The Bartered Bride — 10 Comments

  1. The operetta was a combined effort and put on at Mayfield Girls School. I cannot remember everything about it but there was an on stage interval with a band made up of myself (Trombone), David Barnes (Cornet), Peter Holland (Cornet) and I think, a Tenor or French Horn player.
    Colin Belton

  2. I was that tenor horn (later french horn) player! It was called ‘The Peasants Cantata’ and we performed it for 3 or 4 nights at the girls school. I remember the four of us, dressed in knee breeches etc, became the village band. We also played in the ‘pit’ for the rest of the show. It would be good to talk to any one connected with that show or any of the music between 1962 and 1965 when I left.
    John Ward

  3. I remember that Doug Shaw was conducting the orchestra in the operetta, and I played the viola. I was the only person not to play the opening note of the National Anthem as I couldn’t always guarantee that I’d play the correct note. I will always remember Miss Rose, what a lovely person she was. In contrast to Miss Lewis, who was a bit of a tartar. John, I remember you well!
    Jacki Terry

  4. David Miller: Relating to the combined performance at the girls school. My older brother, Andrew, was at Mayfield and I was to go to the school. My parents took me along to one of the performances. To be honest I do not remember much about the performance except for something that happened during the overture. Doug Shaw, ever the perfectionist, heard that one of the violins was out of tune. He stopped the overture, pointed to the player and told them they were out of tune, made them retune and then restarted. Jacki is correct about the music school. It was called the Mayfield Music School and if my memory serves me well it was on a Friday evening. You were allowed to learn two instruments. I learnt piano and brass. I started on the trombone and then moved onto the Eb Tuba. The music school closed after Malcolm Bidgood “stole” the idea and set up the Redbridge Music School and poached the best players. Doug Shaw could see that the Mayfield Music School could not survive against the Borough wide one so shut ours down. I often remind people at the Redbridge Music School that there was in fact a music school in the Borough before them (they all think that they were the first!). I remember John Ward well and I believe he took up the profession of making and servicing/repairing French Horns (I am sure he will correct this if I have got it wrong). I well remember him playing a Mozart Horn concerto at a school music concert with Doug Shaw as the accompanist. I sang in the school choir and later joined the brass band.
    David Miller

  5. I left school in 1962, so cannot comment on the operetta, but I do remember a whole choir of us girls going to Ilford Town Hall and doing a rendition of the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ conducted by our lovely Miss Rose. If my memory serves me well, I think we won the competition that year. Are there any others out there who remember Miss Rose? She used to make us do breathing exercises; holding our breath for so long I’m sure some girls nearly passed out. What a character she was, and the trouble she had with us all when she tried to teach us the recorder. Oh dear what a racket we used to make. To this day I still can’t play the rotten thing.
    Eileen Dean (nee Fifield)

  6. Yes I remember Miss Rose with much affection, as she was my form mistress in my 3rd year. She very kindly offered to give me some singing practice in my lunch hour as I was singing solo’s at my local Salvation Army, and I discovered that she too went to the SA in Leytonstone or Leyton. From then on I blossomed, she gave me the door monitors job – nobody had ever trusted me with anything before and I always felt a failure in school, and those lunchtime practices encouraged me in singing. To this day I still sing in a church choir. Miss Rose never quite managed to teach me how to read music, but I could sing a piece if I heard it. And yes I remember singing in the 1962 choir in Ilford when we did the Hallelujah Chorus, in those days I was a top soprano (not now I hasten to add). I left Mayfield school in 1963 and remained in the SA until 1974.
    Lynn Wright (nee Aldridge)

  7. Yes I also remember “The Peasants Cantata” which was a joint venture between the two Mayfield schools. I was the accompanist (on a rather nice school piano). Somewhere in my loft I have the original musical score with lists of the cast and the libretto, which was hastily put together at the Boys school. Members of staff from each school took the lead roles and the choruses (in 4 parts) were performed brilliantly with great enthusiasm. The parts were learnt separately by boys and girls and I will always remember the look of pleasure joy and indeed surprise at the coming together of the 4 parts. It was certainly “Never mind the quality feel the width” but the perfomances were a great success. I was only at Mayfield for 4 years but was also very much involved with Doug Shaw’s Music Centre. Doug died only a few years ago and last w/e I visited his wife who is 89 and still well able to recall school life from the 60s.
    Derek Trewin

  8. I well remember Douglas Shaw who ran the Mayfield Music School, and Mr Albert Young who taught violin and recommended me to my first violin teacher Paul Marquis. This was before the formation of the Borough of Redbridge.

  9. I remember the awful Doug Shaw. I attended the Music School, learning violin with Mr Young and Paul Marquis. I was made Principal Violinist of the school orchestra. I also learnt to play percussion. Doug Shaw told our class that anyone who got a particular piece of homework wrong would get the slipper. Guess what; we all got it wrong! He lined us all up, as he delivered the punishment we all went to the back of the line again! It took him a little while to catch on!

  10. On the 5th November I met up with Ex-Mayfield school pupil John Barham, who these days lives in Rainham Essex. John lived next door but one to me in Brian Road Chadwell Heath and next door to John Shields, who I met up with in August. It is about 47 years since I had seen both Johns and it has been a real pleasure to see them both again, and see how their lives had developed.

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