Before your very eyes

Roy Hudd showing us the billboard of his first ever show. Max Miller at the top, him at the bottom.

Roy Hudd showing us the billboard of his first ever show. Max Miller at the top, him at the bottom.

As a Councillor you get invited to many different events, some interesting, some very boring, and occasionally some a complete joy. Last night after a number of meetings in Ipswich I was able to go along to the launch of the Roy Hudd Music Hall Archive project exhibition at Ipswich Town Hall. I have seen Roy Hudd perform in many venues the most recent being the very ‘music hall’ theatre that is Gorleston Pavilion theatre. ‘Laid out before your very eyes’ (sorry could not resist this old music hall saying) was a small part of Roy Hudd lifelong collection of posters pictures and even a short video of rare footage of some of the footage to of some of the performers; one of those was Robb Wilton who in his day was a huge star and my father remembers his sketches.

A little before my time but in my youth my summer holidays were spent going to the great British seaside resorts such as Blackpool and Scarborough and closer to home at the Spa Pavilion in Felixstowe to see the variety shows of the 70’s and early 80’s, in those days a Summer season was 12 weeks long, 2 shows a night and a matinee on Wednesday and Saturdays. The stars such as Morecombe and Wise, Canon and Ball headlined big variety shows and pack the theatres out. If you go to the Winter Gardens in Blackpool they have a board up with the names of who has headlined the Summer Season at the Opera House since its opening and it reads like a who’s who of Britain’s Music Hall and Summer Show past.

Roy Hudd, who can be very proud of his achievements both on the stage and in preserving this important slice of history for the nation, lives with his wife in Suffolk and so naturally it became a Suffolk Voluntary project to catalogue his collection including some 20,000 song sheets,

Dr Peter Funnell, a director at Oakmere Solutions who helped alongside Suffolk New College preserve, restore and catalogue the collection, with the aid of a £70,000 Heritage Lottery Funding grant spoke of the importance of preserving this part of our heritage and then introduced Roy Hudd. Once on stage Roy Hudd was in his element and in his speech he commented on the song sheets which he thought were the most important part of the collection and some of the songs we just seem to know instinctively, to demonstrate he then lead us in a chorus of  ‘Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do…….’ and others that have influenced national decisions. He closed by showing the assembled crowd a framed small billboard of his first ever billing where he was bottom of the bill and Max Miller was top if it and said he intends to be buried with it. Hopefully he will be around for many years to come, performing on stage and to see people enjoy his collection, which is on display at Ipswich Town Hall until the end of August and then is touring.

The challenge now is in part for the County Council, as we consider, along with partners across Suffolk, how and where to find a suitable setting to allow people access to his archive and the other great treasures of Suffolk, in a way that shows them off to their best and makes them accessible too, we are working on the various options and hope to make announcements soon.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal, anything I write is promoted by Lance Stanbury on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Park Farm Cottage, Fordham St. Genevieve, BurySt. Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TS

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