MARKHOUSE DRAMA CLUB NEWSLETTER
MDC WEBSITE FUNDING – UPDATE
As you will already know if you attended the Re-Union in October, or from the subsequent emails, this event was ‘used’ to kick start a ‘Funding Appeal’ to ensure that the website continues after the initial contract ‘runs out’ next month.
The Re-Union gave the ‘Appeal’ an ideal start and, along with subsequent donations and the balance from the ‘start up’ allocation from the CMMF, there are now sufficient funds to take out a further contract
Thanks also to several Standing Orders that have been placed, the longer term future is also looking very positive and, to date, this existing commitment will meet about 70% of the current annual cost of £300. So we are not too far off our target, although over the next few weeks we are also going to look at some alternative Hosting arrangements to see if we can get the same form of contract at a better rate – especially as it looks as if a number of companies offer more competitive ‘start up’ contracts to get you on board etc!
So thanks again to all those who have given their support – which can, of course, be added too by any other former MDC members who would like to help in this way. If you wish to do so then please either leave a note on the Contact Page, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Dave on 0208.657.632 – so that we can get back to you with the Bank details and/or the posting address
WEBSITE MEMORABILIA – APRIL ADDITIONS
The Walthamstow Guardian archives, in the original full paper editions, are held at the British Library’s ‘Warehouse’ in Boston Spa, but can be ‘reserved’ and transported for viewing to the main library just along from Kings Cross. As with our past requests for this facility, the latest ‘wrestling match’ with these ‘tomes’ (see ’NOTE’ below) has again proved relatively successful – particularly as the latest discoveries have filled a few more historical gaps in the early days of the Drama Club
Whilst the full list of ‘April 2018 Additions’ is also shown under the Website’s ‘News’ page, the following listing will give you an idea of what to look for on this occasion. As with the additions made over the past several months, you will, in most cases, find that these are highlighted with a ‘NEW’ Icon alongside.
Several newly discovered events, productions and newspaper reports, plus further cast/character lists and programme notes about some of the existing memorabilia, have been found and added, or updated, on the website’s Production Page. These are as follows:
- March 1959: Essex Youth Drama Festival – ‘Mute Witness‘ and ‘Macbeth (Extract). Newspaper Report
- March 1959: Walthamstow ‘Youth Speaks’ Competition – Newspaper Photograph & Report
- December 1959: Guardian Newspaper Report on the Essex County ‘Youth Speaks’ Final – and the MDC second place success!
- June 1960: Newspaper Report on an evening of sketches, monologues and two plays – ‘The Plot Thickens’ and ‘Poison, Passion & Petrifaction’
- July 1960: Guardian Report on the 1960 Mark House Drama Festival – with ‘Opportunity Knocks’ – ‘Bloaters’ ‘The Thought Machine’ and ‘The Man who Painted his Wife’s Nose’ staged and produced wholly by pupils in the Low Hall, Manor, Lea and Lammas House Groups
- October 1962: Brief Guardian Newspaper announcement for ‘Murder at Motley’
- December 1962: Guardian Report of ‘Four One Act Plays for the price of one’ – ‘Katy at School’ – ‘The One Black Rose’ – ‘Hip Hip Horatious’ (previously undated) and ‘Spot The Lady’ (the third version!)
- December 1971 – Walthamstow Guardian Newspaper Report on ‘Red Riding Hood’ – the MDC’s ‘Annual Bit of Nonsense and Fun’
Mark House School Page
As with the ‘Production’ page, a good number of reports have also been found about the school, with additions having been added to almost all the sections within the ‘Mark House School’ Page. These are as follows:
- Staff Gallery – Photographs added of Bill Pinches, Reg Bowyer, Del Steward & Agnes Townsend
- Markhouse Gallery – Assembly & Playgroup Photographs added
- Class Gallery – Photographs of the School Isle of Wight Trip, 5x and 6x at Wickham Bonhunt & a Newspaper Clipping of a Class Visit to the House of Commons with Eric Griffiths
- McEntee Award – Additions to the list of Award Winners including – John Dunn & Pat Payne – and full Guardian Newspaper Report of the Award to Costakis Apostalides and Runner Up: Bernard Page
- Newspaper Report from the 18th September 1959 about Mr Abel’s, the School’s America/UK Exchange Teacher – plus a further report about Frank Gizzi and the Marsh Street Youth Centre Motor Cycle Club
AND – ‘The HEADMASTERS VIEW of EVENTS’ – ‘THE MARKHOUSE STORY’
And – to round off this batch of website additions, this NEW link under the ‘Markhouse Secondary School’ page shows the first set of extracts from Les Smith’s – ‘A Headmaster View of Events’ – his ‘essay’ about his aims and experiences before and during his Headship of Markhouse Secondary School from 1957 to 1966. This original report, written in 2002, was somehow ‘acquired’ by Dickie Dunn and subsequently passed on by Vivienne for inclusion in the website – albeit not the whole 90 pages!
The ‘essay’ plots the lead up to his Headship – the philosophy that underpinned his aspirations for the school and its pupils, the massive changes in the structure of education that took place in the post wars years and the contributions of the staff over this period. It also, of course, plots the formation, aims and work of the Drama Club. In short, this is an account of ‘our education’ and what was going on behind the scenes!
Along with the Guardian Report announcing Mr Smith’s appointment at Mark House, several pages from the essay are now shown in the website; with the more relevant parts of each ‘boxed’ in blue. A couple of photographs have also been added as a reminded of some of the people mentioned – just in case the memory is waning!
A selection of further pages will be added to this part of the website in due course. In the longer term the intention is to make full copies of this document available for any former member who is interested. This will either be in a hard copy or by email – so, if you are interested in receiving a copy, then leave a note to this effect on the Website Contact Page
And finally, in terms website additions, the programmes notes from one of the MDC productions states that the Coppermill Puppet Theatre were an affiliated group – although no detail was given, or is currently known, about when or how this occurred – or indeed,
if they ever staged any of their performances at Mark House.
At best it might be assumed that this happened at some time after Mr Malyon was transferred to Coppermill Secondary Modern School – post 1966!
However, it is clear from this article from this Walthamstow Guardian Report, dated January 1960, that the Puppet Theatre was in existence well before this.
So – if this Report rings any bells – then please get in touch through the Websites Contact Page – to let ‘us’ know what ‘you’ know!
NOTE: ‘Wrestling Match’. Each ‘Volume’ of the Guardian archives comes in large, heavy books, hard bound with either 3 or 6 months’ worth of editions – so, if you can recall their individual dimensions, you might appreciate the combined weight and therefore the ‘lifting requirements’ from trolley to desk?
Whilst a productive and revealing experience, it is equally a reminder of how weighed down I used to be when delivering them on my Friday morning Paper Round – all for the princely wage of 13/6 a week for 7 mornings plus a Sunday mid morning collection(with tips!) DM
It was very sad to find myself writing to let everyone know of the news of Mick Everett – but then not being surprised to subsequently receive a good number of replies from former members that not only wished their condolences passed onto Margaret and their family, but also saying how really sorry they were that they had not had the opportunity to renew their former friendship with him. This was particularly so for a few who, like Mick, was ‘there’ when it all started!
Like myself, I am sure that many who joined the MDC a little later, looked to Mick, along with Keith Elliott, Iris Moorshack, Brenda Chapman and Maggie Cox (an others?) as the group that set out what the Drama Club was all about – that it was not just about acting a part, but also about working as a team, gaining self-confidence and having a great deal of fun at the same time. Of course, Mick will be particularly remembered in this latter respect
I was glad to have had a chance to meet him again about 18 months ago, along with Phil and Norma, at the Covent Garden Punch & Judy Fayre; also of then having been able to send him some cuttings from the Walthamstow Guardian just before Xmas. When Margaret called me with her news, she mentioned that Mick had been really pleased to receive and recall their content – of the success of Iris, Keith and himself in the Walthamstow Rotary Club ‘Youth Speaks’ Competition. Ironically, just a few days before, I had found another one of him (also with Iris & Keith) from an earlier Youth Speaks Event – but regretfully I had not, by that time, forwarded a copy onto him.
My own ‘best’ DC memory of him, as already recalled in other in website items, is of his performance as a dodgy ‘Macbeth’ in ‘Spot The Lady’- wherein he was very very funny – both when sticking to the script and when (often) deviating from it. We may well owe our subsequent Pantomime ‘ad libbing habits’ to Mick?
As well as his great sense of humour, Mick was very artistic and creative – and in addition to the existing website story of the model ‘Spider’ that Mr Malyon so obviously kept and cherished (as recounted by Alec and Jennifer), this recall from Cleve seems appropriate to add – coincidentally also about an insect!
‘I remember him, as I do the tale of when he worked for the BBC special effects department on a Dr Who series. He told me (us) that he had spent weeks making a fine detailed replica of a `Bee` for an episode when The Doctor and his crew had shrunk to the size of insects. He had lovingly and painstakingly made this very accurate model and then presented it for the filming – but then described how devastated he was to see it hauled up in the studio and dropped, on purpose, to the ground – with dire consequences. All that time and effort into a one off shot.
He would probably never have thought that a simple tale like that, and one that he himself would have more than likely have forgotten many years ago, has caused him to live on in at least my memory’- Cleve
I suspect Mick would, albeit probably a bit later, have seen the funny side of this – and I also wonder if he might have fondly recalled this incident if he ever watched the similar fate of Del and Rodney’s ‘candelabra’ DM
The CYRIL MALYON MEMORIAL FUND
Having pretty much sorted out the future arrangements for the Website, some further attention is about to be given to the residual work and funds of CMMF; which, as you may recall from the earlier Newsletters, were incorporated into the ongoing responsibilities of the re-formed MDC
The overall position is that there is the scope to finance one or two further performing arts projects with young people and the intention is to do this within this present year – hopefully taking the total number of projects to 10.
Further details about this will be circulated within the next few weeks
‘Unihabited’ – The first CMMF funded Project
In the meantime
Happy Browsing and Regards
Dave, Denis, John, June, Norma & Peter