Didn’t they do well?

SAM and Nancy had an idea. A big idea – maybe too big? They wanted to celebrate their community’s good fortune in receiving a wonderful building development that would produce unique facilities for everyone in the town to enjoy. What could they do? How could they organise some kind of super-special event to entertain the town, yet involve lots of people both young and old? The big idea that they came up with was to put on a musical event that told a story, but what kind of a story? It had to be a big story, something steeped in history and local history at that, for part of the gift that the Town Council was to receive from the building development was going to include a new location for the Woodbridge Museum.


Then there was the Woodbridge Riverside Trust. This is a group of people who can assist in facilitating community projects. They would share in the good fortune of receiving from the Town Council the new facility of a Longshed where there was a plan to construct a full-size replica of the Sutton Hoo ship. The idea for the celebration was born. Why not tell the story of the finding of the ship burial that became a major event in the history of England – of Britain? This discovery was the first small candle that illuminated what was known as the Dark Ages. When academics first saw the buried treasure it broke down the closed door of ignorance, shining shafts of light onto hundreds of years of our unknown heritage. The skilful craftsmanship involved and the high quality of the artefacts demonstrated beyond any doubt that for the Anglo-Saxons, the age was anything but ‘Dark’. It was our local story of national importance. It remains a story of major importance to Woodbridge. The Woodbridge Riverside Trust could support and encourage Sam and Nancy’s efforts, along with many businesses and individual people from within the town.

Sam and Nancy had their idea, but they needed somebody to write the story, someone to write the music, someone to find and train the cast, somebody to design and build the set and the costumes. They would have to organise the venue, develop publicity, sell tickets … oh … undertake thousands of jobs, shoulder endless worry … and all whilst looking after children, running their normal, domestic, family lives with all the modern pressures. Multi-tasking doesn’t cover it.  And … they had to find the money to fund the whole project. They should have given up on their idea, but they didn’t. Finance was very scary, even when they became the first two people ever, without previous entrepreneurial experience to receive an Art’s Council grant to partially cover production costs.

On Woodbridge Waterfront, next to the Tide Mill, and in the Riverside Theatre from July 11th to 15th, Sam and Nancy’s specially commissioned musical event, The King’s River, fulfilled their dream. It is a story that involves the supernatural, which somehow reflects the qualities of the originators of the idea. They have demonstrated supernatural tenacity to overcome all the hurdles along the way. The story is about finding treasure and they have drawn from hundreds of people within their community a treasure-trove of support and involvement that has made this event so special. They would be the first to thank each person involved, but everyone would say that it is these two ladies who deserve the admiration of the whole of Woodbridge for what they have achieved.


With still a month to go before the performances of The Kings River, ALL of the tickets were sold out. This is testament to the heroines of our story. It is a story of visions realised, just like the theatrical production. Didn’t they do well? The winners of the Celebrated Song Draw from July 26th will be announced next month due to publication deadlines.