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A chance to dance as Party In The Park returns to Himley Hall - in pictures

By Mark Drew | Dudley | Attractions | Published:

It was a double Party in the Park at Himley Hall over the weekend with the clock turned back to the 1970s and 80s.

Still got it! Toyah hit the stage at Himley Hall

Saturday’s event saw the likes of Toyah Willcox and Neville Staple take to the stage as hundreds of people donned their best retro gear and danced the day and night away.

Then yesterday it was the turn of the mods with a Quadrophenia-themed party, attended by Toyah and other stars of the 1979 cult classic including Phil Daniels and Leslie Ash, who are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the movie.

There were hundreds of tents and camper-vans set-up at the historic South Staffordshire estate, that sits on the border of Dudley and Wolverhampton, as people gathered for a jam-packed weekend of fun organised by the Dubs Collective.

Margaret Hollis, aged 58, from Sedgley, was among the crowd and she had a great time.

She attended alongside family and friends.

She said: “I have been looking forward to seeing Toyah and Neville Staple.

“It is the first time I have been and I was looking forward to it, but this has exceeded my expectations. We haven’t camped here, friends have, but I certainly will next year.”

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A party atmosphere filled the large park with families and friends gathered around tents and camper vans playing their own music, while crowds flocked to the stage to see live performances and there was also a funfair.

The cast of Quadrophenia reunite, left , Gary Shail, Trevor Laird, Lesley Ash, Toyah, Phil Daniels and Mark Wingett
Neville Staple

The sun shone over the picturesque grounds on Saturday however the rain came down at times yesterday – but that did not dampen the mood with plenty of mod hair-cuts and The Who T-shirts on display alongside an array of scooters.

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Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash and Toyah – together with fellow Quadrophenia stars Gary Shail, Mark Wingett and Trevor Laird – took part in a Q&A session with fans, most of them dressed like characters from the film.

A chant of “We are the Mods” went up from the crowd as the gang took up their places, still looking good, if a little older, four decades on.

Leslie Ash, who played female lead Steph, said it was “fantastic” to take part in the event and thanked everyone for turning out, adding the actors were loving being part of the anniversary celebrations.

Chatting about the making of the film, they revealed that director Franc Roddam got them together a month before filming started so that they could build up a rapport. “I think that really shows in the movie”, said Mark Wingett.

The impact of the movie, initially panned by the critics, was felt much later. Phil Daniels said: “At the time, meeting The Who, because we were fans, was better than doing the film.

There was a Q&A with the stars of Quadrophenia

“I was still living at home with my mum and dad. It was just work, except we got to wear nice clothes and ride scooters. All the awards went to the posh film, Death On The Nile, that came out the same time.

“But then DVDs and tapes came in and the film got bigger and bigger – and that’s all thanks to you lot,” he said gesturing to the audience.

Tim Sturgess, 52, from Cannock, who brought his Quadrophenia album to be signed, said: “I’m not the sort to get starstruck but I can’t believe I’m here meeting the cast.

“I loved the film and I’ve had Italian scooters all my life. It was a fantastic era. It’s been a brilliant event.”

Mark Drew

By Mark Drew
@MarkDrew_Star

Group Head of News

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