Website Security Upgrade

updated 8th October 2023


Welcome to

Ultimately my address saving precautions as advised proved unnecessary but, I make no excuse for being cautious. The way is now OPEN for exciting NEW services available directly from the CAA office through this website soon!


Although not affecting the website operation or security, post upgrade there are still a couple of unresolved issues. While the office@ email mailbox is clearly working perfectly (Chris Hare and I have QUADRUPLE checked it with Malcolm!) A new mailbox I setup for the upgrade suddenly failed afterwards as did also the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) I use to backup the website regularly.

The NS (Name Servers) ARE now reporting as fully propagated as of last Thursday so I shall be working with my data centre/service provider to wrap up these loose ends  tomorrow Monday 9/10/23.

Meanwhile and as expected readers will see that website loading times are significantly slower! This is a direct result of the data encryption and that the website now relays through a third party’s SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certification server too! 

Slow load speeds impact on search engine ranking SO over time it is essential that I optimize ALL future pages PLUS all top level pages, especially the home page! For this reason and in anticipation, some while back I created a fast link in the main menu to “Latest News.” 

Website editor Chris Hare and I have been in discussion for months now in preparation for this event and as anticipated this website’s home page will serve more strictly with it’s actual purpose as a HUB with links to relevant content on other pages. 

On the home page there will ALWAYS be a link to NEW content in “Latest News,” “Notices” & new content in the “Members Only Area.” BUT, the latter for members only WILL NOT appear in the “Recent Articles & Notices” box despite being linked from the home page. Members should still visit the home page 1st.

Paul Scudder (site admin) 

Guidance for Artwork Submissions


Nothing in the following post changes anything that is working so very well… Generally members ask the website editor Chris Hare for something, he then does his editor stuff and passes his instructions to me understanding it will be actioned within 72 hours max and usually significantly faster!

Please Note…

All artwork featured on this notice is for upcoming events at time of publishing! In each case, once date expired they are moved to a permanently visible archive for the purpose of keyword retention and general interest, so please include the year in the event date!!!

These brief notes are provided here to help with the faster publishing of members’ artwork.

Increasingly members are creating posters and banners offline for publishing on this website.

Such entirely voluntary member participation is very welcome and greatly encouraged.

Furthermore if the artwork is website ready it can be published faster and with less administration time which can help to keep website costs as low as possible!

Passive Artwork…

The coronation party poster illustrated here is a static or passive image. As an image it cannot be read by search engines! Google for example will index it as “an image on the CAA website”

In most cases the image or banner includes artistes’ names and if an online search for that name produced this image in the results it would be fantastic for the artiste and also help maintain the website’s ranking too.

Coronation Party Poster

The Important Solutions…

Images need to be sent to the website editor in file formats of .jpg .jpeg or .png with a MAXIMUM width of 1024 pixels (I can easily re-size if a problem & height is not important.)

Please also ensure there are no spelling errors since we can’t correct them easily if at all and artwork may be rejected as a result.

“Ease of access” to the internet is considered hugely important in search rankings epecially for sight impaired or blind persons!

Special software can read out a description of the image to the user over their computer or phone. Failure to provide such assistance can lower a web page’s overall score significantly!

To the left (or above on a phone) is a screenshot of the submission made for this poster yesterday.

You will see that I’ve added a description which is much the same as the text on the image. As was in this case the text was provided simultaneously in the same email submission to the editor. Here it was in .pdf format in upper case but, could have been just as easily included into the submission email and case is not important.

It need not be every bit of text in the image but needs to adequately decribe the image to a sight impaired reader, however they come to discover the page.

The text is thus written into the page code and indexed accordingly by all search engines including all relevant details.

Active Artwork…

Alternatively you might want to consider this method for submissions?

Below is an example of active artwork! In this instance I was provided with all the text and the two smaller pictures. I sourced a background without text and published it. Such backgrounds can also be submitted if you have one in mind?

The advantage here is that the text IS readable straight from the banner and any subsequent changes can be made on the fly.

Plus the text adapts actively to the readers’ device regardless of size. In most cases this is how submissions are made for the ‘Members Gig Guide‘ too.

The more observant and regular readers here might have also noticed that for quite a while now, I’ve included the current year within the date stamps? This seemingly superfluous inclusion makes sense only when so much of this website is now being archived and in a digital World could last until the end of time!?

Stop Press!…

Below that further is a repeatable example of a templated banner that ticks all the boxes and includes many valuable keywords! 

I’m only allowed to include this once per page per year so make no excuse for including it on this page. However banners such as these observe special rules outside of the topic of this page… Nonetheless did start the same way at the outset! I had to do it with help from Chris Hare (website editor.) These are probably the only examples where outside artwork is not practical in the grand scheme of things when allowing for future variables?

Well done to those that have already got creative… Thank you and Keep up the good work!

Paul Scudder (Site Admin)

FRIDAY 19th MAY 2023 at 7.30pm

Jazz at the CAA title



A wonderful evening celebrating the great lyricist

Johnny Mercer at the Piano



SIMON WALLACE (Piano and Musical Director), ALEC DANKWORTH (Bass) KENRICK ROWE (Drums)

Sarah Moule and Simon Wallace


£20 (Members) £22 (Guests) Call the office 020 7836 3172

Example below of a repeatable templated banner best left to be dealt with in-house!

FRIDAY 16th JUNE 2023 at 7.30pm






Singers, Dancers, Actors, Magicians, Comedians & Intrumentalists


Performers, please bring your own sheet music

£5 entrance fee



At time of publication these two excellent off-line artwork submissions are also upcoming events! Another is in the Members Gig Guide too.

Welsh Male Voice Choir
Monday May 22nd 2023

Audrey Leybourne 1927 – 2022


Much loved CAA Member Audrey Leybourne passed away on 1st December 2022 aged 95. She had been a member of the club since 1991 and was a regular attendee. Audrey was always full of fun and good humour and a great supporter of the Monday Night Shows.

She was born in Cardiff on 19th February 1927. Growing up in 1930s Cardiff she attended the Welsh National College of Music and Drama. It was here she was spotted by Donald Wolfit who offered her a scholarship to tour with his company as an acting A.S.M. In 1953 she rejoined Wolfit’s company for a production of Henry 1V part one at Hammersmith.

Audrey moved to London in the 1960s and in 1967 appeared as Old Sally alongside Barry Humphries as Fagin in a revival of Oliver. She played countless diverse roles on tour as an actor, singer and dancer covering the whole country. Her notable stage credits, which underlines her amazing versatility, include the first stage version of Winnie The Pooh and an acclaimed production of the Amazons at Nottingham Playhouse.

She appeared in The Beggar’s Opera and Black Comedy in Ipswich. Then received rave reviews for appearances in Uncle Vanya and Come Blow Your Horn. She also toured in Noel Coward’s Bitter Sweet with June Bronhill. In 1979 she appeared in a production at the Adelphi with Tony Britton as Higgins.

Other credits are as a dancer in Richard Harris’ comedy Stepping Out; Kath in Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr. Sloane; and Mrs Pugh in the musical Annie which toured abroad and featured Su Pollard who became a personal friend of Audrey.

Audrey Leybourne with Barrie Stacey
Audrey with her great friend Barrie Stacey who also passed away this year at the same age of 95. Let's hope they are reunited now.

Audrey appeared numerous times on TV and films. Her notable credits include; The Wednesday Play (1964), Churchill’s People (1974), The Old Curiosity Shop (1979), The Brack Report (1982), On The Line (1982), Screenplay (1986), Chaplin (1992), County Kilburn (2000), Doctors (2010), Bone China (2013), Stella (2014), Grandma’s Big Schlep (2015) and Carters Get Rich (2017)

She was a member of Les Dawson’s famous dance Troupe The Roly Polys in the 1980s. However it was an appearance on Britain’s Got Talent at the age of 90 that brought her overnight national fame. She sang ‘I Wanna be Loved By You.’ Amanda Holden asked her if she had ever been married. Audrey replied “No, but I have been in love many, many times – 22 Gentlemen!”

She made her panto debut at the age of 90 playing Potty T Potts in Beauty and the Beast and continued working into her 90s doing commercials and the occasional stage role.

Audrey was summed up by her vicar Rev. Simon Grigg. “She was a remarkable person and a real trouper of an actress. A much loved member of St. Pauls. She has a last message to you all. She said to me shortly before she died that if I pop off, tell everyone I don’t regret a thing. I’ve had a wonderful life.”

by Chris Hare

Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen

Her Majesty the Queen

The club is deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty.

A great supporter of the arts and performance generally.  Many of our members have been in her company at Royal shows. The national anthem is still sung after every Monday Show and that tradition will continue. God Save the King!




BETWEEN 5.00 – 6.30 pm.
BAR OPEN FROM 5.00 – 11.00 pm.
(Last orders 10.30 pm.)

At 8.00 pm. Social Secretary Simon Bashford Presents…


Please see the post below for further information.

Simon Bashfords' "A Handful of Songs"

The Club for Acts & Actors

Patrons ~ Dame Judi Dench ~ Brian May CBE ARCS ~ Su Pollard

Tina May 1961-2022

Top English Jazz Vocalist and CAA member Tina May passed away as a result of a brain tumour on 26th March 2022. Her bubbly personality and great humour backed up by a truly brilliant and well informed mind, meant It was always a joy to be in her company.

She was just 60 and was up there with the greatest jazz singers this country has produced. As the Observer critic Dave Gelly wrote in 2014, “Tina can sing a straight melody such as ‘I’m Through With Love’ and make it open like a flower.”

Gloucester born, she was the younger daughter of Daphne, a cosmetics company manager and Harry May, a former professional footballer, who went on to be a Manager in the engineering industry. Both parents were musical and amateur pianists and Tina’s early influence was Fat’s Waller. 

Tina attended Cheltenham Ladies College and went on to study French at University College Cardiff. The course involved Tina spending a year in Paris, where she started singing in Parisian Jazz clubs. In Paris she met Rory Bremner who became a leading impressionist and satirist.

 She formed a performing duo with Rory which saw them appear at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She was also a founding member of the Back Door Theatre Company in Cardiff. Tina sang with a Latin American Band and played the Bath Festival in 1990. 

Tina May
Tina May 1961-2022

She moved to London and quickly became an in demand singer on the jazz scene recording for the Indie 33 Jazz label. In 1992 the first of several albums ‘Never Let Me Go’ was released and she built up a large fan base. 

She was a regular performer at Ronnie Scotts Club. At that time she worked closely with pianist Ray Bryant with whom she recorded and became an accomplished lyricist, writing witty and stylish verses to accompany his brilliant playing. 

Tina later formed a close association with pianist Nikki Iles who regularly played for her. In 2000 she made the acclaimed album ‘Tina May Live in Paris,’ followed by ‘Tina May sings Piaf.’ Tina was fluent in French and made bilingual tours of France. She always showed utmost respect for a lyric, yet interpreted songs in her own unique style to perfection. Her voice literally was another instrument.

A gifted music educator, Tina was widely respected at the Royal Academy of Music, Birmingham Consevatoire and the Royal Welsh College of Music.

In 1989 she married drummer Clark Tracey and they had a son Ben and daughter Gemma. They later divorced and, at the time of her death, Tina’s partner of nearly three years was saxophonist Simon Spillett.

by Chris Hare

Saxophonist Simon Spillett was Tina May’s partner for nearly three years. A month or so after her death he published this so poignant piece which, with his permission, we reproduce here.

Simon Spillett
Simon Spillett

Winchester Services, London-bound, the dying minutes of Friday night. I’m heading back after a lovely gig with my quartet in Poole. For two hours music made sense of things, putting all else on hold. I’m sat here eating an over chilled sandwich  accompanied by the distant noise of Beyonce piped from an overhead speaker and the up close scraping of chairs on the floor of Costa Coffee, as the bored night staff mop and sweep their way into Saturday. Save for them, I’m the only person in the place. It’s hardly ‘One For My Baby’ territory, especially as the thumping, pumping, invasive background music suddenly seems to have made a decibel leap of such exponential levels that I’m beginning to feel as if I’ve been marooned in a dystopian disco.

Time was Winchester distinguished itself by being one of the few service stops which had no canned music. Indeed not so very long ago I remember stopping on a way home from a gig with a band I was in with the late John Critchinson, Dave Green, Henry Lowther and Trevor Tomkins. One by one they appeared through the automatic sliding doors, each of us sharing the same bright idea of coffee and cake. There I sat, awed in such company, listening to jazz folklore being bandied about by those who were there. There was nothing but conversation, laughter and love around the table that night.

But now, amid the combined din of dragged furniture and droning divas, I’m sitting alone, wondering idly how many times I’ve been in this scenario. I daren’t even hazard a guess but I’d imagine it might add up to several thousand hours of killed time, an attrition rate you could measure out in unsuitable food stuffs, coffee of wildly varied quality and melancholy by the mile. I don’t think I’ve ever truly got used to it but now, feeling like I’ve been dunked into cold water after  the reassuring warmth of a genuine home life, there’s something oddly magnetic about it, the sort of ‘better the devil you know’ familiarity you might cling to when all else spirals away out of control.

I think of people like John Critch, with whom I gigged about in all sorts of places as we criss-crossed these islands for thirteen years. We’d sit in countless godforsaken spots like this and share some deep talk, with John usually being the kind of font of wisdom that trickled rather than gushed. And I think of my Dad too, of how I’d tell him the morning after a gig where I’d been and what I’d done. ‘I go to bed and think where are you tonight,’ he used to say. ‘I think of you driving through the night. I don’t know how you do it.’

And tonight, as I sit here, lukewarm coffee and strip-lit ceiling combining to keep me wide awake I think of Tina. How I wish I could go home to her again, even just once. I wouldn’t be lingering here if I could, wouldn’t waste a moment where I needn’t be. I’d know precisely where my heart lay. Still, this is all just late-night rumination, facts and fantasy formulating together to help kill yet another hour. A friend told me I should take things hour by hour, sage advice I know, but some hours are easier to handle than others. Those like tonight seem to stretch on forever. Maybe best to just crack on after all?

Frank Williams 1931-2022

English Actor and CAA member Frank John Williams passed away on 26th June 2022. He was six days short of his 91st Birthday.

Edgware born, Frank was an only child. He began his career in rep at the Watford Palace Theatre which was then being run by a young Jimmy Perry, who went on to create Dad’s Army. This was the early days of Television, a performing medium that most attracted Frank. 

He made several TV appearances in the early 1950s and landed the part of Captain Pocket in the ‘Army Game’, a show in which he made 116 appearances. 

His first film role was as an uncredited extra in ‘The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan’ in 1953. His first notable role was in 1956 in the film ‘The Extra Day.’ He went on to appear in three films with Norman Wisdom; ‘The Square Peg’ (1958); ‘The Bulldog Breed’ (1960), and ‘A Stitch in Time’ (1963). Throughout this period he appeared in films such as ‘Inn for Trouble’ (1960), ‘Just for Fun’ (1963), ‘Hide and Seek’ (1964), ‘Headline Hunters’ (1968).

Frank Williams 1931 - 2022
Frank Williams 1931 - 2022

In the 1970s he appeared in ‘One of our Dinosaurs is Missing’ (1975), ‘Jabberwocky’ (1977), ‘What’s Up Nurse?’ (1977) ‘Oh, Heavenly Dog’ (1980). He also received acclaim for a TV role in ‘Diary of a Young Man’ (1964) Directed by Ken Loach. Often cast as a member of the clergy, Frank also appeared in ‘You Rang M’Lord,’ ‘Hi De Hi,’ ‘The Worker,’ ‘All Gas and Gaiters’ and ‘Vanity Fair.’

However he became a national treasure and was best known for playing Reverend Timothy Farthing in TV’s ‘Dad’s Army’ (1969 – 1977). He appeared in the Dad’s Army feature film and also had a cameo in the remake in 2016. In 1993 he co-founded with Bill Pertwee the Dad’s Army Appreciation Society. Frank described working on Dad’s Army as the happiest time of his professional life.

Frank Williams was a lifetime Christian and a patron of Veneration, a charity established to prevent the social isolation of the elderly.

by Chris Hare

Ruth Silvestre 1930-2022

Ruth Silvestre

We are sad to report the death of Ruth Silvestre, aged 92. An enthusiastic and active member of the CAA for many years, she served on the committee.

Born in Basingstoke, her mother, who had worked in service as a children’s nanny, would sing Ruth to sleep with a repertoire of music hall songs; Polly Wolly Doodle and Lily of Laguna being two favourites.

The fortune to find a good music teacher at secondary school inspired Ruth to sing and music became “as essential as breathing”. Moving to London to train as a teacher at Goldsmiths she joined dramatic societies and singing groups, enjoying parts in a variety of small productions and then in a professional pantomime one Christmas holiday. After graduating she continued singing lessons with the classically trained opera singer turned teacher, Catherine Rosser. The ensuing friendship continued for many years, Ruth eventually moving Catherine (and her Steinway Baby Grand) into the top floor of her house in Clapham.

An initial spot at Balsam’s restaurant in Mayfair (twenty minutes at 10pm) paved the way to a robust career as a cabaret artist with regular appearances in London at the Dorchester, the Cafe Royal and the Grosvenor House. Endlessly developing her craft and with a fine ear for accent and language she not only could sing Puccini fluently in Italian, but also had a repertoire of French, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Hungarian songs and was adept at holding an audience in the palm of her hand as she skilfully adapted her act to each occasion.

Ruth also appeared on screen and in theatre with parts in Kismet at the Stoll Theatre, Flower Drum Song at the Palace and Man of La Mancha at the Piccadilly. She took over the lead role of Aldonza from Joan Deiner, realising her ambition to see her name up in lights in London’s West End.

Away from the limelight Ruth was generous with her time and talents and she liked to keep busy. As well as singing for friends and family at parties, weddings and ceremonies, she joined Xenia Field’s ‘Old Lags’ prison entertainers, was a trustee of the Cara Trust (founded in 1988 by her cousin, Father David Randall) and also gave home schooling to a succession of troubled children who had fallen outside the educational system.

With her husband, Michael Grater, she bought and restored an old farmhouse in the South West of France where long summers were shared with an eclectic mix of family and friends and locals. Actors, artists, choreographers, directors, farmers, craftsmen, vicars and nuns would come together to share food, wine, music and good conversation. Ruth and her friends effortlessly supplied wholesome food from the tiny rustic kitchen and Mike making sure that everyone’s glasses were full. Diaries from this adventure led to the writing and publication of an acclaimed series of books; the Sunflower Trilogy.

In her later years she found comfort in music and worship at Southwark Cathedral and the Church of the Holy Spirit in Clapham, and was an enthusiastic member of MJ Parazino’s South London Choir. With a wide circle of friends she enjoyed exercise classes, French conversation meetings, book clubs and women’s groups.

In April 2020 she celebrated her 90th birthday at the CAA club with a cabaret dinner for family and friends, giving a robust performance of “Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner”. Her voice was strong and clear, her love for her craft, her family and all of her friends undiminished.

Barrie Stacey 1926-2022

Barrie and Keith

BARRIE STACEY 24th October 1926–1st January 2022

In a wonderfully long life, Barrie Stacey spanned the twenties – 1920s to 2020s and in his 95 years he packed in more experiences, laughter, outrageousness and a sheer love of living life to the full, than most people would experience in dozens of lifetimes.

Broadcast LIVE on the day, a recording of Barrie Stacey’s funeral service is available to view here on the CAA website below courtesy of YouTube.

Barrie Stacey Order of Service Cover
barrie Stacey order of funeral service

Barrie left the earthly stage on New Year’s Day 2022 at the age of 95. As Barrie says in his autobiography, ’he was born at an early age and had a sheltered formative childhood, not being allowed to read the News of the World until he was three.’ Barrie was born in Boscombe, near Bournemouth.

He described his mother Phyllis Stacey, as very much in the Gladys Cooper mould. His father Edwin Stacey was a painter/decorator by trade and they met when both working at a hotel in Bournemouth.

Barrie has written that his father resembled a young Lawrence of Arabia at that time. Barrie had three brothers, John, Roy and David. Roy is still with us and has fathered two children, John and Julie.

Barrie says that his parent’s marriage became unhappy mainly because of his father’s thrifty ways. ‘Tight as a crab’s backside’ was Barrie’s description of him. However he did encourage Barrie in the arts which saw him singing in cafes and at concerts from the tender age of five.

In early 1945 Barrie was called for national service in the army. Shortly after Hitler shot himself and Germany surrendered – surely no coincidence! When stationed in Devon, Barrie first met Jessie Matthews, who was appearing at the Theatre Royal, Exeter. On demob Barrie, at 21 years of age, came to London looking to resume his fledgling career as an actor and ended up working for an agent – Catherine Billinghurst.

He enjoyed numerous jobs in theatres and the odd role. Barrie’s first play ‘Teddy Boy’ toured in the 1950s. He went on to write several others. After an accident when a lorry smashed into the taxi he was in, Barrie used the compensation to open his own coffee house in Monmouth Street. Barrie came up with the theatrical double entendre title for the café of ‘The As You Like It.’ it was described by an ‘as you like it’ regular Quinten Crisp. He says it was a delightful establishment usually called ‘the as’ by its habitués who were too lazy to utter consecutive words at any one time.

Barrie Stacey

In 1972 Barrie set up his own agency and production company and soon became well known and respected helping many artistes on their way, often to stardom. He presented star concerts such as the Jessie Matthews show at the Shaftesbury Theatre and Jim Bailey at the London Palladium. Also numerous names including John Hanson, Frankie Howerd, Bob Monkhouse, June Bronhill, Diana Dors, Russell Grant, Kathy Kirby and Ruby Murray. Barrie didn’t always get it right when it came to spotting young talent. At ‘the as’ he employed a delivery boy to take sandwiches to theatres called David Jones, who thought he could sing and write songs. Barrie auditioned him but told him that sadly he had little talent and should concentrate on another career. Undaunted, the boy persevered, even changing his name to David Bowie in the process.

Barrie presented many children’s musicals on tour and received a top children’s show producer award three times.

Barrie also produced an outrageously camp production of ‘Oh Camille’ at London’s Shaw Theatre. Barrie was awarded two coveted lifetime achievement awards by Encore Magazine and British Music Hall Society.

Barrie was so respected for helping artists to develop then releasing them to national organisations when the time was right. An act of professional kindness.

As a performer and narrator, Barrie toured his one man show ‘Life upon the very wicked stage’ and also numerous ‘Songbooks’ such as ‘West End to Broadway.’

He was also a regular producer of shows at the club for Acts and Actors. His autobiography ‘A ticket to the carnival’ written in his own inimitable non pc style, is a joy. He has also published three further books.

Barrie and Keith

Barrie and his partner Keith Hopkins moved into their Shaldon Mansions apartment on Charing Cross Road in 1977. Their parties were legendary and when Barrie tired, no offence could possibly be taken when he would announce to his guests “thank you for your company – now f off!”

Barrie continued working right up to his last hospitalisation. He is survived by his loving partner of 56 years, Keith Hopkins. A truly inspiring relationship. As Barrie’s health deteriorated over the last two years, Keith devoted himself to Barrie ensuring that he could stay in their Charing Cross Road apartment where they had been so happy for over forty years. Keith cared for him in a totally selfless way, wonderfully supported by friends.

To say we will miss Barrie is a gross understatement. Barrie was absolutely unique in a way that was truly special. The Max Miller expression ‘there will never be another,’ springs to mind. Two artistes who worked with and were great friends of Barrie come closest to capturing Barrie’s personality. Quinten Crisp said that Barrie could be trusted to tell all in a manner that will entertain everybody whilst wounding no one…unless they deserved it! At the ‘as you like it’ he would serve customers with scurrilous correctness while, at the same time, scourging them with the valour of his tongue. Russell Grant says he had never known Barrie to be depressed or down, he radiated an enthusiastic keenness in whatever he did. Barrie offered sympathy only when it was necessary, he never chastised or scolded people doing their best, but made you feel the most important person he knew, even if you were only the fifth munchkin from the left.

There are numerous Barrie Stacey stories and they will be recounted whenever and wherever show people gather.

Let’s hope there is a showbiz heaven. Barrie would be up there chatting with Jessie Matthews, Bob Monkhouse, maybe his adored Marlene Dietrich and certainly Quinten Crisp. You can imagine Barrie looking down on his wonderful funeral service on 16th February and turning to Quinten Crisp saying, “you see daughter – I told you I could pack that place for a Wednesday matinee.”

Rest in peace Barrie – although resting in peace is really not your style. And thanks for so many wonderful memories and for your extraordinary contribution to the business of show!

by Chris Hare

Larry Parker 1929 – 2021

Larry Parker Obit image 1

Larry Parker, comedy magician, passed away peacefully in a care home in Cornwall aged 92 on 17th August, 2021.

Larry was born in Preston while his parents were appearing in a season of plays in the Lancashire town. He was the third generation of a theatrical family. His grandfather was the Edwardian actor-manager, Charles Clifford.

From the age of twelve Larry helped and appeared in his parents’ fit up company, The Kinloch Players, touring villages and towns in the Highlands of Scotland. It was here that he first performed a magic act.

Following his National Service, which he spent mainly in London, his early years were in the theatre, initially as an actor, but developing his talents to become a straight man and juvenile lead in summer shows around the coast of Britain. It was during his time, while in a summer season in Babbacombe, that he met comedienne Rowena Vincent, who he later married.

It was at this point Larry started to develop a comedy magic act which later in his career was to bring him success, not only in Britain, but also internationally. The unique act combining comedy, magic and mime was enjoyed by audiences of all ages and nationalities.

In the 1960’s and 70’s Larry was a regular on children’s television, often seen performing with his faithful friend, Theodore the rabbit. He wrote and appeared in programmes including two series of Whistle Stop, five episodes of Jackanory and was also in several other popular children’s programmes of the time, including Crackerjack, The Sooty Show, Blue Peter and Magpie. His first break through came in the late 1950’s, appearing and writing “Happy Go Lucky”, a children ‘s television series for Tyne Tees Television, which ran for six years.

Larry Parker obit 02

It was in the 1970’s that Larry became a regular on British television, with his own brand of comedy magic, making regular appearances on shows such as the Good Old Days, 321, Seaside Special and many other variety shows of the day.

When not on television he continued to work in summer shows and the clubs around Britain as well as completing a year long run in the Max Bygraves Show at the Victoria Palace in London and a short season at the London Palladium with the Two Ronnies. His proudest moment though came in 1975, when he appeared in the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium in front of Her Majesty the Queen.

In the 1980’s, as the club scene dwindled in the U.K. and summer seasons became shorter and scarcer, Larry turned his attention to the Continent where speciality acts were in high demand. Working in top night spots including Paris, Brussels, Barcelona, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Rome, Larry’s combination of magic and visual humour was perfect for an international audience.

Always quick to adapt to the latest trend, Larry also saw an opportunity in the increasingly popular cruising market and during the late 1980’s and 90’s became a regular on both P&O and Cunard cruise ships.

Following the death of his wife, Rowena, in 1997 Larry moved to Cornwall, where he continued to entertain at children’s parties and local fayres. His final years were spent in Mousehole, a beautiful fishing village situated between Penzance and Lands End, where he spent many happy hours taking in the harbour views.

Although throughout his career he was known as a comedy magician, Larry was interested in all forms of magic and was a member of the Inner Magic Circle. He was also a member of the theatrical club, the CAA, and served two terms as the club’s President, as well as writing a book to commemorate the club’s centenary. Larry’s other great passion was the Players Theatre, a Victorian musical theatre club based in London, where he performed on a regular basis whenever he could.

Larry will be sadly missed by his son, Robin, and his three grandchildren, Rebecca, Sophie and Ewan.

A Tribute to Ron Wallace

Ron WallaceIt is with great sadness that I have to announce the passing of our dearly loved Honorary Life Member Ron Wallace.

He joined the club in the 1980s and very quickly became an indispensable member of the Club and Committee when he took on the onerous task of ALL our maintenance ( overseeing it all and actually physically ” doing” much of it!!) We can never repay his kindness!

He also took over the organisation of the CAA Ex Servicemen’s Club. Organising their Annual Dinner. He gave tirelessly of his many talents.

Both he and his wonderful wife Mena used to help on all of the Club functions in many, many ways.

A “Thank You Ron” just does not seem sufficient for all that we owe you at the Club! Yours & Mena’s friendship has sustained me in hard personal times too as I know you have helped many members personally over the years!

There is a gaping hole in the Club now and indeed on the Committee! Ron’s was the guiding hand during all building work carried on over the last 30 + years.

On behalf of myself, the Committee, and all of the CAA we send condolences to Ron’s beloved family, his children Ruth, Claire, Robert and Jasper his Grandson and his Son in Laws. They and we can never replace him!

All our Love and Thanks to you Ron

Rest in Peace.

Kay , on behalf of everyone at the CAA .