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1939-1945 Work

We have read earlier that in 1930 Noreen was busily occupied with her teaching in London. A rented studio at Henrietta Street, off Oxford Street (just round the corner from the Stratford Place school where the Cone sisters were then teaching - see Charters Part One, page 1) became 'The Noreen Bush School' and focus of the Bush and Leopold core activity: a daily work schedule of teaching and coaching. However, it was not long before larger premises were needed so, in 1934, they rented a nearby 2nd floor studio at Imhof House, 112/116 New Oxford Street, 'by Tottenham Court Road Tube Station'. Here, they offered tuition in the following dance styles: Ballet (Operatic and Cecchetti), Central European, Greek, National, Spanish, Musical Comedy, Ballroom, Elocution and Tap.

Marjorie Davies
The most significant entry on the student roll at Imhof House was the name Marjorie Davies, although we believe she may have joined the school just prior to its move from Henrietta Street. She is listed under Victor Leopold's 'Six Young Ladies' in a programme dated 23 March 1935, in an 'All-Star' Dancing Matinee at the London Palladium organised by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (see page 3). Our guess is Marjorie would have been aged sixteen or seventeen years when she went to Noreen to continue her ballet studies and, more importantly, tap and song and dance with Victor. It was in the genre of musical theatre that Marjorie was to develop her true gifts in production and performance as well as teaching.

Marjorie Davies: in character?

Our research indicates that Marjorie was born in 1917, in Romford, Essex. Her mother and father had spent several years living and working in India prior to the Great War and it is most likely that he had been called back to assist in the war effort in 1914. They lived at Crossways, Gidea Park, Romford. 'Taffy', as her mother was affectionately known, sent her daughter for ballroom lessons at the age of eight. Soon though, Marjorie was so keen that this was extended to include ballet andMarjorie Davies: ballet portrait stage dancing. Some eight years later, in 1932, she had opened her own school in Romford, at 31 Eastern Road, with eight pupils and, at the same time, had enrolled with Noreen and Victor. Marjorie was obviously an outstanding student and whilst at Imhof House she became 'head assistant teacher'.


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