IT'S almost 25 years ago that one of my wildest dreams was fulfilled…when, for the first time, my musical play…The Day War Broke Out...was performed on the glorious stage of Milford's Torch Theatre.

Much to my delight, the people of the town took it to their hearts, it was a ‘sell-out’ and we were able to make a welcome donation to Ward 10 at Withybush Hospital.

The Master Players performed heroics with my script and songs, and here's a snap with me, Richard, and most of the cast.

Since then, with the help of super people like the late Roger Arnold, and specialist support from Wayne Morse's EPS Ltd, there's been other shows…like Magic Moments (which included Connie Fisher among the performers)...and two of The Fabulous 50s and 60s...with all the profits going to local cancer charities.

We've been fortunate to have the Milford Mercury promoting all the shows, and, for many of the performers, especially those who'd been in the original Mercury Talent Contests, it was often their own first time in the Torch…their own ‘dream come true’.

Having opened its doors for the first time in 1977, the Torch, which was designed by local architect, Monty Minter, with a main auditorium of 297 seats, and at a cost of £500,000 (enabled by contributions from public bodies including the Welsh Arts Council, Pembs County Council, Wales Tourist Board, Milford Haven Town Council and Amoco UK refinery)..the Torch Theatre Co Ltd, a not-for-profit, public funded theatre, was up and running.

When I ventured into its arena, a quarter of a century ago, I was completely awestruck by the place, with its massive stage, fly-tower, sub-space, and versatile lighting perches.

Nowadays, of course, it's changed almost beyond recognition.

After a 5.4 million refurbishment and extension, the Torch facilities include a 102 seater Studio Theatre, a bespoke art gallery, bar and cafe facilities; state of the art digital cinema technology, with 3D capabilities, and a superb recording studio (I actually attended the official studio opening, and it was there that the Mercury's Editor first asked me to do a weekly column).

In 1998, Peter Doran took over as the theatre's artistic director, and, through his vision, experience, and powerful leadership, the Torch has scooped many awards, enjoyed regular 5-star reviews, received international recognition, with, along the way, Peter himself collecting the Best Director Award at the Annual Theatre Awards.

Not bad for a small theatre stuck in a town in the back of beyond.

Next April, in the Torch, Wayne and I will be presenting our latest production…The Super Sounds of the Sixties, to raise funds for Paul Sartori, and the Withybush Hospital Cancer Day Unit.

And, of course, it's another chance to ‘make dreams come true,’ and none more so than for 13-year-old Abigale Griffiths-McCaffrey, from Neyland.

Tragically, she lost her mum when she was just three, but her dad and step-mum told me that she has a wonderful zest for life, loves to dance…is part of Hannah Davey's Vibe School of Dance, based in Pembroke Dock, and has a passion for singing... any kind of song, from any genre.

Abi had this to say…"One of the proudest moments of my life was to win the Vibe's…'Make a wish' competition, where I got to raise funds, and was able to give my beautiful mum a headstone.

“The second part of my wish was to sing on stage, and, thanks to you and Wayne, my whole wish has come true."

Here are snaps of Abi and the Vibe School of Dance.

Over the next few months, with the help of the Milford Mercury, I'll be featuring all of the artists who have agreed to perform next April, in The Super Sounds of the Sixties, in the Torch...Milford's very own theatre of dreams.