By Marianne Welsh (nee Price)
My father Eddie Price, often called Ted, worked at Harris Lebus from sometime in the 1950s to early 1960s. The work he did was to do with the cutting of the timber if I remember correctly. As a young child he sometimes let me go down to where the wood came on the barges and to see the cats and kittens which I loved doing but he impressed on me not to attempt to touch them as they were feral.
Once my father sneaked four table legs home, one each day after work, hidden inside his jacket, he made a coffee table with them and an old top from a gramophone record cabinet. Although both my parents worked, money was tight so that is why he made the coffee table rather than buy one. Some Saturday evenings my parents and myself would go to The PANDO Club which was for the workers, it was a great night out with music and dancing. I think my father paid a small amount to be a member of the club. It was a lovely social club such happy memories.
We had furniture from HL, I think my dad got a discount and could also buy it for other family members. I had a dressing table with mirror wardrobe combined and had it for many years even in my first home. My cousin Peter had a three piece lounge suite bought just before he was married in 1960 which my father got for him, and that lounge suite was still being used 35 years later.
The first photo is of me and my father sometime in the late 1950s. We were on holiday somewhere in England. I don’t know where possibly Walton on the Naze a popular seaside resort for working class Londoners.
The second photo is of my mother (in the middle), my cousin Peter and his wife Pamela. I think this photo is from early 1960 or 1961, as the women’s dresses were of that period very full with lots of petticoats. Behind them are pot plants that were given as prizes in a raffle along with other items. One Christmas I was given a children’s nurses set in a large cardboard box and was so pleased. They had gifts for children. The evenings at the social would have a band playing and artists performing and then we would dance ballroom dancing and then some modern dances. There would be balloons high above in a net which would be released at the end of the evening normally at the last but one dance.
Marianne Price has been a singer and actress for more than fifty years and has worked in cabaret, television, West End musical theatre, tours, repertory theatre, radio and film. She is also a highly sort after public and after dinner speaker.
Marianne comes from Tottenham, North London where at the age of fifteen she started out singing in the working men’s clubs and pubs in the area and also in the East End. She went on to perform leading roles in various musicals as a member of Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop at the Theatre Royal Stratford East and as a solo singer in the theatre’s Sunday Cabaret nights. She also was a performer in a Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium. In musical theatre in the West End Marianne played roles in many well known shows, including “The Rocky Horror Show”, “Evita” and “Little Me”. Notably are playing Sheila in “Hair” at the Shaftesbury Theatre, “Jeannie in the revival of “Hair” at Her Majesty’s Theatre, taking over the role of Rita from Elaine Paige in “Billy” opposite Michael Crawford at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and performing the role of Sandy in the original London production of “Grease” at the New London Theatre opposite Richard Gere.
Over twenty five years ago when living in an old house overlooking the sea in Suffolk she started writing short stories and also poetry. She has won poetry competitions and her work has also been published.
Marianne now lives in Southport on the coast in the North West of England with her husband where she recently performed the role of Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard” at the Little Theatre.
Marianne’s compelling collection of short stories can be purchased via this link.