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Janet Devenish
Leigh Donoghue



Leigh Donoghue (now Bushnell) received 14 May 2009 via Facebook

Re: Romford

Hi John,

Thanks for your message. I only spent the one (last) year at Romford and loved every minute of it. I missed the general audition with mumps, but Miss Joyce was kind enough to see me on my 16th birthday & told me on the day I was accepted! What a lovely birthday present!

I was in the advanced ballet class so it was a bit odd as a first year to be dancing with the 3rd years to start off with.

My very first class was ballet taken by Miss Daphne, I remember being suprised that this legend of the modern dance world could teach ballet as well, just goes to show how much I really knew about the dance world back in those days!

As well as Miss Joyce we had Miss Baker & Miss Rycroft for ballet, Mr. Raven (who is hale & hearty in Suffolk) for pas de deux.

I remember clearly Miss Baker telling me one day early on that I should calm myself down as I may have been top of my class at my old school, but at Bush I was only a tiny pebble on a very big beach! I've used that expression on many an occasion in my teaching career over the years!

As well as Miss Daphne we had Gillian Farr for modern classes. We had her first thing on a Monday morning and drove her nuts! We were quite naughty in class, but she never told on us & actually we had great respect for her once we'd calmed down.

Eric Palmer was the singing teacher & I loved my singing lessons with him. We used to sing duets from the operettas together & he coached me to sing "Summer Time" in "C"!

These are just a few memories, I've got lots more!

Bye for now Leigh Bushnell (ne Donoghue)  x

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From: Janet Devenish
Dear Mr Harrison - hopefully this will reach you
I got the message from Brent today about the website and went straight to it.
I am so thrilled to see it there.

I am still a Bush girl through and through and am so proud of my heritage.
I am not sure if you know what I have done and what I am doing now - I was in 42nd St in the early 80s when it first came to the UK, then I created the role of Meg Giry in Phantom of the Opera for Andrew Lloyd Webber.  Many shows and assistant choreographer roles later, I am now Deputy Principal at Stella Mann College
( ).
When I first went there - initially to complete my teaching qualifications, Jean Nuckey was co-owner and Sue Herbert was teaching there.
In my current role I often see Sue Passmore and Stephanie Pope - usually at meetings - and I still feel like their pupil!  Miss Ryecroft recently examined at the college, as did Miss Saxton - so I am often reminded of my training!!
I am married to a musician ( ) and music is a huge part of my life and my job - I am always trying to find music for classes and choreography - in fact this year for the annual college show I plan to choreograph a ballet to an edited version of The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra - I remember Miss Percy's piece to that music well and this will be my tribute to her.
I am still in touch with some of my classmates - Sharon George and Donna Winwood, and often hear from others on Facebook and so on.  I saw Will Tuckett not so long ago at the Opera House at his production of Into the Woods - he is doing so well.  Sophie Corbett remains close, and I hear about Holly Aird and a few others via Sophie.
I hope this message finds you all well.
Bush was a legend - I will never forget my life there.  The shows, the life, the training - it was the best. 
My fondest love,
Janet x

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