Whaplode Drove woman with talent for entertainment

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Wendy James (also known as Wendy Melodie) wasn’t ready to give up her dreams of the stage when she moved to Whaplode Drove.

Soon after she and Bob moved to the village someone mentioned the old time music hall shows at the Elizabethan Centre.

Wendy got involved, not only singing and appearing in a sketch with her father, but producing, directing and making costumes.

Whenever she sang Wendy was accompanied by her friend, pianist Pauline Marriott. It was Pauline who persuaded Wendy to do a small concert for residents in Abbeygate Rest Home in Moulton, where her mother was living.

Wendy says: “I turned up in sequins and feathers and this little old lady said, ‘Is it Shirley Bassey?’ and that was the start of lots of little shows.”

In 2014 Wendy appeared at a 40s themed event at Holbeach Hospital singing Vera Lynn songs.

She says: “That was probably the last big one because some years ago I had a massive stroke. If people pay 50p for a seat they want to be entertained and not fobbed off with something that’s not very good, so I thought if I can’t do it properly I won’t do it.”