The Walberton Players go ahead with The King & I in memory of their late chairman David Fido

The Walberton Players are dedicating their next production to the memory of their chairman David Fido who died of cancer late last year.

The King and I goes ahead later this month as a tribute to David, said Walberton Players president and past chairman Madeline Doman. David peacefully at St Wilfrid’s Hospice last November after being diagnosed with primary liver cancer. Madeline said: “David took over from me as chairman of the Walberton Players nine years ago I. was delighted at how he succeeded in leading the society into a new phase of music and drama. He was very popular, extremely cheerful, unfailingly helpful and most of all, a good and loyal friend. I am proud to have known and worked with him and will miss him very much indeed.”



Performances of The King and I will run from February 17-20 at 7.30pm in Walberton Village Hall (tickets from Jane Hayler on 01243 552882 or or

David was born on June 6 1954 – ten years to the day after D Day. He attended Portsmouth Northern Grammar School and then started a three-year teacher training course at Bishop Otter College in Chichester.

His wife Jeanette recalled: “He had always wanted to teach and was encouraged by his uncle who had been a teacher and was, at this time, a college lecturer. Happy times were had at Bishop Otter, and David still had contact with a lot of the friends he made there until he died.”

David gained a post as a teacher at Walberton and Binsted School and started teaching a Year 3 class in September 1989. On the staff at Walberton was one Jeanette Smith. Matchmaking amongst the staff soon started. The headteacher set up their first date which was two free tickets to see the film Shirley Valentine at the Windmill Theatre, Littlehampton.The couple were engaged on David’s 35th birthday in 1990 and married on March 23 1991. After 12 years at Walberton, something prompted David to move on. He applied for a post at Oakwood School near Chichester and was offered the job as head of science. Within a couple of years he moved across to become head of humanities and taught history, geography, religious studies and maths. David became head of pastoral care and served on the senior leadership team for 12 years.

Jeanette added: “Throughout his life, David had a strong faith which was nurtured by his active attendance at St Philip’s Church, Cosham from an early age. This continued as he became an active member here at St Mary’s Church, Felpham where he was a member of the Parochial Church Council and a member of the social and fund raising committee. David also enjoyed serving, reading lessons and leading the intercessions.”

July 2014 saw David and Jeanette both starting retirement.In the last few months they had together, David directed a play by author Simon Brett, a world premiere entitled Murder with Ghosts.

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