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Geoff Pritchard (@geoffrey.pritchard@btopenworld.com)
Date:Wed 11 Oct 2017 11:42:27 BST
Subject:Empire Theatre Bristol

My memory of the Empire is from 1 January 1960, in its period as the BBC Theatre. My sister's singing teacher had put her and another pupil forward to Mollie Austin, who was a producer of children's programmes, for an audition for a young singers' programme.
My parents, sister and myself, aged 11 arrived at the theatre to wait. I remembered the rather battered stage door on Carey's Lane and the engraved stone dated 1893. The building had a rather sad, neglected air and I remember noticing that the chrome had worn off the taps. Our stay was enlivened by the conversation with the stage doorman who was a BBC employee. He regaled us with stories of radio personalities including one about 'Uncle Mac' when during the War a Home Guard rifle was accidentally fired in the floor below and the bullet lodged itself in the underside of his chair. We were told that a somewhat less than avuncular Uncle Mac came out of the room.
Following the audition my father and I looked from the wings into the Stygian gloom of the auditorium. Perhaps this led, unconsciously, to my fascination in these wonderful buildings, those which exist and those which live on in peoples' memories and superb research vehicles such as your site.


Susan Dorey (subscriber@susandoreydesigns.com)
Date:Tue 01 Aug 2017 02:09:41 BST
Subject:Bignell's Argyll Rooms


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


Roger Edwards (roger.e@blueyonder.co.uk)
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


Thomas and Loretta Klugh (klught@nyc.rr.com)
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


Maureen Emerson (chapterandverse4@talktalk.net)
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.


Matthew Lloyd (answer@arthurlloyd.co.uk)
Date:Fri 26 May 2017 09:05:36 BST

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!


Ken Claydon (ken@claydon.net)
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!


Paul Chapman (Chapmanpa@yahoo.co.uk)
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.


jan finnis (janmaa46@gmail.com)
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


Pat Dowling (@pdowling@telus.net)
Date:Mon 27 Feb 2017 01:29:28 GMT

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.


Bob Lord (robertlord123@btinternet.com)
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??


Martin Titley (martin.titley@westec.me.uk)
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!


Sherry Gorman-Rickard (S.G 42@gorman.com)
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


Bryony Mitchell (qbryony@lineone.net)
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 :-)


Dave Puller (d.puller@ntlworld.com)
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.


Kevin Brandwood (k.brandwood@ntlworld.com)
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.


Maureen Emerson (chapterandverse4@talktalk.net)
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 ...


Tom Smith (smithandjones@hotmail.com)
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


Christopher Travers (cgtravers1@gmail.com)
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


David Bale (davidbale1944@gmail.com)
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.


Maureen wallis (Maureenwallis@hotmail.com@)
Date:Sat 25 Jun 2016 18:16:10 BST
Subject:The windmill

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


Paul Vincent (pv@eclipse.co.uk)
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”


Derek Byrne (derekbyrne12@aol.com)
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.


Beverley McGrath (nee Ward) (bevmcg1@googlemail.com)
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


Lesley Booth-Casey (jjllcasey@aol.com)
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 :-)


Ray Saxton (rayofelkesley@yahoo.co.uk)
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.


Andrew Kaye (kaye.pr@btinternet.com)
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.


Sandra Soli, nee Tonks (sandrasoli@att.net)
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.


Jeff Barron (jeff.barron@talk21.com)
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.


Colin Chamberlain (Chambher@aol.co)
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)


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