A number of organisations used the Pavilion as a venue for a variety of functions. This month “Selsey Imps” come under the spotlight. The Conservative Party founded the Junior Imperial League in 1906 which was designed to make the party more attractive to youths. It became very popular in the inter-war years with national membership exceeding 250,000. After World War II it was renamed the Young Conservatives.

The Selsey branch organised a variety of activities. Pictured below is the Imps football team of the 1930-31 season. Fuller details of the names of the players can been found on the Selsey Photo Archive website. We are indebted to the S.P.A. for the use of their photos in this article.

However, the main focus is on events staged by the Imps in the Pavilion. A number of concert parties were produced. A key contributor was Dick Woodford who was a pianist and an employee of Freddie Phipps. He is pictured sitting cross legged in the photo below.

"IMPS" CONCERT PARTY – What was admitted on all sides to have been one of the best concerts produced in Selsey for some years was staged at the Pavilion on Friday night, by the Selsey Imps Concert Party. It was the first public appearance of the party, who had the satisfaction of making their debut before a crowded audience, not a seat being procurable for fully a quarter-of-an-hour before the curtain rose. The excellent programme was under the directorship of Mr. D. Woodford (who was also at the piano), with Mr. F. W. Phipps as stage manager, and the performers acquitted themselves so well, both in individual and concerted numbers, that encores became the order too early in the evening and had to be disallowed during the second part of the programme. Two original and topical items which aroused great amusement and enthusiasm were "A trip to Selsey" (by five of the Imps) and a political marching item by the company, to the tune of "Sussex by the Sea" with “Good old Courtauld, our M.P.," as the refrain. It was 11 p.m. before the conclusion of the programme was marked by the presentation of boxes of chocolates to the lady members of the party - a pleasing function which was undertaken by Capt. W. C. Mathew, the founder of the Junior Imperial League in Selsey.

Hampshire Telegraph 19/4/1929

A CLEVER COMEDIENNE – Miss Connie Lamb- the only child of Major Lamb- was the "star" of the evening at the entertainment given in Pavilion by the "Selsey Imps" Concert Party. As the comedienne, she "brought the house down," making the packed audience shriek with laughter. There is no doubt that she possesses wonderful natural talent. The whole party - which, in addition to Miss Lamb, included Miss Winnie Sluman, Miss Jessie Maidment and Messrs. Dick Woodford, Charlie Pratt and Jack Lawrence- merited the highest praise for their splendid programme.

Bognor Regis Observer 4/9/1929

The Selsey Imps were also involved with hosting very popular dances.

THE "IMPS DANCE". The Selsey " Imps" will hold their inaugural dance at the Pavilion Wednesday, November 7th, and, with Jack Tupper's well-known orchestra in attendance the event should be a very jolly one. Dancing will commence at 8pm., and, while members are admitted free, non-members' tickets are 1/3 each.

Bognor Regis Observer 31/10/1928

"THE IMPS." On Tuesday evening, December 31st, about 200 members and friends of the "lmps” held a New Year's dance in the Pavilion. Very good music was rendered by Mr. Jack Wakeley's Blue Diamond Band, and "Auld Lang Syne" was sung at the close, a very happy evening being spent by all. Mr. Lawrence was the able M.C.

Chichester Observer 15/1/1930

Dance of the "Imps". Organised by the Selsey “Imps." an enjoyable fancy dress dance was held on Tuesday evening last in the Pavilion, there being two hundred entrants. Originality was the feature of the costumes, the prizes being awarded as follows: Ladies: 1. Miss Packman (Air Pilot); 2. Miss Willis (Hawaiian girl); 3, Miss Doris (black girl). Original: 1, Mrs. Lawrence (Twink); 2, Miss M. Homer (Journey's End); Gentlemen: 1. Mr. V. Coombes (D.O.R.A.); 2, Mr. D. Woodford (old dame); 3 and 4, Messrs. B. Sayers, J. Owens, S. Maidment, and Lawrence (Klu Klux Klan). Original: 1, Mr. H. Sherrington (sailor); 2, Mr. Barnes (Inside Out).

Bognor Regis Observer 5/2/1930

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