A drama group which was the forerunner of youth clubs in Ballycarry held a reunion at Millar’s recently.
The event was organised by local women who were part of the drama groups run by Valerie Beattie, who is now chairperson of the village community group.
Mrs. Beattie started a drama group for young people almost 30 years ago and says that 35-40 young people participated in around five different groups over the years.
“It started after I completed a drama course and there was no youth club or anything like that at the time, so it was a youth club with a drama focus,”
“I was involved with a drama group in the school and then through the outdoor nativity there was a definite focus for the group each year,” she explained.
At some point, the name Dramarama was selected by the young people taking part, and the name stuck, with performances for charity, outings and the nativity all forming part of the activities.
“As some of the young folk got older they left and then a new batch would come in. The feedback from the group who attended the reunion was that it had definitely brought something to the community and build confidence for them generally in school and later life,” she said.
Mrs. Beattie is well-known as the lady who decorates her window on the Shore Road, at Magheramorne, with a different theme of mannequins every month, and this too started with the drama group.
“We used to meet in that room and they dressed the mannequins differently each time we met. One time the group put them in the window and a bus driver for a special needs bus said that the children on the bus used to wave at the mannequins and looked forward to passing the window, so I decided to keep it up and it’s been going for years, a wee legacy of the drama group.”
The reunion was held in Millars in Ballycarry last Friday evening, when they were plenty of old photos and memories to the fore.