NEWS PAGE & BLOG


Hello one and all and welcome to my news page. Here you can see me as my two alter egos the ever efficient secretary Prudie Jones, Evette the Spivette and plain old little me as you catch up with all that is current in my world. Regrettably unlike Prudie my spelling is quite frightful at the best of times due to my dyslexia so I shall apologise now for anything which might be shamefully mis-spelt. In the mean time I hope you find this page fun, entertaining and informative and become a regular visitor to my site.

Kind Regards

A Voice in a Million


Back from Carew & Cheddar, Onto Sandringham and Off to Normandy!

At The Carew Control Tower!

At The Carew Control Tower!

Hello every-one it’s been full steam ahead these last few weeks and last night I returned home after a few days away in Cheddar Gorge with Paul and Poppy. In fact it was one of those weekends where everything clicked together quite perfectly all due to the fact I received a call to step in at the last minute to perform at The Carew, Cheriton, Control Tower for Mil-fest. The event had lost their singer at short notice due to a double booking and as I was heading over to the west of the country anyway it wasn’t that difficult for me to go a day early and head on into Wales.

I first had a show on Friday in Oxfordshire and

On Stage with Mike!

On Stage with Mike!

then straight afterwards I hit the M4. Being Friday night I didn’t reach Llanyeefn until 10.30pm but fortunately the event organizers Mike and Sue very kindly put me up over night in their lovely farm house which was just wonderful. I always enjoy going to new places and meeting new people and this was the control tower’s first 1940s event so I was thrilled I could step in at short notice. It’s very rural around the control tower and the organizers were thrilled with the turn out which attracted over 400 visitors all of whom were local people.

All Set to Sing "GI Jive"!

All Set to Sing “GI Jive”!

I performed 3 x 45 minute shows daily starting with my WAAF show, a “Hooray for Hollywood” in the middle and I finished the day with my “GI Jive” show. A great combination I find as I sold lots of CDs and the audience stayed on to see my final set resulting in the refreshment tent selling out of refreshments – which were all delicious by the way and I especially enjoyed my scotch egg! Yummy!

Afterwards I made my way over to Cheddar Gorge where I met up with Paul and Poppy in the motor home. We had promised ourselves a little holiday before we head out to

Out and About at Cheddar Gorge!

Out and About at Cheddar Gorge!

Normandy next month and we wanted to go somewhere where we could take Poppy. We only had two days so we enjoyed one day in Cheddar and the other at Weston Super Mere. Sometimes it’s good to let ones hair down and go a little casual as I swapped my costumes and uniforms for country casuals.

Things are now starting to get very busy indeed and I’m off on Saturday to perform on Sunday on the Sandringham Estate for the Caravan Club. This engagement came through an agent and I’ve been asked to perform in ATS uniform a Vera Lynn show,

Waking Up with Poppy!

Waking Up with Poppy First Thing in the Morning!

songs from the 1940s which couldn’t be easier!

It’s hard to believe I will be sailing to Normandy on the 1st June and I now have a very full Itinerary of shows to perform once I get to France. Some of you may have already seen on Facebook what I’m going to be doing as the final details are only just starting to come together. I’m still waiting to hear back from Port en Bessin about times but this is how things stand so far.

Sat 3rd June = Airborne Museum, Ste-Mere-Eglise, Utah, 17.00h – 18.00h US WAC Show “GI Jive”

Paul and Poppy in Weston Super Mere!

Paul and Poppy in Weston Super Mere!

Sun 4th June = US Camp Outside the Church, Ste-Marie-du-Mont, Utah, 12.00h – 18.00h  singing 20 minutes on 20 minutes off all through the day US WAVES Shows x 9
Mon 5th June = Mayors D-Day Dinner, Benouville, Pegasus Bridge, Sword (Private Event)
Tues 6th June, Outside 6th June Museum, Arromanches, Gold 13.00h – 14.00h ATS “We’ll Meet Again”
21.30h – 23.00h Times to be confirmed 1940s Glamour “In the Mood”
Wed 7th June, Port en Bessin, Time to be Confirmed

Going Casual in Weston with Poppy!

Going Casual in Weston with Poppy!


More news to follow soon about times and the style of some of my shows.

In the mean time I will leave my blog here tonight and I hope to do another quick post before I sail and after I come back from Sandringham.

Keep Watching and I shall keep you posted. Toodle pip and Bye for Now! 😉


Off to Wales & Mil-Fest Then Onto Cheddar Gorge!

Off to the Control Tower!

Off to the Control Tower!

I’m sorry to say it’s just a very quick blog tonight as I get ready to hit the road again. I’ve been working every day since Easter performing a variety of different shows from the 1970s to Music Hall and when I’ve not been entertaining I’ve been busy rehearsing and keeping up to date with my paper work in the office. My biggest pet hate are e-mail addresses with the word activies in. Far too many I’s for my liking and it’s a nightmare for a Dyslectic like me to get right. I’ve had so many bounce back due to my dodgy spelling which means I end up spending ages going over old ground. What a boar!

At Hudson's Ale House

At Hudson’s Ale House

Changing the subject – Last Friday’s Pearly Queen show at Hudson’s Ale House went well. So thank-you to every-one who came along to Trumpington to see me. I didn’t relies just how close Trumpington is to Grantchester. I so love that program about the soothing vicar and one day I will make it a long to see the village and church. Another ambition of mine is to go punting on the Cam. I’m not sure if Paul is quite so keen on the punting bit but I still think it would be lovely to do this summer – not that it looks like I’m going to have the time!

Tomorrow I have a morning show and then an appointment in the afternoon with my web-designer as I plan on making a few design changes to my web-site. My web-site is growing and tomorrow I need to talk about how long it’s all going to take. Iain has come up with some good ideas but like all these things it takes time to get right!

The Best of British!

The Best of British!

On Friday I will be performing in Oxfordshire and then making my way over to Pembrokeshire. I’m performing at The Control Tower Carew, Cheriton for a 1940s event on the 20th May. I shall be performing 3 x 45 minute shows daily 11. 30am WAAF, 1.30pm Hooray for Hollywood and at 3.30pm US WAC Show so I hope you can all make it along to see me. I believe this is the Control Tower’s 1st 1940s event and I hope it goes well for them. More detail can be found by following the link http://www.carewcheritoncontroltower.co.uk/events/mil-fest/

Straight after my show I will be heading off to Cheddar Gorge and meeting up with Paul for a few days holiday, not that I know what that word means! We thought it was time to give Paul’s dog Poppy a little bit of a holiday so I’m looking forward to meeting up with Paul & Poppy in the motor home and having a few days rest before we hit the road again and dash off  to Sandringham and then over to Normandy. I wont be back until the 24th May so this will be my last blog until then.

So Keep Watching and I look forward to catching up with you all when I get back.

Toodle Pip and Bye for Now! 😉


We’ll Meet Again at Chilton House & Cricket at Ascott!

Cricket at Ascott!

Cricket at Ascott!

Keeping Score!

Keeping Score!

As I’m sure many of you are aware it was VE Day on Monday and this week I’ve been dashing from “We’ll Meet Again” shows to the “Best of British”. In fact tomorrow night I’m performing at Hudson’s Ale House, 77 High Street, Trumpington CB2 9HZ my Pearly Queen show as the pub is staging a Cockney Night. So if you live in the Cambridge area it will be lovely to see you tomorrow evening. The show starts at 9.00pm through to 10.00pm and I shall be singing all those Cockney favorites from “Any Old Iron” to “Don’t Dilly Dally on the

Chilton House

Chilton House

Off to My Show at Chilton!

Off to My Show at Chilton!

Way”. Every-one is welcome!

On Sunday I revived a last minute call to perform in Harlow as the home in question had been let down by their entertainer at short notice. I was delighted to step in and afterwards on my way home I called into Ascott House for tea. Ascott is now becoming one of my favorite haunts and it’s lovely to watch the afternoon draw to it’s close over an Earl Grey tea. While I was there cricket was being played on the green and I caught the end of the match which was all so delightfully English. Especially as Sunday was the perfect May afternoon and by 5.30pm the sun was still shining.

Monday was an important day and this year I had been booked to perform my ATS show at Chilton House which is a beautiful early 17 century property located between Thame and Aylesbury. It was built by John Croke and later re-built in 1740 and is owned by the Aubrey-Fletcher family. This was my second visit to Chilton House as I first played there 20 years ago oddly enough with my “We’ll Meet Again” show too. So it was lovely to be invited back and entertain an audience which very quickly became apparent had served during the 1940s. One lady took a great interest in my uniform as she had served in the ATS.

That’s all I have time for today but don’t forget on the 20th May I will be performing for Mill Fest at The Control Tower in Carew South Wales 3 x 45  minute shows daily for the Control Tower’s 1940s event and then the following week I shall be singing at Sandringham before I head over to Normandy for the D-Day Commemorations. More news on that in my next blog.

Keep Watching and Toodle Pip!

 

 


Stockings to the Rescue, Boaters and All Set for VE Day!

Lunch at Lady Grey in Wendover!

Lunch at Lady Grey in Wendover!

This week I’ve been out performing everyday my new show “Thank-you for the Music”.  It’s always good to have a run of the same show particularly as I’ve been performing a sting of new songs this time around. It really gives me time to get into the swing of things. On Friday I introduced the Supremes number “You Can’t Hurry Love” which went down really well with the audience along with “These Boots are Made for Walking”. Gone are there days of “Oh You Beautiful Doll” and and what I call the Max Bygraves song book. These are now the preferred sing-along tunes of the 55+ and it’s important as an artist I embrace them! Everything has it’s time and there is a natural progression with popular music. Much as I love the old songs I’ve been enjoying singing something different and fresh, with Abba and the Jersey Boys. I’ve fallen in love with the 70s number “Oh What a Night”, which even has a instrumental  for me to perform my retro moves! Eat your heart out John Travolta!

WAAF Stockings at Liberty Rose!

WAAF Stockings at Liberty Rose!

Despite what I’ve just said above I did have one “Song for Spring” show on Thursday which was re arranged  from last weeks itinerary. I’ve now put my Easter bonnet to bed for another year although on Thursday I just couldn’t face wearing a bonnet in May, so I decided to wear my yellow straw boater instead.

Many of my clothes I’ve had for years as I look upon them as old friends. I first bought my yellow boater as a child in the children’s section of Dickinson Jones in 1980. I wore it with my Sister Suffragette costume in 1985 – 87 and had it stored in a hat box for 30 years so it was lovely to wear it after all this time on Thursday. I also have an identical boater in pink which I bought about the same time in Knight and Lee down in Portsmouth. I’ve rather been inspired and I’ve decided to wear more boaters this season. I have quite a collection in the cupboard which all need to be re-trimmed so watch this space. A boater with the hair worn high looks so pretty – don’t you think?

Boaters from My Childhood!

Boaters From My Childhood Still Being Worn Today!

Speaking of Boaters and Thursday I thought I would pop into Wendover after my show and visit Liberty Rose. The lady there always has a delightful selection of vintage trimmings so it’s always worth popping in for a look. On this occasion she didn’t have the petersham I was looking for but some original 1940s lisle stockings – What a find! Especially as she had a grey pair which will be perfect to wear with my WAAF uniform complete with seams. I also bought a brown pair as well which will go with my ATS uniform and with it being VE Day on Monday I couldn’t have timed things better.

Wendover is one of my favorite haunts and just next door to Liberty Rose is Lady Grey Tea Rooms. I often like to pop in for lunch as they serve a wonderful selection of  sandwiches, quiches and cakes. So if you are ever in town do pop into Lady Grey

Stockings to Wear With My ATS Uniform!

Stockings to Wear With My ATS Uniform!

for tea – I thoroughly recommend it. Tomorrow I start the first of my VE Day shows and then on Friday I shall be at Hudsons Ale House, Trumpington, CB2 9H2 performing my Pearly Queen show for the Pubs Cockney Night. I shall be on stage from 9pm -10pm so it you live in Cambridgeshire it would be lovely to see you at the show.

More news on Normandy – I’m thrilled to report I’ve been booked to perform in Benouville on Monday 5th June for a special D-Day dinner at the Town Hall. For those of you who know your history Benouville was the first town to be liberated during the D-Day invasion and is where you will find Pegasus Bridge which made up part of the Sword Beach invastion plan. I’ve never perfomed at Benouville before so I’m looking forward to doing so very much. Mondays show is a private function but you will still be able to catch me singing on 3rd June at the Airborne Museum in Sainte – Mere- Eglise and in Ste – Marie – du- Mont on the 4th. I’m still waiting to hear back from two other towns located at Gold Beach about the 6th & 7th June. So keep watching this space and I shall keep you posted.

For those of you who didn’t catch my April Best of British article on “Fashion on the Ration” you will be pleased to know it’s just been up loaded to my web-site. So do click through to my Articles page if you would like a read. I’m also planning to give my web-site a bit of a revamp with my new web designer Iain Quarmby. Iain has offices at Bletchley Park  which as we all know was the home of the code breakers during WW2. Maybe it was fate that Iain and I came together at Bletchley Park and I’m looking forward to taking my web-site forward so keep following!

Toodle Pip and Bye for Now! 😉


Thank-you for the Music & Horse Crazy at Slapton!

Meeting the Horses and All Set to Go on Stage!

Meeting the Horses Before the Show!

Jess and I All Ready to Sing!

Jess and I All Ready to Go On Stage!

It’s been a busy bank holiday of shows with two birthday parties back to back. One to celebrate Hilary’s 80th at the lovely family home of Norcott Court in Berkhamsted and the other for a special 100th birthday celebration in Milton Keynes. On Saturday night Paul and I were performing at The Equestrian Center in Slapton songs from the 1940s with fellow artist Jess De Giudici as the village turned out to raise money for the church bells. I expect many of you have already seen my photos on Facebook as we all enjoyed a fantastic night of 40s nostalgia. It was great to see every-one dressed up in their 1940s out-fits as Jess, Paul and myself took every-one back in time with our favorite tunes from the 40s.

Saturdays show turned into a long night as I didn’t get on stage for my final set until gone 11 pm and played through to 12.00 am. Jess had to get back to London as she had another singing engagement first thing on Sunday morning so I kept the music high with a fast 40s swing set which got every-one up on the floor dancing. Of-course no 40s night would be complete with-out the “White Cliffs of Dover” and “We’ll Meet Again” with this being

Paul and I On Stage at Norcott Manor!

Paul and I On Stage at Norcott Manor!

After Our Show in Milton Keynes!

After Our Show in Milton Keynes!

Vera’s 100th birthday year and by the end I finished the night off with “Land of Hope and Glory” which never fails. What can I say by the time Paul and I had packed up and got home we were both ready for bed!

I big thank-you goes out to Jayne who worked so hard to make the night such a success and to all the volunteers who helped to decorate the room so beautifully. I was even given a pair of silk stockings off the washing line which feel so lovely on by the way – and ones I shall be keeping for very best! No doubt I will be wearing them this June when performing in Normandy. The French always notice these things and that attention to detail as do the Italians!

To-day I performed the first of my new shows “Thank-you for the Music” as I move my repertoire forward a little more into the 1970s. This last month I’ve been learning new songs which have included numbers by The Supremes  and The Jersey Boys so it’s been good to sing something a little different. To-day I included the theme from Mahogany “Do You Know Where You’re Going to” and “Oh What a Night”. I’m still learning “You Can’t Hurry Love” although “Stop! In the Name of Love” has been going down very well. I sung it for the first time last Wednesday which can always be a little nerve racking. When you are performing in musical theater you have so much rehearsal time to get a song right with your fellow cast watching on. Unlike in cabaret where you don’t have that luxury. You have to learn a song and step out straight away before a paying audience which can be a little like a sink or swim experience. It often takes a while for a song to fit which is why rehearsals are so important.

I’m fully booked again this week with shows every-day so Toodle Pip Keep Watching!


All Set for the Bank Holiday and a Busy 1940s Season!

Me with The Red Barrows!

Me with The Red Barrows at Newark!

I’m sorry to say it’s just a very quick blog today as I get myself ready for a full bank holiday weekend of shows and the forth coming season. If you caught my last blog you will know this Saturday I have two shows back to back in Berkhamsted and Slapton so I still have a few things to organize ready for my performances. My first show is for an 80th Birthday party at Norcott Court and then it will be a quick dash over to Slapton for a 1940s Cockney Blitz Party at the Equestrian center. Slapton are raising money for their Church bells so the village will be turning out in force. Which reminds me I still need to sort out my costumes and show plans!

Looking forward to Ste Mere Eglise!

Looking forward to Ste Mere Eglise!

This week I’ve been out a far bit organizing the forth coming season and I’m pleased to say I’ve now been booked to perform at the Airborne Museum in the Normandy town of Sainte Mere Eglise on Saturday 3rd June. This show will make up part of my D-Day tour as I’m also singing on the 4th June in Ste Marie du Mont. At the moment I’ve just been booked to work the  American Utah end although I’m still waiting to hear back from a couple of other towns. If successful I will be changing repertoire and costume from WAC to ATS for the British veterans at Gold. Keep watching this space and I shall keep you posted about how I get on.

With the exception of a few days I’m now fully booked for May. On the 20th May I shall be performing in South Wales at Mil-fest which is taking place at The Control Tower in Carew before I then head over to Cheddar Gorge. For more details about the Mil-fest event click onto the link below as it would be lovely to see you. http://www.carewcheritoncontroltower.co.uk/events/mil-fest/

Paul and I Last Year in Blaenau Ffestiniog!

I’m also going to be back in in Wales on the 29th 30th July for the Blaenau Ffestiniog 1940s event and over to the Isle of Man in August. I shall have more news on those a little closer to the time.

This week I had the pleasure of visiting the Newark Air Museum where I bumped into the Red Barrows and saw a wonderful array of historical aircraft.

Sadly I must dash as I have much to get ready for this weekend. Keep Watching and Toodle Pip!


St Georges Day, A 102 & Putting on the Blitz in Slapton!

I Hope we Know Which One is George!

Me To-day as St George!

Hello every-one it’s been another busy week. I had hoped to blog before this but I’ve been out singing every day since the 10th. I’ve been fully booked all over Easter and when I’ve not been performing I’ve been working hard in the office keeping up to date with my contracts and e-mails. 2017 has been a hard year to sell but I’m pleased to say that all my hard work is now starting to pay off and I’m looking forward to another full and busy year ahead.

This last week has been something of a mixture of shows with the last of my Easter Bonnet performances on Friday and to-day

All Dressed to Go On Stage!

All Dressed to Go On Stage for St Georges Day!

with it being St Georges Day I was performing my Pearly Queen show for a private party in St Albans. On Saturday I drove down to Sutton in Surry and sang for a very special Birthday party.

Grandma Bush  was celebrating her 102 Birthday and as I wasn’t available to perform for her 100 birthday two years ago her son was very keen to engage me this time around for her 102nd. A big fan of Vera Lynn I was asked to perform in my ATS uniform songs from the 1940s which went down extremely well with all the guests. Afterwards I was requested to cut the cake which featured

The Cutting of the Cake!

The Vera Lynn Cake!

a beautiful picture of Vera Lynn. I was even asked to sign Vera Lynn’s album by a member of staff which was a bit of an awkward moment especially as I think some of the older ladies at the party thought I really was Vera Lynn. I often find in a situation like that the best thing to do is to sign the name but to add a suttle P P  just before hand. That way nobody is disappointed and as quite a few of the guests had dementia it made sense to do so! What can I say that’s showbiz folks!

Speaking of Vera Lynn and the 1940s this coming Saturday 29th April I will be performing at The Equestrian Center, Mill Road, Slapton for a Cockney Blitz party. I believe tickets have sold very well as it is to raise money for the Church bells and the village are turning out in force to support the cause. There are only a few tickets left but if you would like a ticket please call into The Carpenters Arms in Slapton or ring Jayne on 01525 220474. Tickets

The Vera Lynn Cake!

The Cutting of the Cake!

are priced at £20 which also includes a war time supper so I look forward very much to seeing you all there.

On Saturday I also have a show before hand at Norcott Court in Berkhamstead which was one of the first houses in Berkhamstead to have electric light and hot and cold running water back in the day when it was built around 1900. My friend Julius has been doing up the property as the family want to open the house up as a Wedding venue. I shall be singing for his mothers birthday party on Saturday so as you can see I have much to look forward to.

I’ve also been busy this last month learning some new Motown songs and I’m pleased to say I tried out one of my new songs “Stop in the Name of Love” when I performed on Thursday for Bletchley WI.

I shall leave my blog here tonight and don’t forget to keep following! Toodle Pip and Bye for Now! 😉


Happy Easter and Off to Normandy!

Out and About in My Easter Bonnet!

Out and About in My Easter Bonnet!

Hello every-one it’s been all go with “Easter Bonnet” shows this week and I’m pleased to announce that I’m now fully booked for the rest of this month and well into May. Next month I start on the first of my new shows “Thank-you for the Music” as I begin to move my repertoire forward into the 1970s. I still have quite a few new Motown numbers to learn which I have been learning while driving off to my Easter Bonnet shows. Motown makes a change form my love of show tunes and I’m looking forward to performing the first “Thank-you for the Music” show on the 26th of this month.

Easter is now in full swing and I’d like to thank- you all for your lovely Easter cards and well wishes. I’m pleased so many of you liked my “Fashion on the Ration” article in the Best of British magazine this month. I’m very proud of it and I took a great deal of pleasure in writing it. I hope it wont be too long before I’am able to add it to my web-site.

All Ready for Easter!

All Ready for Easter!

As many of you know I’ve been looking for a new web-designer these last couple of months  and after a long search I think I may have found just the right person. It’s early days but I have a meeting with them next week and I’m looking forward to moving my web-site on and perhaps giving my home page something of a new look. We will have to see as I have lots of ideas running around in my head and I need to discuss what is possible when it comes to web-site design.

Speaking about web-sites my new videos should be on their way very soon. Both the Music Hall and Lakme’ show-reels will make welcome additions to my site. I saw the last cut before Easter and their are only a few tiny little tweaks which need to be done before I will be releasing them – So keep watching this space.

Some more good news this week. I’ve been booked to perform in the town of Ste Marie du Mont on Sunday 4th June as part of the D-Day commemorations in Normandy. I shall be posting up my show times in due course although it looks like I will be performing a couple of shows during the day which will give me a little more time to speak to you all in-between sets. I will have more news on that in the next week or so so keep watching.

I shall leave my blog here tonight as I’m tired and need to get to bed. Keep Watching and Toodle Pip!

 

 


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