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From life in Nuneaton pits to death in Flanders' trenches

Treacle Town Tommy, Abbey Theatre, Nuneaton, from Nov 20-24

THERE is something deliciously self-mocking about a town like Nuneaton.

As a half-Guernseyman who spent most of his career in Nuneaton, I am fully aware of inter-town and inter-island banter.

Bedworth folk call Nuneaton folk "Treacle Towners" and I am so looking forward to seeing the production at the Abbey Theatre of Treacle Town Tommy, a play that marks the blood-strained curtain coming down on World War One.

Since 2014 there have been a number of plays at this theatre depicting the Great War, including To The Green Fields Beyond, Oh What A Lovely War, Private Peaceful and The Accrington Pals.

Now the Sudden Impulse group are concluding the series with this home grown story - and as the grandson of a soldier who served in the First World War, I can hardly wait.

The company has conducted extensive research with the help of The History Hub and Nuneaton Memories as well as wider research on the war itself. The story and the family may be fictitious but the events and society in which it is set are all based on fact.

Nuneaton is a town with its roots in coal. Pits, including Griff Clara, Griff No 4 and Haunchwood have long gone. However, this story about a collier family will resonate with many locals.

The town also has close links with the nearby Bramcote Barracks and it's wonderful that now, in the centenary of the signing of the Armistice, we remember each and every one of the "Tommies."

Right now as the actors (pictured above) in Sudden Impulse prepare to go "over the top" on opening night, November 20, there are bound to be some nerves....but nowt quite like how the real Treacle Town Tommies felt in 1914-18.

*Theplay runs from November 20-24 and there will be a free Question and Answer session with cast and crew on the Tuesday and Friday evenings after the play.

For tickets ring 078994 06843 or visit

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