The day the pupils at Thorpe Grammar became recording stars

Recording of Thorpe grammar school's production of The Mikado from 1974, currently for sale at Oxfam

Recording of Thorpe grammar school's production of The Mikado from 1974, currently for sale at Oxfam. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

An LP record made by the talented students at Thorpe Grammar School has turned up in a Norwich charity shop.

They were recording stars in Norwich of almost 40 years ago - and now a copy of that record has popped up at a charity shop in the city.

It was back in 1974 when the boys and girls who were appearing in a production of The Mikado at Thorpe Grammar School made their very own LP recording of the show.

It may not have made Top of the Pops but it turned them into stars at school and at home when the professionally recorded album, complete with a picture of the cast on the sleeve, went on sale - at £2.50p.

At the time Whiffler of the Evening News told the story of the record describing it as one of ballards, songs and snatches, and dreamy lullabies.

Graeme Hall, the school's director of music, who was also producer and musical director of The Mikado explained how the record came about.

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The previous year amateur tape recordings had been made of the production of Ruddigore.

'We played them several times and many people said what a pity there was no recording on disc that people could have as a memento. I said 'We'll do it next time.' A Lancashire firm is coming to do it.'

Graeme, an Australian who once produced The Mikado for Sydney Grammar School, also had advice from an leading musical authority, Charles Mackerras, a relation and also a director of Sadlers Wells.

More than 100 people took part in the production, 60 of them on stage. The executive producer was John Balls and dialogue coach Edward Hills.

Many of the costumes were made at the school under the supervision of wardrobe mistress Jacqueline Ward,

When the show opened the Evening News reviewer described it as a meritorious production giving a joyful boost to the Mikado.

'Devotees of Gilbert and Sullivan who relish the ingrained traditional antics will appreciate the integrity of this youthful version,' said our critic.

While praising the whole cast among those singled out for a pat on the back were: Andrew Hubbard, as the agile and resourceful Ko-Ko, Colin Brind, as the inflated Pooh-Bah, Mark Newman, the pleasant Nanki-Poo.

Then there was Michael Brocket, a Mikado with a blood-curdling laugh, Amanda Lob, a haughty Katisha, Paul Strickland as Pish-Tush, and Tracey Webb, Linda Roberts and Jeanette Cullington as three little maids, the first named, an attractive Yum-Yum.

The record was discovered in a collection donated to the Oxfam shop in Magdalen Street.

Rod Mills from the shop was delighted to discover the record with a great picture of the entire cast on the front cover which was taken by Frosdick's Photography in Theatre Street, Norwich.

The record will take pride of place in the Oxfam window in Magdalen Street - a reminder of happy days at Thorpe Grammar.

<t> Perhaps you were one of the recording stars? If so, please share your memories with us. You can email or write to me at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.