Imagine my complete surprise when going into the Butlin site for memories.
I have only just recently acquired a computer and after a little while decided to actually get on to the net. Just playing around and for something to do I thought I'd put in Butlins and see what was new. I found the site for Butlin memories and thought 'Yes' I'd like to go there. Then looking through the list of sites to visit I saw one on Keep Fit Display Teams. Again I thought 'I'll go there'. Up it came. And whilst I am looking at it I suddenly realized I was looking at myself. Second one in line from the front of the picture. I thought 'That's me' 'That's Jean' 'That's Doreen'. I was so excited I went tearing into the other room saying 'Come and see' 'Come and see' I wanted to say 'I'm on Telly'. It really was a case of Calm Down Dear.
Me - I am Pamela Joyce (nee Ridley at the time of the photograph), Jean is Jean Davis and Doreen is Doreen Oliver. We joined the team in 1951 and stayed with them until 1956. I left when I got married. I am 75 now - Jean 79 and Doreen somewhere in between. We do look somewhat different now.
We have such happy memories of our time with the team. Every late autumn we would go along to the Holborn Hall in Grays Inn Road, London to the auditions and hope and hope we would get picked again. Rehearsals would be once a week with the new show being in February or March for four nights at the Royal Albert Hall. We would be at the Albert Hall for the whole week because the show had to be rehearsed and timed. Obviously this was not our full time job - we all had to arrange for time off work, or use holidays to fulfill our passion.
After The Royal Albert Hall we would be invited to entertain the crowds at various Football Grounds. Usually going on prior to the match starting, and then again at half-time. We visited most football gounds around London and the South. Arsenal was a particular favourite, because they really looked after us. They always put on a buffet reception for us. Other times, from our return from other Football venues, Butlins always brought us back to the Odean Marble Arch, where we dispersed. Before dispersing Butlins had arranged for a buffet supper.
Our reward for our devotion was 7//6d a show, which was held as a concession towards our holidays.
Whilst surfing the net I visited Pathe News and found some footage featuring the Reunions. It reminded me of the happy times and it was lovely to go through those memories.
I have some photographs taken at the Albert Hall. Below is one of us three taken in 1952 - this followed the Queen and Prince Phillip's visit to Canada when the craze for square dancing was prolific.