CHARTERS PART one
1945-1969 page 5
We wrote in Chapter: Noreen Bush, the school withdrew from the All-England Competition in 1949. We have now discovered a letter written by Noreen to Paul dated, July 20th 1946, in which she writes: "There were two entries for the (Pavlova) Casket, one from Elliott Clarke and the other arranged by the students of the Cone School, and it looked like it!! The latter won, it was disgraceful just like a little suburban group, and I feel if they are going to accept such weak work, we shall in future keep out of this competition."
In the same letter she mentions Gwen Carter, "...entered for the Adeline Genée Gold Medal but a girl from New Zealand won it, however Gwen won the silver again (previously she was awarded silver in 1943). She had a new character, I am sure you would have liked it, 'The Duchess from Alice in Wonderland'. She had a very good criticism." People tended to forget that Gwen's true passion was for ballet simply because she was renowned throughout the country for her tap and modern teaching. She was also awarded the RAD Solo Seal.
Another letter from Noreen to Paul, at this time, takes us far back to the beginning of this story: "Dearest Paul, So sorry I haven't written before dear, but among my other activities I had to go to Nottingham because Granny Isobel (Pauline's mother) is dying, of course you know she is over ninety and we expected it. When I saw she was able to talk she asked after you and Jane, she is such a dear old Granny and it's so sad that she has to go...."
Noreen's 'other activities' apart from the school, like other major examiners of the RAD, and whose numbers were few at the time, involved regular examination tours around the country, for up to a month on occasions. Many of her letters are written on exam report papers, barely legible because of the rocking motion of the train. She would regularly accompany Dame Adeline Genée or Phyllis Bedells, when more than one examiner was required, and enjoy chattering about ballet whilst playing a game of canasta in hotel bedrooms. She was also a regular participant in the Production Club. This had been formed in 1932 under the umbrella of the Association of Operatic Dancing to prepare and rehearse ballets with well-known choreographers: Frederick Ashton, Wendy Toye and Robert Helpmann among others. John Cranko's first work was presented by the Club.
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