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Advert for the sale of the Bedford Hill Estate in the County Chronicle, Surrey Herald and Weekly Advertiser for Kent On This Day 29 June 1841
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On This Day 28 June 1896 Jenny Hill died. She lived at the Hermitage in Streatham
Jenny Hill (1848 – 28 June 1896), born Elizabeth Jane Thompson, was a popular English music hall performer of the Victorian era known as "The Vital Spark" and "the Queen of the Halls". Her repertoire of songs included "'Arry", "The Boy I Love Is in the Gallery", "The Little Vagabond Boy", "I've Been a Good Woman to You" and "If I Only Bossed the Show"
Jenny Hill was born in Paddington, London, to Michael Thompson (1812/13–1881) a Marylebone cab driver. Her stage début was made at the age of six or seven, when she performed as the legs of the goose in the pantomime Mother Goose at the Aquarium Theatre in Westminster. In about 1860 she made her professional debut at Dr. Johnson's Concert Rooms, traditional "Song & Supper Rooms" in Fleet Street
On 28 May 1866, aged 18, she married John Wilson Woodley, an acrobat known by the stage name Jean Pasta; he later abandoned her, leaving her with three children, one of whom became the music hall performer Peggy Pryde she died at Peggy's home in Brixton
In London, Hill was engaged for a tryout at the London Pavilion, a music hall, where her song stopped the show. The popular entertainer George Leybourne led her back onto the stage for an encore. By 1871 she was earning £6 a week at the London Pavilion. The theatrical agent Hugh J. Didcott gave the expressive, witty and vivacious Hill the sobriquet "The Vital Spark", which she used throughout her career
On 25 March 1889 she appeared on the same bill as Bessie Bellwood at the Canterbury Theatre of Varieties. Her repertoire of songs included 'Arry, The Boy I Love Is In The Gallery, The Little Vagabond Boy, I've Been a Good Woman to You and If I Only Bossed the Show.
Eventually, she earned enough by dancing the "Cellar Flap", singing her song The Coffee-Shop Girl and by her male impersonations to buy The Hermitage and its farmlands at Streatham
She is buried at Nunhead cemetery
On This Day 28th June 1998 Rudy Narayan died
Rahasya Rudra (Rudy) Narayan (11 May 1938 – 28 June 1998) was a barrister and civil rights activist.
He migrated to Britain in the 1950s from Guyana. He lived at 23 Woodbourne Avenue
A plaque commemorates him at his practice in Brixton
Lord Robens of Woldingham - "Alf" Robens - died On this Day 27th June 1999. He lived with his wife Eva at 13 Prentis Rd. ( Streatham Society member Betty Searle was a secretary of his)
The Guardian obituary describes him as the classic Mr Might-Have-Been Man. He might easily have become leader of the Labour party and, in 1964, prime minister instead of Harold Wilson. Instead, he had a remarkable and successful, not to say lucrative, career as an industrialist.
Robens took over Britain's coal industry in October 1960 for his Ten-Year Stint (the title of his own 1972 book).
When Robens became Chairman of the NCB's there were 698 pits employing 583,000 miners. Ten years later, when Robens left, there were 292 pits employing only 283,000.
The largest single blow to his reputation came from his reaction to the catastrophic 1966 industrial accident at Aberfan
He held a number of prominent positions and was a director of the Bank of England, on the board of Times Newspapers, the first Vice Chancellor of the University of Surrey and Chair of Governor's at Guys Hospital.
He retired to Laleham Abbey once the home of Lord Luchan
Image ©National Portrait Galley ( Creative Commons License 91157)
This appeared in the Norwood News On This Day 27 June 1930. Miss Johnson winner of the Ladies Championship at the Telford Park Tennis Club and appeared at Wimbledon that year
The Telford Park Tennis Club, Tennis first played 1st August 1880. Officially founded in 1884, the second oldest Tennis Club in London, preceded only by Wimbledon
Image © Reach PLC. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.
Streatham was the place to be in June 1953
Norwood News On This Day 26 June 1953
Sir Ralph Richardson in the "The White Carnation" and the Bob Miller orchestra at the Locarno
Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.
Mick Jones was born On This Day 26th June 1955
Lead guitarist of the Clash and then formed Big Audio Dynamite.
Lived with his grandmother at Christchurch House, Streatham
On This Day 26th June 1952 Olive Morris was born. She died aged 27 and is buried at Streatham Park Cemetery
Olive Morris was a community activist in South London in the 1970s. Through her activities organising the black community and feminist activism, she left behind an extraordinary legacy of local activism.
Photo National Portrait Gallery by Streatham resident Neil Kenlock and reproduced with his kind permission ©Neil Kenlock
The Music Hall star Billy Merson died On This Day 25th June 1947
A resident of "Katherine House" 17 (previously 12) Woodbourne Avenue, Streatham. The house was named after his daughter Katherine (Kitty) In his book ‘Fixing the Stoof Oop’ in 1925. , he talks about his association with the number 7 and the penultimate paragraph begins
“There was a house in Streatham in which I lived for ten years ; the landlord changed the number soon after I went there, and it became No. 17.”
Billy Merson born William Henry Thompson in Nottingham , he began his career while working in a lace-making factory and performing shows as an acrobat and comedian in the evening at the Nottingham Theatre Royal.
It took some time until he could make a good living from his stage work; he also wrote many songs including 'The Photo of the Girl I Left Behind', 'Desdemona' and possibly his best known song 'The Spaniard That Blighted My Life'. He was chairman of the music hall at the Players Theatre in London.
Starred in a handful of silent film comedies under the direction of W.P. Kellino for the Homeland (Globe) Film Company in 1915-17 often taken from his own sketches.
Later he was often seen in character roles in many talkies through the 1930's. According to an article in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 19/8/2011 Billy Merson whose real name is William Henry Thompson may have been related to the famous 19th Century bare knuckle prize fighter William 'Bendigo' Thompson born in Nottingham in the early 1800's, and his descendants are Hayden Thompson born 2011 son of stage actress Emma Rothwell born 1985.
(IMDb Mini Biography By: Paul Rothwell-Smith and thanks Miles Harvey)
Eric Arthur Blair known by his pen name George Orwell, was born On This Day 25th June 1903. Blair was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic.
Orwell’s led a highly “compartmentalised life” in the 1930s. “Not least that one of his great hobbies was ice-skating. As soon as winter came around, he would get his skates up from Southwold and head for Streatham ice rink.” (DH Taylor in the Guardian).
Mark Bery, Secretary Streatham Society
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