How many older (I use the word advisedly) members of the team remember the famous nuclear arms mumming play and the performance in the Queens Hotel in Maltby where Pete let off a double Thunderflash and cleared the room which was full of smoke by this time.
I have just come across the attached paragraph in a book by Ian McMillan called ‘Neither Nowt Nor Summat’ where he goes in search of the true Yorkshire. He was obviously there that night and although his memories of the event are not exactly accurate it was obviously us performing Malcolm Reed’s play and it sort of sums up the chaos that ensued.
John is right when he says Ian was there that night but time seems to have played tricks on his memory. I remember it well simply because I seriously thought I had damaged the pub and was on my way to prison for endangering life. It was downstairs in the concert room at the back and there was no tape recorder, the explosion was very, very real.
I borrowed a theatrical thunderflash device from Graham Stubbs which consisted of a wooden block with two round flat thundercaps/ charges, a pull, plunge leaver and a switch that turned a red light on. My instructions from Graham were very clear but perhaps in hindsight a little basic: switch on, raise the leaver and plunge when the time is right which was to be when Malcolm Reed (Mephistopheles) stumbled and dropped while juggling two nuclear bombs. My timing for once was good but the effect was startling and brought everything to a stand still as the pub was cleared of coughing souls.
As the smoke cleared it was obvious to me that the stage had took the bulk of the blast transforming it from white paint to black soot and I spent a good ten minutes trying to wash the front of the stage down with my morris hankies and bring it back to its proper colour before the landlord had a chance to see it. It was only when I returned the device back to Graham and he wanted to know what I had done with the spare thunderclap that I realised I had given The Queens Head a double and according to Graham a dangerous blast. 1982 should go down as the year Sheffield City Morris tried and failed to blow Maltby from the map of South Yorkshire.
When we performed the play at the Highcliffe Taffy Thomas was in the audience and asked if the Salami Brothers could use it and it became a part of their act. Perhaps we should resurrect it now that Trumps in power.