A LOCAL theatre group celebrated its 90th birthday by presenting medals to long-serving members.

Sutton’s Green Hut Theatre Company held a party for past and present members this month at the village’s cricket club.

The 60-plus guests included people who are played a leading role in the group – formerly Sutton in Craven Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society – in decades gone by.

They were able to chat about odd times, and browse through scrapbooks of pictures, programmes and other memorabilia dating back to Pocahotas, the first show in 1928.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) medals to several members in honour of their service to amateur theatre.

The medals were presented by Sally Holmes, the local representative of NODA, an umbrella body for the UK’s amateur theatre groups.

The 10 members have clocked up more than 300 years either performing or helping backstage with the regular productions at Sutton Village Hall.

The society recently also presented a NODA medal to its president, Cross Hills woman Doreen Smith, to mark her 60 years performing, directing and making costumes.

Since its inception the group has performed a musical each year, later adding an annual pantomime, and more recently a summer play.

Last month’s production of Oliver! was the society’s most successful musical for several years, packing the village hall and attracting several new younger members to play orphans and pickpockets.

Coming up in September is a production of the BBC sitcom adaptation Vicar of Dibley 2, and in December, the family pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.

The group also has a flourishing Youth Theatre at its base in the green hut off Main Street in Sutton.