CHARTERS PART one
1945-1969 page 7
We shall return to Charters but, at this point we shall motor back the 90 miles to Romford with Marjorie and her mother Taffy - not a choc-ice to be had but, a box of chocolates firmly anchored on her ample lap!
This commuting by Marjorie, and by Noreen in the opposite direction, was to continue on a regular basis for more than two years until we begin to see a more rapid growth in student numbers in both schools. Marjorie had managed to keep The Studio open during the war with a modest increase in numbers. Mary Pike, we have read, was an assistant ballet teacher during the last year of the war. Similarly, Daphne Peterson took on modern and tap teaching before she joined ENSA in 1944 for her war duties. After a short period at Charters, where she is likely to have been completing her teachers' examinations, Joyce Percy, aged 22, became a full-time assistant teacher. "We also had junior assistants to deal with the younger children," says Daphne (Ed. Can any reader name these or provide further information immediately after the war?). When Doreen Bird had completed her training at Charters, in 1946, she taught at The Studio for over two years, at the same time opening her own school, whilst Daphne fulfilled professional dancing engagements with ENSA; first, in England, in a show devised by another Romford student, Sheila Holt, and then in Iceland and West Africa. Here, she contracted a virus which, on medical advice, ended her performing career. However, when recovered, there was no stopping the indefatigable Daphne! "I took all the necessary ISTD teaching examinations and, after gaining my Solo Seal at Felden, I passed the difficult Advanced Cecchetti, coached by Molly Lake - I later became a Cecchetti examiner!" Daphne was soon at The Studio again where she remained, inseparably with Joyce, for over forty more years with Bush Davies.
Doreen Bird must have inherited the Bush Davies pioneering drive as she pursued her career, and developed her school to be one of the most respected in the country today. She received many awards for her work including an Honorary MA for her services to dance and theatre education. She was, like Joyce and Daphne, an integral part of the artistic mechanism at the ISTD. She died in 2004.
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