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Swanley Light Opera Group was formed in 1969 and performed its first show, The Pirates of Penzance, in April 1970. A small number of people, mainly members of the teaching profession who were strongly supported by the then Divisional Education Office and his wife, held preliminary discussions with a view to furthering the Arts within the former administrative area of the Rural District of Dartford. Public notices were prepared and published and prominent persons throughout the district were circularised, with the result that during the summer of 1969, a public meeting was held to determine the possible support in the Swanley area for the formation of an operatic company.

Enthusiasm from potential performers, ancillary workers and other supporters, coupled with tentative indications of some financial support from the local authority through the medium of the Arts Council resulted in the formation of SLOG, and its first production in early 1970.

Numerous suggestions were made for the name of the company and each was carefully considered, but by far the most popular was Swanley Light Opera Group with the obvious connotation of its acronym, SLOG. This interpretation still rings true today for to put a show on stage to a standard suitable for public presentation requires something more than a casual, spare time hobby attitude.

Clearly, hard work of this nature does not deter people, for today's membership still includes some founder members, and the company has flourished and proved to be a tremendous success in the area. Since the first show in 1970, the company has staged more than 80 shows ranging from operettas - particularly Gilbert & Sullivan concerts to musical plays and modern musicals, and has more recently moved into plays as well, presenting plays at Darenth Village Hall under their dramatic arm, SLOG Players.

In the early days, shows were staged at the old Swanley School in Cherry Avenue but in December 1975 the company moved to The Woodlands, Swanley, where it has been based until recently.

The above history was written by Ralph Gutteridge and Alan Whittaker for inclusion in the programme for SLOG’s 10th Anniversary, and has subsequently been updated