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15 May 2015 @ 09:41 pm
The Mikado  

I'm not quite sure who Bea was* but my aunty Pat, as the unmarried daughter of the family, was appointed the role of looking after elderly female relatives and so, somewhere along the way, acquired Bea.

There are rumours in the family of an opera singer, which I've never adequately tracked down, however Bea was clearly a guiding light of various Amateur Operatic Societies.

Since I'm the designated family historian and have been known to indulge in amateur operatics, I was given some of Bea's memorabilia, consisting of programmes for both the Mikado and Iolanthe (which she apparently produced), a Yeoman of the Guard calendar, two prints of programme designs for the Mikado and the Gondoliers and the printers block for the Mikado.

The other day the Mikado print rather spectacularly fell apart. I found the glass at the bottom of the stairs, the print half way up and the rest of the frame still hanging forlornly on the wall. The print will, thus, now be going in the box file with the programmes and the calendar, but I thought I would scan it in and blog about it before consigning it to the box file.

The Mikado block was obvious reused, I have programmes for both 1963 (Slindon and District Operatic Society) and 1964 (Littlehampton Players Operatic Society), with a print taken from the block on the cover. I guess great aunty Bea took it with her from society to society and presumably in the days before photocopying and cheap printing it was something of an asset. A reminder of a bygone era.

*actually, as designated family historian, I know exactly who Bea was (Eve Dods (born 1902, Eveline Beatrice Dennis), my father's father's sister) but such information robs the story of some of its romance.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/156258.html.