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M and P Pumfrey
My husband put in the order and we've been away. (Ed. Jenny had ordered the compilation disc - see Products)
It's Jenny Penrose here, played the White Queen in Alice, 1981. I think played is the right word!
It was like finding a long lost friend discovering the Bush website, I really can't begin to describe the emotions and memories, but believe me they are all good. If I could go back I would do it all again.
In brief, when I left Bush I did summer season and panto (hilarious), then continued working in the theatre. I joined the BBC in 1988. Worked my way up the ladder, Floor Assistant, Assistant Floor Manager, Location Manager, Floor Manager, Production Manager and Line Producer. All in their Entertainment department so was lucky enough to work mainly on sit-coms. My last couple of years was French and Saunders, Ab-Fab and Extras. And believe it or not a very responsible job!!! The BBC asked for voluntary redundancies in 2005 and I got it. I was made redundant on September 2nd and got married on 3rd, and then at the ripe old age of 43 had a boy who will be two and a half tomorrow.We live in Gloucestershire and we're about to renovate an old barn, bliss!
So that's me really! Is Paul in Cyprus? If so please give him my love if he remembers me and also Sue Passmore, if you're in touch.
I have such fond memories and I thank you all for helping to make me the person I am today, and I have to say I think I've turned out pretty well. Take care and I shall try and keep in touch via the website!
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E-mail from: Elisabeth Peckett firstname.lastname@example.org received 17 August, 2009
Great to see a site dedicated solely to Bush - many thanks!! I was lucky enough to be there between 1984 & 1987 as a "sixth form student" (I was then Elisabeth Peckett) with people like Meriel Bradley, Nuritza Daghlian, Phyllida Crowley-Smith, Rosemary Porte, Sam Sprackling et al (I still keep in touch with Lynne Sabat).
I have very fond memories of the students, staff & school & have been constantly trawling the net for any reference to Bush & it's alumni! I noticed Sophie Corbett had got in touch & mentioned a reunion & just wondered if you may have had any further info? (Ed. The reunion, I think, was on the14th hosted by Philippa Jeffrey in East Grinstead with a visit arranged to the old 'homestead'!)
All the best, Liz
Ed. Elisabeth wrote in reply to my email the same day:
Thanks for your speedy reply - good to hear from you!! I had a feeling I may have missed the reunion - drat!! Let's hope there'll be another one at some stage!!
I was in Frank Freeman's production in my first year, as a "burnt peasant"(!) I seem to recall - Debbie Spurgeon had the lead in that one. Then in Alice (Sarah Marshall was one Alice) later on when I think I shared the part of the Queen of Hearts with Jo Love. Also did Godspell, then the czardas in Coppelia & also in Linda Crockett's Rite of Spring (my name appears in the photo of the programme you have)...
Meriel, I think did become Head Girl, then seems to have done a lot on Canadian TV as a home & lifestyle programme presenter.
I worked a little with Angela Michie, whose mother worked at the Genee Theatre, during my last year - Meriel, Nuritza & I did some shows in London (at a small, seedy Turkish club(!) in Marylebone I think, then at Xenon's in Piccadilly) also a New Year's Eve cabaret at a hotel in Paris - what a weird, whacky experience that was!! I then auditioned & was accepted for Retonio's Magic Casino in Switzerland where I worked for 8 months - great fun, not only dancing but being part of the illusions & tricks as well!! The magicians did nothing, let me tell you, the "assistants" 9 times out of 10 were "pulling the strings" almost literally.......I still have the scars to prove it!!!
On returning home, I did a short stint in Guys & Dolls in Essex. Didn't set foot on stage for the next 12 years until I was asked to be a dancer in a pro-am production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies at the Wimbledon Theatre!! Was quite surprised a) not to feel nervous, & b) manage to remember steps, music, remain flexible & NOT fall over!!
Please do post my email - I do hope some other people get in touch, it's great to see the website expanding. I still have the "leaving book" we all seem to have had, with several people's comments & memories - I must look that out & send you some of those (the clean ones, of course!!).
Do let me know if you hear of any other get-togethers - also if you hear from other staff members. I enjoyed reading Alex Morrow's contribution - what a good teacher he was. One of my other favourites was Heather Fish - her classes were always terrific fun, if hard work (& quite right too!). Although for toughness & exhaustion, you couldn't beat Linda Crockett!!!
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E-mail from: Joanna Pratt (Dyckes) MDyckes55@aol.com received 18 June, 2009
(Ed. Joanna provided missing details for the 1970 programme: see Performance and Choreography page 8)
I auditioned as a daygirl and was accepted though my father did not want me to be a dancer. So I attended the Saturday morning classes, with extra classes on Monday and Wednesday, from 1967-1984. I had a wonderful time though the boarders did not think much of the daygirls. We were rarely allowed to take exams because we would get lower marks than the full-time boarders. We didn't even get included in the annual show. I was taught by Lorna Nield and Miss Christine whom I thank for my lifelong love of dance. They taught me Grade 4, Pre-Elem and Elementary. I qualified to teach NATD syllabus through another local teacher and went on to study as a nurse. But even now my love affair with ballet and the stage goes on. My monthly treat is still having the Dancing Times delivered each month. I remember Melanie Parr, Jennifer Mills and Cherry Gillespie; ‘Tatty' the Headgirl and the ‘drip' twins – wonderful years.
I enjoyed reliving memories from your very informative website. Thank you.
Joanna Dyckes (nee Pratt)
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E-mail from Marguerite and John Pumfrey received 18 May, 2009 (Ed. Personal friends who always had a keen interest in the school and now live in southern France)
Dear Paul and John,
We are reading your Bush Davies history in installments to fully absorb it, most impressed by the scholarship and endeavour involved in producing such a comprehensive and detailed account. The family background, relationships and professional expertise over so many years is exciting to read and enjoy. Tying together of many threads must have taken hours of research and delving into all your archives - it is just great - well done both of you. You have destroyed a ballet myth, surely the penny was to be held between two other anatomical parts a little further up the legs and around the back! (Ed. ref. to Paul's audition with Dame Ninette de Valois see Fellowes Family page 4)
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From Mavis Peterson (now Crabtree). Sister of Daphne.
Started at The Studio, went to Felden and finished off at Charters. I remember at Romford, I think before 1939, when my sister Daphne was performing a Mexican Hat Dance at the 'Sunshine Blind Competitions'. Our Father was standing in the wings preparing to throw the hat, it had to land centre stage, and the right way up, so that Daphne could dance round it. I was always terrified that he would make a mistake. I did not dare ask Daphne what her thoughts were, or the state of her nerves!! Another competition memory, this I think was when Romford and Charters competed between themselves (Ed. called the Inter-Comps when parents would be invited). At the start of my Ballet Solo my mind went blank, the first bars were played, and I was rooted to the spot. I was allowed to start again, and the pianist played the introduction, still my mind was a complete blank. Then I saw my sister Daphne stand up in the audience, and she shouted "sissonne fermee en avant you idiot!" and I shot forward like a bullet from a gun and I didn't even know she knew my dance! At Charters I liked spending time in the garden, I must have been about thirteen years old, and happily gazing at a peaceful field at the side of the school. Suddenly a whistle blew, and the grass stood up, trees and bushes came alive, turned into men with guns, who ran across the field. It was Mr Leopold in charge of the Home Guard beautifully camouflaged with grass, leaves and branches. A very impressive show, and Mr Leopold had them very well rehearsed!
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