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Events from

1876 to 1994


During the 118 years over which this Diary runs, you will find an extraordinary mixture of events which would have provided entertainment and joy to adults and children alike.


There are evenings devoted to Drama and Ballet, Opera, Art and Craft Exhibitions,


Music (at every level from modern to grand bands, orchestras and choirs),


Literature Readings, Plays of many varieties, Film shows, Benevolent Concerts, Circuses, Flower Shows and more.


For the children, there were wonderful shows like "Winnie the Pooh", puppets and pantomime as well as many visiting specialists in children's shows of many varieties.


So browse through the diary and marvel at what a district such as that of the Clare and Gilbert Valley have provided over so many years

Research and Presentation by Val Tilbrook

1876 —

The Lynch family of bell-ringers performed capital entertainment in the Clare Town Hall and appeared there again in 1901.

The Lynch Family Bellringers-Sights and Sounds_edited.jpg

1878 —

In 1878 the Clare Philharmonic Society held its first meeting with 15 ladies and gents present.


They had held their second concert on 29 April 1875, which was well received by a fashionable and appreciative audience in the Town Hall.


The programme was a varied and attractive one, and under the able conductorship of Mr. Price, with Mrs. Price as accompanyist,


The whole of the pieces were well performed though in one or two instances a want of confidence on the part of some of the performers was noticeable.


Read more:

2 March 1875 Clare Philharmonic.png

1882 —

An Art Exhibition was open for one week and Mrs. J.W. Gleeson presented a handsome cup on the last evening.


The first such show was from

8 - 11 October 1873 - 

"The managers of the Clare Institute built a large reading-room, which ran them into debt, and to clear off the liability several of the townsmen a few weeks ago formed a Committee. 


The result was an Art Exhibition and Flower Show, held on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of last week."

28 Sep 1877 Clare Art Exhibition.png

1886 —

The Clare Christy Minstrels held a variety show in Clare Town Hall and the St. Peters Cathedral Choir gave a concert in the Clare Town Hall in the same year.

On 31 December, 1886, a New Year Concert was held in the Clare Town Hall when two of the well-known participants were M. Kimber (miller) and H.J. Filgate (of the Union Bank).

25 Jan 1869 Clare Christy Minstrels.png
Honour roll of Ark of Safety Tent No_edited.jpg

Honour Roll

Hint: Rollover with Mouse

Revealed Ark Honour Roll 40080-max_edited_edited_edited.jpg

1887 —

In the Clare Town Hall the local Rechabites of the "Ark of the Safety Tent No.15" gave an opening entertainment to a crowded house.


The magic words "Admission Free" had the desired effect of drawing people together.


In 1869 there were from 400 to 500 people present on the ground.

We are happy to say that no accident marred the sports of the day. It was a pleasant sight to see so many young and happy faces, all pledged to wage perpetual war against the enemy strong drink

Illustrated at left:

Date: 1864


Covered wooden honour roll of Ark of Safety Tent No. 15 (Clare) with coloured lithograph certificate signed 19 April 1864 and doors with names of Past Chief Rulers.



The Independent Order of Rechabites was a friendly society promoting temperance founded in Salford, England in 1835.

9 Apr 1869 Rechabites.png
Mr. William Silver.png

1889 —

January saw the usual yearly concert by the blind performers in aid of their funds, at a regular picnic where now is the Sports Ground (see right).


On New Year's Day 1895:

Mr. W. Silver, a native of Clare, gave his first concert in the Town Hall last evening with the assistance of local and city talent,

and the entertainment was an eminently successful one.


Mr. Silver, who travelled recently through the colonies with Madame Belle Cole as pianist to her company, is a young musician of great ability, and last night his selections on the piano won loud applause from the audience

Read more:

The Musical Heritage of Clare

3 Jan 1895 Blind Performers.png

1896 —

The Clare Students' Art Club held their annual exhibition.

Later the Clare High School had annual Art exhibitions.


The Clare Brass Band held a concert.

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Old Clare Town Hall Flickr.jpg

1897 —

A Grand Concert was held in Clare Town Hall in aid of St. Joseph's School, Clare, and another Grand Concert for the school followed in 1898.

A Benevolent Concert in aid of the Clare Victoria Benevolent Society's Christmas donations for the poor was held in the Clare Town Hall.

The Society was formed 10 years ago for Queen Victoria's Jubilee and named for her.

12 Dec 1902 Clare Victoria Fund.png

1898 —

Chrysanthemum exhibit.jpg
George L Root The Haymakers.jpg

In April, 1898,

the third annual Clare Chrysanthemum and Fruit Show was held in the Clare Town Hall followed by entertainment during the evening.

During the evening Mr. A. Bishop's orchestra played a number of selections, which were greatly appreciated, and the hall was crowded.


Mr. A. Bishop's string band played several selections in their well known style,

pianoforte selections were rendered by Miss Richards and Mr. A. Gardiner, and Mr. W. V. Bradley rendered two songs excellently, the accompaniments being played by Mr. A. Gardiner.








September, 1898,

"The Haymakers" Cantata was performed in the Clare Town Hall with A. Bishop conducting the orchestra.

"George Root's 'Operatic Cantata' THE HAYMAKERS is a charming and ultimately moving example of musical Americana at it's best.


There is no real plot. The characters plant, gather hay, face a storm, frequently invoke and praise God, and do not indulge themselves in psychological agonizing.


Written for solos voices, semi-choruses, full chorus and piano, the work could not be lovelier.

Some of it, especially the powerful storm sequence, cries out for orchestration.

Root provided stage directions for the piece, and one wonders if it would hold an audience's interest in a modern staging.


The high quality of the music certainly renders it worthy of an attempt.

29 Apr 1898 Clare Chrysanthemum and Fruit Show.png
7 Oct 1898 The Haymakers.png

1899 —

Mr. Bishop's String Band played in the Clare Town Hall in a Grand Variety Fair in aid of St. Michael's Church, Clare, and a concert was held there also in aid of the new floor for St. Joseph's Convent School.

Singers, Mr. A. Fairbairn and Miss Lulu Gillespie gave a concert, with local performers, as their farewell before leaving for England.


Students of Mrs. Barnard's High School performed "Rumpelstiltskin" in the Clare Town Hall in aid of the Benevolent Society and Miss Webb's music pupils later gave a musical evening also in aid of the Benevolent Society.

Blind musicians B-48104.jpeg

1901 —

The Steele-Payne Bell-ringers, the original Payne family, performed a farewell visit of the Old Favourites prior to their departure for South Africa, with musicians, vocalists, violinists, glassophonists, instrumentalists, and part singers. Their popularity saw them return to Clare in 1902.

The Wilson Forbes Dramatic Co. appeared at Clare with a semi-religious production of "Leah". Well presented with a fair attendance, and played again in Clare in 1902.

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6 Nov 1894 Payne Family Musicians.png
10 Sep 1901 Wilson Forbes Dramatic Co. LEAH.png
Kate Josephine Bateman as Leah in 'Leah, the Forsaken' - Portrait - National Portrait Gall

1901 —

W C Fields in Belltopper hat.jpg

A Buttercup Dance to celebrate Spring was organised by Clare ladies, a very successful evening, with Mr. Victorsen as M.C. and Mr. Gold on piano.


The Belltopper Minstrels (eg at left - W C Fields) presented a concert in aid of the new cricket pitch at the Clare Oval.


The sensational Persian drama "The Astrologer's Spell" was performed in the Clare Town Hall by students of Mrs. Barnard's Clare High School class.


The Clare Amateur Dramatic Society was formed with Mr. M.Badger, JP as Chairman, S.H.Davey, L.A.Davies, Misses Lee and Victorsen and J.W.Ohlmeyer as Secretary.


12 Apr 1901 A Dance.png
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1902 —

The Clare Amateur Dramatic Society presented the drama "Blow for Blow" in the Clare Town Hall. The proceeds from this presentation were put to the fund for the renovation of the Clare Town Hall scenery, which was completed in July.


There were six different background scenes.


The Clare Corporation subsidised pound for pound amounts collected by the Drama Society and the Clare Public School.

24 Jun 1899 Blow for Blow.png
26 Jun 1894 Blow for Blow Theatre Royal.png

1902 —

The Fisk Jubilee Singers.

(pictured below) This acappella group of nine students from Fisk University was organised in 1871 to raise money ($20,000, to be exact) for their financially troubled institution.


They succeeded magnificently.

In the process, they were instrumental in preserving traditional African American spirituals and bringing them to a vastly wider audience, both in the U.S. and Europe.

The Fisk Jubilee Singers, Preserving African American Spirituals – Smithsonian Libraries_e

60 people attended at the Clare Town Hall chambers to form a Literary and Debating Society.


World-wide renowned musicians, the Fisk Jubilee Singers performed to a large audience in Clare.


Read More:

Timeline of the Jubilee Singers | American Experience

| Official Site | PBS

The Clare Brass Band has re-organised and on Coronation Night, 26 June, played the Coronation March from the balcony of the Clare Hotel.


The Clare Amateur Dramatic Society presented "Our Regiment" in the Clare Town Hall.

26 Mar 1894 Fisk Jubilee Singers.png

1910 —

Male Voice Choir PRG-280-1-10-404_edited.jpg
14 Jan 1910 Jones' Moving Theatre.png

Large crowds attended the performance of Mr. Jones' popular company, "Jones' Moving Theatre", in Clare.

The show has the reputation of being a really good one, and includes Captain Winter and his performing dogs, the jugglers Kelso Brothets, the Brackens strong men and wire walkers, Miss Lottie Mackay contortionist, Miss Florrie Jefferies club swinging, and Mr. Tom Sinclair comedian.


The Balaklava Male Voice Choir performed in the Clare Town Hall to an enthusiastic audience.

 A good programming of choruses, quartettes, duels and solos was presented, every item being well received.

The chorus "The bandit,"' was very well rendered. 

23 Jul 1909 Balaklava Male Voice Choir.png

1912 —

OBI first-basketball-at-obi.jpg

Our Boys Institute from Adelaide, were presented as a clever, well-trained band of young performers with bugle band, jugglers, conjurors, comedians, etc. in the Clare Town Hall.


Advertisements in the Northern Argus showed for ladies as music teachers, Miss E.M.Harris, Miss A.G.Webb, Miss Bullock, and Miss Hawker. Miss A.W.Bertelsmeier advertised that she taught painting and drawing.


The George Melrose Dramatic Company presented a comedy-drama in the Clare Town Hall, direct from Adelaide's Tivoli Theatre after a record-breaking three weeks.

They appeared again the following month such was their popularity.

20 Aug 1902 Our Boys Institute.png
Millie Tilbrook when young.jpg
The Marvelous Hugard. The Puzzle of the Universe.jpeg

1912 —

The principal of the Clare High School, Miss M. F. (Millie) Tilbrook (illustrated left), advertised the start of the school year.

See also:  Millie Tilbrook | Clare Museum

"The World's Entertainers" appeared in the Clare Town Hall with a fine programme of Electric Pictures with "The Marvellous Bartletts."


Hugard and his brilliant company headed by Ching Sung Loo, advertised the limit of human possibilities and advised audiences to bring their own regulation rifles and cartridges and paid a return visit a month later

19 May 1914 Hugard-The Puzzle.png
23 Dec 1914 Worlds Entertainers.jpg

1912 —

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6 Jun 1910 Mabel Hardinge.png

Mabel Hardinge Dramatic Company, by special arrangement with J.C. Williamsons, presented

"The Girl from the Golden West" on one night

and "The Workman's Wife" the next night.


Martin Dobrilla, the world's champion club swinger appeared in the Clare Town Hall.

He held the State record of 54 hours continuous club swinging.


The Merrymakers, a company of Adelaide entertainers, performed in aid of the Clare Institute.


Miss Isobel Wien-Smith received a gold medal for singing at the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music, London.

1 Nov 1908 Girl from the Golden West.png
20 May 1913 Martin Dobrilla.png

1914 —

An advertisement ran as follows:

New School of Music conducted by Professor Tonge of Clare,

professional voice trainer,

a teacher of Violin, Mandolin, Viola and Theory.

(late Deputy-Conductor of the celebrated prize choir of Warrington, England.)

4 Sep 1914 Call to Arms.png

1925 —

Brighton town band  B-77405-1.jpeg

At Easter the Brighton Municipal Brass Band played in the Bain Rotunda and at the Clare Bowling Green.

(Illustrated left in 1903)














The Clare Orchestra gave a Grand Concert on Anzac Day.

Another Grand Concert in the Clare Town Hall was given by soprano Ada Wordie and contralto Ivy Grivelle.

Bain Rotunda 4f01-5c21-544d-8ca0-3430c9f7131e.jpg

1926 —

The Clare Gymnasium Club were granted permission by the Corporation to use the old Town Hall at a rental of 2/6d per night.


Following the visit to Clare of the Musical Gardiners (pictured left) , a stage group, for the visiting performance in the new Town Hall, quite a controversy raged over the acoustic properties of the Hall.

During the performance, part of the audience, not being able to hear, started to stamp their feet in protest.

Clare town hall from north-west.webp

The Clare Choral Society was formed.


Imperial Pictures were showing in the Old Town Hall and in the following year, 1927. 


The old Town Hall was sold in 1927.

28 May 1926 Clare's New Town Hall.png

1927 —

1300 people attended Wirth's circus at the Clare Oval.

The Wirth brothers were superb athletes and talented and versatile circus performers.  Philip Wirth describes how his brother George, before breaking his knee in an accident, "was universally acknowledged as the greatest all-round circus performers in the world."

He was able to do an entire performance of two and a half hours alone, and was able in all to do 23 acts, viz:- Polandric Ladder, Balancing on his Head, Contortionist, Clubs, Tumbling, Acrobats, Horizontal Bars, Single Trapeze, Rings, Somersault Act on Horse, Jockey Act, Seven Horse Act, Two Horse Carrying Act, One Horse Carrying Act, Leaps, Indian on Horse, Perch, Bob Walker, Bar Act, Two Horse Hurdle Act and Three Clown Entrees.

Philip Wirth himself was able to perform prodigious leaps and was a masterful horse trainer.

NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE OF AUSTRALIA has a preserved collection of 16mm home movies of Wirth’s Circus

11 Sep 1925 Foresters' Dance.png

1927 —

The Foresters Lodge held their annual Plain and Fancy Dress Ball.


A unique attraction to Clare was Leo Fredini, the handcuff king and contortionist, at Brooke's Bagatelle Games in Main Street, Clare.


A Fancy Dress Carnival was held at Clare Soldiers' Memorial Park.

1928 —


Handel's "Messiah" was performed in the Clare Town Hall by the combined choral societies of Clare and Burra with 150 voices.

That year also saw the formation of a band for the "Back to Clare" celebrations, and a Hospital Ball was held that year.


Mrs. Fred Knappstein was awarded 5 pounds and second prize for her head sketch 6" x 8" in the July drawing competition at the School of Sketching in Sydney, NSW.


A Grand Concert was held in the Clare Town Hall in aid of the Queen of Agriculture, Liela Roberts, as part of the Back to Clare celebrations.

November 1928: Back to Clare Celebration - Northern Argus

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30 Nov 1928  Back to Clare Unqualified Success.png

1929 —

The famous early Talkie Movie 'Broadway Melody' is released by MGM Movies, mixing, singing, dancing, romance and spectacular stagecraft.

Subsequently in later years, other versions were released. 


The more famous 1940 MGM film musical edition starred Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell and George Murphy 

27 Mar 1931 Clare Caledonian Society grand opening.png

1930 —

Marshall's Palais and Dance from 10 p.m. until midnight was advertised at 3d. per dance for gents. Hedley Snashall was the pianist.

A Sacred Concert was held in the Clare Town Hall with local violinist, Guildford Bishop, who had played with the State Theatre Orchestra and 3LO Melbourne.


The Clare Brass Band gave a concert this year.


All Caledonians are invited to the installation of W.P. Ness as Chief of the Clare Caledonian Society at the Town Hall on 21 March,

Past Chief Duncan Fraser and Piper McKinnon will assist in the ceremonies.

22 Aug 1930 The Broadway Melody.png

1930 and 1931 —

A Sacred Concert by the Clare Brass Band and the Clare Orchestra was given in December,

and again in 1939, the Clare Municipal Brass Band under the baton of Bert Harding, held another.


1931 —

The Clare Choral Society reformed, with the Mayor, Mr. A.J.Bowley, as President.

After several years' absence, Gus St. Leonard's Circus and Zoo played in Clare.

7 Jun 1930 Gus St. Leon's Circus and Zoo.png
12 Sep 1930 Clare Orchestra.png
2 Dec 1932 Sacred Concert.png
12 June 1933 Broadway Melody Makers a Success.png

1932 —

Clare Community Singing with John Bulfield's orchestra;

also the Clare Singing Society saw a large attendance at the Bain Rotunda.

Bert Ellery was conductor and Ethel Lewcock was organist.

1933 —

Clare's first Brass Band competition was a great success. Burra won the competition. Other competitors were Balaklava, Brinkworth and Spalding bands.

Jack Atkins presented a Boxing and Wrestling Show next to Cato's Garage in Clare Main Street, with "all challenges accepted."

The famous "Broadway Melody Makers" pantomime company played in Clare with net proceeds going to the Limbless Soldiers First Country Appeal.

Below, have a listen to some of their music:

10 Nov 1933 Clare's Brass Band Competition.png
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11 June 1937 Frisco Follies.png

The Clare Women's Temperance Union held a social in the Presbyterian Hall, presided over by Rev. E.A.Pederick.

Mr. S.Y.Forth of Clare was very successful in the competitions of the Band Association in Adelaide.

He won the Australian Cornet Solo and tied for second place in the Champion Cornet Solo.

Miss B.Bowley was his accompanist.

The Clare Town Hall was crowded for the Church of England Frolic. Dean Haysman and Terence Tilbrook won prizes in the 8 years and under category.

The Amateur Dramatic Society (Clare) presented a one-act comedy "An Interrupted Proposal" followed by community singing in Clare Town Hall.


The Clare Orchestra (of about 30 performers) assisted by leading Adelaide artists, broadcast a grand orchestral programme from Radio Station 5CL and 5CK at 8 p.m. on 6 July.

Mr. Guildford Bishop was the conductor. The broadcast was heard in WA by former Clare resident, J.J. (Boss) Simons.

Wirth's Circus came to Clare with over 14 cages of wild animals, including a hippopotamus.

The All-Blind Concert Party entertained in Clare Town Hall.

1934 —

Clare Community Singing was still popular.

Clare Orchestra gave an orchestral concert in the Clare Town Hall under the baton of Mr. Guildford Bishop.

The Prospect Salvation Army Band performed in Clare.

The Clare Amateur Dramatic Society presented "The Man from Toronto."

1935 —

The Clare Amateur Dramatic Society staged the play "Daddy Long-legs" in the Clare Town Hall.

1936 — 1936

These years saw the first Mickey Mouse cartoons in colour at the Clare Talkies.

"Vanity" was a musical and dancing extravaganza performed in the Clare Town Hall in aid of the Queen of Commerce, Miss Joan Pink.

1937 —

The Annual General Meeting of the Clare Orchestra was presided over by the Mayor, Mr. J.W.Ohlmeyer.

Mr. Arthur Bishop was elected conductor.

The Orchestra was in debt for one pound sixteen shillings and sixpence, although each member had contributed 3d. per week for the whole year.

"The Frisco Follies" was performed by the Clare School of Physical Culture and Dancing, with a cast that included well known people of the district —

Barbara J. Long, Stan Bown, Reg Pappin, E. Stirling Chapman, Peter Sharpen and someone called Bulbeck.

A large group of Ballet and Chorus members were included.

The Producer was Ron J. Allen; stage settings by Misses Dulcie Scott and Lucy Ohlmeyer, Electrican, A. Wilton, Wardrobe Mistress, Mrs. J. Ness; and mechanical effects, H.J. Aitken.

Members of the orchestra were Mrs R. Sparrow, and Messrs J. Stacy, D. Lenthall, I Pink and L. Jarman.

4 Jan 1935 Clare Orchestra.png

1939 —

Clare held a Snake Gully Ball. Jim Newman as Dave was the hit of the evening.

In contrast, the previous month, a successful ball was held by the Hibernian Friendly Society with Mr. W.P. McBride as M.C. and

in May the annual Catholic Blue and White Ball was held.

Clare Amateur Dramatic Society presented the play "Brown Sugar."

1940 —

The Clare Banjo Club was formed with seven players.

1943 —

Another Harold Raymond Blind Concert (Illustrated at right) was presented to Clare people in the Town Hall.

"The producer of this entertainment

 has built a fine reputation for bringing to the town accomplished artists and bright sequences, and the talent he has round him on this tour reads well up to former standards. 

Included is an interesting young personality in Kevin McMahon, the South Australian ventriloquist. He burst on the entertainment world through medium of a recent Amateur Hour quest."

A popular Artist Quest was held in aid of the Clare Emergency Hospital when approximately 650 attended and a net profit of 51 pounds was made.

Winner of the under 14 years was singer, Nancy Chard of Clare and her sister, Joan won the over 14 years, also singing.

The newly formed Clare Community Singing War Savings Group held a successful opening night in the Clare Town Hall.


The Clare Stringsters gave a musical evening followed by a dance in the Assembly Room of the Clare Town Hall.

22 Mar 1940 Banjo Club.png
6 Jun 1941 Harold Raymond.png
Harold Raymond blind violinist.jpeg

1957 —

At the Clare Town Hall theatre, Marlon Brando appeared in the movie "On the Waterfront."


The Clare Amateur Dramatic Society presented the comedy, "Arsenic and Old Lace" with the leading roles taken by Barbara Long and Nan Slattery.


The Adelaide Gilbert and Sullivan Co. presented "Princess Ida",

followed by "The Mikado" in 1958,

"Iolanthe" in 1959, and

"Yeoman of the Guard" in 1960.


Barbara Long staged the "Cinderella" pantomime and ballet prior to Christmas.

25 Jul 1941 Clare Popular Artist Quest.jpg
3 May 1945 Clare Stringsters.png
21 Feb 1946 Arsenic and Old Lace.png
Princess ida poster 1993.jpg

1958 —

The Clare Town Hall was the venue for the Harold Raymond concert "Raymond the Rainmaker". It was a great success especially as it was followed by rain in Clare.

The "Sleeping Beauty" ballet produced by Barbara Long was followed by the Clare Amateur Dramatic Society play "Simon and Laura",

and in 1959 "Bonadventure" was performed.


1959 —

In the Clare Town Hall was the "All Star Western Show" presented by Regal Zanophone and Columbia Recordings.


The Elizabethan Theatre Trust presented the Ray Lawler play "Summer of the Seventeenth Doll".

Joan and Betty Rayner appeared in the Australian Children's Theatre, and came to Clare again in 1962.

A western variety show was presented as the "Maurie Lawson Show".

1960 —

A Grand Variety Concert was held in St. Michael's Hall and it was also the venue for three one-act plays presented by the St. Michael Players.

A Friendly Concert was held in the Clare Town Hall.

The Peter Bryant film "The Enchanted Tent" was shown in the Clare Town Hall and St. Michael's Hall. This was a 20 minute coloured short.

1961 —

The Clare Corporation awarded the picture lease at the Clare Town Hall to R.F.Charlick of Blackwood in January. He installed 300 new Dunlopillo Theatre seating with drop centres. It was known as Delta Pictures.


The Clare Town Hall was the venue for "The New Buddy Williams Show", a variety show, as it was for the Marionette Show presented by Gulliver Productions.

The Clare College of Music, a branch of the Adelaide College of Music, opened in Clare with Dorothy Robinson as the Regional Director.


"See the deathly catching the bullet between the teeth" was the promotion for Chandini, stage, film and television when he presented his mystery spectacular in the Clare Town Hall.

Vaudeville with a vengeance described the Harold Raymond Gloombusters in the Clare Town Hall. 1962 saw another appearance by this popular company.

There was much protest against the building of a Drive-In Theatre in Clare to hold 300 cars.

A poll was conducted and the following year, 1962, saw the grand opening in January of the Northline Drive-In.

The first movie was "Pillow Talk" with Doris Day and Rock Hudson.

A comedy "Traveller's Joy" was presented in the Clare Town Hall by the Clare Amateur Dramatic Society, followed by "The Touch of Fear", a drama, in 1962.

The South Australian Symphony Orchestra played in the Clare Town Hall under Henry Krips and brilliant Australian violinist Carmel Hakendorf.


Barbara Long presented three short ballets this year and in 1962 presented a pantomime "The Enchanted Waltz."

Alan Seymour's prize-winning play, "The One Day of the Year" was performed by the Elizabethan Theatre Trust, prior to its London season.


A monster Guy Fawke's Night was held on the Clare Oval.

In December, Australian and S.A. television artists gave a variety show, "The Troubadors" in the Clare Town Hall in aid of Minda Home.

1962 —

The Clare Oval was the venue for Wirth's Circus.

The Adelaide Gilbert and Sullivan Society brought "The Mikado" to the Clare Town Hall.

The Harold Raymond Gloombusters appeared in the Clare Town Hall and came again in 1964 and 1965.

1963 —

The C.W.A. Choral and Drama Festival was held in the Clare Town Hall.

The Clare Amateur Dramatic Society presented "Love's a Luxury", a hilarious comedy by Guy Paxton and Edward V. Haile, on 31 May and 1 June 1963 in the Clare Town Hall.

Co-Producers were Nan Slattery and Ralph Stacy.

The next production was a farcical comedy "Sailor Beware".

Another farce followed in 1964 with "See How they Run" and

also in 1964,

"Fresh Fields" which was Barbara Long's first production for this Society.


The Adelaide Glee Club Concert was presented in the Clare Town Hall with the Elizabethan Ballet performance only ten days later.

1964 —

The Clare Town Hall was used for the following:

  • The Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust's presentation of "The Marriage of Figaro" and "La Boheme".

  • A visiting play was "And the Big Men Fly", a popular play about football.


The Clare Drama Group was formed in 1964 after the break-up of the Clare Amateur Dramatic Society and this group performed

"A Murder has been Arranged" in 1965,

followed by the play "Fools' Paradise" for the 1966 Autumn Festival.


In 1967 Barbara Long, Ann Smith, and Jim Bywaters each produced a one-act play, and the farce "Rock-a-bye Sailor" was presented for Clare's third Autumn Festival.

1965 —

Clare saw entertainment such as The Country and Western Hour, the Adelaide College of Music Orchestra and the Children's Theatre of S.A. (Later known as the Bunyip Theatre.)

Both the S.A. Theatre Co. and the Elizabethan Theatre Trust gave performances in Clare before the formation of the Clare Branch of the Arts Council late in 1965.

1966 —

The S.A. Symphony Orchestra performed in the Clare Town Hall with singer Heather Begg as guest artist.

The Clare Art Group held classes by visiting artists.

The Australian Ballet performed "Raymonde", "Pineapple Poll" and "Le Conservatoire."

1967 —

In 1967 Clare entertainment groups formed a Stage Planning and Improvement Committee.

The Hermannsburg Mission Choir performed in Clare, and in the same year Rotary sponsored a visit of the National Boys Choir from Melbourne.

The Bunbury Brass Band from WA, winners of the Australian Band Championships, performed in Clare on their way to the Tanunda Band Festival.

Their visit was arranged by Mayor E.Newton Long.
Clare was presented with a different type of dance - the Yo Yo Girls.

1968 —

The Mass from St. Aloysius Church, Sevenhill was televised.


R.J. Noye of Clare was invited to hold a photographic exhibition in the State Library as part of the fifth Adelaide Festival of Arts.

The Clare Drama Group performed the play "As Long as They're Happy" for the Autumn Festival;

an Olde Tyme Music Hall was great fun for the cast and audience in June;

three one-act plays were presented for the Clare Centenary Celebrations;

and at Christmas the play "The Holly and the Ivy" was performed free of charge in St. Michael's Hall, Clare, as a thank-you for past support of the group.

The SA Symphony Orchestra played another concert in the Clare Town Hall with conductor Henry Krips.

The Clare Show advertised "The Incredible Anna John Lee" half man and half woman to appear at its 1968 show.

Open-air Carols and Concert was held at Clare Caravan Park prior to Christmas, and repeated same in 1969.

1969 —

Clare Town Hall saw the Marionette Theatre.

Clare Drama Group had a busy year with the play "On Monday Next", a drama festival and a pantomime "Alice in Wonderland."

In 1970 the President was Ivy Bounds, vice-President, Mike Linscott, Secretary, Marilyn Pech, and Treasurer, Dexter Palmer,

and a production of "Teahouse of the August Moon" was included in the Wool and Wine Festival.


Glenda Linscott, daughter of Mike and Carol, began her acting career in Clare and is now (2001) seen on television, in live theatre productions and most recently in the Billy Connolly movie The Man Who Sued God.


A festival of one-act plays was held over three nights when groups came from all over SA as well as Broken Hill.

The Clare group won the Flinders Festival Drama Award at Cowell with "The Glass Menagerie."

"The Followers", a one-act play won a special commendation at the Arts Theatre in the Adelaide Festival of one-act plays with Barbara Long, Ivy Bounds, Val Tilbrook and Jim Bywaters.

Other productions were "The Magistrate", a drama in 1971, "Penny for a Song" in 1972, and "Let's Get a Divorce" in 1973.

27 Apr 1942 Harold Raymond.png

1970 —

In 1970 the Art Gallery of SA Travelling Exhibition of Australian landscape paintings exhibited in Clare. The Art Gallery visited again in 1972 and 1973.


"Services in Song" was performed by 35 members of the Christian Youth Singers in the Methodist Church Hall.

1971 —

The ABC Singers performed in Clare.


The Clare Drama Group presented a religious production "How Far is it to Bethlehem" in December,

and in 1972 they joined with the Anglican Church for an Olde Style Music Hall "The Dastardly Deeds of Dirty Dan."

In 1973 they held another drama festival followed by "ALICE through the Looking Glass", a pantomime.


The SA Ballet Co. performed "Coppelia", "Movement for Four" and "The Nightingale and the Rose."

Patricia Roberts and Roly Nuske gave a violin and piano recital.

The Croydon Technical School presented the musical "Oklahoma".

1972 —

The Boomerang Arts and Craft Centre in the old town hall was a new business venture for Tony Wells of Clare.

In April the movie "The Sound of Music" was shown at the Northline Drive-In Theatre in Clare.

1973 —

Music teacher, Dorothy Robinson, presented a varied programme of instrumental items.

Theatre 62 of Adelaide performed "Gloop the Bunyip" for local schools in the Clare Town Hall.

Clare Lions arranged an art exhibition at Easter with 170 paintings coming from all over the state.

1974 —

Showtime '73 presented the comedy "Not Now Darling" in the Clare Town Hall, sponsored by the Clare Musical Society and the Clare Repertory Co.

1975 —

This was a busy year in the Clare Town Hall with visiting artists and companies such as The Circle Theatre Co. appearing twice in March and August with "Four Comedies" and "Les" respectively.

The well-known artists, Kamahl, Thomas Edmonds, Winifred Atwell all performed there.

Other performances were by The Tshaika Cossacks and the Comedy Capers of the Scout Gang Show.

Circus Royale also paid a visit to Clare.

1976 —

The Art Gallery of SA Travelling Art Exhibition was on again in the Clare Town Hall and Comedy Capers from the Scout Gang Show paid Clare another visit, as did the Circle Theatre Co.

The (later famous) Cold Chisel Band was sponsored by the local winemakers to play in Clare in aid of the Clare Swimming Pool fund. Admission was $2.

The Norwood Theatrical Co. presented the revue "Razzle Dazzle."

The Clare Valley Film Society began screening movies in the Further Education Centre.

"The Last Picture Show" was screened in September.

1977 —

Lyn Day and Annette Michael opened Madonna Hall, Sevenhill, as an art, craft and cottage industry gallery. Lyn took out two prizes in the Barossa Art Show that year.

The Kapunda Musical Society in association with the Clare and District Musical Society presented "La Vie Parisienne".

The Scout Gang Show came back to Clare with another "Comedy Capers" and performed again in 1979 and 1981.

Ashtons Circus performed at the Clare Showgrounds.

The SA Art Gallery again visited Clare with its 1977/78 Travelling Art Exhibition, and came again in 1979.

1978 —

The Graeme Bell All-Stars appeared as part of the Easter Wine Festival.

Other performances in the Clare Town Hall were

the Phillipe Genty Puppets,

the Slavik Youth Orchestra and

a repeat visit from singer Kamahl.

1979 —

Between 8000 and 10000 people attended the Martindale Hall Centenary celebrations.

At the Ball, Miss Wendy Crawley and Mr. John Hope were chosen as Belle and Beau of the Ball respectively.


An Organ Spectacular was held in Clare featuring American Seth Rye and presented by Lowery and Clewer's of Clare.

This year saw the formation of the Clare Concert Band by REO teachers, Terry Trezise and Len Shelley.

Members totalled 41 and the first concert was performed in December.


The musical "Bye Bye Birdie" was presented in the Clare Town Hall by Clare High School students and staff.


1980 —

A 2-hour colour feature film by two young Aussies was "World Safari", an incredible journey in the Clare Town Hall.

Silvers Circus came to Clare with Tommy Hanlon, Jnr.

The internationally famous group "The Bushwackers" played at Rick Robertson's Winery and the following month the "Redgum" band played there.

Trevor Lyons brought his exhibition of paintings and drawings to the Clare Welfare Centre.

The SA Police Band performed in Clare with the Clare Concert Band.

This year nine queens entered in the Clare Valley Festival. Julie Chambers was the winning queen.

Val Tilbrook reports - "a spectacular new musical "Annie" is now playing at the Adelaide Festival Centre with well-known stars Jill Perryman and Hayes Gordon.

"Due to a back injury, Hayes Gordon was forced to hand over the leading male role to his understudy, Jon Sidney, who normally plays a smaller role in "Annie".

"I was lucky enough to see this understudy play the leading role. Why? Because Jon Sidney is the stage name of Brian Whetstone, son of Syd Whetstone of Sevenhill.

"Jon began as an announcer in commercial radio including Radio Caroline, the first pirate station in England.

He has appeared in JC Williamson productions, has played cabaret in Paris and performed in Canada.

Jon was afternoon host on Melbourne television and was an interviewer on "Shoulder to Shoulder".

"Annie" must surely be the musical of the decades. The sets alone are worth seeing. And Jon Sidney, who grew up in the tiny town of Sevenhill, is certainly worth seeing."

1981 —

The Clare Concert Band and the Adelaide Ensemble presented a concert in the Clare Town Hall and the local band gave another concert in 1982.

1982 —

The SA Folk Federation held its annual Festival in Clare with workshops, dancing and concerts. A notable item was the singing of "The Salvation Flag" and "The Army and the Larrikins of Clare".

The folk band "Bloodwood" also made an appearance in Clare, as did the folk band "Tinkers and Taylors".

The WA Ballet performed in the Clare Town Hall.

Singer Kamahl paid another return visit, proving his popularity with Clare audiences, and was back again in 1984.

Organist, Maureen Anderson performed in Clare as did the gospel singers Dave and Barb Anderson.

This was the year when the SA Film Corporation spent time in the area filming "Under Capricorn".

Teacher, Mrs. Rosemary Turner, of the Clare Valley Ballet School, presented her students in an entertaining, professional end of year performance.

1983 —

Radio personalities Bazz and Pilko compered a Talent Quest in the Clare Town Hall.

International concert organist, Rory Thomas, performed on the new range of Wurlitzer organs.

His visit was sponsored by the Clare Organ Society and used the Clare Uniting Church hall.

This venue was also used for the Cantata which delighted the audience with its 35 voice Barunga Range Parish Choir.


Another international organist, Rob Richards, played the Wurlitzer OMNI 600 organ in St. Michael's Hall.


West Coast Promotions presented Slim Dusty in concert in the Clare Town Hall.

The Clare Concert Band was the only country band to appear in the State Festival in Adelaide.

Members were thrilled with the reception from audiences and critics. Later in the year the Band gave a "Spectacular" in the Clare Town Hall featuring the Edgar Beat Big Band.

Another "Band Spectacular" was performed in 1984.


Silvers Circus performed in Clare.

1984 —

Local man Bill Bedford's Country Roundup performed in Clare with square-dance caller Colin Huddlestone.

The Queen of Pop, singer Allison Durbin performed in Clare.

Redgum in Concert appeared in Clare on their frontline national tour.

Another star turn was Simon Gallaher in "Singing for You" with his famous glittering glass piano.

Recorder player, Nick Vall, entertained children at Clare schools and kindergarten.

The Salvation Army made a comeback in Clare, singing hymns, tossing tambourines and telling stories from the Bible.

The Clare Valley Easter Festival was held.

1985 —

Ashtons Circus came to Clare.

A Grand Concert was presented by local and ex-local Clare artists.

Another evening of Bill Bedford's Country Roundup was in May.

"Annie" the musical was performed by Clare High School students and staff in the Clare Town Hall.

The High School also assisted the Clare Concert Band in "An Evening of Song and Dance".


Vivian Ziersch won the coveted Whyalla Art Prize and was co-winner of the Mid-North Art Prize with Rita Broadway.

The Clare Town Hall was the venue for the film "World Safari",

the new adventures of Alby Mangels,

as well as Barossa Brass with the Marananga Band and guest artists.


A poor attendance greeted performer Rolf Harris in the Clare Sporting Complex.

The Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Paul Coppens performed a witty programme "An Evening of Comedy with Gilbert and Sullivan", sponsored by the Clare Lions Club.

Clare saw a performance by the Sacred Dance Group of Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Fred Hillier, ceramic artist of pioneer buildings, was guest speaker at the Clare National Trust dinner and had a display of his art at the Clare Museum.

A fundraising Frolic was held with local band Nightshift.

June saw the opening of the Clare Town Hall's dressing room extensions.

In July 1985, it was reported that Andrew Zweck, a boy from Brinkworth 10 years ago, had worked his way to the top of the rock promotion world.

He had just phoned home to say he was "positively exhausted", after helping to stage what was described as the "greatest show on earth" — Live Aid.

The Saturday show had raised millions of dollars for aid to African famine victims.

1986 —

A village Fair was held on the Clare Oval.

The Clare Town Hall Management Committee presented a grand Jubilee Concert.

1987 —

The Clare Art Group was revived early this year.

The Murray Park Singers performed Easter music.

The Northline Drive-in Theatre closed for winter to re-open in October.

Clare Town Hall was the venue for "Footrot Flats" and later the West End Pub Comedy with Dave Flannagan.

Martin St. James, the Mind Magician, also appeared there as well as the Metropolitan Male Voice Choir.

Bill Bedford presented another of his Country Roundups.

The Clare Concert Band performed its "Spectacular '87" at the Clare Valley Ballet school held its annual students' concert.

The Australian Dance Theatre visited Clare schools with workshops.

1988 —

Irish entertainment was provided for the "Clare Irish Affair" at the Easter Festival and Racing Carnival. 7000 people attended.

Local duo, Danny Hooper and his fiancée, Lea Kemp, won the top award at Tamworth NSW in the Capitol Country Music Association and Talent Quest.

Clare High School students rehearsed with an Adelaide choreographer for their opening night appearance at the Adelaide Festival of Arts.

Noted SA author, Colin Thiele, opened the Chaff Mill Gallery and Bookshop in April.

The Burnside Symphony Orchestra were well received in the Clare Town Hall, although audience attendance was disappointing.

John and Coral Chard gave a ballroom dancing demonstration at the Palm Court Tea Dance afternoon in the Clare Town Hall.

The Murray Park Singers performed in St. Michael's Hall, Clare.

A Quilt Exhibition was brought to Clare by the Northern Cultural Trust.

This Trust also assisted in forming a Youth Arts Group in Clare.


The popular Barossa Brass played to a Clare Town Hall audience.

The Clare Community Arts Group held a successful "Port and Poetry" night at Kilikanoon Restaurant.

The Clare Writers' Group was formed in Clare this year.

Noted SA author, Max Fatchen, held one of his rare student workshops at the Clare District Education office.

Dancer, Leigh Warren, was one of the judges on the occasion of Clare High School winning the 1988 Rock Eisteddford in the Adelaide Festival Theatre.

The Gospel Singing Group, "Endless Praise", gave a free concert in the Clare Town Hall.

Noted jazz musician, Dave Dallwitz, held a successful workshop in Clare, arranged by the Regional Arts Development Trust officer, Sue Laslett.


Newly-weds, Danny and Lea Hooper, local country and western singers, scooped the country music awards, topping the season off with their win for Tamworth Country Music Duo.

The Clare Arts Group held a feast to remember with an authentic Medieval Feast at Quelltaler Winery.

The first Clare EXPO was held in the Clare Town Hall.

The Back-to-Clare Celebrations began with the Bi-Centennial Concert in the hall, followed by a Back-to-Clare Primary School event, a Back-to-Clare Institute week, ending with a Back-to-Clare Show.

Geraldine Doyle, star of ABC's Big Country and the Ray Martin Midday Show featured in a Crazy Irish Party in Clare Town Hall.

Bill Bedford's Country Roundup was still a popular entertainment.

1989 —

One-man band performer, Dan Burt, entertained the Clare Primary School students.

Stephen John of Watervale, took over as conductor for the Clare Concert Band, in their 10th anniversary year

when they gave a performance to celebrate, and changed their name to Clare Valley Show Band.

Children's author, Gillian Rubinstein, visited the Clare Chaff Mill Gallery and Bookshop to promote reading and writing in rural areas.

The same venue welcomed renowned author, Mem Fox, later that year, when she read books to a captive audience.

Tim Guster, a visiting artist, played a variety of musical instruments for Clare Kindergarten children.

A day in the life of St. Joseph's Convent students was filmed on site by a Japanese film crew.

Dave and Barb Anderson returned to Clare with their "Experience of Praise and Worship" musical evening.

A Grand Variety Concert was held in the Clare Town Hall featuring singing duo, Danny and Lea Hooper.

"Carry on Guides" was a spectacular production of song, dance and comedy in the Clare Town Hall.

The Anglican Parish held a three-day Festival of Flowers in St. Barnabas Church, Clare.

Geoff Goodfellow, known as the working man's poet, enthralled the audience in Clare Town Hall.


1990 —

For the first time in 12 years, the annual Clare Easter Festival, was abandoned, due to lack of support.

The visiting Alexander Theatre presented "Winnie the Pooh" in Clare, and the visiting Harvest Theatre Co. presented "Down an Alley filled with Cats".

The Jamestown Drama Group brought its production of "Calamity Jane" to Clare audiences, and gave us "Salad Days" the following year.

The Clare Valley Show Band presented "An Afternoon of Music" for pleasure of Clare patrons.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Leonardo and April O'Neal performed for the young fans in the Clare Town Hall, and were sponsored by the Clare Traders' Association.

"Alice in Wonderland" was the end-of-year performance for ballet students of the James College branch in Clare.

1991 —

Don Spencer, visiting artist, gave his "Let's Have Fun" concert for Kids.
A Grand Concert celebrated Clare's 150th anniversary as a town.

Martin Lass, star of the Ray Martin Show, appeared in the Clare Town Hall with guest guitarist, Graeme Brown.

The Northern Cultural Trust brought another travelling exhibition of quilts to Clare.

In November, the first screening by the Clare Cinema in the Town Hall was "Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves."

Future screenings were to be January, May and June, 1992.

1992 —

Danny and Lea (Hooper) hit the road with their new album "Talkin' 'bout Love".

Newcomers to Clare, artists Carolanne Wasley and Malcolm Arnold, in the Clare Cultural Centre (now occupied by the craft store, Victoria Country Living.)

David Poulton's Theatre of Puppets presented "Blinkey Bill".

The Clare Valley Film Society celebrated its first birthday with a filming at Crawley's, Leasingham Restaurant.

The Jamestown Drama Group brought a musical comedy mystery to Clare,

"Murder 'e Says", and

in 1993 brought "The Drunkard", a musical melodrama.


The Clare Valley Concert (Show?) Band, formed in 1979, showed it was still active by presenting an Afternoon of Music in St. Michael's Hall, Clare.

The Clare Valley Folk Club played at different venues during 1992 and 1993.

1993 —

The Clare Town Hall floor was bouncing to the rock and roll of "The Satellites" with help from the audience, and they returned in November.

The SA Federation of Film Societies presented a film festival in the Clare Town Hall.

More rock, "Gourmet Rock", featured "Look Who's Talking" Band.

The Spanish Festival, held in the Clare Valley, over a weekend in April, was a great success, it being the biggest for ten years, and it had become a yearly event.

A Family Film Night was held in St. Michael's Hall.

"Bye Bye Blues" was presented in Clare by the Whyte-Yarcowie Vaudeville Troupe.

A "Singfest" by St. Petri and St. Joseph Choirs was held in the Clare Lutheran Church Hall.

St. Ignatius College Big Band and Orchestra played to an appreciative audience in the Clare Town Hall.

Another great entertainer, tenor Thomas Edmonds, gave a performance in the Clare Town Hall.

The Questacon Science Circus visited Clare on its tour of SA and Northern Territory.

Local artist, Murray Edwards, held an exhibition of his paintings of his year in Scotland.

The City of Woodville Choir and Brass Band Concert performed in St, Michael's Hall,

while the SA Police Band presented "Band on the Beat" in the Clare Town Hall

which was also the venue for the now-famous Leigh Warren and dancers.


A Variety Concert, under Norma Schell, was held in St. Michael's Hall in aid of funds for a new piano for the Clare RSL Hall.

The popular "The Four Kinsmen" appeared in the Clare Town Hall, and the annual end-of-year performance by the Clare branch of the James College School of Dance was the last show for the Hall in 1993.

1994 —

The Clare Cinema resumed in the Clare Town Hall and the Clare Valley Film Society were still active.

Weber Bros. Circus came to town in April.

The May holiday weekend gave us the 10th anniversary of the Clare Gourmet Weekend.

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