1930-1939 family Page 4
Before we move on it is worth recording a little known fact that Paul had not escaped the ambitions of 'mum' either! When aged 13, he was about to finish his time at his preparatory school, Heath Brow, his parents were considering the next course. He had naturally been assessed for his dance potential by Noreen and was also given tap lessons from his father: a second opinion was called for. When Noreen took Paul to Sadler's Wells Theatre in 1946 to see a new production of 'The Fairy Queen', the opera by Henry Purcell with choreography by Frederick Ashton, she pre-arranged an informal private audition with Ninette de Valois after the performance - on stage. Whilst his mother chattered away with her old friend Ninette, Paul recalls standing in a gloomy working light with a penny between his knees, showing his ports de bras, pliés and jumping and 'spinning' (he did possess a natural turn). After about twenty minutes of scrutiny he was offered a place with the Vic-Wells School. Another dilemma. As it happened, his parents wisely decided against this; as he developed physically he would have been vertically challenged as a potential ballet dancer! Judith Jenkins who was a student at both Felden and Charters recalls today, over sixty years on, "I remember Paul leaping around in grey socks - we couldn't understand why he didn't do ballet." A place was therefore secured at Ardingly College, a short drive from East Grinstead where his parents had moved the boarding school half of Bush Davies after the war.
Life at Fellowes Road followed a familiar pattern. Paul, in his fifth year, had been enrolled at the nearby pre-preparatory school, The Hall, Hampstead. His attendance though, was dogged by bouts of ill-health so, with Jane, he spent many happy hours with the Aunties. Apart from visiting his parents' room at six-thirty each evening to say goodnight, quality family time was reserved for the weekends.
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Forward Fellowes Road: Work 1930-1939