, as when I get back the ‘C-in-C’ always says ‘You shouldn’t have packed that with this, etc’.

Therefore, imagine my relief when I got to the check-out and there was a young lady offering to pack my bags in exchange for a donation.

She was part of party from The Jean Butterworth School of Dancing, JBS, for short, who were raising funds for their forthcoming trip to the World Dance Championships in Paris where they have been invited to perform a classical piece entitled “Poetry in Motion”. The group numbers 25 made up of local youngsters aged between 10-16.

Regardless of the excellent reason why they were raising funds, I’m also buoyed by the fact that in a town where, whether we like it or not, we have youngsters who don’t behave in a manner we all would like, we also have many youngsters, like the JBS crew, who don’t want hand-outs and are prepared to roll their sleeves up and get on with their hobbies and interests – and in the process will have a great experience when they travel to France.

They will not be alone, as Worthing will have two representatives at the Championships as the Glendale School of Dancing have also qualified. They, too, are also embarking on a number of fund-raising events.

JBS collected more than £600 towards their trip on Sunday, and have asked me to pass on all their thanks to all of the shoppers who put donations in their buckets.

Went to watch my daughter and all her WMCS friends at the Connaught on Saturday night in the excellent production of South Pacific.

The only downside being is a visit to the upstairs bar.

The management, whoever they may be in the near future, shouldn’t even consider putting on a production of “Dick Turpin: The musical”, because looking at the prices behind the bar, he’s been in the building for quite some time!

Many thanks to Herald reader John Whittington who took the time and trouble to get in contact regarding the last film to be shown at the Plaza cinema.

John, who was working as head projectionist on the very night, recalls that it was December 10, 1968, and the film was “The bliss of Mrs Blossom” starring Shirley MacLaine, Richard Attenborough and the late James Booth.

The Plaza didn’t stay shut for long, as bingo started at the venue the following month in January, 1969.