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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Stand Up Comedy for The Inner Wheel's 60th

The 60th celebration Charter Tea of the Inner Wheel was held in the beautiful Cloiser Room at the Coombe Abbey Hotel.

A lovely audience. What sincere and hard working women (for charity), the women of the Inner Wheel are.

The afternoon began with the traditional candle lighting.
Inner Wheel Candle lighting.  


The three objects of Inner Wheel are -


  • to promote true friendship
  • encourage the ideals of personal service
  • to foster international understanding


  • Afterwards there was a delicious, traditional, and extremely calorific cream tea.
    A speciality of  the Coombe Abbey Hotel.  



    What a wonderful place it is and, it once belonged to an ancestor of mine.  I learned only minutes before I left for the gig that Coombe Abbey (for about 40 + years, give or take) from around 1520 to 1560 was owned by John Dudley.  I intend to Google this and find out all the facts and exact dates, but for now they are an estimate. 




    Coombe Abbey was given to John Dudley by Henry VIII for his loyalty and the services he provided.  I'm guessing they had something to do with dodgy dealings, because Henry VIII wanted to divorce and remarry. I shall research that too.  Suffice it to say, my grandfather on my mother’s side was a direct desendant of John Dudley, the Earl of Warwick, I think.  The family lived at Coombe through the reign of Henry VIII and also through his son, Edward VI’s reign.  When Edward VI died, Henry VIII’s daughter Mary was crowned Queen.  Queen Mary 1st, o‘Bloody Mary’ as she became known, had John Dudley executed along with hundreds of other Protestants and gave the Abbey to one of her supporters who, like herself, was Catholic.  As I said, I intend to research this and give exact dates, names and titles.  

    Notes made on, Joyce Grenfell  (1910-79)

    Born in London; her mother was sister of Nancy Astor.  After school, she was "finished" at a private school in Paris. She met her husband when she was 17; they were married two years later and lived in a cottage on the Astor's Cliveden Estate. 
         Joyce’s first job was writing reviews of radio programs for The Observer. She got her first break in writing and performing on radio from Stephen Potter.  She wrote monologues, poems and sketches for radio and later starred in films with people like Alastair Sims, George Cole and Frankie Howerd. Best known for the St. Trinians films.  Joyce also appeared in revues with Noel Coward, Edith Evans, Peter Ustinov – and many others.
         In the 70s she was a popular member of the panel of the BBC television
    program Face the Music and contributed to Thought for the Day

    My first sketch was, Stately Galleon, impersonating Joyce Grenfell and acting the character of Mrs Fanshaw, Joyce's neighbour who is a northerner.

    Joyce Grenfell - A massive talent.

    The second of Joyce's sketches I performed was, Rainbow Nights.  Now married and happy, the London girls 'can't help looking back with wistful nostalgia at those glamorous nights when they used to go, up West, to Rainbow Corner.'  

    Pam Ayres

    The first, third, and fifth sketches were Pam Ayres poems.  Grimwald The Puppet Horse,  Mother Was Right About You, Snoring, and Oh Mr (John) Prescott.


    Work in progress.  There is more to come.  





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