2006/7 New Year Rally - Newbury

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New Year is traditionally the time for pantomimes and the New Year revellers at Newbury just couldn't wait so once again the marshals and willing helpers put on their very own pantomime. This time it was Dick Whittington; and what an hilarious show it was. We laughed and laughed , and then we got soaked by King Rat! - just look at the photos  - Webmaster

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Dick Whittington - the story (courtesy Wikipedia)

Dick Whittington (also Dick Wittington) is a character in a British pantomime, very loosely based on the real-life Richard Whittington, who was born, probably in Gloucestershire, in the late 1350s and died in London in 1423. There are several versions of the traditional story, which tells how Dick, a boy from a poor family, sets out for London to make his fortune, accompanied by his cat. At first he meets with little success, and is tempted to return home. However, on his way out of the city, whilst climbing Highgate Hill from Archway, he hears the Bow Bells of London ringing, and believes they are sending him a message. A traditional rhyme is associated with this episode, as follows:

Turn again, Whittington,
Once Mayor of London!
Turn again, Whittington,
Twice Mayor of London!
Turn again, Whittington,
Thrice Mayor of London!

On returning to London, Dick embarks on a series of adventures. In one version of the tale, he travels abroad on a ship, and wins many friends as a result of the rat-catching activities of his cat; in another he sends his cat and it is sold to make his fortune. Eventually he does become prosperous, marries his master's daughter Alice FitzWarin (the name of the real Whittington's wife), and is made Lord Mayor of London three times (the historical Whittington was elected Lord Mayor four times).