THE Wyvern Theatre turned 50 this week and many performers from years gone by have shared happy memories of the venue.

It was opened officially on September 7, 1971 by the Queen and has hosted some of the entertainment world's biggest names over the years including panto legends to local performers.

Timmy Mallett, who starred in Aladdin in 1995 said: “Absolutely loved our season at The Wyvern Theatre.

“Thank you so much to the good people of Swindon and the theatre themselves because it was a tricky time for me.

“I was suffering a family bereavement just at the start of the run and it threw me into turmoil.

“The lovely cast and team rallied round and made it feel really rather special, so thank you for that, I really appreciate it.”

Jess Conrad OBE said: “Wyvern Theatre is one of my favourite theatres. And of course one of my dearest friends, the late and great, Diana Dors was born there.

“Obviously she came to see every show and sat in the box and the audience loved that because it was their local celebrity, your local celebrity.

“The public there loved me and I loved you. I look forward to coming to see you all again, God bless you all, I love Swindon.”

Bernie Clifton said: “I was always in town for rehearsals by early December. It took me no time at all to master that funny roundabout - usually by the third week in March.

“Here’s to the Wyvern Theatre, may it continue to entertain many more generations and families for years to come.”

Former Emmerdale and Coronation Street actress Vicky Binns said: “I remember being really welcome there and looked after.

“My first time down south as a northerner, you were all really friendly. Keep up the good work and happy blooming birthday.”

Baroness Floella Benjamin said: “The staff and the crew made me feel so at home, so I want to wish you a very happy 50th anniversary.

“Here’s to another happy 50 years at The Wyvern.”

Wyvern Theatre staff member Darren Chivers said: “Happy 50th anniversary to The Wyvern Theatre, a venue I’m so privileged to be involved in.

Christopher Biggins was also in a celebratory mood as he sang a happy birthday message to the theatre.

A Wyvern Theatre spokesperson said: “It is such an amazing achievement for us to be reaching this impressive milestone and to be continuing to entertain Swindon audiences after 50 years.

“The date has taken on a special significance for us as we have only recently reopened our doors to the public after being locked down for so long, but we’re excited to see what the future holds for the Wyvern Theatre.”