A Tribute to Jeanne Crane, President of Belper Players.

Our president, Jeanne Crane, a much loved stalwart of Belper Players, has sadly left us to join the great throng of theatre players in the sky.

After being a part of the Belper Players family for 88 years she will be very greatly missed.

There seem to be different opinions on when Jeanne's first performance with the society was. Jeanne told some of our members that it was at the age of 8, whilst we do know for sure she was part of Belper Players in 1942, when she would have been 16 years of age.

Over the years Jeanne not only took to the stage with Belper Players, but also took responsibility for costume design numerous times, was occasionally prompt and was a committee member for more years than any of us can remember. A true and rare all round contributor to the society.

Our archives show that Jeanne performed in 20 plays over the years, although we are sure there are many more.

Here's a list the plays we have a record of Jeanne performing in over the years, along with some images from our scrapbooks:

1948 - The Late Christopher Bean

Jeanne's first production that we have a record of in the Belper Players archive was The Late Christopher Bean in 1948, when she would have been 22, in which she shared the stage with her husband Gerry.

Chris Bean

Over the years she performed many times in varied roles. She next appeared in our archives in 1964, probably having spent the last 16 years focusing on her children.

1964 - Island of the Winds

Island Winds

1965 - The Tinder Box

1965 - Bonaventure


1966 - Old Time Music Hall

1966 - Dear Octopus, where she and Gerry played a married couple.

Dear Octopus

1969 - The Corn is Green

1969 - Love on the Dole

1972 - The Snow Queen

1972 - The Heiress


1977 - Stringers Last Stand

1977 - The House on the Lake

House on the Lake

1980 - Come Laughing Home

1981 - Lloyd George My Father

In 1989, with a slightly different hat on as Belper Red Cross Township Leader, Jeanne's broken leg was the subject of a fund raising stunt, where a lucky signatory of her cast won a prize!

Red Cross

1990 - Clerical Errors

1991 - The Enquiry

The Enquiry

1995 - Gostforths Fete

2001 - Fish Out of Water, in which I had a pleasure of pursuing her affections, and money, as a Italian lothario.

Fish Out of Water

2007 - Bazaar and Rummage

Bazaar and Rummage

2008 - Humble Boy

2010 - Steel Magnolias

Steel Magnolias

As you can see, Jeanne really enjoyed being part of Belper Players, and I can say with certainty that Belper Players was very privileged to have had Jeanne as a lifetime member. She is very much loved. She is irreplaceable. She will be sorely missed

Nick Mothershaw, Vice-Chair, Belper Players

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