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Archive for the month “February, 2016”

Website Updates

The following additions have just been made to the website:

In EVENTS there is now a page called Restoration Fund which gives information on graves that have been restored by the society in recent years.

Also in EVENTS there is a section called Associated Events and this has now been updated with pictures showing our involvement with Hackney Museum’s latest exhibition and Philip Clevberger’s exhibition at Westminster Reference Library in 2014.

Under the SHOP button you will find a number of books for sale plus postcards and the Society badge.



Lunch And Laughter With The Lady Ratlings


The Grand Order of Lady Ratlings will be presenting a charity event at the Club For Acts and Actors, 20, Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9HP, on Wednesday 2nd March.

Entitled Lunch and Laughter, tickets include a 3 course lunch followed by a presentation ‘Funny Guys: British comedians from the 1930s to the 1960s, given by BMHS Call Boy editor Geoff Bowden. All proceeds from this event are for the GOLR Cup Of Kindness.

For more information check out the Lady Ratlings website:


Boiled Beef And Caviar


JM160515 (151)The first British Music Hall Society show of 2016 takes place at the Club For Acts And Actors, 20, Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9HP on Tuesday 1st March at 7.30pm (Doors open at 7pm).

The show, Boiled Beef And Caviar: East End To West End will be presented by the Society’s Vice Chairman, Adam Borzone, who will introduce an array of talented artistes brought to you ‘at enormous expense’.

Admission by programme donation at the door. All welcome.

The Art Of War Exhibition in Hackney

Hackney Poster

Hackney Museum is presenting an exhibition called The Art Of War: Posters and Propaganda from the First World War from 23rd February – 28th May 2016. The opening times and address of the museum are given on the flyer above.

The British Music Hall Society has contributed to this exhibition by loaning the museum a costume of Vesta Tilley from the society’s archive. Vesta was a music hall star who helped recruit many men to the armed services during WW1. The Society has also supplied sheet music of one or two of Vesta’s songs together with several postcard illustrations of the music hall star.

Vesta 1

‘Those Were The Days’ Radio Show



Remember the popular radio programme Those Were The Days ? The orchestras of Sydney Thompson, Sidney Bowman, Harry Davidson, Sidney Davey and Bryan Smith? Well, David Corbett has written a comprehensive 600 page history of the show, surveying BBC Radio’s old time dance music output from 1943-1991. If you are interested in light orchestral music or melodies in a more popular vein from the music hall to popular standards, you will find a rich reserve here with a detailed analysis of how the style of music changed over half a  century.

The book is available from David by either sending him an email at                           , or by writing to him at 51 Haygate Drive, Wellington, Telford, Shropshire, TF1 2BZ, enclosing a cheque for £34.

Reg Varney Exhibition

RV 2016 love! 3

The centenary of comedy actor Reg Varney will be celebrated with an exhibition at the Fairlynch Museum and Arts Centre, 27 Fore Street, Budleigh Salterton, Devon, EX9 6NP. Our Little Clown – A Tribute To Reg Varney opens  on 25th March, accompanied by the publication of a biography of the same title. There’s talk of a vintage bus tour of the town, a celebration of his life in words and music and even a bus created on Budleigh’s famous beach by the local pebble artist.

Why Budleigh Salterton? Well, Reg fell in love with the resort and decided to retire there. He died in 2008 at the age of 92. His daughter Jeanne, who also lives in the town, will officially open the exhibition.

Our Little Clown  runs until 30th September 2016. Fairlynch Museum (Tel. 01395 442666) is open daily except Mondays, 2.00-4.30 pm. Admission is free. Proceeds from the sale of the booklet, Our Little Clown, are being divided between Fairlynch Museum and the British Heart Foundation.

RV ad with pics

Gracie Fields Play at Oldham and Newcastle Under Lyme



Oldham Coliseum Theatre and New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme are proud to announce that they have secured – for a limited season only – the exclusive UK rights to presents a brand new production, Our Gracie.

Gracie Fields’ vibrant personality and rich, warm singing style took her from above her grandmother’s Rochdale chip shop to international fame. Her musical recordings have sold in their millions and she became one of the highest paid female movie stars in the world. So great is her appeal that her war-time work boosting morale saw Hitler declare her an enemy of the Third Reich.

Back in the UK to promote her newly published autobiography, Sing As We Go, Rochdale’s finest export comes to the Coliseum with a very special music hall spectacular, joined once again on stage by some of the finest theatrical talent currently available.

The production stars Sue Devaney as Gracie and also appearing in the cast will be BMHS member Ben Stock.

Our Gracie will be staged at Oldham’s Coliseum Theatre from 4th – 26th March. The box office number is 0161 624 2829. Further information can be found at the theatre’s website:

The play will also be staged at Newcastle-Under-Lymes’ New Vic Theatre from 6th-23rd April. Box office: 01782 717962. Further information can be found on the theatre’s  website:


Daily Express Writer on ‘The Good Old Days’

There was a great article about the  BBC screening episodes of  the TV show The Good Old Days in the Daily Express on Tuesday 16th February. Written by journalist Neil Clark, you can access the article by clicking below:

Variety at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Andy Eastwood is staging more daytime variety shows at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry this spring:

Andy 1Andy 2Andy 3

New Circus and Variety Website

BMHS member Tom Sandow has just unveiled his wonderful new website devoted to circus, music hall and variety. It is well worth checking out:


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