The Music Hall and Theatre History Site
Dedicated to Arthur Lloyd, 1839 - 1904.

Celebrating Twenty Years Online 2001 - 2021


The Arthur Lloyd Guestbook Archive

2003 - 2006 - 2006 - 2017

Guestbook - Dating from 2006 to 2017

Name: Susan Dorey
Date: Tue 01 Aug 2017 02:09:41 BST
Subject: Bignell's Argyll Rooms
  Trocadero Leicester Square London.

Congratulations on an excellent presentation of Bignell's Argyll Rooms and their successor the Trocadero.

My interest is in Robert Bignell and his daughter, and I have written about them on my website (as the Sleigh family).

Your explanation neatly connects some odd "facts" I have tripped over in the past. I found your page while looking for an image of the front of the old Argyll Rooms. That image is proving illusive. I have not "borrowed" any images from your page.


Susan Dorey in California
Name: Roger Edwards
Date: Tue 25 Jul 2017 20:43:10 BST
Subject: The Site
  I love this site it holds so much information on all aspects for anyone interested in theatre and event buildings, past, possibly ones at risk of disappearing plus those present. I understand the original purpose but site name must prevent so many if subject searching by theatre references, tripping over the address in a google list and failing to open not understanding from name what the content will be.
I knew Don Auty as a Tour Manager and later as a fellow TMA member, I have enjoyed reading his feature articles and would recommend to others visiting this site, a true man of the theatre
If there is a complaint it is that when dipping into the site it is so easy to lose hours as you move from page to page.
I sincerely hope your efforts continue and even more content continues to be enterred
Name: Thomas and Loretta Klugh
Date: Mon 24 Jul 2017 22:36:06 BST
Subject: Disappearing London

We live in NYC and feel the same about places here that disappear due to "progress".
Thomas %26 Loretta - Upper East Side Manhattan

Name: Maureen Emerson
Date: Fri 07 Jul 2017 09:32:36 BST
Subject: The Old Lyric

Delighted to find this site. My Hammersmith children wouldn't believe me when I told them I had seen Donald Wolfit at the original Lyric Theatre (in my memory it was on the King's Road, along from Collet? Court). We then lived in Fitzjames Avenue. Oh no, they said, the theatre has always been where it is now! I found one of the old photographs of the facade and was able to confound them.
Good wishes. Maureen Emerson.

Name: Matthew Lloyd
Date: Fri 26 May 2017 09:05:36 BST
Subject: Revamp

Funny you should say that Ken as I am working on just that at the moment although the site is so huge and difficult to change that it may take some time before the revamp is completed.

Thanks for your input though, much appreciated.

(Your message)

I think the breadth of information on your website is very impressive. You even have a couple of pictures credited to me.

However, and I say this in a constructive manner, but don't you think the colours that you have used are a bit early-1990s? Blue text on a maroon background might have worked back then, but nowadays, it is so out of date. I think it is time for a major revamp!

Name: Ken Claydon
Date: Thu 25 May 2017 21:06:33 BST
Subject: The website

I think the breadth of information on your website is very impressive. You even have a couple of pictures credited to me.

However, and I say this in a constructive manner, but don't you think the colours that you have used are a bit early-1990s? Blue text on a maroon background might have worked back then, but nowadays, it is so out of date. I think it is time for a major revamp!

Name: Paul Chapman
Date: Tue 14 Mar 2017 22:26:53 GMT
Subject: S. F Cody Nevada

I have a show poster, plus other stuff, relating to S F Cody who put on his "Nevada" at the Carlton Theatre in 1904. Cody, of course, was known for his man lifting kites and as the designer, builder and pilot of the first aeroplane to fly iin the UK (Oct 16 1908). I wonder if you have anything on his appearances at the Carlton, particularly if he put on a kites show to advertise it? I can send an image of the show poster if you like? I may even have a photocopy of the play somewhere! Regards, Paul.

Name: jan finnis
Date: Sat 11 Mar 2017 01:12:07 GMT
Subject: The Iceskaters in the late 1930"s

Hi, I found your page quite by accident and found it very interesting as my mum lived in Brighton and joined the Ice Skating Troupe about 1936 when she was 16 and toured with them through the UK, South Africa, Australia and NZ. She was employed by Tom Arnold and was in shows such as Patria, Switzerland, and many others. She married one of the lead male skaters at that time - Leonard Priestley but they divorced when in Australia. I saw that the building isn't there now so can you tell me the name of the hotel? I will be visiting Brighton from Australia on the 16th to 18th April and would love to know.
Thank you

Name: Pat Dowling
Date: Mon 27 Feb 2017 01:29:28 GMT
Subject: Memories

I was reading the book "A Piece of Bread and Jam" about Hume and wondered about the fate of the Hume Hippodrome.
At about 1948 for probably 5yrs my Aunt took us kids to a pantomime at the Hippodrome each New Years Eve. I was amazed to find that it was still standing.
What wonderful memories we have of those nights.

Name: Bob Lord
Date: Sun 12 Feb 2017 14:45:21 GMT
Subject: Palace Theatre, Anlaby Road, Hull

Recently I received some family history information from my mother. In it was a family notice newspaper cutting from the Hull Daily Mail of January 1908. It mentions John Thompson (John Hobson Thompson), recently deceased, late of the Palace Theatre, Anlaby Road, Hull. He lived in Campbell Street. He was my great, great, grandfather.

Does anyone have any record of this gentleman??

Name: Martin Titley
Date: Fri 03 Feb 2017 12:58:31 GMT
Subject: Boxes at Liverpool Empire Theatre

We were in the Liverpool Empire, last evening and I wondered what the purpose of the two "audience-facing" boxes would have been? ...from your website: "There are two boxes that give you a wonderful view of the back of the circle." Just curious!

Name: Sherry Gorman-Rickard
Date: Thu 12 Jan 2017 21:25:50 GMT
Subject: Re Lily Long

Hello and thank you for a wonderful site. I have come across a photo of my Great Aunt Lily Long (Ada Lillian Gorman) on here and was so happy to see what she looked like. She is in a photo of Will Evans in babes in the wood.
She also produced and acted in black and white The Cowboy Queen 1922 and The Old Curiosity Shop 1934.
I would love to find more info n her.
Thank you so much for your excellent website

Name: Bryony Mitchell
Date: Sat 22 Oct 2016 23:00:32 BST
Subject: Joseph Bryan Geoghegan

Hi, I've spent a few really great evenings browsing through your website. Thank you! My great great great grandfather is Joseph Bryan Geoghegan who wrote Oh Marigold. And I loved reading your description of him as energetic and banging on the table with a mallet to introduce songs!

I've got a PDF image of the cover of Oh Marigold, and have found the lyrics online - if you've got a digital image of the rest of the songsheet I would so love to see it if possible?

Great website :-)

Name: Dave Puller
Date: Tue 11 Oct 2016 09:51:23 BST
Subject: Hulme Hippodrome

Loved your photos of the Hulme Hippodrome. Wonderful and sad to see how it is today. Visited the place many time when I was a youngster.

Dave Puller.

Name: Kevin Brandwood
Date: Mon 05 Sep 2016 21:45:54 BST
Subject: St. George's Hall Nottingham

Wondered if any one knew the location of the St. George's Hall Nottingham. Vestal Tilley apparently played there often. Thanks, KB.

Name: Maureen Emerson
Date: Sat 06 Aug 2016 12:39:24 BST
Subject: The King's Theatre

I was delighted to see the picture of the King's Theatre in Hammersmith. I saw Donald Wolfit in a performance there in the 1950s (I forget which play, very dramatic so perhaps King Lear). My children now live in Hammersmith and use and appreciate the Lyric. However, they've always said I was dreaming when I spoke of going to a theatre on the Hammermsith Road so many years ago. Here is proof positive. I wonder who pulled it down and what is now in its place?

Thank you for this splendid site. I went to the Sacred Heart Convent in the Broadway and lived in Fitzjames Avenue, so can claim to be a native of Hammersmith. And I musn't forget Bertram Mills circus at Olympia (all those animals – terrible to think of now) and a splendid theatrical/joke shop opposite.
Lyons Supermarket next door, one of the first in the UK. One could go on ...

Name: Tom Smith
Date: Wed 03 Aug 2016 21:20:31 BST
Subject: Research for distant family history

Thank you for the excellent site %3E I have just found that one of my relatives UK to America and back to UK were appearing in the 1950s show at the Empress Hall as a skater . So you great site has given more information as to why they traveled back to the UK for this event. Thank you again smith

Name: Christopher Travers
Date: Tue 02 Aug 2016 16:14:23 BST
Subject: One of my favorite sites...

I love it. So well done. An important site!

Best to you,
Christopher Travers
Santa Monica, CA

Name: David Bale
Date: Tue 19 Jul 2016 18:06:12 BST
Subject: Kingsway Theatre

In "What Every Woman Should Know" by Christopher Hudson (Croxley Green, Atlantic Publishing) ISBN 978-0-9568642-0-8, on p.111, there is a description of the set of 'The Artist and the Shadow" performed there in the 1930s.

Name: Maureen wallis
Date: Sat 25 Jun 2016 18:16:10 BST
Subject: The windmill

Oh boy do I remember this children were born in the 80,s and gt Yarmouth is our second home ...we used to bring our children there to the place I remembering correctly that it was called wallis windmill.? Very fond memories

Name: Paul Vincent
Date: Mon 20 Jun 2016 11:45:18 BST
Subject: Theatre Royal re-opening 1910

My grandfather, composer Thomas Dunhill, it seems, was in charge of the orchestra on the night of its re-opening. This from his diary:

December 13th 1910: At the theatre, arranging things. Rehearsal of the orchestra in afternoon . . . Very successful opening of the theatre in evening, with "Under the Red Robe"

Name: Derek Byrne
Date: Wed 15 Jun 2016 16:15:13 BST
Subject: Victoria Theatre

Found your site while looking into an ad in the Dundee Courier 18 November 1935. It said "WANTED, copy of the S.S. Titanic Disaster for Cavalcade, Vic Theatre." It seems that the Victoria Theatre wanted to swap a copy of the 1933 film "Cavalcade" for a copy of the "S.S. Titanic Disaster" film. Was that a common practice back then. Thank you.

Name: Beverley McGrath (nee Ward)
Date: Sun 12 Jun 2016 13:17:29 BST
Subject: Imperial Cinema Clapham Junction

I lived next door to the Imperial Cinema from 1948 - 1960. My dad was a messenger for Barclays Bank and we had a flat on the top floor. The building is on the left of the photo behind the bus stop.I can well remember the queues for the cinema waiting patiently outside. The website is very interesting and thanks for making it so

Name: Lesley Booth-Casey
Date: Mon 25 Apr 2016 12:29:12 BST
Subject: Family History

I found your website during my search of Family History. A gold-mine of information! Thank you for your dedication and making it public!
Horatio Frederick Lloyd, and George Thomas Lloyd had a younger brother, Arthur Robert Lloyd, born 7 Nov 1816. He met up with his brother, George in Tasmania. The first mention I have found of him there is 1836. Arthur Robert went to Victoria, then to Queensland where he married and raised a family in the Toowoomba area. He is my 3x Great Grandfather. I would love to hear from you and happy to share the information I have. Your fourth cousin once removed, Lesley :-)

Name: Ray Saxton
Date: Sun 24 Apr 2016 12:55:28 BST
Subject: Lyceum Theatre

In the 1960s I was a part time operator of the carbon arc Limes (spotlights). These were located in a soundproof room with a half inch thick glass window above %26 behind the upper balcony at the rear of the theatre. The output of the Limes was around 6000 watts each, 2 x 10" lenses, a 10 colour frame changer with a 280' throw %26 could be iris-ed down to a crisp 6" circle of light. It was essential to have a steady hand to control such a light.

Name: Andrew Kaye
Date: Wed 13 Apr 2016 19:05:00 BST
Subject: Architect and Birthday Shows

Thank you for a fascinating website, Arthur. My father, Duncan Kaye was the architect of the 1937 Hippodrome, when he was a partner at W.S. Hatrell and Partners on Queens Road, Coventry. I vaguely remember the Birthday Shows that the owner, Sam Newsome, put on every year. Star-studded hardly described them! I do remember my mother, 'Pat' telling me that on one occasion, when there was some entertainer who had invited the audience to clap and stamp their feet in time with the music, the whole of the balcony started to move up and down! Some of the audience who knew my father, looked down the row and saw him calmly sitting in his seat totally unperturbed by the movement (as he had designed it to put up with such treatment!). The general consensus was that if he wasn't bothered, then nor should they be!
Unbiased as I am, I think it was a matchless centre of entertainment. As a young boy I used to go to all the wonderful pantomimes, I remember drummer Buddy Rich nearly shaking the house down, and the fantastic Ken Dodd entertaining us well beyond the 'last bus'! Happy days.
Thank you again for keeping our memories of the Hippodrome alive.

Name: Sandra Soli, nee Tonks
Date: Tue 23 Feb 2016 17:07:23 GMT
Subject: Panto at Hippodrome

Greetings from Oklahoma. I was born in Birmingam and never forgot an experience of total delight in early childhood, circa mid-1940's at a performance (probably matinee) of Cinderella. The 2 ugly sisters were played by men. In one of the scenes they made a cake using flour (flowers from a vase on the table). It remains a favorite childhood recollection of hilarity--so much so that 50 years later, I could remember some of the jokes from the production and stole them for a Sisty Ugler sketch for our church children. Can you shed light on when this production took place (late in the war or early postwar period)? This was the moment I became fascinated by the stage and became an actress and director in later years.

Name: Jeff Barron
Date: Wed 13 Jan 2016 22:11:24 GMT
Subject: Empire Theatre, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

I have fond memories of this Theatre. My Grandma would take me to the booking office on the first day of bookings opening for the Christmas Panto. She did this so we always had a seat in the front row in the stalls. That would have been in the 50s.

I used to love going and remember seeing Nat Jackley, Yana and Jimmy Clitheroe amongst others. It was always a good show. There was always fountains I think before the interval,on one occasion leaking quite badly over the orchestra.

Unfortunatley I watched the place being demolished from the bus stop opposite where I used to get the bus to work each day. I think that was 1964 or 65. It was a sad sight. Each day a bit more was gone. On one particular morning the frontage was all gone and all you could see was the old stage and arch with a bit of the boxes still intact. The next day it was all gone.

Really sad. Happy memories though.

NOTE. I have just read an article that states the theatre was used as a cinema in its latter years.I am sure the author is refering to the Empire cinema which was linked to the theatre but was seperate with its own entrance in the adjacent Grainger St. As far as I know the Empire was only ever a theatre right up to its closure.

Name: Colin Chamberlain
Date: Thu 31 Dec 2015 17:48:44 GMT
Subject: The Comedy Club

This was an amdram group whose favoured venue was the Cripplegate Theatre. Its principal claim to fame was that it nurtured the early career of June Whitfield. Her mother Bertha was also an active member who played Madame Desmortes in Ring Round the Moon in1953(I played Hugo/Frederic)

Name: Ann C Harris
Date: Sun 22 Nov 2015 15:15:22 GMT
Subject: The Garrick Theatre

Hello, I'm writing my memoirs for my children. In doing so I looked up the Garrick Theatre to see when it was built.
I started there operating The Limes from the Gallery, closed now you say. There were two of us, one either side, through a wooden door separating us from the audience although they could see us.
I worked days at Strand Electric and engineering company as a general run-about really.
Once ITV opened, theatres desperate for men to work theatres cast about and I was hired as First Dayman on Electrics. I joined during La Plume de ma Tante and what fun that was. I left in mid 1988 to emigrate to Canada but I also remember Rachel Roberts in Oh my Papa. Peter O'Toole was a bit part there! Crazy man too.
I love the photos. Thanks so much.
Ann C H

Name: Paul
Date: Sun 18 Oct 2015 01:09:36 BST
Subject: Jane Blayne

Very pleased to see a lovely picture of my mother whose stage name at the Windmill was Jane Blayne. I have many pictures of her from that time but had never seen this particular one. She was a fantastic dancer - chiefly flamenco - and remained vivacious and headstrong to the end of her days. After her dancing career ended (due to children) she graduated in economics and became Head of Department at a large school in Surrey. She was also actively involved with MENSA and politics.

Name: Patricia Hazel
Date: Mon 17 Aug 2015 09:40:45 BST
Subject: 50's,and 60's

sad as may be my memories is the camberwell palace are not the shows... In the 50's we used to play in the derilit grounds...often the police from camberwell ps used to escort us off the property,but it never stopped us as we still climbed up to the roof. Also we used to swing from the balcony to the stage area...we called it the bombed palace,and we had some fantastic times playing . Great memories.... Just to say that's as naughty as we got 😀😀😀😀😀😀😇😇😇😇

Name: Jon
Date: Tue 11 Aug 2015 21:21:30 BST
Subject: Arthur Lloyd at Dundee

Just found an ad for the New Corn Exchange, Dundee, on Tuesday, 8 April 1862: Mr Shearer begs to announce that his Grand Concert will take place on the above evening, when the following highly talented Artistes will appear -
Mr W G Ross, the Glasgow and London great comic
Mr Arthur Lloyd, the unparalleled Comique Favourite of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast, etc
Mrs Jackson, the eminent Scotch and Irish ballad singer
Miss Ada Taylor from the Theatre Royal, Glasgow
Mr Frank Saddler, tenor, from the City Hall Concerts, Glasgow
and other talented Artistes - Mr Mordaunt Taylor, pianist

Name: Sandra
Date: Sun 02 Aug 2015 20:47:58 BST
Subject: Birmingham hippodrome

Hi,My family lived in the back to backs in Thorp Street.Birmingham.The theatre exits were in Thorp Street.Because our family lived practically side by side with the Hippodrome we all worked there in one capacity or another stretching back many years.
My first memory was when,as a child I would wait in the showgirls dressing room whilst my mom worked.She was dressing the dancers for Cho Chi Chow.I think that was in the '50s.My mom, and her sister were dressers.Their older sister worked in wardrobe.At various times the whole family worked backstage.During the war my father was a scene shifter when home on leave.
Moms brother,worked backstage as did my cousins,three as dressers,girls,one as call boy,two as scene shifter and at least two as male dressers.
I started backstage as a dresser having just left school.When ,in 1964 My Fair Lady came to the Hippodrome,extra lighting was needed and I then worked for approx.7 months on the dimmer boards situated in the flies.To get there I had to enter the boys dressing room and crawl through a hatch to the flies.Later I went on to work the limes(spotlights) - we had,if I remember,to enter from the roof.I worked the spotlights for a panto on ice,very hard to follow!
At any one time there could be around 13 family members working,always backstage.Even my husband was involve,doing the get-in for Camalot.
All this stretched from the 40s to 60s,when the Thorp street back to backs were pulled down.Now, only my cousins son ,Steven is in the theatre.He work for the Birmingham Ballet.Its built where the theatre exit used to be.
I have my uncle Daves autograph book,last entry in the 40s.He collected them whilst ,working backstage.but I think it goes back to at least the 20s.Among others are ones for Gertie Gitana.G.H.Eliott,Sam Costa,Richard Murdock and the great Mae West.
I remember being given a 10 Bob note by Adam Faith when he left his coat backstage.Bliss for a girl only just 18!
All this work was casual but it kept us busy most of the year.An aunt and cousin both took in the theatricals and my dad became a good friend of Arthur Ross(Morton Fraisers Harmonica Gang).My mom and her sisters,I believe, went on as diddymen,in a Ken Dodd panto.I was working the limes then and I couldn't tell the difference.My work at the Hippodrome lasted less than a year but the 'family' were there for years.
I loved the work so much I often forgot to pick up my wages and had to be reminded by the Seargent? on the stage door!

Name: alan bruce
Date: Wed 22 Jul 2015 10:28:52 BST


Dear Mr Lloyd ,

I was born in millroad hospital in 1950 .

My grandparents and relatives lived in Premier Street Friar street and Hamilton Road .
I lived in 40 Priory street (off Heyworth street ) from 1950 - 1970 .

Before the Royal closed down as a picture house in about 1963 to be a BINGO HALL IT WAS A GREAT PLACE as a Cinema .
We enjoyed ourselves so much COMPARED to the MISERY we experienced in the schools and at HOME .
So Many of us EVERTON Residents came to watch FILMS which had a GREAT INFLUENCE on our lives
and careers .
Being under 18 We all went to the Royal for Entertainment several times a week sometimes depending on the Films being shown . Also we went to the Mere Lane and Gaumont , Everton Palace , Lytton , Hippodrome , Asoria , Majestic and Essoldo in London Road .
IN 1964 I worked as a part-time Student in Tescos (now gone ) just down the same side past PROUTS garage.
In 1969 I even brought my office boss from James Street Ron Perry ( lived in Hunts Cross ) to have a pint in the Royal Pub next door .
During the years We passed the Royal many times a week and it is a Great Pity to see
these Cinema ICONS in this Condition .
In 1980s My mother used her pensioners rail pass and came back to Breck Road from Bromborough every week to shop .IN 1970s I had a workmate Don Bannermann living in Pendennis street further down Breck road .
Your website and photographs are Most appreciated .
I have made several posts about our 1950s experiences in the
Royal on the LOST TRIBE OF EVERTON WEBSITE that recently had a re-union .

I hope more photographs and material will be Contributed to your website

keep up the good work

many thanks and best regards
alan l. bruce

Name: Carol Moore
Date: Tue 10 Feb 2015 14:04:32 GMT
Subject: Actress and director

Hi I am writing a book on Charabanc Theatre Company, of which I was a founder in 1982 and I have got interested in researching the history of theatre in the north. I happened onto your site and found it interesting and informative. I thought you might like to know that the Linenhall Library, Belfast holds the north's theatre archive and a digital theatre archive and from which you could add to your own site.
Best wishes
Carol Moore

Name: Huw Pritchard
Date: Sat 17 Jan 2015 11:17:30 GMT
Subject: Poster from Llandudno Savoy cinema

This poster is from Llandudno's Savoy cinema, which stood where KFC now is at the bottom end of Mostyn Street. The poster is dated 1941 - in pencil at the bottom.
I bought it from Dafydd Hughes' second-hand bookshop in Madoc Street sometime in the mid 1980s, along with another, smaller poster I will also put up sometime.
You can see the main features, but you probably can't see that the prices are Stalls - 9d, 1/2, 1/6; Circle - 1/6 and (gasp) 1/10

Sorry, can't seem to post the image directly here

Name: Richard Goddard
Date: Sun 04 Jan 2015 19:14:26 GMT
Subject: Thanks

Just wanted to say thanks for this site. I've been an occasional visitor for years and there's always something of interest. Well maintained, nicely designed and fascinating.



Name: Syd
Date: Mon 22 Dec 2014 21:33:27 GMT
Subject: Tivoli Cinema 1950's

Great to read Alan Simpsons escapades at the Tivoli...As a young lad I used to be what they called a film runner - collecting films from various cinemas on an old butchers bike getting to the next cinema and performing a quick rewind before screeching off in all weathers to the next....all for half a crown a week....Many the time I had a quick brew in the projection room at the Tivoli, usually filled with dense smoke from burning carbon rods - I applied to become a trainee projectionist at the Palace - (I am still waiting for a reply!!) the meantime, I enjoyed a career in Radio Broadcasting with the BBC - still doing live and recorded shows even though I am well retired....happiest day's of my life was in the 50's.

Name: Karen
Date: Wed 10 Dec 2014 10:44:44 GMT
Subject: The Old Bedford %26 Walter Sickert

I am currently doing research for my MA in History of Art and working on an essay on Walter Sickert and his relationship with music hall etc. Thank you I really enjoyed looking at your website

Name: mike lewis
Date: Wed 26 Nov 2014 23:14:47 GMT
Subject: bomb sites

Some terrific photos of the bombed cinema. I used to spend a lot of time wandering around the bomb sites when I was younger. Thank you.

Name: P Danielson
Date: Wed 29 Oct 2014 10:03:35 GMT
Subject: Palace Theatre Huddersfield- Update

Hi made a visit to my home town of Huddersfield and went to view the works in progress on the Palace Theatre. It is currently being converted to Student apartments. Unfortunately Roland Satchwells fine Art Deco interior of 1936 is gone forever, including the auditorium ceiling and the plasterwork on the front of the circle and gallery, which was exactly the same as seen currently in the Alexandra Theatre Birmingham which Satchwell rebuilt in previous year in 1935. Infact The Huddersfield Palace was really a scaled down version of the Alexandra, where reuse of the same molds etc.
I was allowed a tour round,and it was sad to see the safety curtain still up on its mounts, un moved for 50 years, awaiting specialist removal.The good news is that Roland Satchwells Art Deco frontage and the origional 1905 outer walls have been saved, and the iconic frontage is to be fully restored.

Name: janet toker
Date: Wed 01 Oct 2014 22:52:20 BST
Subject: tivoli theatre hull 1935

FOUND A OLD AUTOGRAPH BOOK SOME SAY APPEARED AT THE TIVOLI HULL 1935 ONE LOOKS LIKE maresla one is dehaven page and says the man who ate glass looks like stanley but not very clear anyone ever heard of them

Name: Michael Trottier
Date: Mon 01 Sep 2014 20:43:02 BST
Subject: Tro ette Tower Bridge Road

Always mad about old buildings spent many hours mid 1960s roaming inside here
Such a shame amazing building as also The Globe old kent road
South East Londonderry wonderful social history lost

Name: Anthea Fraser Gupta
Date: Wed 27 Aug 2014 21:05:55 BST
Subject: Old photo

You have some wonderful history here.

I wondered if you had seen the interesting photo posted today in Memories of Middlesbrough on Facebook. Looks like construction or retrofitting of a theatre. I thought the windows look like the Empire's.

Name: Phillip Jeffs
Date: Wed 20 Aug 2014 12:56:55 BST
Subject: Charlie Wilkins

Charlie Wilkins who was in charge at the Marlebone theatre was my GG Grandfather ( see sketch) like it states there in the newspaper article his real name was Charles William Jeffs .I was unaware of his occupation ,dedication and his creditations on his death till I read his story on your site.I live in Australia and have done family research,so I was very happy to see his story and the history of the music halls. I wish I could have told my Dad, and my Grandpa JEFFS. I will tell my children. TA !

Name: Sophie Rowney
Date: Wed 06 Aug 2014 21:27:56 BST
Subject: Fantastic Read and gems of information!


I just wanted to message to say I've loved reading through your website, golden nuggets of information that in today's society seems to have been lost with the younger generations. I'm 25 however and am fascinated by Middlesbrough's wonderful heritage. I regularly feel sad over the loss of such beautiful buildings in our town and just wanted to let you know that it's been so useful reading through your site as I'm hoping to improve an area of Linthorpe Road where I live to bring it back to its former Victorian glory.

Many thanks again,

Sophie Rowney

Date: Fri 01 Aug 2014 19:22:47 BST
Subject: Grand Cinema, Huddersfield

The Sex Pistols played their last British gig here

Name: Paul Bulmer
Date: Sun 27 Jul 2014 00:06:03 BST
Subject: Theatre Royal, Humber Street, Hull

My Gt Gt Grandfather was one time manager of this theatre. His name was Isaac Newton Webster. Not sure of the dates, but he died in 1821. At some stage during his management the theatre was used by Tussards for a waxworks display. Im told a Tussard eventually married into the Webster family.
Isaac Newton Webster was described as the following : Gentleman, Musician, comedian ! I would be interested if anyone had any further information.

Name: Graham Wright
Date: Mon 30 Jun 2014 21:40:05 BST
Subject: Empress ballroom organ

Just to let you know the organ is back in the Empress and will be playing very soon.

Name: Sally Tsang
Date: Wed 11 Jun 2014 10:09:09 BST
Subject: Impressive!

What a tremendously informative site this is. Researching for a story I'm writing. Delighted to find it.

Name: Susan Hyde
Date: Tue 10 Jun 2014 13:50:40 BST
Subject: Priince's Theatre Bradford

I have recently found an old bill board sheet for the Prince's theatre Bradford from February 1901. The main show is " The Girl of my Heart" by Herbert Leonard. It played at the Surrey Theatre, London before . Has anyone any information ?

Name: Stephen Styles
Date: Tue 10 Jun 2014 12:48:17 BST
Subject: Odeon Cinema

I remember, when my father, used to take me, to the Odeon to watch the films, in the cinema, when I was very young,it was always a pleasure, and a lot of enjoyment, in those days,and now a broadcaster, wants, to turn it into a religious programme,there's too many,of that sort of thing,better, if they could turn into another cinema.

Name: Lorraine Hamilton
Date: Tue 03 Jun 2014 13:18:45 BST
Subject: Empire Cinema, Clydebank

My late mum worked in the Empire's Kiosk which is clearly visible in the picture, did great trade in ciggies and sweeties!

Name: Ruth Hemingway-Frior
Date: Fri 23 May 2014 04:18:24 BST
Subject: Arthur Bennett Wilkes

I'm a descendant of Arthur Bennett Wilkes living in Australia. I have been researching my family history on (user name tomkogrove) A.B.Wilkes was my great grandfather.My great grandmother was Matilda Whittaker. I am very happy to have found your website AND an image of my great grandfather on a! Rumour has it he commit suicide in 1923. Do you have any comments on this matter? My email address is

Name: karen dronsfield
Date: Fri 02 May 2014 15:46:41 BST
Subject: the empire theatre oldham

I have very fond memories of the empire theatre as a young child from heyside royton I was lucky enough to see jimmy clitheroe and danny ross in the pantomime Alladin. My Mum and Dad were members of Hesse Street con club and this trip was part of the childrens christmas party. How lucky I was to be left with such great affection for my visit to the pantomine and to see danny Ross and Jimmy Clitheroe.

Name: Brian
Date: Mon 21 Apr 2014 19:06:58 BST
Subject: Abc cinema

Interesting site. I was a trainee then assistant manager at the abc back in the sixties.

Name: Matthew Lloyd
Date: Fri 31 Jan 2014 12:29:36 GMT
Subject: Family Tree

Joyce Potter, please would you contact me using the website's contact form, the email address you put in your Guestbook entry, now removed, was incorrect.

Name: Jo
Date: Fri 17 Jan 2014 17:31:34 GMT
Subject: Organists

I believe my great grandfather Sidney simons( Simmons) played the organ at the wood green theatre possibly the Gaumont palace , wondered if there were any old employee lists or way to confirm this
Kind regards

Date: Sun 05 Jan 2014 21:42:01 GMT

I remember the CHELSEA PALACE THEATRE so well .WhenI was a child my Dad used to work the spotlights and I'd sit up in Gods next to my Dad when he shone the light onto the stars I,e:Gracie Fields, Max Miller, MaxWall and Ann Shelton etc. I was so proud to think my Dad was shingling that light onstage. He always took a biscuit or a little treat for a mouse that used to come out every night to be fed! Great memories.

Name: rajesh gopie
Date: Mon 30 Dec 2013 10:25:54 GMT
Subject: love the site. excellent

Great site, my friend. happy new year!

Name: Miriam Solomon
Date: Wed 11 Dec 2013 11:18:41 GMT
Subject: Winter Gardens, Northampton

I am archivist for Christ Church, Christchurch Road and was recently shown a photograph of the Winter Gardens after the fire in 1914 in 'Bioscopes and Hippographs' Cinemas in Northampton (N'ton Heritage Hunters series), phone no: 01604 402661. This was the first photograph we had seen of Christ Church (just on the left) when the Gardens were there. Naturally, like you,. I am interested in any further available photographs or contacts.

Name: alan bonser
Date: Fri 01 Nov 2013 22:38:45 GMT
Subject: Theater Royal

The Theater Royal was owned by Nita Valeria and her husband, Peter Bernard; who were my grandparents. My brother and I spent many vacations from school in Huddersfield even after my grandfather died in 1962 (even though states that he died in 1960). Even though I was around 5 years old, my mother used to take us to the theatre to see the shows. If you have any other information or pictures I'd sure like to see them posted.
Alan Bonser
Conifer, Colorado

Name: Linda Janosko
Date: Thu 31 Oct 2013 01:59:30 GMT
Subject: music halls and theatres in the 1800's

Thank you for creating this website. You have included some great images and information.
I'm beginning research for a set design for "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" which will be one of our spring productions and was very happy to find this resource.

Name: adreenie giles
Date: Wed 23 Oct 2013 11:06:33 BST
Subject: building the hippodrome

When researching my family history I discovered that my grat grandfather Henry France Lyon had been killed during the construction of Wigan Hippodrome in Dec 1903. I found a report in the Wigan Examiner regarding the inquest into his death. It seems that he fell from the circle suffering fatal head injuries.

Name: james williams
Date: Sat 05 Oct 2013 17:43:51 BST
Subject: year ?

I have been given a programme , from the royal artillery theatre Woolwich, price 2 pence, the show is Jane Eyre, for the week commencing 6th of sept, the following weeks show was the desert song.
Can you tell me what year it was ?.

Name: John Carey
Date: Sun 29 Sep 2013 12:11:51 BST
Subject: Queens |Park Hippodrome, Manchester

Just a note to say that my earliest introduction to theatre was at the "Queens Park Hip". My mother took me there in the late 40's when the theatre was showing weekly variety. I recall seeing Nat Jackley, Frank Randall, Sid Millward and the Nitwits and Dr Crock and the Crackpots there.

Name: Graeme Cruickshank
Date: Sat 28 Sep 2013 21:37:21 BST
Subject: Theatre %26 Music Hall People

Note for Researchers

Theatre %26 Music Hall People
Indices to licensees, owners, developers/promoters, architects, builders, contractors and decorators of theatres and music halls, 1850-1950.

Indices, which I have compiled, of the above practitioners listed in
Diana Howard,
London Theatres %26 Music Halls: 1850-1950
The Library Association, 1970
are now available to researchers on the Society for Theatre Research website
see research/resources page

my thanks are due to Leigh Blows, for transposing my original work
into a form suitable for this site

Graeme Cruickshank

Name: Barry Kidd
Date: Fri 27 Sep 2013 12:21:16 BST
Subject: Looking for

Hi desperate to track down friends who worked with me around 1970-74. looking for Sue Bonnie and Christopher Gay and Nick. we worked on the electrics staff for Norman Hamlin and his son Gregg who I have found. Productions were; Applause Applause, Pippin, Jeeves, Hair. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you


Name: Steph Tickner
Date: Thu 26 Sep 2013 18:25:58 BST
Subject: the theatre website


Name: Nigel Kynaston
Date: Wed 18 Sep 2013 21:46:36 BST
Subject: Capitol Theatre now Mecca Bingo Scarborough

Hi I have have just been managing the replacement of some of the Teracotta blocks to this building at high level.
While there i was saddened by the empty seats in the viewing Gallery and the thought of the facility going unused and neglected.
At least the work we have just completed will see the grand external facade through many more years so others can look up and wonder at its
brilliant white decoration.
Did the Beatles once perform here?

Name: Marguerite
Date: Wed 11 Sep 2013 01:38:56 BST
Subject: Birmingham Hippodrome

What a wonderful site - I remember going to the Hippodrome as a child and then to the Grand Casino dancing as a teenager in the early 40's- I think the bandleader's name was Teddy Foster - am I correct? People I talk to today can't imagine what a beautiful place we had for dancing! I found this site by accident - will most certainly tell my family and friends here in Canada.

Name: Philip
Date: Thu 05 Sep 2013 15:39:48 BST
Subject: The Hippodrome Mirror

What an EXTRAORDINARY item the Hippodrome Mirror is, fantastic and yet strange thing at the same time, do hope it will find a secure and happy home. Think it would have set your teeth on edge at the time, but will bring smiles of recognition for all those famous names.

Name: Lorraine Hamilton
Date: Fri 30 Aug 2013 23:12:05 BST
Subject: Empire Cinema, Clydebank

Very interesting to read about the Empire, and also the Pavilion Theatre in Kilbowie Road - several years ago when the tenement block which included the Pavilion was being upgraded, I saw the original sign "Pavilion Theatre" which had been exposed during the renovations. If only I'd taken a picture! The sign is still there, but now covered by the modern shopfront signage. At least there is the "Pavilion Court" engraving on the facing of the building, as a reminder of the old theatre.

Re. the Empire - just a wee mention, when my late mother returned to Clydebank after the Blitz (she had until the Blitz lived at 1, Second Terrace and was evacuated with my grandparents to Johnstone), as a 16/17 year old she worked in the Empire's Cigarette Kiosk - interesting to see it in the photograph, as I'd only seen the building as derelict when I was growing up in the '60's/early '70's.
Also as an extra wee comment - my Grandmother was banned from the Regal Cinema in Dalmuir...because of her very loud and naturally raucous laughter, the management kept getting complaints from other patrons so she was barred! She took me once to the Regal (can't remember what was showing), I remember she hurried me through into the darkened auditorium, in case she was recognised and ejected *lol* Happy memories!

Name: John Cuttriss
Date: Mon 12 Aug 2013 09:59:39 BST
Subject: St. Margarets

I was stationed at RAF Pitreavie Castle in 1960 and well remember going to dances at St. Margarets except when the Fleet was in at Rosyth as the shore patrol didn't like the RAF lads. I have only learned this morning that it got burned down. I revisited Dunfermline/Pitravie recently, they were having a petition in the main street with regard to the College taking some building ground within Carnegie Park as I remember.
I have some pictures taken both times but none of St. Margarets.

Name: shirley nunn (morrison )
Date: Fri 05 Jul 2013 14:54:30 BST
Subject: lewisham hippodrome

How lovely to see the old photo, i danced there in pantomime with stars like Tommy Trinder Arthur Askey Jimmy Handley. I was a Beams Babe and met lots of other young girls, i now live in France and would love to hear from any other young dancers who were there in 1947 48 49 .

Name: anthony pedder
Date: Mon 01 Jul 2013 22:14:25 BST
Subject: 399/401 the strand (romano house)

I had my first job here in 1960 when it was an advertising agency called INTAM part of the
London Press Association of St Martins Lane.

The big store within the ground floor entrance was Saxone Shoes and I remember close by was Mooneys bar which sold the greatest egg pie and a Guinness for twelve and a half pence in todays (2013) money.

Opposite was shellmex housewhich had a great pub within, had my farewell party there in 1964 to join the army.

Amazed to see that the civil service store still has the same clock

Name: Charmian Burgess
Date: Thu 27 Jun 2013 00:13:27 BST
Subject: coincidence

Soooo weird father was david garratt,
set designerWho actually worked at drury lane ,
then covent garden late 60s early
70s then semi retired working for provincial theatre
and am dram .just thought you would appreciate
the coincidence. X


Name: Robert Rogers
Date: Mon 17 Jun 2013 16:29:33 BST
Subject: Great Site

Just found this following a link from the Facebook East End Site. What a fantastic site, still going through it, The East End Music Hall is still alive at the Brick lane Music hall in Newham and Music Hall shows at the Queens Hornchurch

Name: Allie Sommerville
Date: Tue 23 Apr 2013 21:07:15 BST
Subject: Civic Hall: Joan Rodney-Deane Academy

I was thrilled to see the picture of my old dancing school - Joan Rodney-Deane Academy. The school was situated at 'Rodeana', 1 Prince's Road, off of Selhurst Road. I was born in the year the photo was taken, so don't appear in it!
Would love to see more photos if anyone has some.
I have some of myself in costume, but not any taken on stage at the Civic hall.
I've written a memoir which includes my time dancing with Miss Joan.

Name: Mimi Blampied
Date: Fri 12 Apr 2013 17:25:37 BST
Subject: Sally Crow %26 Larry Burns

I just wanted to say how wonderful this site has been to read over the years! My grandfather, Larry Burns, was a frequent comic at the Windmill during the years between the late 50s early 60s and later married the beautiful Windmill girl Sally Crow in 1966. She was the absolute love of his life and were together until her death. Larry sadly passed away last year in June, but before he left us I showed him the picture of Sally with the lovely Jill Mallard on the go-cart, he'd never seen that picture before and he was overcome with joy at seeing her again. I have a lot of memorabilia that Sally kept from her Windmill days; including her contract, drawn up in 1961. I am a history student and have been doing a lot of research around the Windmill theatre and your site has been an invaluable source for me. Many many thanks, and all the best, Mimi.

Name: Lyndon Bournon
Date: Sat 30 Mar 2013 02:23:12 GMT
Subject: Hippodrome

Further to my 2003 post, I now know that my grandfather, Gaetan Bournon, managed the Hippodrome about 1928.

Name: Flora Mckenzie
Date: Mon 11 Mar 2013 22:41:34 GMT

What a fantastic site.
Being in my 60,s I am old enough to recal much of the music,shows and theatre past.
Having a mother who adored the music and shows of the late 20.s. 30,s and 40s,served to enhance my interest.
This site fills in many gaps in my memory and provides info I could never find elsewhere.

Don Auty is a marvellous contibutor to the site ,so VERY informative and knowledgable.
Watched him on the BBC 4 programmes and admired him and his love of the Theatre very much.

Name: Audrey Dawson
Date: Tue 05 Feb 2013 23:12:00 GMT
Subject: Harry Houdini at the Empire in 1911

My one claim to fame is that my grandfather made a coat for Houdini with lots of pockets!
My grandfather had his tailors shop at the bottom of Godwin Street and whilst Houdini was appearing at the Empire theatre, he visited my grandfathers business for the aforementioned coat making.

Name: Captain Custard
Date: Wed 26 Dec 2012 19:37:22 GMT
Subject: Beatlemania 1979

I travelled down to London at this time and slept in my car for a few nights as couldn't afford a hotel room.I attended an afternoon performance as the tickets were cheaper but managed to get a front row seat.The show in my eyes was brilliant,i cannot understand why it had such a short run.After the show i wanted to make the most of my visit so made my way to the ticket box at the front of the theatre,there i asked the gentleman in the ticket box what the chances were of getting the autographs of the performers ,as i had travelled such a long way.The response was very favourable,he asked me to wait and he would see what he could do,returning a few minutes later with a signed programme for me,how kind,that gentleman was Mr Brian Rix, and yes i recognised him but did not know what else to say but to thank him very much,what a very nice gent.

Name: Nellie (Reeves) Isaacson
Date: Sun 23 Dec 2012 21:42:08 GMT
Subject: Metropole Theatre, 116 Stockwell St. Glasgow, Scotland

I was born in 1933 at 118 Stockwell St. Glasgow. My father, Billy Reeves, was the General Manager at the Metropole. I spent the first 11 years of my life living next door to the theatre which at that time was owned by Bernard Frutin. Around 8 years of age me and my brother were allowed to attend the early performance of the show every Monday evening. During the war years many performances were interrupted by the Air Raid Sirens going off, but the show went on. I have many happy memories of the Logan Family, The chorus line, led by May Moxon, many comedians such as Tommy Morgan and Jack Radcliffe.

I am a snowbird in Delray Beach, Fl. but go back to Brooklyn, N.Y. in the summer months.

Thought that Mr. Arthur Lloyd might be interested in my childhood memories of the Metropole Theater.

Name: Mary Winetroube
Date: Tue 04 Dec 2012 14:13:23 GMT
Subject: Youth Takes A Bow

Your web page re Finsbury Park Empire is brilliant...I wonder if you can help me? My dad was called Tommy Thomson and was a young scottish boy soprano touring with Youth Takes a Bow around the lates 1930's early 1940's. I have a copy of a publication from The Stage Archive dated May 9th 1940 from Finsbury Park Empire to say that Youth Takes A Bow were appearing that week...and my dad is mentioned. I am trying to track down any programmes/posters/recordings that may still be in existance of the show( my dad would have been 87 next month had he survived but my mum would love to see or hear anything related to the show!).I know its a long shot but if you have any info. ( or remember a 14yr old scot!) I would love to hear from you!
Many Thanks,
Mary Winetroube

Name: Leslie Melville
Date: Fri 23 Nov 2012 22:18:30 GMT
Subject: Magicians:

Very much enjoyed reading the page. I remember seing Wilson, Kepple %26 Betty many times at The Dudley Empire and The Palace Theatre Blackpool.

One slight correction if I may, it was 'Ali Bey, The Great Arabian Wizard' who produced two girls from the Ali Baba Bran tubs. His real name was David Lemmy and he worked between 1947 and 1952, playing variety theatres and Ice Shows - in the round. Also one of the best 'Abanazers' that there has ever been. He suffered a broken back in 1951 when taking a curtain call at the Savoy Theatre, Scunthorpe. He usually closed the first half of the show and normally took two 'calls'. On this occasion, the audience was particularly responsive and he decided to take a third. The stage manager wasn't paying attention and gave the signal to drop the safety curtain. It descended on the back of Ali Bey' neck and he was hospitalised. He was out of commission for several months and eventually returned but was never the same and eventually was forced to retire.

I worked with Shek Ben Ali in cabaret clubs in the 1970's. He had a much smaller act which featured the 'Mizer's Dream'. His catch phrase, repeated throughout the act was, "Nobody on the inside, nobody on the outside"! He was a genuine Indian and also had an unfortunate ending. Sitting in his front living room, when a lorry left the road and crashed into the front of his house, causing poor old Shek to have a heart attack!



Name: Rob Coutts
Date: Tue 13 Nov 2012 08:15:45 GMT
Subject: Gaiety Theatre Isle of Man

Thank you for the photographs and information on this sumptuous theatre. It's one of Matcham's finest. I've enjoyed your site formany years, so thank you for that. In Australia we have only two old theatres left - the Theatre Royal in Hobart, and His Majesty's in Perth.

Name: Terry Kirtland
Date: Sat 10 Nov 2012 18:02:06 GMT
Subject: Britain's OLD THEATRES magazine

Just to let everybody know that we are introducing a special Christmas edition this year, which will be on sale from December 1st. We also have a new Patron: Roy Hudd OBE who brings with him a wealth of theatre information. Please visit our web pages and just JOIN IN !

Name: Jon Davis
Date: Tue 16 Oct 2012 17:35:33 BST
Subject: signs from the theater

I recently found two metal signs from the theater. It was for separate areas for blacks and whites.
One sign says "Colored must sit in balcony" the other says "Colored waiting room" They are dated July 1931 and Sept 1915.

Name: christine richards
Date: Mon 15 Oct 2012 17:15:37 BST
Subject: Music Hall Artist

Had a quick look around I never knew there was so much interest in music hall.
I am doing a family tree for a friend of mine, have just discovered that her
grandfather is listed as music hall artist on the 1911 census, it does not give a
further description just interested as to what it could be, hope you can help

Name: George Mccarthy
Date: Sat 06 Oct 2012 08:32:10 BST
Subject: Suinderland Empire

Molly Mozelle didn't vanish in 1942 from the Empire the year was 1949 when The Dancing Years was showing and in all the time i worked there as a lime boy I never saw any ghosts

Name: Matthew Lloyd
Date: Wed 12 Sep 2012 12:39:30 BST
Subject: Welcome Back

Welcome Back Bernard and I hope you find the many hundreds of additions since then of interest. Regards, Matthew.

Name: Bernard Albert Fuller
Date: Wed 12 Sep 2012 11:21:26 BST
Subject: No topic

It's a pleasure to be back on this site. The last time was about four years or more ago.

Name: Arthur Levick
Date: Sun 19 Aug 2012 13:51:06 BST
Subject: Silk Seamstress

My Great grand mother was a silk seamstress who did work in this theatre. to enable her to carry on with this type of work it was deeemed necesary that her eldest daughter my grand mother do the housework so that her hands wouldn't become rough when handling delicate materials. Which led her to have little or know schooling and her father taught her the hand file cutting trade so that she could earn money in later life as well as doing home keeping.

Name: jamie chappell
Date: Mon 16 Jul 2012 12:22:03 BST
Subject: Grandad

My grandad was Manager for the Olympia for short a while up until around september 1949! His name was Les Runham :)

Name: Mick Brett
Date: Fri 06 Jul 2012 20:05:36 BST
Subject: RE: Barbara Murray

to uktraveller2805

I've found this link to a play that was staged at the Opera House in Manchester around 1962.

Hope it's of some help to you.



Name: John Freere Perry
Date: Sun 01 Jul 2012 07:19:15 BST
Subject: Carl Rosa Opera Company - Eduardo Asquez

Dear Sir / Madam,

I sincerely hope you don't mind me writing to you like this, please allow me to explain further. I am originally from the UK and studied singing among other Teachers, the late Spanish Tenor - Eduardo Asquez, who sang at the Carl Rosa Opera from 1950-1958. I left the UK in 1998 and have been living in Hong Kong ever since, having got married to a local girl and have one daughter.

Actually, I am writing to you as I am compiling a biography on Eduardo Asquez and was wondering if you would be able to assist in my research. Would you happen to have any Carl Rosa Opera Programmes from 1950-1958 that feature Eduardo Asquez in the cast? If not, would you happen to know anyone who might be able to assist, I would be most grateful.

I really miss Eduardo so much, he was a tremendous person, not just in passing on the 'old school bel canto' technique, but also as a human being.

I sincerely hope you can help me and very much look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

John Freere Perry

Name: alan Bruce
Date: Sun 17 Jun 2012 06:27:57 BST

Dear Sirs
Like many residents from Everton , Anfield and other parts of the city I grew up in Priory street . I was born 1950 . The neighbourhood boys and myself went to the Royal about 2 nights per week in 1950s and 1960s . We had great laughs and enjoyed the films until it was made into a Bingo Hall like the Mere Lane picture House .

Most of us were disappointed by this .
In 1964 I worked part-time in Tescos and walked past the Royal and Prouts garage always looking to see if the Royal would become a cinema again .
We had great times in the Royal and the memories are still vibrant .
I found the great films I saw there not only educated me but also inspired me
in later life .

Just like the demolition of Everton District it is sad to see such an Icon of history in this condition and it would be a tragedy to see it demolished .
Is there some way the Royal can be saved .
Many thanks and kind regards
Alan Bruce


Name: Veronica
Date: Fri 15 Jun 2012 20:26:11 BST
Subject: Barbara Murray

I have just come across this website. I have been trying to find out about a play that the lovely Barbara Murray starred in at the Manchester Palace. We can't remember the title. It was probably either in the 90's or maybe the 80's. I thought we had the programme, as we have many, but sadly can't find this one. Can you, or any of your guests remember.

Date: Wed 16 May 2012 21:03:52 BST
Subject: The Queens (Theatre)

My grandparents Robert and Kate Halpin lived at 208 Pearse Street, attached to the Queens Theatre from about 1917 until the building was demolished in the 70s. My father was born along with his brothers and sisters were born there and I spent a lot of time there during my childhood (I am now 69 and live in Canada). I remember numerous times climbing through the window of my grandmothers kitchen onto the roof, and into the "Gods" or upper part of the theatre!! I was delighted to find your article on line and would be interested in hearing from you and if possible obtaining any pictures you may have of the old Queens.
Paula Halpin

Name: kevin gilbert
Date: Wed 18 Apr 2012 16:24:54 BST
Subject: pier theatre bournemouth flyers

i am looking for 2 flyers from the pier theatre bournemouth george and mildred 1977 and last of the summer wine 1984

please reply direct to

thank you

Name: Stephen Fisk
Date: Sat 14 Apr 2012 12:24:27 BST
Subject: Theatre Royal, Cardiff

Just a small detail, but I hope it will be of interest ... In your excellent piece about Cardiff theatres you have a Google photo of the Theatre Royal. Built into the stone work on the western wall is the outline of a church. It is a memorial to St Mary's church, the parish church that occupied the site until the 17th century when it was flooded by the river Taff and had to be demolished.

Name: Philip
Date: Fri 13 Apr 2012 11:55:59 BST
Subject: Jack and Jill Programme

Can anyone help regarding placing a date on an undated Theatre Programme please. The Programme is for Jack and Jill at the Prince of Wales Theatre Birmingham and starred Arthur Askey and Cora Goffin. There is an advert in the Programme placed by Low Moor College which included the words "closed owing to the War" so presumably the Pantomime opened between 1939 and 1945.

Name: graham horsfall
Date: Fri 23 Mar 2012 22:36:59 GMT
Subject: queens park hipperdrome harpurhey

as far back as i remember i was 5 years old my mother worked at the hipperdrome in the ticket office. my sister and i use to spend most nights there
as my father run the local taxi rank .also the manager i think is name was fred or frank radley stayed at our house on show days ,and went home to liverpool on sister and i still talk about all good times we had there we had our own seats watched every show .and then back stage after the show. then it was fish and chips alround in tha bar after the show.also my grand mother was one of the original tiller girls on the same billing
as charlie chaplin. we also have visits from kitty in old mother riley.i could go on on

regards graham

Name: Denis Steer
Date: Thu 22 Mar 2012 19:21:40 GMT
Subject: Cinema history Wimbledon

Have been reading your interesting notes re Regal/Gaumont Cinema. You ask for comment on Apollo/Princes Cinema
I remember this cinema from my boyhood.(I am now 92) .Admission cost was front stalls 4d back s talls 6d.
Often d escribed as a 'flea pit', it was, to me a wonderful place. I remember that if a film with an 'A' category was shown, the proprietor - called Chapman - would eject anyone he considered under the age of 16.! It also had a tiny stage and Friday night was called 'Variety Night' with an intermission of several acts of variable quality.
Nevertheless I saw many well known films there - both silent and 'talkie'. Among them the Marx Brothers an d Charlie Chaplin shorts. Wonderful days.!

Name: GordonBurdekin
Date: Tue 06 Mar 2012 09:56:06 GMT
Subject: Theatre Royal, Hyde

Fascinating web site. You start looking at one item, and just get carried away.

I was very involved with the Theatre Royal Hyde, from around 1967, when I was acall-boy on one of the amateau shows, going onto learn lots of stage craft, in particular stage lighting, before it became a full time cinema. I continued as a part time projectionist there until the mid eighties, and have many happy memories. I would love to see the place open again, as a multi use building.

Name: bill.hoose
Date: Mon 13 Feb 2012 17:10:58 GMT
Subject: new manchester hippodrome


Date: Sun 12 Feb 2012 13:16:23 GMT

I have been searching for the memorial to Grace Darling in the PARK. Where is it?

I am trying to find a connection between Grace Darling and the Watson family from Fife....who went to South Africa in 1912-+


your article is amazing, I am so shocked to see such beautiful illustrations and so sad that all has been demolished..
cheryl watson

Name: Alan Judd
Date: Tue 07 Feb 2012 19:23:53 GMT
Subject: Music Hall

This website is like one of those books you pick up to check on an entry and after an hour of looking at other pages you have forgotten what you were looking for. Wonderful, best site I have found in years

Name: William Cruikshank
Date: Tue 31 Jan 2012 00:15:35 GMT
Subject: Kings Theatre, Edinburgh

Would like to hear from anyone, who is related to William Stewart Cruikshank, Builder of the Kings Theatre Edinburgh.

Name: Stephen Summerfield Hooley
Date: Sun 29 Jan 2012 15:44:47 GMT
Subject: dewsbury empire


Ihave just discovered this site %26 am very pleased to see that it mentions my maternal grandfather (Mr Summerfield). Sadly he passed away before I was born but my maternal grandmother told me many stories about him.

Name: bryan medcalf
Date: Wed 18 Jan 2012 20:30:05 GMT
Subject: andie caine,jack audley,dolly king vesta

hi,i was just looking up info on andie caine,because i have loads of pics of music hall from my great aunt dolly king vesta.from 1900's onwards.around leeds and bradford.even the origenel sheet of jack audleys verieties,piroes from 1920's,

Name: John Bell
Date: Wed 04 Jan 2012 06:56:49 GMT
Subject: Major C.H. Bell, OBE and technical Installations in many British theatres circa 1930

Thank-you for your work in producing a wonderful website dedicated to British theatre performers and the buildings in which they performed or were shown on screen. I was pleased to see the article on the Astoria Theatre in Brighton which has a picture of my Grandfather, C. H. Bell who was very involved in the technical side of the British Theatre industry at that time. Among other endeavours he was also a part owner of the London Casino at the Prince Edward Theatre in the late 1930s.

Name: Johnny Broadhead
Date: Wed 14 Dec 2011 09:05:46 GMT
Subject: Terrific Website!

It was great to discover this excellent website. Am working my way through it all, and was pleased to find references to the Broadhead Circuit!

Name: Olive Turpin
Date: Mon 05 Dec 2011 15:57:29 GMT
Subject: Fetter Lane

Thanks for allowing the use of the Fetter Lane picture to illustrate my family history, Perry family lived ther in the early 1700's.

Name: Richard
Date: Sat 19 Nov 2011 10:16:42 GMT
Subject: Thanks again

I worked in the Alhambra Glasgow the Pavilion I was also lucky enough to have been a showman on the limes in the London Palladium. The site brought back so many wonderful memories. I worked the grand master lighting board for 2 years and then was chief electrics at the Pavilion. There are so few of us old, showmen left. Often talk about those times but so much had gone and of course when people hear them they often ask if I made them up. Thanks again.

Name: craig thompson
Date: Fri 11 Nov 2011 07:14:23 GMT
Subject: brighton west pier

fantastic love your photos of the pier in a bad state of repair

Name: keith leggett
Date: Fri 14 Oct 2011 07:25:29 BST
Subject: Donald Auty

Many thanks for writing the article on Donald Auty. We worked together during the 1950s and I have tried for years to find out what happened to him. I lost touch over the years but saw him on the Michael Grade "this was Variety" show that was lent to me to view. It seems you do some wonderful work - do carry on

Name: Gary Newbury
Date: Tue 04 Oct 2011 22:28:23 BST
Subject: Apollo Theatre

I had to visit this site today and was lucky enough to be given a small guided tour. One of the things that surprised me was the vacuum cleaner. It was a large piece of machinery located in the basement, with sockets in the Theatre, where the cleaners would plug in, and the dust and muck, sucked into the machine in the basement. Many thanks to the staff for their time.

Name: charlie
Date: Fri 30 Sep 2011 13:25:58 BST
Subject: The Belle of New York

A new site has just been launched -
Any suggestions on how it can progress is greatly appreciated, as this site will be defined by the world community

Name: Malc
Date: Sat 24 Sep 2011 23:15:26 BST
Subject: Comedy/Gaiety Theatre in Manchester

A link to the Comedy/Gaiety Thetre in Manchester

Name: Christine Dunkin Nee Emmerson
Date: Thu 15 Sep 2011 11:08:44 BST
Subject: Windmill Theatre London

I was a Windmill Girl in 1963/64 and have just come across a photo on the website of a reunion that took place in July this year.I recognize one of the girls as they show old photo's from the programme.her name is Margaret Nicolson and we lived together with an other one of the dancer's called Selina in Berners ST. Margaret introduced me to my first husband.The only photo I have from my windill day's is the one in the programme .Please can you put me in contact with Margaret or Margaret Law nee Cooper .It will be 50 years in 2014 since the windmill closed .I am now 65 and would so like to meet up with other windmill girls and boys i live in Oxfordshire now so in not too far away from London hoping to hear from someone .

Name: Carol
Date: Tue 06 Sep 2011 11:26:42 BST
Subject: Finsbury Park Empire

I loved the Finsbury Park Empire. My Nan was a cleaner there and at the Plimsoll Arms close by. She lived in Prah Road, and knew many of the stars. I remember meeting Tiny Ross, who was in a Harmonica Gang, and was so funny. I was only about 7 and I remember he gave me money. My Dad's firm took children of workers to the Empire pantomime at Christmas. I remember seeing Dickie Valentine in Aladdin, and waited for his autograph at the stage door. He came out still in costume and make-up, and called me darling when he gave me a signed photograph. I also remember Dave King playing Buttons and he too came to the stage door and signed autographs. I hope my memory is not haywire on these things, I wonder if there is any way to check? I remember recognizing the Empire in Cliff Richard's film The Young Ones, and was so excited because I'd been there as a child, and can still remember the amazement when the girls came out in their fluorescent coloured can-can skirts, I'd never seen anything like it. Thank you so much for this site.

Name: Mick Brett
Date: Mon 05 Sep 2011 17:47:23 BST
Subject: The Theatre Royal Bradford

This link goes to a Francis Frith postcard which shows the theatre and the old pub.



Name: jagibson100
Date: Fri 02 Sep 2011 14:56:18 BST
Subject: royal standard hotel

was glad to see that the theatre royal was not forgotten in Bradford. I am interested in the pub next door, the royal standard hotel- I wondered if you had come across any pictures or information regarding the old pub in your research. I understand that both buildings have disappeared - the pub in 1997- and the theatre I loved as a child even if it was a cinema where I first saw Lady and the tramp and afterward, acquired my first dog (which started a love affair with dogs for the rest of my 65 years) I would love some pictures of Manningham lane before the demolition if anyone has any. Thank you for your site which offered hope in tracking the lovely theatre - a pity it is no longer there.

Name: Emily
Date: Mon 29 Aug 2011 03:45:12 BST
Subject: Thank you

I just wanted to send out a heartfelt thank you for the incredible theatre history you have written down and compiled. I am absolutely in love with this website and have spent hours and hours learning about the theatres I visit so often. Do keep up the good work - it's all absolutely fantastic.
Once again, thank you.

Date: Sun 28 Aug 2011 12:43:07 BST

Simply to say many thanks for a lovely display of information. My father with a circus type act - he was from Scotland and travelling widely Europe and the USA - came to the Brixton Empress for performances in the late twenties early 1930's - he eventually met my mother hereabouts and they settled as he then had to leave the circus and variety theatre scene. Anyway lovely see these pages. When I was young in the forties and fifties I visited the Empress for various entertainments.

Name: William Collins
Date: Sat 27 Aug 2011 16:53:31 BST

I am the Grandson of Alfred Collins-Music Hall Stage-Manager and the-first Film Producer for "Gaumonts" [from 1902.] Colonel A C Bromhead was Grandads old boss at "Gaumonts". My Great Uncle-Charles Collins was a Music Hall Songwriter and wrote the Song that Marie Lloyd made famous ["Don't Dilly Dally on the Way"] etc. My late Father-Percy acted, as a child, with his brother Stanley in some of Granfathers Films and i have come across Film of-some of these. Colonel A C Bromhead was possibly the Brother or Cousin of Gonville Bromhead who commanded with Jams Herriot Chard at the "Rorke's Drift" action about wich the modern Film "Zulu" was made. [And I have been in contact with Ian Monroe a Great Nephew of Marie Lloyd.] Colonel A C Bromhead led a Film Deputation to Tsarist Russia-until 1917. My father Percy was a "Wireless Telegraphic Morse Operator", as a young man aboard the "HMS Cochrane" mission which was sent out by George V to try to rescue his relatives-the Russian Royal Family and Party from the Russian Revolution. At "Rorkes Drift" in January 1879 there WAS-ONE "Collins" [Thomas] and he was one of the survovors there of the one hundred or so who faced 4,000 Zulu Warriors-many of whom had captured some of our rifles from their massacering 1,400 British Troops at "Isandhwandra" the previous day. Add to this, there was a very old rusting "Boxer-Henry" rifle, as issue for the British troops at Rorke's Drift, rusting away on the Greenhouse floor at our Clapham home-i know of up till 1962. I think thats the gist of what i know relevan here but also have other infornmation which i may not realise is of significance! Please contact me if you wish for further information as, i too wish to trace my Ancestry! sincerely, William Collins. 07986665071

Name: Rachel Musgrove
Date: Thu 04 Aug 2011 12:27:55 BST
Subject: New National Opera House

I came across your article in an idle moment. I have a passion for opera and have an original copy of the 1875 picture of the proposed opera house from The Graphic magazine. It's been on the wall so long we'd forgotten it was there, and never knew anything about it until today. How interesting. Many thanks.

Date: Tue 26 Jul 2011 09:01:33 BST


Name: Ian Small
Date: Sun 17 Jul 2011 03:12:23 BST
Subject: Leeds Theatre 1771

Tate Wilkinson had been taking his company to Newcastle for a summer season, but in 1770 the proprietors of the Newcastle theatre decided that they wished to have a winter season instead. Wilkinson was fully committed to his theatres in York and Hull for the winter season, so he lost the Newcastle contract. He headed straight for Leeds and between October 1770 and July 1771 he constructed, using his own money, a theatre in Hunslet Lane, south of the River Aire. There is a sketch of the theatre in the Leeds Guide of 1802 (?) by which time it was rather run-down.

Name: Ian Small
Date: Sun 17 Jul 2011 02:37:38 BST
Subject: Theatre Royal Hull 1768

Tate Wilkinson built a new theatre in Finkle Street in 1768, to succeed the theatre he used in Lowgate, prior to this date. The Lowgate Theatre was certainly in use by 1743. The new theatre was built by subscription. In 1769 Wilkinson paid £500 for patents for his theatres in York and Hull which thereby became Theatres Royal and his company His Majesty's (sometimes Their Majesties') Servants. There is a good deal of information in Wilkinson's 'Memoirs' which he published in 1790 and in 'The Wandering Patentee' which is subtitled A History of the Yorkshire Theatres and was published in 1795. There is a drawing in the Houghton Library Collection at Harvard University which is probably of the Theatre Royal in Hull, and which was drawn for the second volume of James Winston's 'The Theatric Tourist' which was sadly never completed or published. The drawing reflects the description of the theatre's frontage recorded by Rev James Tickell in 1798, with the royal coat of arms prominent. A sailor walks by. Arthur Young wrote in 1770 that "the new theatre is well-contrived and handsome." Wilkinson's season ran from October through to January, when the company moved to York. Elizabeth Inchbald's Diaries, recently published, record her daily life as an actress on the circuit.

Name: angie shrubsole-brett
Date: Mon 04 Jul 2011 12:24:10 BST
Subject: the shakespeare theatre clapham junction

a chance conversation about growing up in theatre street battersea sent me to your wonderful site today. i never expected to see such evocative images of the past. i was born in 1949 so only remember the burnt out shell of the theatre - i was terrified as a child to walk alongside it: so huge and black and haunted looking.i remember the demolition and then the shakespeare fish and chip shop!!
my father grew up in battersea and remembers the bombing. he was on his way to work as a young boy mechanic. he stopped to help someone on the pavement and had the horror of turning over his first dead body with face blown away. he was reprimanded for being late to work that day!

Name: Paul Foss
Date: Sat 02 Jul 2011 17:23:18 BST
Subject: Theatre Royal Inventory

I have two inventories in which you might be interested.

1) 'An account taken of the Wardrobe of the Theatre Royal Liverpool 1780' There are twelve sides of it with such fascinating details as "a suit of French Grey trim'd with silver and ermin 3-3-0" or "An owl's dress - Christmas Tale 12/-"
2) 'An Inventory of the properties at Liverpool taken at September 11th 1780 with such things as "Three egg basketts with eggs 4/-"

Did they call in the receivers in September 1780?

Name: albert knapp
Date: Fri 01 Jul 2011 21:31:23 BST
Subject: Thank You Very Much!

I am a German, who loves Theater and Cinema Buildings very much. With every view I love your wonderful website more.
Albert Knapp from Frankfurt/Germany

Name: collette rutledge
Date: Thu 30 Jun 2011 13:53:10 BST
Subject: theatre royal dublin


Name: Mick Brett
Date: Sun 22 May 2011 21:47:41 BST
Subject: Princes Theatre Bradford

I remember the Princes Theatre being demolished. It was around 1964, not the mid 1970's.
I lived across the road on Edmund Street at the time in a house that is now part of the Polish Club.

Great pictures.


Name: john carrington
Date: Tue 17 May 2011 13:47:18 BST
Subject: well done

your site is wonderful thank you for my browse.

Name: Terry Kirtland
Date: Sat 23 Apr 2011 18:37:26 BST

Just to let everybody know that OLD THEATRES magazine now has brand new web pages with interactive sections for those who would like to follow its activities in support of Britain's wonderful halls of entertainment--past and present. Do take a look at us on and just JOIN IN ! (You won't be disappointed!)

Name: Fola Brady
Date: Fri 15 Apr 2011 12:39:21 BST
Subject: your website

Absolutely EXCELLENT!!! You have no idea how much this has helped me with my school project, thank-you so much!

Name: jennifer haley
Date: Tue 05 Apr 2011 16:44:20 BST
Subject: fol de rols

lovely site so interesting have you seen my web site www. let me know what you think . jennifer haley

Name: John Wall
Date: Sun 03 Apr 2011 03:41:18 BST

I began working at the Astoria in April 1947 in the projection room. The Chief Projectionist was Mr. James Pettit. A staff of six in two shifts of three made up the compliment. Managers were at different times Mr Ray Taylor and Mr Keith Hahn. The latter ended up at the Gaumont Lewisham. In 1949 I met my wife who was an usherette and we were married in March 1950. Some years later I arrived back at the Astoria as Assistant Manager under Mr. Horatio Burton. The front of house staff consisted of four doormen, plus ten usherettes, two cahiers, three ice cream ladies. Behind the scenes, apart from the projection room staff, were a House Engineer and his assistant and lastly a Fireman who was required by law as the Astoria had a full stage and a safety curtain that had to be lowered and raised daily in view of the audience, normally before the last performance began.

Oh happy days never to be seen again.

Name: Helen Grey
Date: Tue 22 Mar 2011 11:28:55 GMT
Subject: Great Website!

I just wanted to leave a note to say what a great job you are doing. I have lived on Merseyside for many years working at the Playhouse. While researching the Globe I discovered the Shakespeare Theatre that existed in Liverpool. I had no idea! Keep up the good work, it is a very well researched website.

Name: Sheila Richardson (nee Kaye)
Date: Mon 21 Mar 2011 20:42:34 GMT
Subject: Theatre Royal Leeds

I took part in Gladys Stanley´s last pantomime before it was demolished "QUEEN OF HEARTS". I remember Bunny May and Sandra Alfred who were a little older than me, Terry Somerville was the King, and Ann (forget her surname) was Principle boy.And of course the infamous Sunbeams . Very sad to see it demolished. Francis Laidler and his wife Gladys put on some great entertainment for the people of Leeds.

Sheila Richardson

Name: Porl Cooper
Date: Tue 08 Mar 2011 23:45:26 GMT
Subject: thanks

Absolutely fantastic website! I work at The Lowry Salford Quays in the programming team - came across this site by accident but I could browse for hours!

Thanks for all this hard work and painstaking research!

Name: Lynne Colman
Date: Sat 26 Feb 2011 17:02:09 GMT
Subject: Theatre Royal, Dewsbury

Just found a couple of old boxes of original theatre posters for this theatre and I think there may be some old photographs of the plays! I will document everything as there is alot. Theatre posters, programmes, photos, actors contracts etc most in pretty good condition. They were my step-grandads and his mothers. Nellie Morris married Leo Trood but kept her maiden name as her stage name. They had Eric (my step grandad)who was a child actor. Although the family story may be that he wasn't Leo's child and he ran off and left them whenEric was 7. It was also said that Marie Lloyd was Eric's God-mother!. It's facinating stuff!

Name: Karen Welles
Date: Sun 20 Feb 2011 06:57:36 GMT
Subject: Your site is great!

I just found your site tonight while trying to find information on "Forsythe, Seamon, and Farrell". I just love it, and I have put a link to it on my Facebook page for my many vaudeville/music hall/entertainment oriented friends.

My 97-year old aunt, who lives in South Norwood, remembers the night that the Crystal Palace burned down. I walked all around the grounds, and viewed the portions that still exist, in 2009. I also walked through Grange Park, as some of my family used to live in the area.


Karen Welles
Pittsburgh, PA

Name: Barry Marshall
Date: Sat 19 Feb 2011 12:58:57 GMT
Subject: brighton bells

my grandmother was a brighton bell under the stage name of Ivy Tremayne I see they are in the programme on your page, she was in several other productions throught the uk, I have programmes, a newspaper article containing a picture of the bells on the beach and photographs of her in several production costumes. I am very interested in any info on the bells you may have

Name: Anne Marie O'Driscoll
Date: Wed 09 Feb 2011 19:58:35 GMT
Subject: Community Film about the History of Didsbury Manchester

We are making a film about the History of Didsbbury Manchester and would like to include information about Capitol Theatre Didsbury
Do you have any information or photos we might be able to use?
We would greatly appreciate any help you could give us
Many Thanks
Anne Marie O'Driscoll and Pat Trythall

Name: Matthew Lloyd
Date: Thu 20 Jan 2011 09:50:06 GMT
Subject: 'Metropole Theatre and Opera House' in Camberwell

You will find details of this Theatre on my site here.

Regards, Matthew.

Name: David
Date: Wed 19 Jan 2011 20:12:43 GMT

I have just been looking at this site. I believe that the theatre appears in the 1952 film call 'Pool of London' which starrred Bonor Colleano and Susan Shaw. It is available commercially on DVD from 'Razmataz' in a box set called 'The London Collection' and singly I think from Simply Home Entertainment. I did once see a book which shows a still of an actor on the stagea addressing another in the auduitorium.

In my collection of theatre programmes i have one for the 'Queens' dated Monday March 23rd 1953 for a programme called 'Folies Montmartre'. I can scan this if anybody is interested.

Whilst wriing, does anyone know anything about the 'Metropole Theatre and Opera House' in Camberwell, which became the 'Empire' in 1914. It was situated on the corner of Denmark Hill and Coldharbour Lane. It was opened by J.B. Mulholland, who went on to build the 'Kings' Hammersmith and the Wimbledon Theatre, which is now celebrating its Centenary.

Look forward to hearing fron anyone.

Name: Tony Russell
Date: Mon 17 Jan 2011 14:04:00 GMT
Subject: Francis Collins

Fascinated to read Eugene Collins's account of his brilliant fathe Francis. I remember as a boy in Liverpool listening to Francis and then his showing me, aged 5-ish his violin. It inspired me ! Thank you.

Name: kenneth.hall
Date: Fri 07 Jan 2011 16:11:50 GMT
Subject: theatres

I can remember the theatre in Oldham that was turned into a night club in 1972 after being a bowling alley etc.It was known as Baileys I think. I remember seeing a lot of top stars at the time appearing there. Labi Sifri, Pop group called MUD, and a few other stars at the time. It was not a bad club at the time but it is sad to see a former shelf of itself.

Name: Mr Mark D`Alcorn
Date: Wed 29 Dec 2010 10:52:18 GMT
Subject: Henri D`Alcorn

Just popped by to look up my Great Granddad ,George Henry Stannard Allcorn,who changed his name to Henri D`alcorn,as it was more fashionable at the time.
Funny how people remember some of his releases !!

Name: Pat Wheeler
Date: Thu 16 Dec 2010 15:34:18 GMT
Subject: The Pavilion Theatre Whitechapel

I understand my grandmother (Maud Baker, Wood, Humphreys) and a Mr F J Woollard owned the theatre circa 1916. If anyone has any further information on this or the theatre for that time period I would love to hear from you.

Name: colin scales
Date: Thu 25 Nov 2010 18:21:58 GMT
Subject: liverpool hippodrome artist

I have a picture of Ernesto,(Ernest Hipkins), a magician who performed at the Hippodrome. He is an ancestor of mine %26 I understand that he %26 his family lived in the Gate Lodge of the Necropolis opposite.

Name: Roy Segwick
Date: Wed 17 Nov 2010 18:10:11 GMT
Subject: Prince of Wales Birmingham

I would be around 7, living in Hall Green Birmingham with my parents, when I went to see a pantomime here. I think I'm correct saying Jesse Mathews played a leading part. So soon afterwards the news spread like fire that the theatre had been bombed. Sadly a very beautiful theatre never re-opened, the damage was too extensive and needed so much to repair. It was - as I recall - on the same side as The Hall of Memory. Beyond these details I cannot recall more. Possibly they might serve as a trigger for someone else to add more.

Name: Andrew Pearson
Date: Sun 14 Nov 2010 16:53:52 GMT
Subject: Rosemary Branch

In pre-19th century rural Camberwell, the Rosemary Branch was a wayside inn on the counry lane known as Dowlays, which ran from Walworth towards Peckham through open fields and, later, market gardens. I believe it had a cricket oval attached - perhaps I read this in Mary Boast's Story of Camberwell?

Name: Andrew Pearson
Date: Sun 14 Nov 2010 16:48:03 GMT
Subject: Father Red Cap, Camberwell

A very famous gay pub in the 80s and early 90s. Before the 19th century 'Gin Palace' rebuild, the previous pub was called the Mother Red Cap (interesting?!) and was a venue for local court cases (travelling assizes? - my knowledge of legalities is very hazy, but I do have somewhere an account of a case held there).

Name: Mike
Date: Wed 10 Nov 2010 22:16:25 GMT
Subject: GROCK

Hello - Would anybody please confirm that the great Swiss Clown played the Ardwick Empire - possibly about 1919.

Thanks in advance,


Name: David Hill
Date: Sun 31 Oct 2010 15:59:35 GMT
Subject: Theatre Royal and Arthur Sullivan

I have just been looking at your web page on the old Theatre Royal in Peter Street, which I found most interesting.
I wonder if it would interest people to know that in 1877 there was a production in this theatre of Shakeaspeare's Henry V111, presented by Charles Calvert. He commissioned Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert %26 Sullivan fame) to write incidental music to the play. One of the movements from the suite, the "Graceful Dance" was used by Sullivan in place of an overture for the original run of his opera "Patience" in 1881. An overture for the piece was not written until the revival in 1884. Just thought this might be of interest re. the history of the theatre. Kind regards, David Hill.

Name: Erica mary
Date: Sat 30 Oct 2010 07:42:31 BST
Subject: Bedford Theatre

when I was a very little girl and visiting my grandma who lived around the corner from the bedford theatre, My very first live show I saw there with my dad this must have been in the 40s, Oh what a joy that was so much so that it got me started in a career as a dancer, I am a senior citizen now but still recall the joys of the bedford, what a shame its gone now but still very much alive in my memory.
Thank you for a wonderful site.

Name: Philip
Date: Fri 22 Oct 2010 16:20:33 BST
Subject: Drury Lane

Wonderful photographs of the auditorium of The Theare Royal Drury Lane, really splendid!Never knew about the two shilling gallery.

You could spend weeks on this site, just marvellous content SO much to see and read, all best wishes, what a job , very well done.


Name: tony smith
Date: Tue 12 Oct 2010 17:06:57 BST
Subject: dorothy ward ash tray

the ash tray was made in birmingham for the grand opening of the prince of wales theatre in 1909 i found a copy of the ash tray in the archives of a company called baller and mantle ltd when i was helping to clear the building in 2007. I'm not sure but i think baller and mantle may have made the ash tray (the one i have is in very good condition) for the theatre as momento's for theatre goers i hope this helps

Name: Caroline Fildes
Date: Thu 07 Oct 2010 20:06:03 BST
Subject: Postcards

Hello! I went on your site after being given some old signed postcards to sell on ebay by my parents, they belonged to my Grandfather. I wanted to see who some of the people were so I googled the names and found they must have all performed at the Olympia Theatre, Liverpool as my Granfather was from West Derby. I have a post card of outside the Theatre, 6 of the stage and quite a few of perfomers including George Robey, La Milo, The Great lafeyette and Hetty King. If you are interested I can scan them and email them to you. Thank you, Caroline Fildes

I do not think I will sell them on ebay any more as I have become so fond of the characters!

Name: Ned Williams
Date: Fri 13 Aug 2010 12:01:42 BST
Subject: Local Cinemas %26 Theatres

I am basically interested in cinemas and theatres in the Black Country and have revived an intention of publishing a two part book on the subject in 2011 and welcome interaction with others who might share this interest. Meanwhile it is great to come across an informative site like this and to read what others know as there is so much "interconnecting" in this subject.

Name: James Bettley
Date: Tue 10 Aug 2010 19:43:29 BST
Subject: Futurist Theatre, Scarborough

Just a small observation on the site's description of Scarborough's Futurist Theatre. The two boxes, one either side of the proscenium, which are said to have been created in 1968 and from which there is no view of the stage, are not boxes at all and have no public access. Although they do have the appearance of boxes, here is why they were created. Originally, the archways high on either side of the proscenium were accessed behind the proscenium by vertical steel ladders from stage level and dancers/showgirls would emerge from them before descending "semi-spiral" ornate steel stairways to stage level. The stairways were a feature of the "super cinema" as built and were certainly there later than 1968. The treads of the stairs were latterly glass, each one lit from below, and girls in elaborate costumes descending slowly (and doubtless very carefully!) to stage level added considerable spectacle to the shows. They were always used during the summer season spectaculars of the '50s, '60s and early seventies - notably by the Television Toppers who appeared there in several versions of "The Black and White Minstrel Show". When season-long summer shows became confined to history and the Futurist instead hosted one night stands, concerts and short-run "shows" with local or club performers and occasional touring shows for short runs, the concept of West End style productions (often with scenery and equipment previously seen at the London Palladium for example) was finished and this was when the stairways were considered obsolete. Their removal left the two archways disconnected from the stage and looking rather odd so each were given a semi-circular moulding which matched that of the balcony front to give them the appearance of boxes in an attempt to transform them into a small architectural feature but boxes they are not. Mock boxes perhaps?

Name: James Bettley
Date: Tue 10 Aug 2010 18:03:57 BST
Subject: Opera House, Scarborough

Fascinating to see so many photographs of the Opera House. During the '50s and 60's when the lease was held by York Citizens Theatre Trust and two or three plays were presented in rotation for the summer season by York Theatre Royal's repertory company, it was widely felt that little money was spent on the Scarborough theatre with most of the income going into the York theatre's coffers. When York Theatre Royal was refurbished and a new foyer wing built in 1967, the still fairly new house curtain was taken to Scarborough and hung in the Opera House and this is the curtain (flame coloured velour with gold and silver appliqued satin - including the rose of York) we see in some of the Opera House views, towards the theatre's end. The previous house curtain at the Opera House was a less impressive, maroon one and over in York, the 1967 auditorium scheme was in numerous shades of green, five of which were incorporated into the "new" house curtain there - since followed by at least three different sets of "tabs".

Name: Susan Westcott
Date: Sat 07 Aug 2010 21:03:40 BST
Subject: Hippodrome, Newcastle-on-Tyne

Great Site. I just discovered that my Great Grandfather - Frank Westcott was leader of the Hoppodrome Orchestra, Newcastle-on-Tyne from 1910-1923. It was lovely to be able to see a photo of the building on your site and also useful to see the photo as it is today.


Name: Matthew Lloyd
Date: Tue 27 Jul 2010 08:48:09 BST
Subject: Wolverhampton Theatre's

Wolverhampton Theatres are definitely on the list and will be added in due course. Matthew Lloyd.

Name: Peter Fellows
Date: Mon 26 Jul 2010 20:51:06 BST
Subject: Wolverhampton Theatre's

Wonderful site, however, I would like to see more information on Wolverhampton Theatre's

1 The Grand Theatre Wolverhampton (Still a working theatre and Grade II listed building) C J Phipps Architect
2 Wolverhampton Hippodrome - Queen Square (originally the Empire Palace)destroyed by fire February 1956 and subsequently demolished.
3 Theatre Royal (aka Clifton) - Bilston Street - Demolished 1981
4 Bilston Theatre Royal (Not to be confused with the Theatre Royal in Bilston Street) Demolished 1961

Name: Lun
Date: Sat 24 Jul 2010 21:19:35 BST
Subject: Alhambra Cinema, Openshaw,

In the mid 80s it was also used as a night club although I believe that it had a bad rep with trouble makers. Also, it is on Ashton Old Road, Higher Openshaw, not Old Ashton Road, Upper Openshaw.
Thanks for the research into its history, I used to walk past this building quite often.


Name: Philip Johnson
Date: Fri 23 Jul 2010 08:41:14 BST
Subject: Empress Hall

How heartwarming to read about the Empress Hall. I went in 1955 to see the Red Army choir but I had forgotten the name of the Hall until I read a review in a 1955 'Punch'. I am grateful to you for your work on this site.

Name: David Etherington
Date: Sun 11 Jul 2010 09:19:31 BST
Subject: Regal cinema Kingston

Thank you so much for this site-as a keen theatregoer I look at it regularly.

Just a piece of news that you might be aware of - the Regal cinema Kingston (Gala Bingo) - Grade II listed, is now closed and boarded up.

Name: Donna Robertson
Date: Mon 05 Jul 2010 17:20:43 BST
Subject: Olympia Bridgeton

what a fantatic site, and its been so well thought out and put together.. colours and type are wonderful too... was looking at all the old threatres of Glasgow and noticed the Olympia, it said still in use as Bingo.. but of course that was some years past now... its not been taken over by the Clydegateway in their regeneration project for Bridgeton I have photos if you d like them of the Cross and Umberella being dug up last year and the old toilets filled in as well as Caithness stone being put down as paving.. looking good now with the Olympia in most of the shots..

Name: Helen June Grace
Date: Mon 10 May 2010 15:25:18 BST
Subject: Fountain Court and Beaufort Buildings

Thank you for this great website
My 4XGrt Grandfather Samuel EDWARDS b 1740 Wine Merchant and Proctor in Doctors Commons mentioned in his Will his Property in Fountain Court and Beaufort Buildings.
He died in 1807 at 8 Beaufort Buildings

From Helen in OZ

Name: Lyndon Bournon
Date: Mon 03 May 2010 21:39:24 BST
Subject: The Hippodrome, Brighton

My grandfather, Gaetan Bournon, managed The Hippodrome in the late 1920s. I don't know what - if any - information might be available.

Name: David Astill
Date: Mon 19 Apr 2010 12:55:54 BST
Subject: Kidderminster Playhouse

I was so suprised to see how many Theatres there had been in Kidderminster. I worked backstage at The Playhouse 1966,7,8 and in fact was working on that last night. It was so sad to loose this Theatre although Kidderminster people never supported it very well. The Operatics could fill it, which I was in at this time. John Citron was a very interesting manager for the last years; he signed up a young ladf to fill in as stage manmager when we lost one, it was his start in theatre, Derek Thompson. I actually worked on the Babes in the Wood Panto you have put the programme of on the website. There is a very comprhensive souvenier programme for 1968 tracing all the plays. It would be nice to mention the very characterful Bill Morris who was Kenneth Roses Stagemanager from 1946 and his son who did the lighting.
I used to live opposite The Grand Cinema in Mill Street and saw Dumbo as probably my first ever visit to the cinema ( it was rather dirty in those days, there was an even dirtier cinema in the Horsefair, Kidderminster known as the flea pit. I never actually visited it. My mother was in Floradora but a later amateur version and my father was a stalwart of the Amateur Operatics from 1930 onwards. I have just planted a tree in Brintons park in their memeory. Unfortunately I do not live in Kidderminster anymore. If you want any details of The Playhouse please ask. My sister worked backstage when John Osborne was writing Look back in Anger there.

Name: Gary Tearney
Date: Sun 11 Apr 2010 19:00:15 BST
Subject: Eddie Hooper

Just like to say thanks Matthew for putting archive photos of the Windmill from Maurice Poole who has been a great help with his knowledge of the Windmill.

Many thanks,
Gary Tearney

Name: Matthew Williams
Date: Sun 11 Apr 2010 00:51:34 BST

Thank you for spending the time to add this information to your website. It is sad that this came about from a disaster but good that it has probably saved countless lives. This is probably one of those inventions that is taken for granted like countless others. This is an inspiration.
Matthew Williams

Name: David Pearce
Date: Sun 21 Mar 2010 06:50:15 GMT
Subject: old memories

My wife died in 2008, she left several diaries one entry in 1952 which read: January 7th Monday "Nana had just got there when arrived at 7.15. Show started at 8 o'clock . . .Wonderful costumes %26 skating very clever. Finished 1045 approx . . "
I also found the seating tickets for 7th January 1952 Empress Hall Block J row K 26/28. House price per seat 8/6 including tax!
Without your web site I would not have known it was 'Ranch in the Rockies' that that impressed her that evening. Thankyou. David

Name: kevin gilbert
Date: Sun 28 Feb 2010 10:37:14 GMT
Subject: pier theatre bournemouth

i am looking for 2 flyers from the pier theatre bournemouth they are no sex please were british 1973 and dont dress for dinner 1995 marti caine colour e mails most acceptable please reply to thank you

Name: pauline
Date: Wed 24 Feb 2010 16:28:51 GMT
Subject: pavilion theatre liverpool

I love your site. I have always enjoyed music hall songs and your site is so informative ,easy to use and good to look at!
I particularly appreciated the pictures of the inside of the old Pavilion theatre in Liverpool, burnt down in 1986....I have an aunt of 84 who remembers good times in this theatre! Keep uo the good work!

Name: Philomena Trevor-Hunt
Date: Sat 20 Feb 2010 00:24:44 GMT
Subject: The Empire Leicester Square.

I must say I love your site and the amount of work you must have put into it. My interest in the Empire is that I had two stints of working there - the first one was when "Ben Hur" was on and as you say on the site it closed the old Empire and then I went back and worked there when "Doctor Zhivago" was there.

I now live near Perth in Western Australia and I came here because I met an Australian girl who sponsered me here under the old ten pound plan in 1968. I have been happily married to my husband Geoff for nearly 40 years and I thank the Empire and Connie (the Aussie girl) for that.

A wee story for you. Albert Sidi the manager who was there both times I was working there should have been a dipolmat - he was the most charming man and was great at smoothing ruffled feathers.
I had a situation one night during "Ben Hur" when I had three couples who had tickets for the same seats (it was in row S I can remember that) Well they were wild and he calmed them down and had them eating out of his hand in no time - it was amazing to watch. He had the use of the Ritz and they all went to see "Gigi" instead of "Ben Hur" that night!! They were given tickets for "Ben Hur" at a later date. The reason for the triple booking was the tickets were issued from Keith Prowse. I am sure that these agents are greatful for the computer bookings these days. I still have my "Ben Hur" programme signed by the staff of the day.I also have two "Doctor Zhivago" programmes - one for the premier and the nornmal one.

Keep up the great work.


Philomena Trevor-Hunt,

Name: Roger Chesher
Date: Wed 10 Feb 2010 16:04:28 GMT
Subject: Coventry Hippodrome

I was brought up in Coventry between ages 2 and 16 and have very many memories of the Hippodrome. My father regularly played Canasta with Harry Bannerman, the stage manager, and often with the stars who appeared there. Harry made sure we got excellent seats for Pantos, summer shows and variety and I acquired. many autographs and artifacts including one of Ted Ray's stage violins!
Its a long, long time since I left Coventry but I have many happy memories of those Renaissance years leading to the consecration of the utterly wonderful Cathedral. What a vibrant artistic city it was in those days.
Only today have I learned that the Hippodrome has been demolished. How could that possibly be allowed to happen? It was a fine art deco building for God's sake. What philistines were responsible for such sacrilege??
I just can't believe it!, I was actually planning to visit it again.
Please tell me that there is a full archive of Hippo material and artifacts somewhere, and if so, where?

Name: Kevan
Date: Fri 05 Feb 2010 23:53:24 GMT
Subject: Pubs history %26 Old London

I love your site. I was searching for Holywell in Shoreditch (1861), and then Wych Street, which appears to be in the Strand by 1871. Your site gave me the definitive answer to all my questions, including some great pictures.
I run the site of historical Pubs, and I have added a link to your site because of this.

Name: Val Brooks
Date: Mon 28 Dec 2009 11:14:59 GMT
Subject: Little Gem

My grandmother ran the chocolate shop next to the grand in your wonderful photo

Name: Airrs
Date: Sat 26 Dec 2009 18:23:10 GMT
Subject: Info' +

Dear Matthew, thank you for your generosity and the infomation on your site - much appreciated.

Name: Maggie Ryan
Date: Tue 08 Dec 2009 08:42:07 GMT
Subject: Wonderful site

Thank you for all the hard work and research in this site.
It brings back wonderful memories of a Yorkshire childhood,
seeing Norman Evans, Jewel %26 Warriss, Kirby's Flying Ballet the Sunbeams, etc.
I remember standing in line outside the Theatre Royal Leeds, we could see the printing presses through the windows of the Yorkshire Evening News.
For almost 60 years I have had pictures in my mind of Pantomime scenes, your site has brought them to life.
Maggie Ryan, Orlando FL

Name: jill
Date: Thu 03 Dec 2009 11:54:32 GMT
Subject: Old time music hall singers

This web site I have found very inetresting many thanks for sharing articles with us

I have a question that perhaps you or one of your readers can help me with

Who sang the following song

come round any old time and make yourself at home, right or poor knock on the door etc etc

Name: Al Strunk
Date: Thu 19 Nov 2009 04:20:30 GMT
Subject: Wonderful find

Netflixed "Mrs. Henderson Presents"... Loved it and had to find out more about it which led me here. As a yank with 30 years in the business (now retired) this is new historical fodder for me. Thanks for this wonderful site.

Name: Debra Lyons
Date: Sun 08 Nov 2009 04:44:59 GMT
Subject: Wych Street images and information.

This site is of special interest to us. You don't mention the "Rising Sun" shown in a few of your images. This tavern was around in the 1901 Census. My husband's gr-grandfather Robert Rockett was the chief engineer for the new Mount Morgan gold mine in Queensland Australia. His sister was Emma Belcher Duffill. Emma and her husband William Edward Duffill were the Licensed Victuallers for the "Rising Sun" in 1901 on the Uk census. The images you show reflect the very moment prior to their demolition.
Absolutely amazing.
Deb Lyons

Name: Matthew Lloyd
Date: Sat 31 Oct 2009 13:56:55 GMT
Subject: Harry Lauder blue plaque

Thanks Peter, Have now corrected Harry Lauder's blue plaque entry.

Name: Peter Wood
Date: Fri 30 Oct 2009 21:44:23 GMT
Subject: Harry Lauder blue plaque

Unfortunately the address you give for Sir Harry Lauder's blue plaque is incorrect. The street name is Longley Road and is in Upper Tooting, not Colliers Wood, although very close.

The house was no. 24 when owned by Sir Harry, who named it Athole House. It was subsequently the family home of my grandparents, Arthur and Mabel Hardy, their children and Mabel's parents. My mother was born there in 1917. The house number was subsequently changed to 46. You can find information on Harry Lauder's various homes on the website

I was interested to learn that Harry Tate also lived in the same road.

Yours sincerely, Peter Wood.

Name: michael
Date: Fri 30 Oct 2009 00:00:48 GMT
Subject: entry coins

i own a enrty coin to the concert hall on one side is a piture of the hall then on the other it says "to be spent in the concert hall the same evening as received" it cost 3d and it also has rodney inn on it. This was in a box of my grandads so it is amazing to think it could of been his parents who visited.

Name: Lucinda
Date: Thu 29 Oct 2009 17:05:49 GMT
Subject: Thank you!

I wanted to thank you for this beautiful site. I'm making a report about 'west end', so this site was the perfect source for it! Thanks again. Greatings, Lucinda

Name: David Weare
Date: Mon 19 Oct 2009 19:37:12 BST
Subject: Top marks, this is just brilliant.

I love this site. One of my favourites on the web.
If this were my website I would be proud indeed. Please keep it up!

Name: Alasdair Munro
Date: Mon 28 Sep 2009 22:39:44 BST
Subject: Newington Cemetery, Edinburgh

There used to be a tree growing to the fore of the Holly tree in the picture, but this was felled in 1979.

The tree was felled as it was noted that the entire line of headstones were moving up and down as the tree swayed in the wind! The Fire Brigade attended with a Simon Snorkel Fire engine from MacDonald Road Fire Station and a Council employee was sent up on the platform to fell the tree. The Police closed off Dalkeith Road during ops.

Funnily enough, due to the nature of the ground, the huge machine became rather bogged down and to make matters worse there was a call-out to across the road for a chimney fire! Lots of sheepish fire crew peering over the cemetery wall to their colleagues from Liberton FS!



Name: Jill Wells nee Shackleton
Date: Fri 18 Sep 2009 12:18:38 BST
Subject: Shackleton - composers and musical directors

Whilst sorting out some old sheet music i found some music arranged for the concertina by my great grandfather - J Howard Shackleton and printed by wheatstones. Along with this I then found playlists and Director scores for music hall orchestras which he used. His son Firmin Shackleton who was obviously my grandfather was also a music hall director, musician and composer. We are beginning to amass and catalogue the historic papers, signed music hall photographs of the stars of the time, newspaper cuttings, poems, true stories and instruments that were left to us (including their concertina)and so I was delighted to find this amazing site and can only thank you for keeping the music hall memories alive!
We are looking forward to passing on this information and your site link to our younger family members. Music still runs strong in the family!

Name: Sue Evans
Date: Sat 12 Sep 2009 20:22:23 BST
Subject: great site!!!

Love all things to do with music hall and loved your website. Nice to see a great write up and info on Jolly John Nash too .. seems a pretty forgotten music hall artiste by historians. Thanks for setting it up
Kind regards
Sue Evans

Date: Sat 05 Sep 2009 15:57:42 BST

We can not praise too highly Matthew Lloyd's most excellent of Websites. For us - in compiling our own Website of the many thousands of Shows for which, last century, Brunskill and Loveday built the Scenery - it has been of assistance in clarifying information of which we were not entirely certain but in respect of the history of British Theatre it is the most superb, indeed the finest, of records. Ted Loveday, Managing Director, Brunskill and Loveday Limited.

Name: Alex Balmforth
Date: Wed 12 Aug 2009 22:31:06 BST
Subject: Theatres

A fine website,we love the theatre, however theatres have been lost. Let's support this fine website - at least it alerts us to what we have lost



Name: Paul Daniels
Date: Fri 31 Jul 2009 13:35:30 BST
Subject: Finsbury Park Empire Cinderella 1949

I have had an email from a lady who was in the Finsbury Park Empire pantomime Cinderella in 1949. She is seeking the name of the magician who was in the show. Can anyone help? Perhaps from an old programme?

Name: Mike Kennedy
Date: Thu 30 Jul 2009 02:55:14 BST
Subject: Clapham Junction

I was extremely interested in the Theatre history in and around Clapham Junction.
In the piece about the Pavilion Theatre by , I also played amongst the ruins with my sister.
I wonder if knows me? I was born in Cedars Road in 1940, lived in Dorothy Road, then Stormont Road but moved to Hong Kong in 1973.
Prior to that I lived in Candahar Road and the V2 which destroyed St Marys Church in 1944 just missed us!
I remember well the Grand at Clapham Junction, the Granada on St John's Hill and the ruins of the Shakespeare and the Pavilion.
I can be contacted by e-mail.

Mike, Hong Kong

Name: PIna Baglioni
Date: Mon 20 Jul 2009 04:48:00 BST
Subject: What a lovely site

Have grown up my entire life listening to my mother sing and dance,and relive her days ath the Windmill theatre. Ihave forewarded this site to her for her enjoyment...Now is she can just figure out the computer ha ha...

Name: Helena Ventham
Date: Sun 12 Jul 2009 00:01:31 BST
Subject: A pair of glasses and a smile...

Fantastic site Matthew! Very impressed! I remember when you first set this whole site up and it was just the beginning. Look at it now - nice job! Helena xxx

Name: Dolores G McLoughlin(nee Hepworth)
Date: Thu 25 Jun 2009 02:03:35 BST
Subject: Windmill Theatre

I was a Windmill girl in 1947 and saw some people I recognized on the special feature of the Windmill. It would be great to her from anyone there at that time . Made me very nostalgic but very happy remembering the "Mill" as we called it.

Name: Irene Donna Robertson
Date: Tue 23 Jun 2009 07:58:34 BST
Subject: The Site

Ive just found this wonderful site and cant stop reading and looking at all the wonderful photos, I dont know how it took me so long to find this, but glad I have, IM engrossed. well set out and I love the colour too, very very informative.. thanks.. Irene.

Name: Bruce Hall
Date: Mon 22 Jun 2009 01:34:16 BST
Subject: Circa 1951.

My step father (Hugh Elms) was in the "Hippodrome" in 1951 with the boy's that were shooting at "Bisley" for the "Kings Trophy" that year. He told me he was brought up on stage when the "Folies Bergere" was on stage.He sang with one of the girls and got "lip prints" from her.
Made his time there well worth it!

Name: Shirley Pullan
Date: Sun 17 May 2009 07:01:27 BST
Subject: Memories

Hi My name is Shirley Pullan . It was so good to open your site %26 remember old times. I first played this theatre with Peter Brough %26 Archie Andrews in July 1952 it was my frst gig with The Candy Sisters %26 Eddie, we opened the bill %26 also the 2cnd half.We toured with Brough in mostly Moss Empire Theatres for almost 2 years. Thank you for the pictures , Lovely to see the inside of the Theatre which brings back such good memories. Shirley Pullan (Australia).

Name: Cath Rodgers
Date: Thu 09 Apr 2009 10:13:06 BST
Subject: Henglers Cirque, West Derby, Liverpool

Wonderful site Matthew. My grandfather Frank and his brother often performed at the Henglers Cirque mostly at the turn of the previous century 1890's - 1900. I have some old handbills and photos of them as performers etc. They were the Anderson Brothers and my grandfather was later also known as 'Handy Andy' clowning during the intervals between the equestrian acts etc. I was so happy to see the sketch of the theatre having heard about it so much as a child. The crossover between circus and music hall was an interesting time. Thank you for a great site!

Name: Richard Don Simms
Date: Sat 28 Mar 2009 01:28:09 GMT
Subject: Midsummer Night's Dream Western Style

Howard Payne College,Brownwood,Texas brought Midsummer Night's Dream to the Northampton Repertory Theatre July 13-18,1959. I was Snug the Joiner. We were all cowboys and cowgirls. We toured all of England the summer of 1959. A great trip. RDS

Name: John Plews
Date: Thu 19 Mar 2009 17:27:18 GMT
Subject: Upstairs at the Gatehouse

It would be nice to see some more of Londons Fringe Theatres listed on the London's working theatres page . Our 128 seat venue opened in 1895 as a Victorian Music Hall. In 1997 it was converted into a small scale theatre and for the last eleven years has hosted plays and musicals.
For a full history and current programme visit

Name: Jill Armsby
Date: Tue 20 Jan 2009 20:38:19 GMT
Subject: James Bushell Hutchins, Architect, Royal Court Theatre

I was very pleased to see that you have given the name of the architect who rebuilt the Royal Court Theatre in 1938 - James Bushell Hutchins. He is my late great uncle, elder brother of my maternal grandmother.

Name: Rod Moffatt
Date: Tue 06 Jan 2009 17:09:44 GMT
Subject: Queens Theater Poplar

Hi there,

Re; Your query wondering where the animal acts were kept when not on stage, my uncle William "Bill" Brewer took me to the Queens towards the end of the 2nd world war and just after, and he said they were kept at the docks instables that were used for the horses,he being a gate keeper at the East India Docks at the time, and I do certainly remember plenty of Animal acts.
Hope this is of interest, excellant site.
Regards Rod.

Name: Malcolm Chilton
Date: Tue 06 Jan 2009 16:33:22 GMT
Subject: Birmingham hippodrome

I worked at the 'hipp'when Wilf May was manager. The Stage manager was the formidable Ernie Clapham. Upset him at your peril! The head dayman/flyman was a guy called Harry Brown. It was my first job after leaving school first working shows, and then becoming a dayman. You would work in the morning have the afternoon off (unless there was a matinee) and come back in the evening for the show, or shows if there was a variety bill on. 6-15 and 8-30. I have never left 'the business' and have made a good living all my life from working in theatre and television.

Name: Howard Mandelbaum
Date: Mon 01 Dec 2008 03:46:03 GMT
Subject: Greetings from New York...

My dear friend Alan Rebbeck, contributor to these pages, was kind enough to introduce me to your wonderful website. I look forward to many happy hours learning about British musichall.

Name: Angela Brinkworth
Date: Thu 09 Oct 2008 19:09:47 BST
Subject: Argyle Theatre for Youth

How lovely to find your site and to see the old Argyle again which brought back a flood of memouries. Dear Gerard Clark, Sheila, director and booking manager. Miss McClindens theatrical digs, Francis Tomelty, Tony Haygarth, Wigram Grace, Jeff Vines fine young actors who began their careers with the Argyle theatre for Youth. So many funny amazing stories of life on the road as touring players...... I remember being given a £5 raise by Gerard Clark making my weekly wage £15 having worked my way from player, tour manager then director. Gerard gave me my first opportunity to write. I made my debue with 'Waiting for the Zoooka didlyplonk' an invisible, anarchic monster with whom two children have a great deal of fun at the expense of the grown ups. Thanks for the memories Angela

Name: Colin Pattison
Date: Mon 22 Sep 2008 21:45:59 BST
Subject: Park Palace cinema Liverpool

My uncle, Fred Turner, was the manager at the Park Palace Liverpool I think in the 1950's The owner was a Miss Dunne. but sadly as attendences dwindled it was closed down. Fred was a projectionist at the old Magestic in Liverpool at the times of silent films and it was there that he met my auntie Amy who was the pianist for the films in the cinema. Fred used to tell us that all managers used to go pre-public screenings of films which were to be shown in the cinemas each week, so gave us an insight of what to go and see.
His brother, Frank Turner, was also a manager at the St. James's cinema not too far from the Park Palace near the David Lewis theatre.
Fred had a long career in the cinema business which ended when the Park Palace closed.

Name: Prof. Brian Catling
Date: Thu 07 Aug 2008 09:45:56 BST
Subject: thanks

A brilliant and hugely informative site. Rich, factual and poetic. Thank you its a treasure for researchers and browsers alike.

Name: Richard Anthony Baker
Date: Sun 03 Aug 2008 10:06:07 BST
Subject: Music Hall Studies

You might like to know that I've added you to the links page of the new Music Hall Studies website:
Best wishes
Richard Anthony Baker

Name: David Blake
Date: Tue 08 Jul 2008 15:41:29 BST
Subject: First visit to website

I have discovered your website today as I work at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston and, having an interest in the history of entertainment, I have been asked about a performer named Marie Ford whose son has contributed to your Guestbook so your site came up in a Google search and answered a few questions arising from that enquiry. The site is very interesting indeed and I will be telling some friends with similar interests about it.

In my spare time I am a Director of the Stockport Plaza Trust and was delighted to see the Plaza featured on the website. I have been associated with the Plaza project for nearly 10 years and it still moves me to see the Plaza now listed up there with the great theatres of Stockport's past as when we first sought to acquire it even the Theatres Trust were unaware of its existence! (like the Davenport it had started life as a cine-variety house rather than a live theatre). We have had a wonderful time since reopening the Plaza in 2000 and it is becoming apparent that it has had a real effect on the Stockport neighbourhood, which means a great deal when I think back to it when I first knew it as a bingo hall. I knew the Davenport Theatre too and was there for the last performance which if I remember rightly was on 9 or 10 March 1997 (a Sunday evening). The theatre was demolished in the summer of that year so had disappeared two years before the date of 1999 which is mentioned in your articles. The photograph of the organ console standing in the derelict auditorium would have been taken I think around early May 1997 when the Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust were removing the organ. Just before they did so they made some final recordings of it, some of which were released on the cd called 'That's All' which you mention. I was there when Charles Brown (the last resident organist who played both the Davenport and Plaza (bingo) organs regularly on a once weekly basis for patrons in the late 1980s/early 1990s played his signing off tune, 'The Lambeth Walk', to the empty and derelict house for the last time, and then the organ was disconnected and removal began. To date it has failed to find a new home.

At that time the outlook for Stockport ever again having a full-size house of entertainment looked gloomy indeed. But it was to be a story with a happy ending and as the curtain came down for the last time at the Davenport, I would never have believed that the Plaza (still on bingo for another 18 months at that stage) would take up the flame, and that 2 1/2 years later there would once again be a show in a classic 1930s venue in Stockport - and that (in a voluntary capacity and as someone with no prior showbusiness connections and not even living in the own!) I would be the Front-of-House Manager!

I have learned that life in an entertainment house like the Plaza is never predictable, and is full of interest and (literally!) variety, while it can also have its scary moments but I and I'm sure the other legions of dedicated Plaza volunteers wouldn't have missed it for the world. Only the night before last I had to work through the night in the Plaza on part of its Heritage Lottery Funding bid, but I had the wonderful compensation of one of our young volunteers (who was awaiting a lift home from me) rehearsing on the glorious Compton organ through the dead of night as a backdrop to my work! Truly delights that I never thought would be mine, and life at the Plaza has been full of such rewards although, it has to be said, extremely demanding and hard work too!

I've probably rambled on far too long, but just to end by saying thank you for this excellent website which I will return to many times in the future while being involved with a venue which will do its best to make new history by keeping the entertainment flag flying for future generations to enjoy!

Name: flat01glasgow
Date: Mon 16 Jun 2008 17:39:59 BST
Subject: the colosseum glasgow

does anyone know who owns the old colosseum in glasgow?

Name: tim mitchell
Date: Thu 05 Jun 2008 14:15:43 BST
Subject: great site

What a great web site, loads of things I did not know about and I have been working in the theatre for 24years !


Name: Rich Taylor
Date: Fri 30 May 2008 22:14:19 BST
Subject: Dan Rolyat as Archibald the Baron in Cinderella pantomime at The King's Theatre in 1906

Hello, my name is Rich Taylor. I currently reside in Los Altos, CA in the USA. I just wanted to contact you to say I really enjoyed perusing your site, particularly the history of the King's Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland, the description of its opening night with the production of the pantomime, Cinderella, and the review of Cinderella written back in 1906 in The Scotsman. You see, I am the grandson of Dan Rolyat, who starred in that opening production of Cinderella at the King's Theatre back in 1906, as Archibald, Baron of Lacklands. My father, Dan Taylor, who passed away at the age of 80 in December, 2006, was Dan Rolyat's only son by Rolyat's third wife, Maira Morgan Merioneth (aka Maira Clifton). My dad looked exactly like his father. I hope to get over to Edinburgh in the next year or two to visit the King's Theatre, and hopefully view any artifacts that might still exist from his run there in Cinderella in 1906. If you like, you can contact me at the above email address

Name: Thomas Rees
Date: Tue 27 May 2008 14:47:37 BST
Subject: London Theatres

What a great site.
My Grandfather Tom Rees was stage manager of the Princes Theatre in London when Fred and Walter moved to there from the Lyceum and my Father (again a Tom Rees) was Box Office Manager for around 40 odd years at the Drury Lane Theatre. I have so many happy memories and was lucky enough to see many first nights from Oklahoma to the greatest musical ever in My Fair Lady. That was in the good old days when most people attending first nights in the Stalls and Dress Circle were in evening dress rather then football shirts which we have seen.
Thanks again for so many memories that the site has revived.

Date: Tue 20 May 2008 13:31:09 BST


Name: Linda Beksinski
Date: Fri 28 Mar 2008 23:16:02 GMT
Subject: 1885 sheet music

Hello, I live in the state of Washington in the United States and I have in my possession the sheet music Marche Triomphale by J.B. Anderson which was played at the Prince's Theatre, Manchester in Nov.1885. There is a hand written note in ink on it to "L. Reynolds" and says "With kind regards from the composer" and is dated 8/8/88. The music is bound with a piece of silk and has been stitched on by hand with thread. I was trying to find some information about J. B. Anderson and the Prince's Theatre when I found your web site. It was very exciting to see where this music was played. What a beautiful theatre that was! If you know any information on J. B. Anderson, I would love to have more information. Thank you again, Linda Beksinski

Name: Catherine
Date: Wed 12 Mar 2008 14:31:47 GMT
Subject: The Grand - Clapham Junction

I was pleased to come across your website featuring information on Grand at Clapham Junction. I worked on site while the refurb project was taking place when it was originally turned from a bingo hall into an entertainment venue, so your website brought back a few memories. In terms of the previous building usage I can remember that when site was cleared old posters were found along with an old air raid siren and a cupboard full of old empty glass drinks bottles! In terms of the change to a new music venue the insulation delivery required for noise insulation was stacked the entire width of the front elevation, and every man present on site was required to help lift and carry each long steel beam onto site and to put them into place for the acoustic wall construction on the stage.
I also researched the history of the building for my university conservation project - finding details of the architect, brickmaker, the location of the original plans, and a picture of the original musical hall stage. I'd like permission to copy / print the information you have on your web page so that I can put it in my files with my college project and the photos I have from the refurb project. It's great to see that the building is still in use as an entertainment venue. Regards Catherine

Name: Gillian Crooks
Date: Thu 21 Feb 2008 10:09:14 GMT
Subject: Great site and Wilton's

Wow Matthew - what a great site, I could spend hours on here. Have just seen Roy Hudd doing a benefit at Wilton's Music Hall where he sang "married to a mermaid" and other songs fabulously to an audience of locals and celebs. He also spoke extremely knowledgeably about music hall and the various performers. It was our first visit to Wilton's and what a great place - needing a lot of money to help it be restored. Anyway - my Mum was doing a search for Wilton's info and came up with your wonderful site. I used to live in Manchester and obviously visited the Opera House, Palace and Royal exchange, I also schooled in Bolton - so we were taken to the Octagon theatre occasionally. My Mum and Dad spoke affectionately about an act they had seen at (I think) the Salford Hippodrome including a tiger which my Mum was invited to ride on stage as a child. My dad had also seen this as a child before he met my Mum. My Gran's neighbour (Jack Tonge) was Jack Edge's nephew and so we got free tickets to the sadly now demolished Davenport theatre in Stockport. You site brought back happy memories of the many Pantos we saw there (Cannon and Ball and Little %26 Large %26 Co) and also Frankie Laine, Ken Dodd (fantastic) and others.

My husband comes from Southend - where my parents now live and they have a number of theatres - but all seem fairly modern.

We now live not far from Tower Bridge and theatre is our passion - we try to go at least once a fortnight. Havn't been to all the London theatres - but we are trying.

This must be such a labour of love - and it is wonderful - many thanks

Gillian %26 Kevin

Name: Penny Hill
Date: Sun 17 Feb 2008 09:54:19 GMT
Subject: Osborne Theatre Manchester

I am related to the manager I believe once of the Osborne a Mr Ward. Mr Ward adopted my great grand father whom I believe was a musical hall artiste. We have only just today found out the actual name of his theatre after many years. Just an interesting point for you.

Name: Webmaster at Art Deco Ireland
Date: Thu 14 Feb 2008 14:37:33 GMT
Subject: Theatre Royal Dublin

Very much enjoyed (belatedly) finding your site which is very impressive. There are some more photos and information on the Theatre Royal in Dublin on the Art Deco Ireland website.

I will see if I can find some other Irish reviews for you. By the way, the "Rotundo" reference was deeply unusual. This building, later the Ambassador Cinema, was more usually termed the "Rotunda", indeed I had never seen the alternative wording until now. Vacant for some years, the local authority recently announced plans to move the main city library to this building.

Name: paul reynolds
Date: Wed 13 Feb 2008 21:45:52 GMT
Subject: Carlton Theatre/ Cinema Haymarket.

Saw Brief Encounter in this wonderful auditorium and then discovered your fab websie , event better.

Possible textual error
Your opening comments on the Carlton refer to " one of the first two theatres to be built after the Second World War- I think this should say First World War.

Paul R

Well spoted Paul, thanks. Regards, Matthew.

Name: gerald glover
Date: Wed 06 Feb 2008 11:40:41 GMT
Subject: her majesty's th brighton

Just finished reading "Here's to the Next Time", Henry Hall autobio - there's a repro of a poster for "Toad of Toad Hall" (Leslie Henson)@ Her Majestys Brighton. Didn't sound right so I checked everywhere %26 found the answer on your site...thank you (it was the old Dolphin).

Great site, full of interesting info. Congratulations.

gerry glover
british music hall society

Name: Jean Lhuillery
Date: Wed 30 Jan 2008 16:34:57 GMT
Subject: married to a mermaid

Good day !
I am very happy to have found the song I mention on your site ; I did some research on mermaids in Ireland and more generally the British Isles some 30 years ago and I had a BW version of the picture. That was for an MA at my university in Brest, Brittany ; I also worked at University College Galway at that time and was able to lay my hand on some interestiing resource... but not that song !
I was wondering whether you would leave me have a copy of the image - for personal use of course.
Many thanks in advance and my congratulations for the site. Everything super, including very good music files !
Besr regards,

Name: juliealdcroft
Date: Tue 22 Jan 2008 18:09:32 GMT
Subject: norburys sweet and tobaconist year1943,argyle street,salford

hi trying to find some history for a friend who is retireing,his grandparents lived and owned this shop,in salford can you tell me where to start.thanks or does any one know of this or remember.

Name: Drayton Bird
Date: Fri 18 Jan 2008 18:46:57 GMT
Subject: Just congratulations!

A magnificent site - full of interest for anyone with even the vaguest curiosity about Music Hall and the world it thrived in.

Name: ken moore
Date: Wed 16 Jan 2008 16:20:20 GMT
Subject: Lorrel %26 Hardy

when i was stationed at woolwich arsenal-In the Royal Signals-Us squadies went to the Empire on Wenesday- It was [afternoon? show-They did a Cheap matinees for us-I am almost sure i saw Lorrel and Hardy there - It would be 1954 to 1956-Am i correct?
Kind Regrads Ken Moore

Name: Pamela (Hood) Dahl
Date: Sat 15 Dec 2007 17:45:01 GMT
Subject: Empire Theatre - Newcastle Upon Tyne

I was raised in Newcastle in the 40's %26 50's and spent many, many days behind stage of the Empire Theatre. My grandfather Walter hood was the lead violinist and a conductor at this theatre. I have been looking for articles about this theatre for a long time. I do have the original newspaper article that writes about his retirement along with his picture. Do you know if any other pictures that perhaps are on display? My grandfthers sister Janet Hood just turned 100. She used to teach Cello in Pennsylvania. I hope to hear back from you.


Name: john busbridge
Date: Fri 14 Dec 2007 20:27:23 GMT
Subject: lost theatres

Hullo Matthew, It is fascinating to read about the lost theatres and cinemas, many of which I remember from my youth, keep up the good work, many thanks John.

Name: Jeff Stevenson
Date: Wed 12 Dec 2007 11:35:15 GMT
Subject: Wonderful website

What a fantastic website

Name: Theatre Royal Hyde
Date: Fri 14 Sep 2007 08:55:08 BST
Subject: Theatres past and present

I great web site with nice theatre pics, flyers/poster from the good old days. We are trying to save a 1902 built theatre ourselves and bring it back to life.
Please drop by
to find out more, thanks

Name: Michael Hankinson
Date: Thu 26 Jul 2007 22:15:38 BST
Subject: Owen owens orchestra

I was most interested to read about your Dad and his time at Owen Owens. I don't think many people today realise what a huge influence these "cafe" orchestras had on young people. I was a frequent visitor to Owen Owens and remember well the orchestra playing Teddy Bears Picnic - at my request. I especially remember a Mr Pinnington - the cellist - and we are going back 56 years - so it must have made a great impression.

I am now a conductor of two orchestras - a composer with some success, much of which I credit to the early influence of the exposure as a child. I didn't know your Dad, but I think that the work that he, and many other musicians carried out was of tremendous importance. If not to society - then certainly to those of us who benefited from their work. If you have any more information on this topic I would be very interested to receive it.

Michael Hankinson

Conductor Laureate & Composer in Residence - The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Principal Conductor - Cape Town City Ballet

Web site

This message refers to Francis Collins who was also famous for being the Band Leader at the Blackpool Palace Ballroom. For more information on Francis Collins see this page on the site.


Name: Aldrington House Day Support Centre
Date: Sun 22 Jul 2007 14:52:19 BST
Subject: Brighton

Dear Mr Llyod

Thank you for producing such a wonderful web-site. I run a local history group at a Centre for long term mental health patients, we have often turn to your site for information. This week we were talking about West Pier.

Thank You.

Name: Denis Salter
Date: Sun 22 Jul 2007 04:55:58 BST
Subject: Thanks for a delightful site

I think your site is full of significant information presented with great enthusiasm and pleasure. It is elegantly and vividly laid out. And it has many surprises. I shall bookmark it and return to it often. Many many thanks!

Name: Raoul Guise
Date: Mon 09 Jul 2007 21:48:42 BST
Subject: Olympic Theatre

I appreciate having been able to find about the Olympic Theatre from your site which is excellent. My Great.g.g.Grandfather A.Aglio did some designs for the theatre see here.

Site also refers to relations Charles and Thomas Dibdin

All the Best
Raoul Guise

Name: Neil Rutherford
Date: Mon 02 Jul 2007 11:19:55 BST
Subject: J B Mulholland

Hi - just a note to congratulate you on an excellent site. I'm a Founder Friend of New Wimbledon Theatre and its been great to learn about the other Theatre's associated with Mr Mulholland. These were The Kings Hammersmith and The Metropole Camberwell.

Name: Kevin Phelan
Date: Sun 17 Jun 2007 15:59:56 BST
Subject: Balham Empire

Hi Matthew, firstly, what a fabulous piece of work : I have spent hours over the last couple of years reading. looking, checking.

Thought you might find this little snippet interesting : Balham Empire was the first theatre in London to convert to full-time Cinema/Cinematograph use, and in 1907.

Also, on Alan Chundley's interesting page, ( sad as it was, ) his paternal Grandmother would have been tragically killed at the MAYFAIR cinema, not the Mayflower.

Keep up the fabulous work

Kind Regards,


Name: Terry Sawyer
Date: Thu 14 Jun 2007 23:26:19 BST
Subject: Appreciation of Site

I think I have said it before, but simply thank you, and thank you again for such a marvellous website.

Name: Charles S.P. Jenkins
Date: Fri 25 May 2007 01:16:28 BST
Subject: Lost Theatres and Music Halls

I have only just found this site and am very, very happy that I have done so at last.

I was lucky to have parents that loved the theatre and the music hall, and I have visited every theatre that is currently open in London as well as many that are on the 'lost' list. Your website is excellent and allowed us to learn about the 'lost treasures' of London. I was interested to see that you provide a picture of the march to save the beautiful St. James' Theatre - although I was a schoolboy at the time, my parents allowed myself and a number of friends to take part.

I notice that on the page dealing with the Scala Theatre you do not mention the yearly presentation of 'Peter Pan'. I attended many productions and enjoyed every one.

It is tragic that so many of London's theatres have been demolished or are allowed to decay. However, one point of hope and joy is the resurrgance of the spectacular Hackney Empire. Thanks to the hard work of a number of people and the National Lottery, the place is returning to its former glory. For those that read this signing, and who either live in London or who are planning a visit, I recommend a visit - it is worth it just to view the place - in addition, they produce interesting pieces there too!

Thank you very, very much for producing and maintaining this website - we are all very grateful to you.

Name: Maurice Poole
Date: Sat 14 Apr 2007 10:09:49 BST
Subject: The Windmill Theatre,London 1932-1964

I liked your site.The entry on the Windmill Theatre is particularly interestion for me.For some years I have been collecting phptographs of the Windmill Theatre during the period as a review house.
Also,I have a number of programmes.

Name: Janet C. Coyle
Date: Thu 12 Apr 2007 01:51:26 BST
Subject: Everyman Theatre Liverpool

When the Everyman was`first opened in the i960's they put on a series of Shakespeare plays. The actors in the rep. company included Ronald Pickup, Jeremy Brett and Terry Hands. I am not quite sure about the actors in the company, but a lot of them turned up in the RSC later on. Either Peter Hall or Peter Brook was involved for a while too. I can't quite remember as I was only a stage-struck schoolgirl at the time and several of us used to spend our Saturdays 'helping' with making coffee in the cellar (which later became the Bistro) and tidying up backstage. My school took us to see all of these Shakespeare productions. I remember 'As you Like It' but there were several others. Have you anyfurther information about this early period of the new theatre.

Name: derek stackhouse
Date: Fri 16 Mar 2007 23:17:52 GMT
Subject: Chiswick Empire

Congragulations on a wonderful site, the best yet on the Music Halls Happy memories of Chiswick Empire (saw Laurel and Hardy there) and remember pantomines at the Commodore Hammersmith.
My Grandpa trained the lights at the Palace Burnley Lancs in the early 1900's and was always telling me stories of the old stars. His favourite was Harry Houdini.Sadly the theatre has long gone and has faded in peoples memories. Again thankyou,this site is definitely Bookmarked!

Name: Kevan Wilding
Date: Wed 14 Mar 2007 22:55:55 GMT
Subject: Stratford History %26 historical Pubs etc

If of interest, I am adding considerable Trade Directory information for Stratford to a new site at - this links to my extensive listing of Essex %26 London Public Houses %26 Taverns at
I hope some of this information may be useful in placing many of the excellent venues listed on this great site.

Name: nIiekiie
Date: Wed 14 Mar 2007 10:10:38 GMT
Subject: image

May I use the image of the front door, with the statue from 'We Will Rock You'???
It's for a presentation for school.
And i'm coming to the musical in April.
We're from Holland and we are going to London with our class.
I would tell i,in a presentation, about the Domininion theatre.

Thanks and greets


Name: Paul Hatch
Date: Sat 24 Feb 2007 16:53:48 GMT
Subject: Hastings Theatres

A little bit of extra info on two of the old Hastings Theatres.
The old Gaiety Theatre's original 1972 conversion to a triple screen cinema had the two extra screens situated directly under the circle seating. While the ceiling at the back of the stalls may have been lowered, the seating capacity of the main theatre/screen was unaffected.

However in 1985 a major building adaptation took place (I only know the approx year as I remember seeing morons from outerspace while the building work was in progress) This building work saw a major downsizing of the original theatre. At this time the cinema lost its stalls and its original entrance, the entrance was relocated to the left corner of the building and much of the ground floor sold as a retail unit (to a drugstore chain)

I havnt been in the cinema for over 10 years but from the listing on the Odeon website, it has since been further converted to 4 screens.

As for the Hippodrome theatre in Hastings, nothing is said of its use as a cinema prior to conversion to an amusement arcade. Only the groundfloor is used as an amusement arcade. The upper level being converted into a snooker hall and bingo Hall. The groundfloor was completelly gutted and no trace (at least in the public areas) remains of its original use. While I have never been in the bingo hall personally I have seen photos that imply the seating for the bingo is in fact part of the old circle and the photos clearly showed that some of the original decor and mouldings from the original theatre remain.

Name: Victor M. Rhys-Williams
Date: Sun 18 Feb 2007 06:36:45 GMT
Subject: Mr Lancaster Conductor at the Royal Artillery Theater

As a young lad I attended Glenister Road Secondary School in Greenwich. One of my early memories circa 1950 was a class attendence at the Royal Artillery Theater, Woolwich, where the orchestra conductor was the music teacher from the school a Mr. Lancaster. A fine gentleman respected and well liked by all the students.

Name: Mark Kari
Date: Sat 17 Feb 2007 17:27:46 GMT
Subject: Great site for visitors to London

I just discovered this site yesterday while doing some Internet research for my upcoming visit to London (from Canada). I'm looking forward to taking in the theatre in the West End (I will be seeing six shows in four days!) and am thrilled to be able to read up on the histories of London's great theatres in advance of my trip. Good job!

Name: Matthew
Date: Thu 01 Feb 2007 22:24:04 GMT
Subject: St. James's Theatre

This is the wrong place to leave queries about the site but yes there was a Theatre of that name in London and it will feature on the site in the near future.

Name: Terry
Date: Fri 19 Jan 2007 16:38:47 GMT
Subject: St James Theatre London

Was there a theatre by the above name, I cannot find any reference to it on your brilliant web site

Name: Brian
Date: Sat 13 Jan 2007 10:39:53 GMT
Subject: Brilliant

Thank you so much for this website. The historical content is a must for anyone interested in local history. Thank you for sharing this knowledge with us. It's simply brilliant.

Name: Marianne Hobby
Date: Mon 08 Jan 2007 17:23:17 GMT
Subject: Surrey Theatre

I have just visited your site and found it to be very fascinating.
I have in my possesion a violin owned by Coleman Davis who was my grandmother's grandfather. He was born in 1798 and played Ist.Violin at Surrey Theatre. Being curious, I went to your site and was able to read all about the Surrey Theatre.

Name: Brian Raine
Date: Mon 27 Nov 2006 12:52:26 GMT
Subject: Website

This has got to be the best website on Music Hall, and London theatre past and present, quite apart from the wealth of detail about Arthur himself. Marvellous!

Name: rodrigompamaral
Date: Sun 12 Nov 2006 15:24:41 GMT
Subject: very well

Its important when many people tell about this site.
This particition grow up it but I need to learn more about it

Name: James Roberts
Date: Sun 08 Oct 2006 13:59:38 BST
Subject: Bandwaggon

Was it in 1938 that i saw "Bandwaggon" at the Lewisham Hippodrome with Arthur Askey and Stinker Murdock??
You have a great site that is stuffed with wonderful memories.
Keep it up

Name: Les
Date: Wed 04 Oct 2006 08:50:37 BST
Subject: Rotherhithe Hippodrome

Nice to see some info and images of the Terriss Theatre. I live close by and am very interested in local history. The advertisements on the programs were very interesting too. Thanks!

Name: Maurice Stewart
Date: Thu 14 Sep 2006 14:18:31 BST
Subject: Thanks!

An index of 'theatre history' web sites is long overdue. Today having stumbled across the Arthur Lloyd site - this comprehensive site is surely that INDEX TO THEATRE HISTORY IN-LINE.
More power to your elbow.

Name: Dr Ann Featherstone
Date: Mon 11 Sep 2006 10:48:49 BST
Subject: Your site

Hi Matthew!
Really, I just wanted to congratulate you on your wonderful site! I'm a historian of popular entertainment (19th century), and I have to say your site probably the best on the web! I do keep a note of websites, because I teach as well, and I always recommend yours to my students.
So keep up the good work - though I can imagine how much work that involves!
With best wishes
Ann featherstone

Name: Nikki Budd
Date: Wed 26 Jul 2006 13:01:22 BST
Subject: Windmill Theatre

My mother-in-law has some programmes from the Windmill Theatre, she would like to sell them who should I contact?

Name: Catriona Stoddart
Date: Tue 18 Jul 2006 18:31:23 BST
Subject: The Empire Finsbury Park

Much enjoyed reading comments about 1939. I'm researching a show called 'Doorlay's Tropen Express' or in it's reduced form from Xmas 1938 'Doorlay's Xmas Rocket'. Can anyone remember anything of interest? In particular what happened to any of the members when war broke out. If not can anyone point me the right direction? The manager was Harry Kremp who seemed to be a great character. The owner/director was Prof William Doorlay. Many thanks

Name: Angie Seager
Date: Sun 09 Jul 2006 16:57:18 BST
Subject: Book of Sheet Music - Comic Song by Arthur Lloyd

I went to an Auction yesterday and purchased a quantity of very old sheet music. Looking through it today I have come across an extremely old book which on the inside has a coloured picture of who I presume to be Arthur Lloyd and a couple of signatures (can't quite tell if they are printed or hand written)one says `Yours truly Arthur lloyd'. At the top of the page it has the printed words "Original %26 Authenticated Edition" "Not for Jospeh" which I realise is his most famous song. There is no date that I can see, but it is in a pretty good condition as it must be fairly old. I wondered really if you could tell me if you think the signature is genuine or if he just signed the books for printing. I have been looking at your site and think it is really interesting and when I have time, I will read a lot more.

Thank you


Name: Adrian Appley
Date: Tue 27 Jun 2006 22:37:16 BST
Subject: Arthur Lloyd and Wilton's

Hello Matthew, Well now, I only typed in "Lewisham Hippodrome" and soon found myself looking at your excellent Arthur Lloyd website. I was born in 1942 and can vaguely remember being taken to the Hippodrome. It was good to see a picture post card of it - what a shame it was demolished. I must admit I had never heard of Arthur before and I assume you are related to him. Yes, it really is a fascinating and well produced website and something you can be proud of. Thank you and best wishes,

Adrian Appley.

Name: Nicole
Date: Wed 21 Jun 2006 11:03:22 BST
Subject: Wych Street

I was searching everywhere for information about Wych Street in London as I had an ancestor who ran a "lock-up house" there circa 1780. Great maps and great information. Thanks.

Name: Ken C
Date: Sun 04 Jun 2006 18:10:05 BST
Subject: Site of Gaiety Theatre

Great site. Very informative. Just one small point, which I hope you will take constructively; the references you have to "City Bank" in relation to the building that subsequently occupied the site of the old Gaiety Theatre should, in fact, be to "Citibank" which is its correct name and spelling. Otherwise, as I said, above, great site.


Date: Mon 08 May 2006 09:02:06 BST

This was very disappointing. I could not read what was said, because the graphics got in the way. What is the point.

Dear Kay, I'm sorry that your experience with the
Windmill Theatre part of my site was so disappointing. This was done some
time ago and is the only part of the site that has background images. You
are the first person to mention a problem however. I do understand how
annoying it can be though. If you print out the pages and make sure that you
have 'print background images' turned off in your browser print settings you
may be able to read the content better. I do hope this helps. Regards, Matthew Lloyd.

Name: Matthew Lloyd
Date: Thu 04 May 2006 23:29:31 BST
Subject: Welcome to the new Guestbook

Hello and thank you for visiting the new Guestbook. If you would like to see the entries in the old Guestbook please click the View the Old Guestbook link on the Contacts page.

Previous Guestbook - Dating from 2003 to 2006

Date: 26.04.2006 at 12:22:28

Name: Bernard A. Fuller

Message Contents: A very interesting site! Keep up the good work. A lot of information is given on the sit. I will definitely visit it again.


Date: 15.04.2006 at 21:43:35

Name: Alan Atkins

Message Contents: Excellent website. Most helpful for my research on Rudyard Kipling and his poetry of the 1890s. Many thanks.


Date: 13.04.2006 at 12:53:21

Name: James H J Roberts

Message Contents: I saw my very first superstar at the Queen's Theatre Poplar, the wonderful Dorothy Squires with Billy Reid at the piano,also Jane of the Daily Mirror with her little dog Fritz,my first view of a nude lady at 14...happy days


Date: 11.04.2006 at 02:45:03

Name: nedret

Message Contents: thank you for everything


Date: 30.03.2006 at 21:13:54

Name: Mgbada Joe

Message Contents: What a great website, a rich resource and beautifully put together.


Date: 20.03.2006 at 20:18:22

Name: Richard Hope-Hawkins

Message Contents: Don helped me get my irst job as Pantomime Company Manager! what a superb site,l would love to hear from Don.


Date: 19.03.2006 at 18:43:01

Name: Steve Hooley

Message Contents: Great site Can you help me please - my maternal grandad was called William Summerfield and I am told that he was the leader of the orchestra that played at Dewsbury Empire in or around the 1930's. I am trying to put a bit of a history together and I would appreciate any information relating to the above gentleman. Thanks in anticipation Stephen Summerfield Hooley


Date: 12.03.2006 at 15:16:08

Name: Karen Gee

Message Contents: A great site - thank you. My great grandfather Harry Wincott was a music hall songwriter and your site managed to bring the music hall to life for me. It also made me realise that I should do more work on my own site to get it to a more acceptable standard!


Date: 10.03.2006 at 02:12:38

Name: Jo Walker

Message Contents: Hey there! The site is looking great mate. See you tomorrow.


Date: 04.03.2006 at 18:51:17

Name: Francoise GATTI

Message Contents: We are the Gatti Family and we make musicals in Corsica and in Paris ... Hello ... FrancoiseGatti


Date: 21.02.2006 at 16:26:21

Name: Sammy

Message Contents: I love ur site


Date: 21.02.2006 at 16:26:30

Name: Davina Denton



Date: 14.02.2006 at 21:48:33

Name: Brian Matthews

Message Contents: I was very interested in reading your site. I was born in 1938, at 6 Mary Terrace, which was the passage at the side of the Bedford Theatre.


Date: 12.02.2006 at 02:39:32

Name: tom hendricks

Message Contents: I really enjoyed your website. Just saw a Mat. showing of "Mrs. Henderson Presents" and the info you have on The Windmill Theatre was just what I was hoping to find. Thank you so much for a really fascinating insight to The Windmill. I live in the United States and love your beautiful country. Thanks again. Tom


Date: 06.02.2006 at 21:23:05

Name: Tamara Eve Seidman

Message Contents: I love your site. I found it after researching The Windmill Theatre, the history of which intrigued me after I saw the film, "Mrs. Henderson Presents."


Date: 31.01.2006 at 17:49:29

Name: Brian

Message Contents: Just to say how much I enjoy the site. I didn't know anything about Arthur before, but thanks to your site I now know a great deal. It has also filled out my knowledge of music hall considerably. Keep up the excellent work.


Date: 24.01.2006 at 06:08:18

Name: annie rule

Message Contents: Lovely work and a genuine thrill to discover this web site! Hope it is still going strong (January 2006). I actually did my Honours paper on London music hall - and after recently completing a Phd on another theme am now going back to this great love of mine to write a journal article. Had a copy of a photo of Dan Leno on my wall throughout the Phd period - gave me courage to keep going!! Thank you again for your hard work here, really appreciated. I will be sure to mention this site in my journal article. Best wishes from Annie Rule


Date: 12.01.2006 at 14:43:22

Name: Ted Bottle

Message Contents: This is a wonderful site and long overdue. Donald Auty's experiences add a raft of valuable information, rarely obtainable from books, and which will be hugely important to future theatre historians. The origins of music hall are well documented yet the information is mainly about London. There was a flourishing provincial circuit of early music halls too but these have not been investigated to any extent. While researching for my book, "Coventry's Forgotten Theatre" (Badger Press) - which is largely about the Theatre Royal and Empire (1819 - 1895), as well as the Victorian provincial theatre in general, I included the history of the city's three pub music halls from around 1870, together with some of the visiting artists including the then unknown Vesta Tilley. Although they all closed before the first proper variety theatre opened, these pub music halls were an important part of the entertainment equation yet Coventry is only known for the Hippodrome which came much later. The Coventry scene was replicated everywhere else yet because so little has been published we have a somewhat distorted picture. (Ted Bottle)


Date: 07.01.2006 at 04:37:51

Name: grant loyd

Message Contents: i am the grandson of arthur henry lloyd born 1896 in birmingham and am searching for his father's name who died of tuberculosis while henry was 4 or 5. thanks. grant.


Date: 04.01.2006 at 08:14:26

Name: charles lilley

Message Contents: great reading,came to this site looking for penton place in south london,which was a site of a famous music hall.good luck and best wishes for 2006 from new zealand,chas.


Date: 17.12.2005 at 23:08:42

Name: lee

Message Contents: just a correction.this site tells how the amazing water spectacle at blackpool tower stopped after first leisure refused to come up with the money to have filters cleaned.this is not the case.the Backpool tower circus has never missed a season since it opened in 1894,and the circus has never once been without its spectacualr ending,in all those this very day,it still forms the great finale to this most famous circus.


Date: 16.12.2005 at 19:16:45

Name: Nicholas Davey

Message Contents: Wonderful site, found the Theatre in Elephant and Castle that family legend says my Great Grand father and his bros walked the boards


Date: 23.11.2005 at 23:11:58

Name: Ernie Glover

Message Contents: Fascinated by your site. I am the great-great-grandson of Edmund Glover, and the great-grandson of William Glover. Both owned the Glasgow Theatre Royal.


Date: 21.10.2005 at 20:15:23

Name: Duggie Chapman

Message Contents: Congratulations Matthew on a wonderful website. Some happy memories for me starting as a performer aged 18 at the Collins Music Hall, and the Met Edgware Rd. This year I am celebrating 50 years in showbusiness and for 30 years have been presenting Variety and Music Hall without a break. Who say's VARIETY is DEAD. I would like to re produce some of these articles in book form to widen the interest of Music Hall to our current day audiences. It is a wonderful find, please keep it going. Kind Wishes Duggie Chapman,


Date: 21.10.2005 at 13:53:12

Name: Will Fyffe Jr

Message Contents: What a wonderful collection. I shall enjoy a more thorough read when I have a moment. I feel guilty for not doing a website for my dad, though I have written a musical about him! Congratulations, Will PS Steve Barclay brought your site to my attention.


Date: 21.10.2005 at 12:10:00

Name: steve barclay

Message Contents: What a great site .. I have an intrest in Music Hall in that I am a music hall performer of the present, see Your site is so well documented, I will keep an eye out for a recording of Mr Lloyd. I have even appeared at some of the Theatres you mention!


Date: 07.10.2005 at 18:06:21

Name: gordon mr cooper

Message Contents: I could never criticise this site ,as it brought back some very happy memories for me as I used to go the one of the Leeds theatres at least once a week ,I have seen some great artists at these theatres and my world fell apart when the Leeds Empire was demolished as I spent many happy hours in my younger days going to the old Empire ,Keep up the good work and may we see variety back one day .But I dont think I shall see it as I am 73 but who knows . Gordon Cooper


Date: 27.09.2005 at 12:44:07

Name: john connell

Message Contents: Gosh I wish my late Mum had seen your site. My 'lineage' is variety through and through. Mum was a singer multi novelty instrumentalist (musical saw, mini concertinas etc) My dad was a comic. their double act (mainly in Scotland) was Harper and Roze. My grandad was a comic, grandma a singer. great grandparents in early carl rosa opera. My parents moved from galsgow to Blackpool in 1960 as Mum (now a solo act... Marie Ford) had a summer season at the north pier. I spent the majority of my childhood in dressing rooms at most Blackpool venues, watching the last gasps of variety before it sucumbed to the rise of the'clubs'. I finished up as a professional opera singer (basso) mainly down at ENO (the lovely coliseum theater)and the ROH covent garden) Both the above getting fabulous restoration jobs I'm delighted to say. Sadly after a 20 year career singing around the world I had a bad stroke which forced me to retire at the young age of 43 in 1999. Anyway, I've really enjoyed looking at yor site, thanks! regards John connell


Date: 09.09.2005 at 23:25:40

Name: Tony Hardman

Message Contents: Pls send my kindest regards to Donald would you and tell him that l was asking about him my web site is www of course pls let him have it l am also doing some work for the new owner of twisters which is the old Theatre Royal bulbt in 1889 firstly as the town hall for bournemouth and then a theatre it was used during the last war as a service base and in 1959 renamed the NEW THEATRE ROYAL it is now back as live venue. pls ask don to contact me congratulations tony


Date: 19.08.2005 at 17:34:48

Name: Anne Trembley

Message Contents: Beautifully illustrated and researched site! A GREAT READ, lots of helpful bits of information. Makes me miss the days of my childhood when Melodrama was still performed on the very Last river paddlewheel steamer on the Mississippi in St Louis.


Date: 13.08.2005 at 23:21:40

Name: Stanley Gibbons

Message Contents: Most interesting site and thank you for your efforts.I am interested in topography of London but Music Halls/theatres so much a part. I would like to download your picture of Wych Street as i have quite a few pictures/prints now and am beginning, for my own amusement, tobuild up a picture of the area before 1900 development. good luck..........Stan


Date: 31.07.2005 at 16:59:37

Name: Peter Honri

Message Contents: Delighted to find your web site would love to make contact as my latest book 'Lion Comique' will be published in October 2005! Your Grandfather features a lot together with MacDermott and George Leybourne etc!!! Please contact me through my Son in Law - e-mail adress supplied.


Date: 31.07.2005 at 12:24:49

Name: Mary McAllister-Rees

Message Contents: What a fascinating site. I came across it when I was trying to find out who the sand dancers were. I used to see such acts as this when visiting the Empire Theatre in Newcastle as a girl. Other gems were Sid Fields, Old Mother Rayleigh and her daughter Kittie, Cyril Fletcher. etc., etc. A true feast - though I probably didn't appreciate it at the time. I have only dipped into your site so far but look forward to exploring it further. Thank you.


Date: 27.07.2005 at 22:30:20

Name: Gloria Miles

Message Contents: I have just seen the article on your site about The Talk Of The Town theatre restaurant with a complete run-down on the opening Programme. I was a young dancer in this show and there I am in the Programme. I would dearly love to obtain a copy - does anyone have one to sell? Many thanks for giving me the chance to see it.


Date: 27.07.2005 at 13:25:35

Name: dav brook

Message Contents: cool


Date: 03.07.2005 at 02:05:54

Name: Trish Lewis

Message Contents: Amazing homeage to your ancestor, and to a special performer outright. Many thanks for sharing with all of us! Trish from Fargo, North Dakota (USA) -


Date: 26.06.2005 at 18:46:27

Name: Beryl Beattie

Message Contents: A magnificent site. Loved the revolving prgrammes. Fascinating, reading all the comments, realising Music Hall still lives, if only in treasured memories.


Date: 20.06.2005 at 23:45:42

Name: clive

Message Contents: thanks to your web site people no longer think i am telling stories when i talk of the lavish putney hipperdome that i found as a young lad in the 70s and gained access through a loose sheet of corrugated iron to find a wonderfull glimpse into a past sadly now long lost .i will allways remember all fabrics and carvings even in their shabby neglected states .so thanks for a look back in time yours clive.


Date: 20.06.2005 at 16:15:57

Name: Lesley Elson

Message Contents: Thank you for the lovely picture of Edmund Payne who is my great grandfather. I love looking at pictures of him because my father is the spitting image.


Date: 04.05.2005 at 20:06:16

Name: James Roberts

Message Contents: Take great care of this very important historical website, it may well be the only one of its kind. Jim


Date: 25.04.2005 at 06:30:06

Name: john busbridge

Message Contents: Found your site while doing a nostalgia trip round my old haunts. I used to frequent both the New Cross Empire, my school was opposite and the broadway theatre, happy days, knocking them down is not my idea of progress. The site is superb and I shall return often, kind regards John.


Date: 15.04.2005 at 17:08:55

Name: alan rebbeck

Message Contents: Sorry I can't remember if I have already entered my name into your guest book. Just in case I haven't I want to congratulate you on a wonderful web site. Please keep up the good work, and ignore the ignoramis!!Thankyou Alan Rebbeck


Date: 12.04.2005 at 18:46:12

Name: Martin Verdrager

Message Contents: I just found your site today as curiosity about Music Hall in general, table entertainment specifically and a question by a friend about the song "I've got a loverly Bunch of Coconuts" ( I think it's from music hall sources), got the best of me. I Iook forward to exploring it. On the page for Charles Morton, the caricature has no attribution, but looks like one that might have appeared in Vanity Fair. Can you name the source? Thank you, ML Verdrager


Date: 10.04.2005 at 20:45:44

Name: alan rebbeck

Message Contents: This is an excellent site.My friend a great theatre person introduced me to it.I have only just begun. I have already forwarded you to three friends in NYC who are Frank Matcham fans. I'm of course interested in The Royal Artillery Theatre,Woolwich.The Woolwich Empire and The New Cross Empire. All 3 have long gone.But once again thank you for an excellent site. Sincerely Alan Rebbeck


Date: 05.04.2005 at 15:20:13

Name: Randy Stark

Message Contents: You purchased a book from me and referred me to the London Bridge section of this site. It's taken me a while to get to it but I'm glad I did. Great history, very enjoyable format. I have passed it on to some friends. Keep up the great work. Warm regards, Randy Stark


Date: 21.03.2005 at 01:30:26

Name: Robert Connolly

Message Contents: Thank you for the site. I think it is excellent. If any of you could help me with a project I am struggling with namely Music Hall Birmingham 1850-1900 I would appreciate any knowledge you may wish to share. Contemperary accounts are diffficult to trace. Licencing regulation and censorship were arguments strongly appossed by the then burgeoning populations If any of you have further info on the Music Hall scene in Birmingham UK circa 1850-1900 in particular personal accounts and thoughts I would appreciate your contact. Best wishes RobC


Date: 20.03.2005 at 01:51:07

Name: michael Daniels

Message Contents: I am the son of "Charles Ray" (Charles Daniels) Tenor Singer with George Thompsons "Comedy Concoctions" from the late 20's to 1939, when he became 2nd lieut C.W.Daniels R.A.S.C. Still singing whenever duties allowed until he was killed in 1943, I have much memorabilia of those concert party day's and fond memories of all the after performance parties. anyone remember amogst many others"Swannee""Squirrel" "Stan" "Vi""and Charles great pal and wonderful pianist "Syd Challis"George Thompson promoter/stage manager/agent boot and shoe repairer as well in Leytonstone High st, (with Parrot)all fondly rememberd


Date: 05.03.2005 at 02:27:50

Name: Les Osman

Message Contents: Hello,discovered this site tonight and have been fascinated.Shame I could not find out anything about Croydon Empire but never mind.I have just retired from working as House Manager at a Matcham Theatre,The Everyman in Cheltenham.Opened in 1891 and still going strong.I shall be back for another look!Congratulations on the site.C'est magnifique.


Date: 01.03.2005 at 22:41:54

Name: Gerry Thurgut

Message Contents: What a wonderful web site. I am an avid collector of biographies, sheet music, memorabilia and all things music hall.I would be happy to discuss further Thank you Gerry


Date: 21.02.2005 at 10:01:08

Name: Philip Yates

Message Contents: While in the John Lewis department store at Cribbs Causeay near Bristol, I was caught by an old photo (which I love). There was a photograph of Piccadilly Circus, with crowds on the pavements. The LP is shown in the background and it was then showing Any Old Thing. I determined to find out when the photo was taken and your website quickly enabled me to fix it, approximately. There were uniformed soldiers in the crowds and the dress was "Edwardian", so they must have been waiting for a military parade to pass by. Thanks!


Date: 20.02.2005 at 11:07:33

Name: James Roberts

Message Contents: A wonderful site,great photo's of the Queens Theatre Poplar,saw my first superstar there in the early 40s,DOROTHY SQUIRES and Billy Read at the piano, also my first nude, JANE of the Daily Mirror. mant thanks for the memory. Jim


Date: 19.02.2005 at 09:47:03

Name: R H Scott-Spencer

Message Contents: I worked as a freelance and relief projectionist and stage crew. I have been writting my working life and learnt a lot about the places I worked in from this site.


Date: 10.02.2005 at 20:15:36

Name: Stella Pratt

Message Contents: What a superb site! Beautifully presented and informative. I'm an undergrad student at Glasgow University, doing a Eng Lit project on the critical reception and stage adaptations of Wilkie Collins's 1860s novel Armadale. It is tremendously exciting to see contemporary Globe programs and actual photographs of the street and theatre where adaptations were performed. Thank heavens that these artefacts came to someone who so generously gives people the opportunity of seeing them. It is an invaluable collection and a delight. I'll certainly be back. Thank you again!


Date: 20.01.2005 at 19:15:21

Name: Bob Bain

Message Contents: Still the best Music Hall web site on the net. Keep up the excellent work. Bob Bain


Date: 05.01.2005 at 17:41:13

Name: Angie

Message Contents: Found your great site whilst researching Carlo Gatti. for those who maybe interested originally came from Ticino (Switz.) He was instrumental in selling the first penny ice cream to the masses, introducing the UK to the first Cafe society and much more. After attending an london walk which included a visit to the Hungerford Music Hall a few years ago, I do know that there are large archives about the Ticinese immigrants who worked for his little empire, I believe still located at the British Museum. May find some of the programmes listings there plus Carlo Gatti is also featured on the canal museum website based in Kings Cross. Anyway, thanks for introducing me to even more info about the music halls in London. Truly fascinating - can almost hear the announcements on stage during the break - 'getcha penny ice creams in the foyer!' Keep up the excellent work.


Date: 30.12.2004 at 06:04:45

Name: bill oleary

Message Contents: thank you mr.Lloyd for a very interesting lookback into the history of the theatre. I appreciate the time you have taken; for this website to be avalable;many thanks. bill oleary.


Date: 24.11.2004 at 13:37:48

Name: James

Message Contents: Did you know that Dame Judi Dench is Laurua Henderson in a new movie currently being made at Shepperton Studios 'Mrs Henderson Presents'. This covers the period from 1930's - 1940's and recreates some of the musical revues and tableaux. The movie should be released in Autumn/Winter 2005.


Date: 22.11.2004 at 20:11:31

Name: Chrissie LeFranc

Message Contents: Interesting site, enjoyed visiting it. Am looking for my grandfather Frederick LeFranc (also known as Robert Franks, music hall performer around 1890 - 1920, Collins Music Hall, Islington being where he regularly performed. Can you help re my tracing this music hall and artistes ? Would much appreciate any info. Chrissie LeFranc


Date: 07.11.2004 at 15:42:33

Name: John Allen

Message Contents: I've spent hours enthalled in your website. It's very interesting.I've been seaching the music halls because my Great Grandfather and his father were actors/comedians on the london stage & lived in Southwark. Maybe the played in the Surrey Theatre at St.Georges Circus?. There names were Thomas Taylor Allen and Thomas Allen. Maybe one day I'll find there names on a billboard? "It's a great site", Kind regards John Allen


Date: 30.10.2004 at 17:22:53

Name: Sue Barbour

Message Contents: Happened to put my father's name in Search and your page came up re. The Adam Faith Show in Bridlington. My parents are Jean & Peter Barbour. I was in Bridlington for the school holidays and had a great time. The following year we were all in Margate. Great website. I am emailing details to my daughter who is the manager of business operations at a theatre in Portland, Oregon, USA. Jean & Peter now have two great grand-children - hopefully one or all will be in show biz This site brought back loads of memories - Thanks. Sue


Date: 24.10.2004 at 16:24:12

Name: Robert Thomson

Message Contents: Thanks for such a good website. I found a picture of my father Ken Thomson in The Talk of the Town 1958 brochure which was very nice as he passed away in 2002. Another close friend Burt Rohdes Musical Directot also passed away last year. Although the picture in the brochure spells his Name with a "P" I would like to get hold of a copy. When I print of the internet I seem only to cut his picture in half. Would it be possible to send it to me in a different format? If you wish to know anything to do with The Talk of the Town we are still in contact with a few of the "remaining" people. Many Thanks agian Robert Thomson R


Date: 21.10.2004 at 16:25:50

Name: Rosemary St.Leger-May

Message Contents: Sorry, reference to my earlier signing of your Guest Book - I should have mentioned that The Surrey Theatre is the one in Blackfriars Road, Lamberth, London. Apologies for not stating this earlier.


Date: 21.10.2004 at 11:15:09

Name: Rosemary St.Leger-May

Message Contents: Fascinating site. I was especially interested in the Surrey Threatre as my husband's great grandfather. George Phillips was the Musical Director/Leader of the Orchestra there during the 1870s/1880s. He knew George Conquest well and also Sir Arthur Sullivan who had played the Flute in the Orchestra there (this was prior to 1870s/1880s, I believe). My husband's grandmother often spoke of the times when Arthur Sullivan visited their home in Balham. George Phillips' music scores are still in the ownership of our family.


Date: 21.10.2004 at 11:16:29

Name: Phil Green

Message Contents: I am writing a memoir of my life pre-war. can remember going to The London Music Hall in the twenties and was thrilled to discover your site which mentions it . Unfortunately there are no details on the link you have provided ,only news of the Standard Theatre in the same area.Can you elucidate? I would be most grateful. Incidentally, one of the artists who appeared at The London was the 'lugubrious' comedian, Sam Mayo,and for some reason or other he has remained clearly in my memory from those far off days. A further memory. My mother and I sat in the gallery - Cost? FOURPENCE (2p)each! Phil Green


Date: 14.10.2004 at 11:46:10

Name: Steve Hull

Message Contents: I would very much like to hear from anyone who might be able to confirm if George Sweetser (a roller-skating female impersonator) or if a Mr Conway and a Mr Stewart (possibly a comedy double-act)ever appeared at Collins Music Hall, probably during the years late 1890s to c1905. Many thanks in advance for any help you can offer.


Date: 13.10.2004 at 01:10:00

Name: Anthony H King

Message Contents: It may be of interest to you to know that my wife is related to the Poole family, and we have the silver trowel used to lay the foundation stone of the S. London Music Hall in 1892 by Mrs. I.I.Poole.


Date: 12.10.2004 at 00:01:52

Name: Gill Price

Message Contents: DOLLY HARMER - message on this guestbook for 14.01.04. Will Marie or Paula Caron or Stephen Whitehead contact me at the above address please as the e-mail address you left is not now valid. I have important information on Dolly Harmer to share.


Date: 01.10.2004 at 14:56:24

Name: Tony Flynn

Message Contents: Just visited your site,really interesting.Iwas interested in the poster for the Salford Palace,Cross Lane,Salford.Ihave just written a book entitled"cross Lane",which gives the historys of both the Salford Palace and Salford Hippodrome with brief mentions of some of the "turns" who appeared there.Has any one anything on a comedy artiste called"Witty Watty Walton",who appeared on the opening night at Salford Hippodrome in 1904.Best wishes Tony Flynn.


Date: 26.08.2004 at 14:11:43

Name: Anne Jeffery

Message Contents: Hi Matthew. Great site. I've "stolen" lots of information from your timeline thank you. I'm a canal/Industrial Revolution historian with a site that has a timeline of its own. I've taken the liberty of putting a mention of your site on my links page. Hope that's OK. Like you I'm a real human being and fund my site myself. Good luck with yours. Cheers Anne J


Date: 24.08.2004 at 02:08:03

Name: Ted Dann

Message Contents: Congratulations on a nice site I have not fully explored it as yet,one correction on the Hippodrome Putney, I was a Projectionist here for a number of years, and knew it had been owned by the three leading Circuits in turn over a period, but when I joined it in 1942, it was an ODEON then, it had two of the brightest lit amber clocks on each side of the auditorium I have ever seen. Cheers! Ted.


Date: 03.08.2004 at 17:27:56

Name: Ted Williamson

Message Contents: Why has it taken me so long to find your invaluable site? My Blackpool training has helped me survive many years in theatre and television. I recall, vividly, so many of the people and places you mention. Thanks. TW.


Date: 26.07.2004 at 12:46:38

Name: chris watkins

Message Contents: Brilliant, interesting site. I was looking for the "Olympic" Theatre(which previous sources had led me astray by calling the "Olympia" ). Yours was the site that answered my queries. Now i've gone off on an inevitable tangent from my original research studies 7 got interested in the rest of your stuff. One question (which you've probably already answered on-site; can I still get a copy of the actual book "Lost Theatres of 19th century London"? None of our (UK) libraries seem to have it. Many thanks.


Date: 04.07.2004 at 23:32:26

Name: marian

Message Contents: i dont know if you can help me at all, but i saw your website with camberwell halls and entertainment and i thought i would send you an email. I am doing my family tree and have come across a relative in the 1901 census, whose occupation is down as an "actor professional". He is called William Allan Brown (i know he couldve used another name) he was 28. have you any ideas where i could look to try and find any more information about him any help would be appriciated thanks marian


Date: 03.07.2004 at 13:38:49

Name: ray cornell

Message Contents: Viewed your site today,for the first time.Thanks to don auty for the great tour around the blackpool thatres.


Date: 23.05.2004 at 01:02:51

Name: Georgina

Message Contents: I found your website very interesting, especially seeing a picture of my grandfather, Robert George Lloyd. Thank you for the insight into my ancestors...


Date: 06.05.2004 at 23:44:32

Name: Humphry

Message Contents: Congratulations on a fascinating site - my visit has left me humming "encore one polka"! It really is well-organised; it's quite piquant to see a bit of music hall history turned into a website.


Date: 06.04.2004 at 22:26:32

Name: Ralph Miller

Message Contents: Great site,full of great information about the London Pavillion where I worked as a projectionist from 1957 until 1962,Dr No,Tom Jones,Never on a Sunday,The Great Dictator and many many more great films are part of my memory.Just wish I could contact old workmates who were there at that time.


Date: 05.04.2004 at 11:38:31

Name: Nikky

Message Contents: Very delighted to see references to the Windmill Theatre on your site. Any chance of a few stills from the shows - there used to be an illustrated Souvenir Brochure Programme available, but I had to get rid of the ones I had. Also there was a very interesting one for Rip-Off, which in my view was most certainly not!!! Thanks.


Date: 30.03.2004 at 13:11:54

Name: Alan Cobb

Message Contents: A fantastic site. I lived in the fish shop just along from the Queens Theatre in Poplar High Street, I have never seen that pic before, I remember it after the war when a third of it had been bombed.Congratulations on a very informative site.


Date: 25.03.2004 at 10:40:56

Name: Dr Robin Stephenson

Message Contents: Hi I came across this excellent website while I was searching for Wilson Kepple and Betty. Still looking but was fascinated to read this one on the old music halls. I recall the open theatres in the London parks too. Oh, and just one point; you would have to go back some time to hear 'God Save the Queen'. In the forties, and for half a century, it had been 'God Save the King'. Kind regards. ....Robin


Date: 14.03.2004 at 21:15:29

Name: Patty V.

Message Contents: I found all this information very helpful in my research on several lost London theatres.


Date: 08.03.2004 at 23:39:26

Name: Jim Atkinson

Message Contents: Found your site because of my interest in the cemetry Echobank aka Newington. My great grandfather William Mitchell Forrester was Superintendent at the cemetery for 24 years until he died there in 1907.He lived there on the grounds at Echobank Lodge. Don't know if he is buried there or not?


Date: 02.03.2004 at 14:50:27

Name: guy heselden

Message Contents: I used to work at the Hippodrome while it was owned by Peter Stringfellow, had some really good times then. I have really enjoyed viewing your web site, I used to enjoy exploring around the building and coming across odd bits of history from time to time...........


Date: 28.02.2004 at 19:28:50

Name: Denny Holloway

Message Contents: Unbelievable! Have just re-lived a bit of my past. Arthur Holloway of the South London Palace may have been an ancestor of mine. My first week in variety was at Newcastle Palace. What wonderful days they must have been in Arthur's time.


Date: 29.02.2004 at 19:47:34

Name: Bob Bain

Message Contents: Wow !! it gets bigger and better every time. You are putting us all to shame. Keep up the excellent work. Bob Bain


Date: 12.02.2004 at 10:29:12


Message Contents: Wonderful website; always full of interesting archive material written with a passion for the theatre. The Don Auty items always eagerly awaited!


Date: 10.02.2004 at 12:25:52

Name: Pam Hayward

Message Contents: Very interesing site. I have a photo of Eugene Stratton's minstrels on stage - anyone interested?


Date: 14.01.2004 at 20:40:54

Name: marie and paula caron

Message Contents: we are looking for an our relative from the 1800,s we dont know if its just a stage name or not Dolly Harmer caron and a possible relation wee georgie wood possibly related to each other or just a double act it would be lovely to find out


Date: 14.01.2004 at 11:41:46

Name: maria smith

Message Contents: i am the god daughter of a man whose grandfather was edmund payne,an actor in musicals at the gaiety theatre 1865-1914.i'm trying to contact barbara choddy,who also has an interest in edmund.anyone with any info please e-mail me.thanks.


Date: 11.11.2003 at 14:12:35

Name: Jean Greenberg

Message Contents: After following a link to the wonderful article on Blackpool, I've enjoyed exploring the excellent information on this site. I spent many happy hours in the theatres of Glasgow and Blackpool (especially in the 1950s)and enjoyed the talents of many of the artistes described here. Sincere thanks.


Date: 06.11.2003 at 18:47:43

Name: Michael Lloyd-Davies

Message Contents: My family were involved in early recording and in show business in Blackpool in the war years. I found your web site most interesting.I want to publish my search for family history but have a lot more work to do.Fantastic this web linking isn't it? Best wishes. Mike born Michael Batten (mothers name Schultz)


Date: 06.11.2003 at 18:40:57

Name: simon dye

Message Contents: Hello fantastic site, very informative. I'm a university student researching all things Windmill. Does anyone out there know any of the Windmill girls from the 40's or 50's? Any infomation anyone could give me would be very gratefully recieved. Thanks for your time byeee.


Date: 03.11.2003 at 12:50:37

Name: Frances Anderson

Message Contents: Congratulations it is a beautifully presented site. From your Australian cousin


Date: 29.10.2003 at 23:48:23

Name: Shirley M

Message Contents: Congratulation on a wonderful site. enjoyed it very much We are interested in the music hall as my husbands great grandfather James Baker Husk was a chairman and a bass singer in Dr Johnsons tavern.Cider Cellars.Royal Music Hall and The Oxford His death was reported in the E.R.A.he died in 1879 Will certainly visit again


Date: 27.10.2003 at 15:18:08

Name: Julian Morris

Message Contents: What a great website, a rich resource and beautifully put together.


Date: 09.10.2003 at 02:39:24

Name: Val Newton

Message Contents: Country: U.K. Posted on Original GuestBook: Date: Sun Sep 14 20:19:04 2003 Comment: Lovely to find some details and pictures from old Windmill Theatre days - would love to see more, and especially from the Souvenir publications. Also would like to see similar from the Raymond Revuebar 30-45 years ago.


Date: 09.10.2003 at 02:38:35

Name: Dorothy O'Conner

Message Contents: Country: england Posted on original GuestBook: Date: Wed Aug 20 19:07:50 2003 Comment: it was really exciting to find the Arthur Lloyd website - has anyone more information on Arthur's brother Richard William Delarne Lloyd - Richard's obituary in the Era was very informative but it would be helpful to know more about him


Date: 09.10.2003 at 02:37:34

Name: Lyndon Bournon

Message Contents: Country: Canada Posted on original GuestBook: Date: Mon Aug 11 16:32:45 2003 Comment: I found your website via Google. My grandfather,the late Gaetan bournon, managed the Hippodrome in the early 30s, so I'm interested in any info. I don't think my father has much.


Date: 09.10.2003 at 02:36:33

Name: Trevor Chepstow

Message Contents: Country: Brighton UK Posted on original GuestBook: Date: Tue Jul 8 16:14:34 2003 Comment: Dear Sir As historian for the Sports Stadium Brighton Archive I was delighted to find your site and the wonderful memories of the Theatres of Brighton. Great work and super shots of yesteryear in Brighton.


Date: 09.10.2003 at 02:35:36

Name: Bob Bain

Message Contents: Country: uk Posted on original GuestBook: Date: Tue Jul 1 17:06:05 2003 Comment: MUST BE THE BEST MUSIC HALL WEB PAGE ON THE INTERNET. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.


Date: 09.10.2003 at 02:34:49

Name: Peter Robbins

Message Contents: Country: England Posted on original GuestBook: Date: Thu Jun 12 21:09:12 2003 Comment: What a wonderfull site, Nice to see that The Music Hall has not been forgoton.


Date: 09.10.2003 at 02:33:47

Name: Hugo Van Der Molen

Message Contents: Country: The Netherlands Posted on original GuestBook: Date: Tue Jun 10 11:53:28 2003 Comment: On my website I have depicted a historic share with the Victoria palace Ltd. depicted. I would like to put the photo of the palace also on my site, as depicted on your site. Would you please be so kind to send me a JPG-file of this photo ? I have made some use of your historic descriptions as well, rferring to the specific URL. best regards, Gugo van der Molen


Date: 09.10.2003 at 02:31:59

Name: Marty Galowitze

Message Contents: Comment: Posted on original GuestBook: Sat Mar 29 17:32:54 2003 Wonderful site. I will return often. Thanks from Indiana, USA.


Date: 09.10.2003 at 02:31:05

Name: David Fairhurst

Message Contents: Comment: Posted on original GuestBook: Thu Mar 27 11:58:17 2003 I enjoyed browsing you site very much. I would like to use some of your images to illustrate talks that I give on music of the Victorian age. I also perform pon stage comic and character songs. Thank you once again for such and informative and entertaining site. I live in Stratford upon Avon.


Date: 09.10.2003 at 02:30:16

Name: Bob Trimmer

Message Contents: Comment: Posted on original GuestBook: Sun Mar 23 14:57:16 2003 I'm a fan of Victorian Music Hall particularly George Leybourne so appreciate all the work you've put into the site.


Date: 09.10.2003 at 02:29:35

Name: Susan Bancroft

Message Contents: Comment: Posted on original GuestBook: Wed Mar 12 11:11:36 2003 Well done on your research! I'm trying to trace the actor Charles Stone (1853-1939), so I know what a challenge this was for you.


Date: 09.10.2003 at 02:28:47

Name: Peter Charlton

Message Contents: Comment: Posted on original GuestBook - Tue Mar 4 03:30:12 2003 Well done Matthew, the site gets better and better every time I take a look. Arthur must be feeling very proud. Congratulations on finding his grave, though disappointing not to have a head stone. I tramped around Newington, with an Edinburgh friend, some years ago but never managed to find anything.