THE phrase ‘a bunch of old bats’ might normally be used in derogatory terms when describing a group of women in their advancing years, but there’s nothing wrong with the phrase in Broadway.

The Broadway Amateur Theatrical Society, better known as BATS, will be celebrating its 25th year later this month when it presents the ever-popular Sleeping Beauty at the village hall on November 22-24.

And for some of the women who can remember the group’s early days they certainly don’t mind being called the ‘old BATS.’ The origins of the group go back further to 1977 when people in the village started raising funds as part of celebrations for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

That initial group evolved into BATS and it put on its first production in September, 1987, with Music Hall.

The self-proclaimed ‘old BATS’ – people like Joan Gratrix, Sylvia Baigent, Pam Price, Jackie Medland and Carol Crane – can still vividly remember the early days and hold so many happy memories.

Now they are all looking forward to their next production, the classic Sleeping Beauty, when it opens later this month.

Tickets are on sale from Nina at Horton Post Office with opening night prices at £7 for adults and £3.50 for children under 16, and a special £5 price for senior citizens.

Tickets for Friday and Saturday are priced at £7 for adults and £3.50 for children aged under 16. The show will start at 7.30pm on the Thursday and Friday productions, November 22-23, and at 6.30pm on Saturday, November 24.

The pantomime is being produced and directed by Jane Brown, and as usual there will be the usual cast and a wonderful children’s chorus.

There will be lots of singing, dancing, booing and hissing.

BATS spokesman Roger Allen said: “We would really appreciate your support in our 25th year – put the dates in your diary and look out for the posters.

“We look forward to seeing you.”

Though the BATS group will be celebrating its 25th anniversary, the older members of the group will pause for thought and remember founder Jean Berry, who passed away last year at the age of 82.

The ‘green room’ at Broadway village hall has been named in Jean’s memory.