Sue came to the Drama Club via Beaconsfield School, along with many other pupils that Mr Malyon had brought from his ‘new’ teaching post – and so she played a vital part in maintaining a vibrant and ongoing membership over the last years of its existence. This is how Sue met Ray and, in due course, they very much ‘fitted’ in with Mr Malyon’s notable comment in the letter he wrote for the 2014 Re-Union – where he said that ‘he wasn’t sure whether he was running a Drama Club or a ‘Marriage Bureau’.
Sue and Ray were, of course, one of a number of couples that not only met at the MDC, but also sustained their close friendships and ongoing contact with many of the other members from that time.
Sue not only kept in touch with her ‘immediate’ friends from that period but also those from the Drama Club’s earlier days and, indeed, attended all of the Re-Unions that had been held in recent years. She also renewed her ‘active’ MDC interests in 2018 by joining the Committee of the ‘new’ Markhouse Drama Club and along with this grouping of friends, was involved in both managing the website and the residual work of the Cyril Malyon Memorial Fund. In the latter respect Sue became particularly involved in the latest CMMF Performing Arts Project – which was, as it happens, to be held at Tendering College – just around the corner from her home in Thorpe Le Soken
Sue had been really looking forward to this; not just as it was being staged so near to her, but more so because her Grandson was a pupil at the College and that the theme of this project was the same as the first CMMF project back in 2015 – the one that Ray had initiated at the Harwich & Dovercourt High School and similarly dealt with the important issues of knife crime.
Sue had met with the cast of the play, ‘Pocket Knife’, just before Xmas 2019 and had very much enjoyed hearing the young people’s views and hopes for the project; also in sharing her own memories and experiences of the MDC productions and the friendships that have lasted since those days. The ‘cream on the cake’ for Sue would have been for her Grandson to have been in the cast but, unfortunately, the timing didn’t quite fit as he had moved to a different campus and year group by this time.
Because of the Covid19 pandemic the project was temporarily postponed just prior to the actual performances and whilst a new date will eventually be set, it will be particularly sad to know that Sue will not be among the MDC members who will be present; both because she was really looking forward to meeting and talking with the young people again and, no doubt, to be ‘reminded’ of how passionate Ray had been about this subject matter and his wish to support young people.
Beyond her MDC interests, many Drama Club members will have seen plenty of evidence over the past few years of Sue’s charitable fund raising efforts and, of course, of continuing her and Ray’s passion for travel – and of involving her family in this!
Sue will be greatly missed, not only by her close family and local friends, but also by the many former MDC members who valued and enjoyed their friendship with her.
Sue Aylott (Nee Parker) 1952 – 2020