MARKHOUSE DRAMA CLUB NEWSLETTER
April 2018 Extracts
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
The full list of ‘April 2018 Additions’ is shown under the Website’s ‘News’ page and. as with those made over the past several months, you will, in most cases, find that these are highlighted with a ‘NEW’ Icon alongside.
And to round off this batch of website additions a NEW link has been added under the ‘Markhouse Secondary School’ page which shows the first set of extracts from:
‘The HEADMASTERS VIEW of EVENTS’ – ‘THE MARKHOUSE STORY’
This is Les Smith’s ‘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
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