Saturday, 31 March 2018

Come along and never mind the weather, all together

Hils, Crog and I travelled across London to our friend John-John's new abode "Chateau Canning" today. It's always fab discovering new bits of London we've never explored before!

Birthplace of such luminaries as David Essex, Windsor Davies, Reg Varney, Danny Dyer, Marty Feldman, Jeremy Kyle and Johnny Speight, the East End locality of Canning Town was not only home to Royal Docks, the Tate & Lyle sugar refinery, the Thames Iron Works and the original West Ham football club, but also Royal Albert Music Hall, which at its peak at the turn of the 20th century could accommodate a 2,500-strong audience - all lapping up a wealth of entertainment such as this (from a review published in 1891):
The comic songs of Mr Fred Langton and Mr Dan Helmore were favourably received; and Miss Lizzie Noble was successful with a descriptive essay entitled "The Pets of the Music Halls." Mr Arthur Ashley's "Drink, Boys," offered a suggestion which was hardly needed under the circumstances; Mr Harry Ford told how he "was the man to do it;" and Mr George Elliott scored with a topical ditty. Mr Robert Carroll sang an amusing parody; the heroine of Miss Jessie M`Nulty's song was a colleen known as "Sweet Norah Grady;" and Mr Fred Herbert, in some topical verses, alluded to the respected proprietor as "an unselfish elf who gave plenty for their pelf." Miss Violet Nelson, male impersonator, met with a good reception; the song and dance contributions of the Bohemian Quintette gave evident delight; Miss Jessie Phillips must be complimented upon an expressive rendering of "Somebody's Father; "the Sisters Western's skipping-rope dance was vociferously applauded; Mr Fred May sang "Nobody sooner than I;" the serpentine evolutions of a performer known as Mons. Hayho were watched with interest; Mr Carl Ostend was successful with a female impersonation and double-voiced song; a selection by the Black Swan trio gave manifest delight; Miss Daisy De'Roy sang in good style; and a clever exhibition of boxing was given by Messrs Clark, Wood, and Grant.
As if I needed any excuse to play a bit of old-time Music Hall, let's celebrate in the company of the lovely (and much-missed) Beryl Reid. All, together, now!

"Fall in and follow me. Fall in and follow me
Come along and never mind the weather
All together, stand on me, boys.
I know the way to go, I promise you a spree
You do as I do, and you'll do right. Fall in and follow me." I'm off to discover what information (if any) is out there about "Mr Carl Ostend", that 1891 drag queen..!


  1. Time for a knees up Dolores?!

    1. "Under the table you must go
      Ee-aye, Ee-aye, Ee-aye-oh!"



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