independent

Sunday 24 March 2019

After forty years, it’s the end of the line for Wexford Variety Group

Frank Clancy does a spot of ironing at the sale of Wexford Variety Group props and costumes in the Sarsfields’ clubhouse.
Frank Clancy does a spot of ironing at the sale of Wexford Variety Group props and costumes in the Sarsfields’ clubhouse.
Anne Reck, Elaine Murphy, Mags O’Brien, Catherine O’Regan and Patricia Kelly at the sale of clothing and props in the Sarsfields’ clubhouse at the weekend marking the end of Wexford Variety Group.

Pádraig Byrne

While it has gone by a couple of names over the course of its illustrious history, after 40 years and countless successful shows, Wexford Town Variety Group is to be no more it was announced last week.

Previously known as Wexford Tops of the Town Group, Wexford Youth Group and Coolcotts Variety Group, it initially enjoyed great success under Fr Denis Doyle and Eileen Hore in the 80s and early 90s.

Following this there was a changing of the guard, the group coming under the leadership of Patricia and Jimmy Kelly and continuing to provide a wonderful outlet for local young talent as well as entertaining the masses.

Last week, however, the pair were saddened to announce that it was the end of the line and they were retiring from the stage.

'It's just one of those things that we feel we've reached the end of the line,' Patricia explained.

'We feel that we've done all we can with it and you just know when it's time to go. There's a new generation coming up now and they have so many different activities. At one time, the Tops of the Town was all we had. Myself and Jimmy have been at it forty years at this stage too and we're not getting any younger, so that was part of it as well.'

As well as providing a platform for Wexford youngsters to shine, the group has also done it's fair share for charity over the years and several local causes have benefited from its generosity.

There was more than a hint of sadness on Sunday as the group dusted off their paraphernalia gathered over the years such as clothes rails, costumes, props and accessories, and sold them off to other groups bringing one of Wexford's best loved variety groups to a definitive end.

A proper send-off for the group is being planned late this year with one final reunion scheduled to take place at the end of June.

Wexford People

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