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Reader letter: June Whitfield’s visit to Norfolk is one we will never forget

PUBLISHED: 12:59 04 January 2019

June Whitfield. Photo: Denise Bradley

June Whitfield. Photo: Denise Bradley

©Archant Photographic 2008

The Regal Experience Group at Wymondham were saddened to learn of the death of the wonderful Dame June Whitfield.

It was in April 2008 that June graciously agreed to visit us in Wymondham and make a personal appearance at one of our Sunday afternoon classic movie shows at the Ex-Services’ Club (Regal Cinema). The show was an absolute sell-out and many disappointed people failed to get a ticket.

June was collected from her lovely Wimbledon home by David Oldfield, accompanied by other group members, and spent the whole weekend with us, being much impressed with historic Wymondham. She loved the Abbey, the Green Dragon, where she enjoyed a meal, David Turner’s Brief Encounter tearoom and, of course, group chairman Michael Armstrong’s mini replica cinema. The Wymondham Mercury’s front page story of her visit was headlined: “Town Ab Fab, Says June”.

Unlike the many other star guests who have attended our shows through the years, June did not pick one of the films in which she starred for the screening, but instead she chose For Me and My Gal, the 1942 Busby Berkeley musical starring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. However, in a half- hour interview with me on stage before the film she had the audience in stitches with a string of amusing anecdotes from her long career in radio, television, on the stage and the silver screen. Of the Carry On movies in which she appeared her favourite was Carry On Abroad and among all the stars she had starred with in films she found Sid James and Kenneth Williams “delightful”. I presented her with a framed picture of the Astoria Cinema in Streatham taken around the time she frequented it as a young girl and group secretary Maureen Dodman gave her a bouquet.

The Regal Experience Group has enjoyed many memorable highs in its 20 years history, but June’s visit was at the top and one we will never forget. Absolutely Fabulous!

Do you agree with our readers? Let us know in the comments below or write to us at edpletters@archant.co.uk

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