Backstage Bites

As life begins to return to normality and you are starting to come back into the CAA to reunite with family, friends and colleagues, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself, Peter, your new caterer at the CAA and my catering company, Backstage Bites. 

Some of you will already know me as I have been a lunchtime member for over five years and you may have seen me at many CAA social events, including the Annual Balls and Christmas parties.

In line with the steady step by step reopening of the Club I will be offering a limited lunchtime menu, closely managed to help keep us as Covid-19 safe as possible. The Kitchen has had a full and thorough, professional, deep clean and been treated with a revolutionary long-term anti-microbial coating, designed to inhibit the growth of micro organisms for up to ninety days after application. As your server, I will be wearing gloves and a face shield at all times. With the renewed attention to safety no-one will be allowed to enter the Kitchen and all food orders will be taken by me at your table.

The Club reopens on Thursday, 3rd September, with food being served initially 12 noon to 4pm, Monday to Friday.   Starting off, I will offer a selection of sandwiches and afternoon tea, so you can enjoy a nibble or two while you are catching up. Due to Covid-19 regulations there will be some specific aspects to service, for instance we cannot put condiments or sauces out as before, and these will, for now, be available individually. Also, although cash is still the preferred payment method for food, I am able to take contactless card payments if this helps to make you more secure.

As confidence and Club attendance grows so will the range of food on offer and our new extended menu, with comforting hot dishes, sumptuous salads, light bites, sharers and tempting desserts, will be introduced as soon as possible and eventually served from 12 noon to 7 pm.   Once the Hall returns to operation, and you have an event booked, I will be able to provide you with a variety of menus, including lunches, dinners, buffets and canapés.

I look forward to seeing you all very soon,

Peter

Peter Cliffe for Backstage Bites

Phone 07801 351863

Email p.cliffe18@sky.com

Chairman’s Newsletter August 2020

Dear Members,

Kay Carman

The Committee has agreed to open the Club on Thursday, 3rd September, for a trial period throughout September to see if it is financially viable for us to open.

Initially the Bar will be open from 12 noon to 5pm Monday to Friday. Last orders will be 4.30 pm. Only Credit/Debit Cards will be taken for Bar payments. No cash will be taken by the Bar staff.

We may stay open slightly later once we are into a regular routine. We all have to be flexible.

A limited Menu of various sandwiches, prawn cocktail, salad, chips and Afternoon Cream Tea with tea or coffee, will be available from our new caterer, Peter Cliffe read more here.

Please support him when you come to the Club and order something to eat with your drinks. We hope to have a pianist playing softly downstairs in the Hall some afternoons.

The Club is being thoroughly deep cleaned in accordance with rules because of the Corona virus. Signs re social distancing and health rules will be displayed alongside hand sanitizers, etc. A one way system around the Club will be signposted.   

Please bring your own masks & gloves etc. for your own protection. You do come into the Club at your own risk. Members of the Committee will be setting out tables & chairs in the Bar and Concert Hall.   

Because of social distancing, seating space will be restricted. Therefore, whichever day or days you wish to come in you must phone up to reserve a seat please. Otherwise you may be disappointed if you just turn up and we are full.

Phone either: 0207 836 3172 or 0207 254 6074

Please leave your name and number. This may seem complicated but we have to adhere to Government guidelines!

Sadly, we have lost quite a few longstanding members during lockdown, from various illnesses not just the virus. Once we are back to normal we will have a Tribute afternoon/evening memorial to them. We send loving thoughts & support to their loved ones.

Over lockdown our Benevolent & Samaritan funds have been helping our members who have applied for assistance, all confidentially. These two funds are the raison d’être of our Club! Please phone either of the two numbers above for any information about assistance.

It has been and still is an awfully worrying time. Try to keep smiling & try to stay positive! I know it is hard but if you need to talk just ring myself or another Committee member. 

We are here to help & support you however we can! If you have a problem or a question about the Club, just call!

All my good wishes to you all,

Love

Kay Carman,

Chairman on behalf of the Committee

Jeanne Mitchell

It is with great sadness that I tell you of the death of Jeanne Mitchell. 

Jeanne worked so hard for our Club; always giving of her time and efforts whenever they were required.

She was our Chairman in the past and also organised the Social Events for many years, creating lots of happy and varied functions for the members and their guests to enjoy! 

She was always willing and happy to sing for us on our Monday Night Shows. She was a true stalwart member and greatly loved by us all!

We will certainly miss her and we will raise a glass or 2 or 3 or maybe more to her when we return to our Club!!!!!! 

Thank you dear Jeanne for all that you have done for us at the CAA. 

RIP Lovely Lady. 

Kay XXX

Chairman’s Newsletter July 2020

NEWS FROM THE CHAIRMAN KAY CARMAN – JULY 2020

Kay Carman

The committee had a ‘virtual’ meeting on Thursday 9th July to discuss the reopening of the club.

It was decided to have a ‘deep clean’ throughout and the air conditioning fully serviced. Judith is arranging PPE, hand sanitising dispensers, perspex screens etc to enable us to create a safe environment.

Two or three Committee members will come in during August to sort out social distancing seating and tables in the Bar and Concert Hall areas using the small red cabaret tables. Malcolm will help sort out the bar regarding stock etc. Our new caterer Peter will also be on board.

Our aim is to reopen slowly but surely in early September. This all depends of course on Government directives and monitoring the overall situation. So we have to be flexible and cannot open fully for a while. We will gauge our member’s response and take it from there.

We want to be ready to respond to the ever changing situation and be fully prepared as much as we can be to open in early September, at least for a drink and some food and to be able to meet up safely with our friends again. Exact timings will be known at a later date – thank you for your wonderful patience and understanding.

Unfortunately we have inevitably lost some of our members during the lockdown. We will celebrate all their lives when we are back at the club. Our most recent passing is stalwart ‘C’ Member Tony Davey.

Tony contributed so much to our club! He, with his lovely wife Betty came to every function and brought their friends as well. He was (quite literally) a giant among men. Tony and Betty graciously gave us use of their house and grounds for our 100th Birthday Garden Party on 6th July 1997 – our Centenary Year! We can never thank them enough for that! RIP Tony; all our love and thanks to you along with our love and support to Betty and the family. We are here for you.

‘A’ Members remember that the Benevolent Fund is there to help you in these difficult financial times, so please contact Barbara Daniels for information. Any other members can apply for help from the Samaritan Fund – please contact myself or Malcolm for information.

These are strange, awful times but dear members please try to keep smiling and please stay safe! You have the member’s book so contact any of us if you wish to talk.

Love from Kay x

Joane Hall

JOANE HALL 28th February 1921 – 8th May 2020

Joane was a remarkable lady who was blessed with a great sense of humour, stamina and a zest for life. She was born in Newcastle and joked that she danced her way out of her mother’s womb!

At the age of 14 in 1935 she left home to appear in a pantomime troupe – The Zio Angels. During the Second World War she joined ENSA and entertained our troops overseas including a tour of Africa.

Joane recounted many stories at the CAA about her wartime escapades. One memory she shared was being allocated a cabin en route to Africa with a nun. Apparently Joane had her eye on a handsome sailor but the Nun’s party on board were closely chaperoned, which made any nocturnal liaison Joane had in mind impossible!

During and just after the war Joane worked in theatre as an actress and dancer. Between engagements she had a variety of jobs including working in an ammunition factory, Civil Nursing Reserves and a waitress in an Italian restaurant.

She was a dresser at the London Palladium for numerous stars. Indeed Frank Sinatra insisted on Joane as his dresser whenever he played the Palladium. Joane’s TV appearances as an actress included ‘The Bill’ and ‘Father Ted.’ She also played Vera in the television drama ‘Pat and Margaret’ written by Victoria Wood.

When ‘Cats’ went to Broadway in 1982, the show’s choreographer Gillian Lynne asked Joane to accompany her as her assistant and friend. In 1988 she became Queen Ratling with CAA stalwart Roy Pyke as her escort. Although Joane never married, she says she had received 28 proposals of marriage and was actually engaged at one time to a lion tamer.

She was a great friend of Roy and Debbie Hudd who even named their dogs after her. Dean Caston says how delighted he was when she agreed to do ‘An Evening With Joane Hall’ in March 2017 at the CAA for one of the BMHS Limelight series. Dean visited Joane at her flat in Charing Cross Road several times and was enthralled by her stories.

Sadly Joane was eventually unable to look after herself in her flat, so in early 2019 she moved into a retirement home where she passed away aged 99. Her funeral service at Golders Green Crematorium could only host 8 people because of the covid 19 crisis.

Joane had so many friends who adored her and she was always so popular on her frequent trips to the CAA. The club intend to organise a special memorial celebration of her life next year to mark her centenary.

CAA Past President ROY HUDD

Roy Hudd Portrait
Roy Hudd (Past President of the CAA)

Roy’s wife Debbie has been in touch regarding Roy’s funeral and Memorial Service arrangements. The funeral will take place on the 3rd April but, due to the Coronavirus, the service will be held outside the church and with close family only.

Debbie has booked the Actor’s Church in Covent Garden on the 25th September for a Memorial Service. Let’s hope that by then things will have started to get back to ‘normal’ as so many of you will want to attend.

Please check back to this website for updates.

Help for Self-Employed Members!

FURTHER URGENT UPDATE from YOUR CHAIRMAN!

Dear Self Employed “A” members,

In these unprecedented times I hope the Club can come to your rescue in some small way.

” The Benevolent Fund of the Concert Artistes Association is established for the relief of distress of “A” Members or their dependents in necessitous circumstances. “

So the Trustees of the Benevolent Fund are ready to take your calls. All confidentially. Call

Barbara Daniels. 01923 771030. Head Trustee. or email

barbara.humphrey@ntlworld.com

Our professional B members who are also self employed in Show business. We have our Samaritan Fund that may be able to help in some way. Please call myself, Kay Carman, on

0207 254 6074. email

kcarman.nuttall@outlook.com

We hope of course that the Government may come up with a package to help all of those in our Business as they have with other people, but until they do we also have the 2 funds of our Club that will help our members. All in confidence.

Don’t be down hearted! Your CAA. is here to help!

Keep Smiling!!!

Love from Kay!

Onwards & Upwards!! Be positive!!!

David Carter’s Celebration Service

David Carter

DAVID CARTER’S FUNERAL SERVICE

David’s funeral took place on Monday 23rd March in West Sussex. His partner Paul has decided to defer the date of David’s Celebration Service at St. Peter’s Croydon until a time when everyone is more comfortable about travelling and being around others. He is sure everyone will understand that when times are happier and safer, we can all get together to give David the final send-off he deserves, celebrating his life and music.

Meanwhile you can still make a donation in David’s memory. Donations will go to ‘Future Talent’ – the UK’s leading charity who help young gifted musicians, providing tuition, and performance opportunities that they would otherwise never experience. Donations can be sent to Alex Jones Funeral Directors, 92 Station Road East, Oxted, Surrey RH8 0QA

Paul thanks everyone for their continued love and support. Details of the Celebration will be posted here as soon as known.

Chairman’s Newsletter March 2020

Kay Carman

The AGM in March 2019 was well attended, the main topic being the club refurbishment. At the end of a long discussion, Bryan Naylor said that we must spend ‘whatever it takes.’ So, thank you Bryan for that because we practically have a brand new club now. 

We spent more than our original budget but we did so in full knowledge of the implications and we had a Cost Consultant on hand all the time! We are still very healthy financially and we did not have to borrow any money as all expenditure was within our means. 

It is a new era for the club now and we move forward positively. I am very proud and honoured to have ‘spear headed’ the project. It was a long seven months dealing with all the aspects involved and I have certainly learned a huge amount!

I thank the committee for their support and Deputy Chairman Jonathan Brosnan for his full support during the year. But in particular, Ron Wallace who over the years has sorted out the maintenance of our club and saved us a lot of money. This year he kept an eye on the builder’s progress! 

Also Chris Hare, who has been a huge support and always been POSITIVE with me about the work. They both came to as many fortnightly site meetings as they could. 

Judith Quiney has worked tirelessly for the Club. Packing all the boxes and everything ready for the storage units in May and reorganising BT accounts, so that we could continue in a temporary office on the fifth floor from July. 

Judith also was a great help with ordering new furniture, fixture and fittings and then, when we came back in the refurbished building in November, helping unpacking boxes and sorting out the new IT issues in the office and card machines and picking up snagging issues. She has been invaluable, giving so much of her time to the Club. 

Grateful thanks to Malcolm our Secretary, who handles the Office and Val, his assistant, who have coped with the office upheavals since we moved back in. Malcolm has had to come in very early some mornings for workmen and deliveries. They hardly ever have a sick day off! 

Thanks to Liam, our hard working stage manager and the guys who set out the chairs. Malcolm, our doorman, has had a knee operation and expects to be back in March. Also our bar staff, who cope with every eventuality with a smile. 

As we settle into our new club, there are still a couple of snagging issues such as extra stage curtains and photos back on the wall. Sally and her team have continued to supply popular meals but the committee, as part of good practice in a new era, have put the brand new kitchen up for tender. Sadly, Sally has decided to leave. 

We have had a good response from individuals and firms to take over the franchise. Interviews have already been conducted. Unfortunately, the 4th floor office firm went into liquidation and the 3rd floor firm have been having financial difficulties, but we have recouped most of the money they owe us. It is ongoing. 

So, we are looking for new tenants. We thank the Trustees of our Benevolent Fund who work quietly and confidentially helping our ‘A’ members. If anyone knows of members in need please contact them. Also the Samaritan Fund is there to help other members. Please contact the Committee. 

Our social functions continue to sell out! Our hall capacity is slightly reduced due to an extended stage area and our sound and lighting desk now being situated at the rear of the hall. 

The Committee has decided to TRY OUT opening every SATURDAY EVENING from April from 5pm until last orders at 11.15pm. Sadly, we have lost quite a few members this year but, since January, we have brought in new members who have been on the waiting list for quite a while. 

I have really enjoyed this year as your Chairman and I thank you for your wonderful support and your patience during all of the closure. We have a great new Club! Onwards and Upwards! My love to you all.

KAY CARMAN

Future Catering Arrangements

IMPORTANT NEWS REGARDING THE CLUB’S FUTURE CATERING ARRANGEMENTS...

 UPDATE: This franchise has now been appointed.

Catering Notice

The club’s catering franchise is due for renewal this spring. Sally has indicated that she does not intend to tender for the franchise and therefore will not be catering for us after March 31st.

The following announcement and advert has been placed in Catering Magazines – any members who may have an interest, please contact the office.

The Concert Artistes’ Association (CAA) Covent Garden London

The Concert Artistes’ Association, is a theatrical private members club in the heart of Covent Garden with 1,000 members.

The club has a brand-new commercial kitchen which it would like to rent.  The successful business would supply:

Lunchtime bar meals and dinners for both club events and outside hirers of the hall.

There would also be scope for developing an outside catering operation to the many businesses located in the area from the kitchen. 

To register interest and to provide details about your company and experience contact:

The Club Secretary Malcolm Knight Tel: 020 7836 3172 Email: office@thecaa.org

20 Bedford Street London WC2E 9HP