Billingshurst and District Rotary Club held a Murder and Mystery evening at the North Hall in Loxwood recently when members and friends gathered for an evening of suspense created by the President Terry Russell.
Terry was serving in The Metropolitan Police at Wallington Police Station where, for a period of about four years, the television series of The Bill was filmed.
About £5,000 was raised in fees which were paid directly to local charities. Terry even appeared as an extra in one episode when more people were needed, but this caused a bit of a stir with one of the Equity members.
Based loosely on his own experiences, Terry wrote four story lines which he gave to the production team, and had the pleasure of seeing them brought to life on the small screen. This gave Terry the idea to run the Murder and Mystery evening to raise funds for a new club Website.
Sgt Dimwit, ably played by Tony Priestley, dressed in Terry’s old Police jacket, the helmet several sizes too small, and carrying the vintage cufflinks and whistle, (below that is best left to the imagination), took statements from members posing as guests who had been at a dinner party, after which the hostess had been found murdered. Sandy Duck, Ann Clark, Durwin Banks, Adrian Jones and Peter Hooper made up the rest of the cast and later mingled with guests who could question them about their statements before making a decision as to who they thought was the guilty one. Each table had a plan of the house, a list of the suspects and the post mortem report so that they could record their clues, but the very complicated relationships and liaisons of those present at the ‘dinner party’ led most people present to accuse the wrong person. However, their observations and their memory of the statements were taken into account when awarding the prize.
Piers Weston started the evening by playing while guests arrived. ‘Piers and Friends’ playing the piano, bass and guitar, are part of DJQ(The Dinner Jazz Quartet). Terry’s wife Geraldine, with her friend Alison, served a two course meal during the interval, and with the bar a sum of £260 was raised for the Website.
Report and photos contributed by