Memories are made of this.

Anything relevant

Memories are made of this.

Postby Chris » 10 Nov 2013, 12:33

This morning I received a rather touching enquiry from a young Mum who lives in what I know to be a very deprived area of North Wales. She wrote: " i saw u as a child in newborough school and its never left me and i want my children to feel as i did all them years ago. the party is 2hours long and i just want to know if your available and your price please xxxx "
The thought occurred that if I kept a scrapbook that would be something nice to paste in.

It used to be the case that all Variety artistes religiously maintained a Cuttings or Scrap book in which they stuck photographs, First Night Greetings telegrams, programmes, publicity leaflets, newspaper write-ups, Christmas cards from fellow artistes and celebreties, letters of congratulation and the like. Over the years these scrpbooks, and they often ran to many, became a record of their professional lives. I am lucky to have inherited the scrapbooks of both my late partner Eric Bramall and those of Madge and Buster Stavordale* and they offer a wonderful picture of both puppetry and the Variety Theatre in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. They make quite fascinating reading, and whenever I delve into one I have a pang of regret that I have not kept such a scrapbook myself.

I imagine these scrapbooks were kept up partly as something to fill the long hours in theatrical digs and theatre dressing rooms spent by the performers in those days. They used to go to the theatre in the mornings for band call, then back around 5pm to prepare for First House after which they would usually stay in the theatre (still in their make-up) ready for the Second House. This was the daily routine exept for Sundays which were travelling days when they moved on to the next town in the circuit. It was in these hours in the dressing room that props, puppets and costumes were made and repaired, and when scrapbooks were kept up to date.

Mrs Bramall, Eric Bramall's mother, toured with him during his days in Variety. Instead of an autograph book she had a tablecloth. All the Stars they worked with were asked to sign the table cloth. Then Mrs Bramall would fill her time by embroidering these signatures in myriad colours. This cloth is another of my treasures.

*The Stavordale Scrapbooks are now in the collection of Michael Dixon who is dedicated to preserving the memory of The Stavordale Marionettes.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3255
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: Memories are made of this.

Postby Richard Coombs » 10 Nov 2013, 14:47

A nice post Chris .
One that prompts lots of thoughts on scrapbook keeping and memories ( more on that when I have a bit more time),

But for today I just wanted to say "Congratulations" on the Compliment you got from that lady.

How lovely to know that your performance left such a lasting impression .
And wonderful to have been blessed with the longevity to see a second generation of audience come along.

Bravo to you .

Richard
User avatar
Richard Coombs
Joey's Jewels
Joey's Jewels
 
Posts: 864
Joined: 16 Aug 2006, 09:42
Location: Lichfield Staffs UK

Re: Memories are made of this.

Postby Chris » 10 Nov 2013, 19:22

Thanks Richard, but I wish it were only second generation. My longevity is such that - well last week I overheard a lady saying to her grandaughter that she remembered me doing a particular trick when I had entertained at her birthday party. Crumbs, I thought, not only am I a very old codger but apparently I'm still doing the same act!
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3255
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales


Return to Punch Chat

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

cron