That auspicious meeting then with Noreen Bush, we mentioned in the last chapter, at around 30 years of age, in the late 1920s, proved a turning point. And, mother approved!
A short anecdote from about 1927 which Victor infrequently told against himself, but with much laughter, concerned the fledgling entrepreneur, Billy Butlin. He needed a few investors to start his first summer camp in Skegness and approached Victor for £100; after some consideration he was turned down. It was quite a large sum in those days and risk to any theatre performer with its inherent insecurities was not lightly taken. It may of course have simply been Noreen, in her typically pragmatic manner, saying, "No, Vic! We need that money for ourselves and the school in London." So they didn't earn themselves a large house in the Channel Islands as Butlin had. They had planned and were off to open The Noreen Bush School in Henrietta Street, in 1930.
This tale serves to illustrate the precarious nature of their chosen career path and how, over the years, their prudence and thriftiness, though in no sense of the word, meanness, enabled them to develop their ideals and become one of the most successful partnerships in the field of education and training for the theatre. Noreen was often heard to say, "If you had to pay the bills you'd turn the lights off!"
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